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Misc.kids FAQ on Jogging Strollers, Part 2/2

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Archive-name: misc-kids/joggers/part2
Posting-frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1995/07/12
Version: 2.2

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
******************************	
*JOGGING STROLLERS FAQ PART 2*
*****************************


BURLEY BIKE TRAILER/JOGGER
-----------------------

We have a 7 month old right now. He was born in December and I knew I
wanted a jogger, so I went out looking. I decided to get a Burley bike
trailer with a jogger attachment. Even though this was the most expensive
choice, I am VERY satisfied with my choice. The unit is great for pulling
behind a bike, (up to 45 mph down hill so far) and it quickly converts to a
jogger by turning a wing nut which drops the front wheel (which is
attached to the trailer tongue). The front wheel is about 8 inches in
diameter and pivots, so you can turn much easier than the baby joggers
with fixed front wheel.

The Burley fits two kids, or one kid and lots of groceries. It is rated for
100 pounds of load. We often ride our bikes to the store, stroll through the
store with the stroller, buy groceries and ride home again. 

We purchased a double fly which has a screen, or a plastic see through
cover. My wife recently ran a 5 K and it was pouring rain. Our baby was the
ONLY person at the race to stay warm and dry. 

The Burley also completely collapses and the wheels come off. My wife
can collapse the trailer and have it in the trunk in less than 60 seconds. 

I was concerned about the pivot wheel on the front being stable enough to
run at high speeds (certainly a relative term). You know what I mean if you
have ever run with a shopping cart. Well we take it out when we
rollerblade, and push it at 10-12 miles per hour. This is a 6 to 5 minute
pace! I will go out on a limb and say that it appears very stable. 

There is one more thing that I need to say that has been very important to
us thus far. The trailer is big enough to put a car seat in. So we bundle him
up inside (when it is cold) and just set the car seat in. When he was
younger (2 months old) he slept most of the time, then we would come
home and transfer him to his bed. So I can go for a run any time, day or
night. If I am tending and I am the only one home, and the baby is asleep, I
just scoop him up, put him in the jogger in his car seat, go for a 5 or 10
miler, come home and put him back in bed, and he never woke up! 

I have already mentioned that it will hold 2 kids, or 100 pounds. We would
like to go on a long, (cross country) bike trip, and we will most likely use
the trailer also.

This was a hard decision to make when we bought it. It was $450.00 out
the door with the jogger kit, but it is the best decision I have made in a
long time.

We are very pleased with this product. I would be glad to answer any
questions anyone has concerning the subject of baby joggers.

(did I mention that it collapses to about 7 inches high?) 

*********************************************
I think Burley is
a far better company with much higher quality stuff. The people I know
with trailers, including Seana Hogan a two time winner of the "Race
Across America" and proud producer of a now 2yr old boy. She was helping
at a ride I did. She went out with her kid in the trailer to do the biggest
hills of the ride. 

The company itself has many good policies I like to support when I can.
But the bottom line is that a Burley trailer will work better for longer
than a Huffy.

**********************************************
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 HUFFY/JC PENNEY

-- Supposedly can carry up to 50 pounds, I think, so certainly until Erica is
6 or so (or longer if you have more young'uns) 

-- Breaks down by pulling 3 pins and releasing a strap. Back wheels come
off. If you use the canopy, it has to come off, also. Should fit in a standard
trunk. It takes up the whole width of the trunk, but you can squeeze other
things into the trunk.

-- Comes with a canopy, side wings, splash guard on front. Back wheels
can be positioned at 2 different widths (supposedly one for racing, one for
walking). There's a pocket for storing food, etc. 

-- Front wheel does NOT pivot. There are NO brakes, just a strap. So that's
a drawback when using it as a stroller, since it rolls so easily. Because
front wheel does not pivot, you probably can't rig it up to tow behind a
bike. 

-- When you think about it, there aren't that many moving parts, so you'll
probably base your decision on how solidly it looks built, whether you like
how it seats a child, or whether you desire some of the other features. 

-- Cost is $159 + tax and shipping. $249 for the 2- seater. I got it through
JC PENNEY general catalog. It's possible they have more models in their
specialty catalogs. It's also possible that HUFFY sells different models. 

*********************************************
I bought a baby stroller a couple of years ago. I bought it from a local
store but the same model is advertised in the back of Runners World. I
think the name of the one I bought is the "easy strider". I will check the
name when I go home tonight. It was cheaper the "the baby jogger" and had
a bigger place for the child to go. I wanted to be able to use mine for a
long time and the baby jogger was smaller. Also, the easy strider is
easier to take apart (no tools). But, it doesn't fold down as small. I
have been really happy with mine and my kids love it. I bought mine at the
"Sports Authority" store. I don't know if you have those in CANADA or not.
Please let me know if you have any questions. 

