The 7 Best Trailer Bikes

Our Top Trailer Bikes for Every Kid and Every Budget

Trailer bikes, trailer cycles, tag-along bikes – whatever you call them,  they’re a unique and adventurous alternative to traditional bike trailers. Trailer bikes allow kids to be out in the open air and active participants in the ride! They’re also a great option for older kids who no longer fit in a traditional bike trailer.

Standard Trailer Cycles

  1. Burley Kazoo – Best Standard Trailer Cycle, $350
  2. Burley Piccolo – Best Geared Trailer Cycle, $400
  3. Weeride Co-Pilot – Best on a Budget, $78

Recumbent Trailer Cycles

  1. Weehoo Turbo – Best Overall Recumbent, $365
  2. Weehoo Blast – Best for Young Ones, $225

Towing Options

  1. Trail Gator – Best Tow Arm, $68
  2. TowWhee – Best Tow Rope, $40

 


Burley Kazoo/Piccolo

Best Standard Trailer Cycle


Burley Piccolo trailercycle

MSRP: $350/$400

BEST FIT: Ages 4 – 8.  The Kazoo is single-speed, so better for younger riders.  The Piccolo is geared and best for older riders because shifting can be a challenge for younger kids.

FULL REVIEW: Burley Piccolo, Burley Kazoo

Everything Burley makes is pretty awesome, and their trailer bikes are no exception.  The Burley Piccolo and Kazoo are some of the most expensive trailer cycles, but absolutely worth the investment, especially for families who use a trailer cycle a lot. Their unique mounting system makes the trailer bike MUCH more stable than others brands.

Mounting to a rack versus a seat post, Burley trailer cycle users report minimal problems with the trailer leaning to one side or the other, especially as compared to traditional seat post-mounted trailer cycles. The lack of leaning or rocking back and forth makes Burley trailers easier to use and more enjoyable for both parent and child.

In addition to extra stability, the rack mount allows the Piccolo/Kazoo to pivot smoothly in all directions and maneuver around tight corners. As an added bonus, the Piccolo/Kazoo can pivot all the way around so it actually sits next to the adult bike in a bike rack.

PROS
  • Hitch allows the Piccolo or Kazoo to pivot smoothly in all directions for great maneuverability
  • Attaches to rack vs. seat post for best-in-class stability
  • Easy assembly, mounting, and unmounting
  • Quick-release attachment to adult bike is a stand-out design and easy to use
  • Comes in a geared or non-geared version

CONS
  • Child is not secured in any way, so be cautious with younger children

 


Weehoo Turbo

Best Recumbent Trailer Bike


 

Weehoo Turbo recumbent trailer cycle

MSRP: $365

BEST FIT: 3 to 9 years old

FULL REVIEW: Weehoo Turbo

Standard trailer cycles can often sway side to side, and their lack of a harness can’t keep kids safe in the event of a fall. That’s where Weehoo comes in! Built much lower to the ground, the Weehoo Turbo is incredibly stable compared to most standard trailer cycles. Additionally, it has a wide, recumbent seat with a height-adjustable harness that keeps kids secure and safe.

Besides keeping kids safe, the recumbent seat allows them to sit back and relax, or throw their hands up in the air! And with pedals that are completely optional, kids can choose to take an active or passive role in the ride.

While fun and enjoyable on paved paths, use on non-paved trails and single-track trails is where the Weehoo really shines.  Compared to a bike trailer, the narrow footprint of the Weehoo allows the trailers to easily glide through narrow trails without getting stuck on low-lying branches or rocks.  With one wheel, the Weehoo is also able to track smoothly on uneven surfaces, versus a trailer that bounces back and forth on two tires which can create a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.

PROS
  • Recumbent seat provides kids with a safe, carefree, relaxed ride
  • Mounting is quick, easy, and only requires a seat post, not eyelets
  • Height adjustable harness with adjustable chest strap make for a great fit
  • Compared to a bike trailer, the narrow footprint of the Weehoo prevents it from becoming stuck on low branches or rocks
  • With one wheel, the Weehoo tracks smoothly over uneven surfaces

CONS
  • You must keep the bike upright when loading your child into the trailer
  • Low-lying seat can get dust on kids faces – sunglasses are recommended (fender is included to prevent rocks from hitting kids)


Trail-Gator

Best Tow Arm


Trail-Gator tow bar attached to adult and child bike

MSRP: $68

BEST FIT: 12″-20″ bikes (without hand brakes) with riders weighing 70 pounds or less

FULL REVIEW: Trail-Gator

The Trail Gator is a unique alternative to a traditional trailer cycle. It consists of a metal arm that connects an adult bike to a regular kid’s bike with tires between 12″-20″ in diameter. This opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities, such as towing a child too small to fit on a traditional trailer cycle, or doing rides where a child rides solo part of the way but is towed by an adult through challenging or less-safe sections.

