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Bike Trailer

Bike Trailer

We are occassionally asked if the Advance Mobility Independence or Freedom models can be used as a Bike Trailers. They cannot, sorry.

We have been advised by some customers in the Netherlands that they have converted the Freedom model to a bike trailer using a trailing arm made by the manufacturer Weber, it is available through bike shops. There is also a US based retailer, JJs Toys, which offers a similar product .

This is not approved by Advance Mobility who have not tested the products for this purpose and who take the safety of your child seriously.

If it were simply a question of attaching a towing arm then it would be easy, but there are fundamental differences in design between a pushchair and a bike trailer.

Travelling at higher speeds on cambered roads, in particular around bends, the vehicle needs to have either a much wider rear wheelbase or a lower centre of gravity in order to be stable - to avoid toppling over.

Bike Trailers tend to have seating systems which are either more 'laid back' or have the child's legs straight forward rather than a traditional seating system. This allows the child to be closer to the ground. Many Bike Trailers have the option to fit a pushing handle and either a single front wheel (for use off road) or smaller swivel wheels (for use around town). However good they are as a Bike Trailer they usually make a very inferior pushchair not least because the weight distribution is poor. One exception to this we were aware of was the Cougar model made by Thule although this model has now been superceded.

There are two products available in the UK which market themselves for special needs all round use including as a bike trailer:

xRover a 'bike trailer' like design closer to the Thule but primarily marketed as a sporting pushchair... and with a much higher price tag. The larger 20" rear wheels would work well at speed and the low seating position should make it stable if used as a bike trailer.

Delta a 'pushchair' like design closer to the Advance Mobility products and primarily marketed as a pushchair. The shorter wheelbase would work less well off road and track less well if run at speed. It has a higher seating position so may be less stable if towed.

There are a couple of Special Needs Bike Trailers made by Wyke one of which can be converted to a pushchair...but again it isn't ideal.

As a general rule we think that it is best to buy something made specifically to do a job well. Although there are some features which are common between pushchairs, running strollers and bike trailers, other features are mutually exclusive so any product which claims to do everything will of course be a compromise and may actually not do any one function as well a something designed specifically for that purpose.

The next thing to think about is safety. So much of what we buy is regulated by safety standards overseen by knowledgeable authorities. It is so common you could be forgiven for taking it for granted, how else could it be sold ?

Well it may not be quite that simple because some goods, e.g. special needs, may be exempt from official testing as it is so specialist that there are no Standards to test them against. Similarly there are different standards - a Bike Trailer for a child (not special needs) does not have to comply with the same Safety Standards as pushchair if a front wheel is sold as an optional accessory. In theory anyone could simply sell a bike trailing arm to add to their pushchair so they could sell it as a bike trailer, without it being tested or approved by anyone.

If you do decide to buy a pushchair which can be converted to a bike trailer then we recommend you verify what Safety Standard it has been tested and approved to (note CE certification is done by the manufacturer themselves).

Both the xRover and Delta products offer a wider range of specialist acessories to customise the product for as child with specific physical needs, if that is what you need. However both of these products are much more expensive than if you were to buy an Advance Mobility pushchair PLUS a Wyke Special Needs Trailer giving you purpose made products for each job. You could consider the Thule option but this is really for the younger/smaller child.

We hope these notes are helpful. If, in your research, you are able to add information for the benefit of other parents, then please contact us so we can update this page.