Some of your habits you actually want your kids to pick up, like hard work, self-reliance, reading, compromising and picking up after themselves (ok, maybe they’ll get that from their mom). An exercise habit and a love of the outdoors won’t come if you plop the little
monsters tykes in front of the idiot box or let them self-entertain with a video game; those habits require immersion therapy. If you’re looking to introduce your kids to cycling, the Weehoo iGo Pro bicycle trailer ($399) is just the tool for the job. We got our hands on one and put it to the test with a five-year-old and a 15-month-old in tow.
Cycling with kids presents a number of challenges, not the least of which are comments like “Are we there yet?” A key element to building a life-long joy for the open road or trail is making the trip enjoyable and engaging. Sitting passively inside an enclosed trailer works fine for an infant or a more docile toddler, but the active two- to four-year-old wants to be like dad. Pushing pedals helps scratch that itch. The Weehoo iGo fills a niche between enclosed, non-pedaling trailers like Burley and the “trail-a-bike” type that are akin to attaching the back half of a child’s upright bike to an adult bike. The iGo provides a younger, less experienced rider the confidence of pedaling, while securing him inside a protective seat and harness. The rear wheel “free-wheels”, so your passenger can pedal, or not, as the mood moves him or her — or as you’re able to motivate the freeloader.
Out of the box, the iGo required a quick 20-minute assembly — assemble the seat, attach it to the frame, and add the curved swing-arm that attaches to the bike’s seatpost — before we were ready to take a whirl around the neighborhood. A quick recommendation from our experience: don’t start on a hill. The 28-pound trailer plus small child (ours was about 28 pounds) adds a not insignificant amount of weight to your ride. Though both you and your passenger will get a workout, even the most enthusiastic stoker won’t make up for the added weight. You’re going to want to attach to a bike with a broad range of gears — meaning a triple crank up front. On the road we found ourselves cornering more conservatively (Weehoo recommends no more than 15 mph). The trailer definitely changes ride characteristics and tends to understeer. After a few slow passes, a feel for the added weight and cornering gave us more confidence at a faster pace. The pivoting arm that attaches to the seatpost allows the trailer to move independently side to side and up and down, making the iGo a great option for dirt roads and trails. Single track might be a stretch, but varied terrain is certainly manageable.
Single track might be a stretch for the Weehoo, but varied terrain is certainly manageable.
Several features of the trailer specifically address parents’ natural concerns for safety. While you should always ensure your child wears a helmet, whether a passenger or riding solo, the iGo’s seat back provides some side impact protection. The drivetrain is completely enclosed, and the seat’s adjustability and pedal straps ensures no feet get caught up in your rear wheel. With the flag and an aftermarket flashing light, the trailer will actually increase a rider’s visibility. One issue, besides the weight, is the design of the armrests. Giving the passenger something to hold onto is a good idea to prevent dangling arms from catching on things; however, the handgrips should be angled inward. In the event of a crash, the potential for catching the child’s hands between the grips and the ground would be mitigated with a small bend to the tubing. Overall, though, we found the trailer to be smartly designed and we were confident riding with the little ones tagging along behind. A couple saddlebags behind the seat provide just enough space for snacks and a windbreaker, and maybe a change of skivvies if the pilot gets too adventurous.
For short family outings, the Weehoo iGo is a great way to include younger kids, all while developing their long-term love for cycling. The versatility and narrow footprint gives access to road and trail alike, giving both road and mountain biking enthusiasts the same opportunities. Stick to flat or gentle terrain, and you’ll enjoy the ride as much as your passenger does. And for the ultimate testimony? A long “Wooooo!” from a pre-verbal toddler as we rode past his friends at the local playground. Weehoo, indeed.