Dreamer Design Spree Bicycle Trailer -- A Baby Bike Trailer Product Review
Everyone knows that it can be really tough to find
time to get out and exercise once you have kids, especially when they're
too young to have their own bikes or to be left at home. This is the
problem that I had soon after my son was born. He was probably about a
year old when I first started looking for a bike trailer; I've always
loved bike riding, and it was the best form of exercise I had at the
time. During the warm months, it was also my only form of
Now, everyone also knows that young parents tend to be short of funds, and this was definitely the case with me when I started searching for a bike trailer. I found the Dreamer Design Spree bicycle trailer on Amazon.com for about $100 -- $120 with shipping, I think, and it was the cheapest option that had big wheels on it. I didn't know what kind of terrain I was going to be taking it on, so the larger wheels ensured that it would be able to go on anything I wanted. I also didn't want what looked like inferior-quality flimsy plastic wheels are the heavier steel wheels like I saw on bike trailers that were in large discount stores locally such as Wal-Mart.
The Dreamer Design Spree bicycle trailer has 12-inch wheels, and they are very sturdy and relatively lightweight. The bicycle trailer had the added bonus of being the same color as my bike, so I ended up purchasing that one. This can be used with road bikes and mountain bikes, and can be either a cargo trailer or a trailer for children to ride in. It can carry up to two children that are up to 50 pounds each, up to 85 pounds total. The trailer includes a four-point harness for each child, but children must still wear a helmet while riding for maximum safety.
The initial setup can be a little bit time-consuming, and it can be a pain in the butt for any standard bike tires. My bike has a quick-release on the wheels, so it would've been very easy to put the coupler attachment on the bike. This is the attachment that stays on the bike at all times, and then you can very easily just slide the handle of the bike trailer into the coupler attachment and you're ready to go. The problem was that I also had a cargo rack that attached on the same wheel. That was a little bit of work to get off, and after I put everything back on, with the coupler attachment and the rack I could barely get the quick-release back on. I was able to get it tight enough so that it's safe to ride with it, but anyone with a slightly bulkier rack or shorter bolt for the quick-release could have difficulties.
The trailer is easy to store as it can collapse completely. The initial assembly took about 20 minutes, then it can be collapsed or set back up within a matter of about 3 to 5 minutes. Setup consists of pulling the sides out and pulling up the cross-piece that goes across the top and bolting it into place. The bolt has a plastic handle attachment so it's very easy to take on and off without any tools. Next, remove the safety pin that is holding the bar in place that goes to the coupler attachment so that you can pull it out from where it's folded against the frame. Put the safety pin back in place to keep it out straight. Now you can take the safety pins off of the axles and put the wheels on and then replace the safety pins. It's as easy as that; there are no tools required once the initial setup is complete. Slide the bar into the coupler attachment and you're ready to go.
If you're using the
trailer for children, all you have to do is slide the top cross-bar
through the top of the seats before putting it into place. For cargo,
leave the seats flat. Bear in mind that this bike trailer is only
intended for children that already have good head control and can safely
ride sitting in an upright position. The bike trailer is fairly low to
the ground, so it can be kind of difficult to get a child in if they're
not old enough to climb in and get in the seat themselves. The seat is
only a couple of inches from the bottom of the trailer, so kids will
have to stick their feet straight out. The seat level does make it very
easy for younger, shorter children to ride in it.
My son absolutely loves this bike trailer. I got it when he was a little over a year old, he is now five years old and still loves this bike trailer, though he will be starting on his own bike without training wheels soon. The only real complaint I have about the trailer is that the waterproof flap across the front, which can be rolled back in dry, warm weather or can be fastened with Velcro across the screen in front of the bike trailer. The problem with this particular trailer is that the Velcro tabs do not match up for the waterproof flap and for the door flap on the bike trailer. This isn't a huge issue as it doesn't come undone when it's not supposed to, but it's not as convenient as it could be and it doesn't look as nice or block out as much wind as something that fits right. This is a minor issue, and for this being a low-price bike trailer it's easy to overlook.
The trailer also has windows out to the sides and it's easy to see out the front, which my son absolutely loves because he can see everything throughout town from his own level. After he got used to riding in the bike trailer he could not wait to go places all around town, and he was constantly asking if we could go somewhere. This was a great incentive to exercise more and to get a lot of use out of this bike trailer. It's definitely a great investment, and has been in use now for about four years and is still in like-new condition. It has gotten a few mud splatters in the past, which is very easy to clean with just a damp rag and it comes right off.
I've used the trailer on both paved city sidewalks and streets as well as dirt roads, including gravel or wash boarding roads, and it has worked great without causing discomfort to my passenger. The bike trailer does not add a lot of extra weight to the bike, so even with my mountain bike that really wasn't intended to pull anything, it doesn't add much extra effort to go places. While this does convert to a jogging stroller, it's a bit large and unwieldy for that use and, while it may double as a good tandem stroller for long walks or shopping trips, it's probably not a very good choice for an avid runner. Overall this is definitely a good purchase, especially for people who are going to be riding bikes on varied terrain or habitually go on rough terrain.
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