Once the arm is removed, it’s really small and easy to store. Because the Trail-Gator is so portable, it’s saved the day on multiple occasions with tuckered-out kids towards the end of a ride. It’s also a great option if you want the functionality of both a child bike and a trailer cycle, but you don’t have enough storage space for both. Be aware though, that this set-up is noticeably more wobbly than traditional trailer cycles.

PROS
  • Small and easy to store – great option for the “just-in-case” scenario
  • Child can easily be removed or reattached to the adult bike at any point during the ride
  • Child feels like they are riding along with their parent

CONS
  • Installation is straightforward but time-consuming
  • Not recommended for kids’ bikes with hand brakes
  • Wobbly compared to traditional trailer cycles
  • Kids can engage their coaster brakes and produce drag


TowWhee

Best Tow Rope


tow whee bungee tow strap bike trailer - orange

MSRP: $40

BEST FIT: All ages and skill levels

FULL REVIEW: TowWhee

The TowWhee is the simplest and most affordable option on this list, and is also the easiest to bring along for the “just-in-case” scenario. Extending from 56″ to 180″ when fulling tensioned, the TowWhee allows you to keep your little one close, but also provides enough space so they can more independently ride.

The TowWhee is especially ideal for mountain biking families that want to tackle aggressive terrain or climbs, but who have little ones that don’t yet have the stamina to keep up. Rather than sticking to easy, flat trails, Mom and Dad can provide that extra burst of energy when your little grom is spent. Your eager rider can continue to master mountain biking skills while not becoming too discouraged with the difficulty of the climb.

PROS
  • Small and compact, can easily be stored for use on the go
  • Can be used with all ages and skill levels
  • Keeps even tension when in use
  • Installs in seconds

CONS
  • When fully extended, kids can brake and startle you – just make sure to instruct them ahead of time


Weehoo Blast

Best for the Youngest Riders


Weehoo Blast recumbent trailer cycle

MSRP: $225

BEST FIT: Kids ages 2 to 5

A more economical version of the Weehoo Turbo, it’s also a better fit for your youngest little riders. A footrest replaces pedals, which, lets be honest, 2-year-olds certainly aren’t going to use anyways!

PROS
  • Recumbent seat provides kids with a safe, carefree, relaxed ride
  • Mounting is quick, easy, and only requires a seat post, not eyelets
  • Seat harness keeps little ones strapped in and safe
  • Compared to a bike trailer, the narrow footprint of the Weehoo prevents it from becoming stuck on low branches or rocks
  • With one wheel, the Weehoo tracks smoothly on uneven surfaces

CONS
  • You must keep the bike upright when loading your child into the trailer
  • Low-lying seat can get dust on kids faces – sunglasses are recommended (fender is included to prevent rocks from hitting kids)
  • Footrest straps can easily come loose


WeeRide Co-Pilot

Best on a Budget


WeeRide trailer cycle in green

MSRP: $78

BEST FIT: 4 to 9-year-olds, minimum 41″ tall

FULL REVIEW: WeeRide Co-Pilot

The Co-Pilot is a unique and affordable ride that’s a ton of fun to cruise around the neighborhood, drop kids off at school, or even go on longer, paved family rides.

A solid-quality, budget alternative to the Burley Piccolo or Kazoo, the Co-Pilot features adjustable seat height and handlebars, as well as a splash guard and safety flag. Attaching to the seat post, it will be more wobbly than the rack-attached Burley, and also has a heavier steel frame compared to Burley’s lighter-weight aluminum.

PROS
  • Fits a wide age range of kids – adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Easy to mount and unmount, and folds for easy storage
  • Soft, comfy saddle
  • Comes with a splash guard and safety flag
  • Low price
  • Available in several colors

CONS
  • Seat post hitch more wobbly than Burley’s rack-mounted hitch
  • Adult saddle can get rotated out of place after turns

How to Choose the Best Trailer Cycle or Tag-Along-Bike

Choosing the best trailer bike for you and your child depends a lot on what type of experience you’re looking for, as well as the age and ability of your child. We cover this in more detail in our article Trailer Bikes: How to Choose and strongly recommend that you read that before you buy!

