Cruising in Comfort, Safety, and Style in the InStep Bicycle Trailer
We recently moved to a small beach town with a paved trail that takes you virtually anywhere you’d want to go. I dug my old bike out of Dad’s shed and went to work on finding the best way to tote my two-year-old on our local adventures.
I’m not terribly confident in my bike-riding skills, so both the front-riding and rear-riding child seats made me nervous.
If I ever lost my balance and fell, she’d be on the ground with me. Also, I wasn’t sure if the weight of a front seat would make it difficult for me to control, and if she were stuck riding in a back seat, she would probably get antsy after a while.
I saw a few different bike trailers out and about, and the kids always looked so content and happy. A content and happy toddler is my goal every minute of the day, so the trailer won.
I looked over the reviews and talked to other trailer-pulling locals. The Instep is a popular choice, probably because it’s a well-known brand that is also inexpensive compared to many others.
Some brands can get pricey, pushing $500 or more. I don’t have that kind of cash, and if I did, I don’t think I’d spend it on a fancy bike trailer.
- 1 How to Install an InStep Bicycle Trailer
InStep Bicycle Trailers Handle All Sorts of Terrain
The InStep is simple to put together–which is good because we were excited!There were a few one-star reviews for the model I purchased.
Apparently, there was once a problem with the tires. A couple of customers complained that the tire tubes were dry-rotted and popped while they were riding.
It looks like the company might have substituted plastic wheels in place of the rubber ones for a while until they fixed the problem. I bought my trailer at the end of August and received one with fresh-looking rubber tires.
So far, we have covered all sorts of terrain. The main trail we use is paved, but we also visit a park with dirt trails. We go over some rough sidewalks and rocky areas.
The tires have held up through all of the abuse. Whatever the tire issue was, it seems that Instep has taken care of it.
On a recent trip, we were passed by a dad pulling an just like ours. His daughter was about four years old, and the trailer looked like they probably bought it when she was a baby.
It was faded and had a well-used look about it, but it was still sturdy and holding up well.
Up Close and Personal
Taking Our InStep Bike Trailer on the Road
The InStep with the front cover closed. It snaps down with heavy-duty snaps, leaving a mesh covering as a front window.
Compare InStep Bicycle Trailers: Choose the model that’s right for your family
How to Install an InStep Bicycle Trailer
6 Great Things About the InStep Bicycle Trailer
1. They’re easy to assemble. You basically unfold it, connect the top bar, and pop in the wheels. They all come with a safety flag that flies about five feet up in the air to alert drivers that you’re pulling a trailer. If you want to unhitch and store your trailer, it folds up and the wheels can pop off.
2. All models have a five-point adjustable harness that keep your child safe and secure. The two-seater models have three, which includes a way to secure a single rider in the middle so that you’re not off balance.
3. The front shade is sturdy and stays in place. It has heavy-duty snaps located on the outside of each side that even Houdini couldn’t undo. Strong hook-and-loop velcro keeps it secure across the front.
The same is true for the back–you can pile supplies in there and the snaps and velcro will keep them from falling out.
4. There are adjustable straps underneath the seat for more control over support. It would be nice to be able to recline the seat a little more, but these straps do help.
5. The inside has two little pockets. They work well as cup-holders for sippy cups or other small items.
6. There is a substantial amount of storage area behind the seat. This gives you plenty of room for light gear, towels, toys, or snacks.
Use Your Trailer as a Stroller
Some InStep models convert into strollers. Using the trailer as a stroller gives your little one added protection in bad weather. It also provides storage space, which is always a plus.
Safety gear, quick-repair items, and chain locks are light and don’t take up much room. You’ll be glad to have them on hand if you ever need them.
Random Tips and Tricks for Using Your InStep Bicycle Trailer
If you’re going to lock your bike, don’t forget to lock up your trailer, too. Use a chain lock to connect the frame of the trailer to the bike frame.
Before you get your trailer, make sure you have the proper tools to loosen the nut on your back wheel. A regular wrench can strip it because they tend to be difficult to remove. They’re nice to have on hand anyway so that you can easily remove and replace the trailer.
You already get one with the trailer, but if you want an easy way to transfer your trailer from one bike to another, get a second coupler attachment. This is the part that attaches the trailer to your bike.
The extra room for storage is handy, but remember that whatever you put back there you’re going to have to pull. Don’t throw your bowling balls and barbells back there.
When you first get your InStep bike trailer, give it a day or so to air out in the garage or a spare room before you use it. The off-gassing is pretty strong when you take it out of the box.
The bike trailers that convert can be used as strollers for babies as young as six months old. They recommend that your child be at least one year old before using it as a bike trailer.
Keep a bike pump in the back of your trailer for emergencies. Gas station air can get expensive, and you always need quarters for them.
InStep Bicycle Trailer Just-in-Case Safety Feature
The Instep was designed with safety in mind. The part that connects to the bike has a strong strap that works as a back-up in case the nut on your wheel comes loose and the whole thing falls apart while you’re riding.
You’d probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than have that happen, but this added safety feature is great for added peace of mind.
Bike Safety and Laws
Find more information on following the rules and staying safe.
Safe riding tips and rules of the road
– Don’t Be a Jerk
Don’t Be a Jerk bike safety program . . . from New York City, of course!
An interactive bicycle safety lesson
An InStep Bicycle Trailer is a Fun Way to Stay in Shape
Ready to Party!Kids love to go on adventures with Mom and Dad. Having their own ride where they have room to play with their toys, enjoy the scenery, and get some fresh air is more fun than being stuck in the car.
An added bonus is that riding your bike is an excellent, inexpensive way to exercise. Choose an InStep bicycle trailer and enjoy good healthy fun for the whole family.
Do you think the little one in your life would enjoy tugging along in a bike trailer?