Trailer for bicycles: how AddBike+ makes Clément’s life easier

We always say that our products are made for and from you — and that’s something we really keep at heart, here at AddBike.
Our bikes and accessories are a constant work in progress, as we always try to improve them by keeping an open conversation with our clients. We strive to bring you functional and comfortable options able to improve your mobility towards a greener future. Happy client & happy earth!

Read along the experience of our client Clément, who uses the AddBike+ trailer for bicycles with the Kid Kit to cycle with his daughter…

Trailer for bicycles: let’s meet today’s guest Clément Dufour!

Clément is a dad and a physiotherapist, who has been cycling for a good fifteen years. Mostly on a road/racing bike but he also enjoys some mountain biking. He’s loves cycling and feels quite comfortable on a bike.

Since the birth of her daughter Raphaëlle, he started looking for different ways to transport her safely by bike. As his partner works in the hospital with a busy schedule; Clément wanted to find an arrangement to make his time off enjoyable for both his kid and himself. By biking, he can spend time doing his favourite hobby while hanging out with his daughter all at once!

💬 Clément’s tips for riding even with younger babies

Raphaëlle is one and a half, which is not quite in the age range for the Kid Kit (only suitable for toddlers up). This is mostly due to the hammock seating arrangement, which doesn’t properly support the body of an infant (0-1 years) as well as the belt being too large, making it unsafe for the baby.

Clément found a way around this issue by adding a baby bouncer in the module to keep his daughter safe and comfortable. Raphaëlle is leaning towards being a bigger baby, so now that she grew up a little, she can perfectly fit in the belt even at 1 y.o. so they don’t use the baby chair anymore.

Trailer for bicycles: the old model of the Kid Kit owned by Clément

Where and how often do you ride with your trailer for bicycles?

Clément is based in France, half an hour from Lille. He lives in a rural area, the landscape is mostly flat but it can still be quite complicated to circulate. Especially when he rides with Raphaëlle. But they do have a few bike paths and greenways available.

Do you use your bike on a daily basis?

In the countryside, the distances between places can often be too extreme to be done by bike. On some occasions though, I ride to work (15 km) and when the weather is good. I often bike with my daughter to kindergarten (3km) with the Kid Kit trailer. If I lived in a more urban environment, I’d definitely commute mainly by bike. Keeping in mind that I don’t ride at all during the colder months; I reckon that I’ve driven about 300km by bike this year.

Do you want to pass on this notion of cycling to your daughter?

Yes, that’s the goal! At the end of the day, it’s always up to her to decide if she likes it or not. I want to give her all the tools to learn and explore this sport, and make it fun! At home, she has her own baby tricycle so that she can start riding already at a really young age. I want to teach her that bicycles are a great means of transport that can be used daily.

First impressions, accessory over a full bike & buying 2nd hand

How did you discover AddBike and how did you find riding with the Kid Kit at first?

I’ve discovered you scrolling around on social media. I got captured by your advertising and decided to learn more about your products. The Kid Kit appeared to be my perfect match, because compared to the standard trailer it’s way more compact. And that’s a detail I was quite concerned about, I didn’t want to take too much space (length wise) on the road.

I have to admit that the AddBike+ does require some getting used to when starting out! That’s what I usually tell people wanting to know more. It takes some time to learn how to ride with the tilting system. It’s imperative to know how to ride a regular bike beforehand. Once you get used to the AddBike+ it’s so practical to be used in everyday life.

Why did you choose this solution rather than a complete cargo bike?

I was looking for an accessory that I could easily switch between my bikes (I have a tandem and a MTB). Something that can also be used for sporty bike adventures adapted for all-terrains such as roads, dirt roads, rocks etc.. where a standard cargo bike would definitely struggle.
Furthermore, the AddBike+ saves lots of space and it’s easier to store. Also it’s cheaper than a full on bike that comes with all the accessories. 

Isn’t it tricky to ride on dirt roads with the kid trailer for bicycles?