Here’s a quick summary of what to look for when selecting a trailer bike that fits your child and your bike.

Trailer Bike Type

There are three primary types of trailer bikes, trailer cycles, tag-along-bikes… call them what you want, each style has a different purpose and experience.

Standard trailer bikes function like a “half-bike” attached the the back of the adult bike. These trailer bikes allow kids to have a realistic bike riding experience, and are great for kids who want to pedal long distances, but just can’t go that far without help.

Mom pulling 8 year old boy on Burley Kazoo trailer cycle. Riding in the street, turning sharply.

Recumbent trailer cycles sit lower to the ground and are more stable than standard trailer cycles.  They are the only type that has a harness system to keep littles safely in place and are the best for riding on more aggressive terrain.

Dad pulling 5 year old daughter on Weehoo Turbo trailer cycle

Tow bars or tow ropes allow a child to ride their own bike, and simply get towed by mom or dad if at any point they get too tired to keep riding with their own strength. Tow ropes are super easy to bring along on a ride for a “just-in-case” scenario.

The Child Rider

Many trailer bikes include pedals, which give a child the option to help the parent with the workload. It’s certainly a nice change from pulling a standard trailer full of dead weight, but a child also needs to be able to reach the pedals.

Side by side sizing comparison of 4 year old on Burley Kazoo and WeeRide Copilot. Shows how high the Co-Pilot's handlebars are.

If your child is too young to reach the pedals, consider a recumbent trailer bike like the Weehoo Blast. Its foot rests and harness system are especially great for 2 to 4-year-olds that may not be big enough (or mature enough) to sit safely on a standard trailer cycle.

wehoo blast single trailer cycle - red

Older or fiercely independent kids tend to prefer tow ropes or bars, because they still have the comfort of riding their own bikes.

5 year old riding Islabike 16" kid's bike while being towed by his parent on Bicycle Bungee

 

Gears

Gears are a possibility with trailer bikes, although there are very few options available (the Burley Piccolo and Tout Terrain Streamliner). Because trailer bikes are most frequently used with younger kids, gears can often be too much for them to handle. For most families, a trailer bike with gears is not necessary.

If you’re going to ride rugged terrain or in hilly areas, gears can certainly come in handy if your child is ready to tackle that challenge. You could also use a geared trailer bike to teach a child to shift properly.

piccolo 04

 

Adult Bike Compatibility

Some trailer bikes attach to the adult bike’s seat post, while others attach to a rear rack. Rack-mounted trailer bikes tend to have less compatibility issues, as long as your bike can take a rack.

If the trailer bike attaches to your seat post, the trailer arm will need to be high enough so there is sufficient clearance between the arm and your rear wheel. If you’re concerned about this issue, our individual reviews of products go into more detail.

 

Quick Release

Having the ability to quickly put on or take off a trailer bike can mean the difference between going out on spontaneous rides or staying at home because it’s too much of a pain. Every trailer bike on this list is relatively simple to mount and un-mount. That said, the Burley Kazoo and Piccolo’s rack mounting system is exceptionally simple to use.

Mounting system for Burley Kazoo trailer cycle includes a moose rack

Stability

Any time you’re pulling something behind your bike, you have the potential for some wobble factor. Traditional bike trailers sit on two wheels low to the ground and attach to the rear axle of your bike. This system produces exceptional stability.

Unfortunately, trailer cycles just aren’t as stable as a normal bike trailer. You’re going to feel it behind you and there will be some element of “wobble” for you and the child. Generally, the lower the child sits to the ground, the less wobble you’re going to feel. That’s why recumbent trailer cycles are generally more stable than standard trailer cycles.

As far as standard trailer cycles go, the more you spend, the more stability you get. Budget (but still awesome!) trailer bikes like the Weeride Co-Pilot attach to the seat post and can be pretty wobbly. Burley’s rack-mounting system is more expensive, but also much more stable for parent and child.

Dad pulling 6 year old son on Weeride Co-pilot trailer bike

 


Related Articles


Trailer Cycles: How to Choose: Everything you need to know to choose the best trailer bike for you and your child.


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