Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Parent's Pick: The Weehoo i-Go Pedal Trailer

Matt Miller helps us out every summer on Sundays in the Rocky River store (that is, when he's not taking Grandma for a ride on his Xtracycle longtail). An avid bicyclist, Matt is also the father of two kids, age 3 and 5, and a knowledgable go-to guy for a parent's perspective on bicycling products. Here are his thoughts about the Weehoo i-Go Pedal Trailer (above):

When I first saw it, I thought it was just too weird. But I kept thinking about it and I just had to have one. With two kids who are growing, the trailer was too cramped, even being a D'Lite with extra room inside. My daughter will be riding a two-wheeler come spring so I knew she would be uninterested in the trailer. But for longer rides,(translate: longer than around the block) the i-go is perfect.

I really like the recumbent design. The i-go has a much lower center of gravity than the other taller models on the market that make the child sit upright (trail-a-bike, etc...) which has many benefits:
1) The amount of wobbling or perceived tipping is reduced greatly so the rider pulling it doesn't feel as much extra movement and it feels more stable with the weight on the back;
2) The bike pulling it handles much better around turns;
3) With the harness system, I feel much more comfortable with my kid on the back knowing that if either one lets go of the handles, they're not going to fall off.

Which brings me to another point - the i-go allows you to start the transition out of a baby seat or trailer at a younger age. The harness holds them in comfortably while they enjoy the open ride and view. The adjustable seat on the i-go allows me to pull either kid and have their feet on the pedals so they can pedal when they want or just enjoy the ride.

The speed at which my kids are growing has me planning on retiring the trailer come spring and adding a second i-go to my fleet of bikes so my wife and I can take them out at the same time, and my kids won't fight over who gets to ride on the i-go!! (An additional bonus: My wife will not pull the trailer, but she loves pulling the i-go.)

The enclosed drive train is something that I don't have to think about - no pinched fingers, legs, shoelaces, pants, and no greasy mess on anything at all. The kids really do have a longer attention span on the i-go than in the trailer. I can really feel it when my daughter is pedaling. The pack on the back has two pockets for mid-ride snacks and drinks.

I really love this product and am convinced it is the best option on the market for kids who are too big for seats, and not big enough to keep up on longer rides. I can't wait to get another one!

One "con" to keep in mind: It is extremely sturdy and solid, making it a little on the heavy side. You won't feel that while riding, but you might notice it when you're hanging it up post-ride or moving it around.

Suggestion for folks purchasing one for the first time: If you intend on using it on different bikes, buy another hitch assembly. It will be easier to move from bike to bike.

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