It does require a bit of extra technique as there are some tricky points in my route. Luckily, we have fairly well-maintained forests in my area so it’s quite safe.

Since you bought it second hand, do you know why the person didn’t want it anymore?

The person I bought it from decided to sell his Kid Kit because his kids didn’t fit in the module anymore. He wasn’t using it anymore and preferred selling it. He gave me the advice of setting the steering brake hard because if it’s too soft it quickly becomes uncontrollable.

Were you able to try it out before buying it?

Not at all! I bought it, the seller dropped it off at my office and I rode straight home once I finished installing it (yep, 13 km trial test!). I have to admit that it wasn’t the easiest ride, but it ended up being pretty OK. Probably because I had read up on the subject beforehand. I was already prepared on how to handle all the potential issues and what adjustments needed to be made. For example, I had to adjust the wheel tilt for an easier and more pleasant ride.

Trailer for bicycles: Raphaëlle riding on the Kid Kit with her dad

Zoom on you & your daughter’s experience with the Kid Kit module

You often switch bikes; how do you find the assembly and disassembly of the module?

Personally, I do all my bike maintenance, for me, it’s not a challenging procedure to install/remove the accessory because I know bikes enough. I understand that it can be stressful for some people who are not used to fixing the brakes for example. In my case, it was quite logical right away and I’ve never struggled or made major mistakes.

Did the assembly guides help you?

Yes, I personally preferred watching the Youtube tutorial to guide me at first. I also want to mention that before finalising my purchase, I already gave a look to the tutorial to get an idea on the difficulty.

How did Raphaëlle adapt to the accessory?

Really well to be honest. At the beginning, when she was around 7 months old, she fell asleep quite often during our trips. Now, I’m not using it as often but when I do, she loves watching outside and she looks quite cosy in the setup.

💬 A big plus, there’s a lot of extra space in the module so that we can carry snacks and other things Raphaëlle might want during the ride.
I’ve noticed though, that the canvas tends to get hot in the sun during summer. So I often have to open the protective shield to let the hot air circulate out.

Do you find the module safe?

The trailer for bicycles feels quite sturdy and safe to be used, it always felt safe for both my kid and I.
Just one thing I’ve noticed with time; at the level of the fork- the knob loosen up his grip after a while, so watch out for that every now and then. Other than that, everything’s good. We live in a rural landscape, but I reckon it would feel quite safe in the city too. Especially with cars, I’ve noticed that they tend to respect the safety distance better. I believe it’s due to the fact that cars notice us more.

Some last thoughts and useful advices for potential future buyers

What do you think of the tilting wheel system?

It can be scary at first! The first time I used it, it was on a racing bike with short handlebars so it made the riding more complex. I now use the accessory on my mountain bike, which comes with wider handlebars and I’ve definitely noticed a drastic improvement with the driving experience.

Do you feel comfortable riding with the Kid Kit trailer for bicycles?

Not as much as I do on my regular bike but that’s normal. The module brings more weight and requires extra attention when riding. For example, I’m always trying to anticipate dangers and obstacles in order to stay always in control of the bike. After two/three rides I felt comfortable enough to carry heavier weights and eventually my daughter. Now I can sometimes ride only with one hand.

💬 Do you have any advice to give to potential future buyers about this product?

Don’t forget about the wheelbase adjustment! I believe it’s the only thing that AddBike is not explaining thoroughly but it’s really important for pleasant rides. To make it simple, move the wheels forward or backward depending on the load. Test different wheelbase lengths to know what suits you best.

About the tilting system, I know it can be scary but you have to insist! Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use. I would advise you to have some prior cycling experience as it’s not made for beginners.
I also think that adding an electric assistance can make it way more enjoyable especially if carrying heavier weights. With great speed you also have better control of the bike during turns.

And my last advice: The Kid Kit has the great advantage that it can be used for loading freights once your kids grow up! When my little one will become independent and will ride her own bike, I will surely keep using the Kid Kit for freight transportation! It’s great for carrying my groceries and other heavy items.