Thursday, April 26, 2007

the trailer

Dahron, in his comment to my last post, asked about the trailer.

Yes, the trailer's a Chariot. Specifically, the Chariot Cougar 1.

These things are pretty funkified. You buy the base carrier, then you buy attachments separately based on what you want to do with the thing. So you can buy a front wheel and make it a jogger, or two little swivel front wheels and make it a traditional stroller. Or the bike attachment. Or even a ski-kit and hiker-thingy.
I mean, come on, that ski-kit trailer thing is pretty darn cool.

So the things are pretty stinking expensive, and once you lay down the $400+ for the carrier, you've got to lay down more for the attachments. (We bought ours used on eBay. It came with the jogger and bike trailer kits and we paid just over $200. No shipping...drove down to Alexandria to pick it up.)

Overall, I've been happy with it. It does remarkably well over the bumpy stuff. I also haven't had a bit of trouble with the coupling system (the thing that I was most concerned about pre-purchase) and see no evidence of any performance constraints with it, meaning that it's VERY hard to jack-knife, I can lean WAY into turns with no difficulty, and I don't feel any rubbing or tension or anything else in the joint when I'm riding.

My biggest complaints about the trailer have to do with the fact that I'm towing a trailer--for instance, the tug of the trailer puts my mountain bike's rear suspension to work, giving me a lot of butt-bobbing in high-torque situations like starting and hill climbing. (I don't feel this hardly at all on my road bike--especially with tubular-clinchers I can inflate to 170 psi.) I also don't like going slow.

Chariot makes a big deal about their special suspension system, though it's hard for me to say how effective it is because I haven't ridden in the trailer. We also have a jogger stroller that doesn't have a fancy suspension and Marian hasn't said the Chariot is an improvement, so who knows...

Anyway, I like my Chariot. Whether or not a less expensive trailer would perform just as well I can't say, but at the price I paid I'm completely satisfied.


DAJ said...

Wow--now that's a reply!

And if you got it off of Ebay recently, I think I had that one in my watch list--even tried to convince 'em to take it to a bike shop nearby, from where I would have arranged shipping.

But I missed the auction close, so it was all moot anyway!

I hope all are well, and keep that trailer rockin'!


k8 said...

my brother and his wife are just starting to look at these even though their baby isn't due until November. they've really fallen for this one