I checked on the info for the baby jogger. It is called the "Huffy Easy
Strider" There is also a phone number on it 612-935-6110. It might be a
version of the one you were talking about that converts into a bike trailer.
I have seen adds for it and it look vary similar. I have had to call the
number twice. When I first bought it a part was missing from the stroller
and I didn't tighten a screw tight enough and it fell out. Both times they
were very helpful and quick to respond. Let me know what you end up
doing. I would really like to hear if you get the bike trailer one.

*********************************************** 
Cindy Makes the Commitment and Finally Buys a Jogger. 


After much hemming and hawing and soul searching, I bought the Huffy
through JC Penney. My reasoning followed the lines of 1) I didn't want to
spend $300 since my daughter is 2.75 already and I didn't/don't know if
there would be a number 2. (More waffling. I wish there was an Olympic
event for waffling). 

2) I run at noon (at work), so didn't want to make a big investment in
something I may not use that often. I really just wanted the flexibility to
run after work if necessary (and on weekends). 

3) The sidewalks are awful here and I could barely push the Graco stroller,
and there are some nice trails I wanted to walk on. 

4) The Baby Jogger wouldn't fit in either of our cars. 

I have used the Baby Jogger a couple of times and found it to be an really
nice jogger. After owning the Huffy for a month, I can see where the Baby
Jogger is made better, though I'd have to stretch some to justify nearly
double the price.

The collapsibility was a big issue for me, and the Huffy is really easy to
collapse. Just remove two cotter pins to remove the back wheels, then
loosen a strap to fold the stroller up. It fits into the trunk of my 89
Toyota Camry Sedan.

I also like the wings that Huffy puts over the wheels to keep little fingers
out. I say that then last night my daughter was leaning forward running
her finger nail on the moving front wheel...sigh... 

The Huffy is heavier, though not hugely noticeably, and the handle is a tad
higher. Someone shorter than me (5'2") might find this a drawback. The
seat is made very well, and Erica finds it comfortable. 

No brakes. Comes with canopy.

I think if I were to run every day with the jogger, I would borrow both the
Baby Jogger and a Huffy and use them for a week each for a real
comparison. But, I think anyone would be happy with the Huffy if
economics were the driving issue.

October 16, 1993
A note about the Huffy. Despite the fact that I keep the Huffy inside in the
garage and haven't used it in the rain, the darned thing is rusting. The
bolts are rusted and the foot rest is rusting. I'm planning to call Huffy, but
haven't done it yet. 

July 1995
Crummy canopy. The thing keeps collapsing. My two month old doesn't 
cotton to that, another reason I use the super twinner more.

********************************************
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

KIDCART
-------

We got KidCart 2 years ago. At the time it was the only one that didn't
require you to use a wrench to disassemble it in order to fold it up, get it
into your trunk, get it out and use it.

*************************************************
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 

RUNABOUT
--------
Runabout	UNI-USA, Inc.	1-800-832-2376

I threw a baby shower for a friend who runs and a group of 25-30 of us
chipped in and bought the Runabout for her. Since they cost about $300 it
makes it easier if you share the costs. They do convert from single to
tandem for a modest sum and I know someone who uses the tandem version
which they prefer to the kind that sit the kids next to each other (this one
sits one kid in front of the other). The idea is, unless the kids are the
same age/weight it will be imbalanced if they are side by side.

The Runabout seems very sturdy and is super easy to disassemble. Of
course I did it without also trying to hold a wiggling baby. 

It seems very stable and smooth riding. The support looks better than the
sling seat the Baby Jogger has. Oh, in terms of how small, they had a
picture of it in the hatchback of some small sporty car like the rx7. 

One thing about the runabout--no brakes. It *does* have a leash. Their
position, and one of my other running friends confirmed this, is that the
brake isn't much use, its better to use your body weight to control the
speed and forward motion. All in all, I'd recommend it and if and when I
ever have kids I'd be favorably disposed towards this brand. Of course at
th is rate, the technology may have changed considerably. 

As a company they were very responsive with my order and rushed me the
stroller in time for the shower. Funny, the box they ship it in is huge--why
didn't they just collapse it and put it in a smaller box? I did not order the
shade with the stroller because I waited until the baby was born to find
out the name and have in embroidered on. All in all very nice.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& 

GENERAL OPINIONS AND COMMENTS
--------------------------
I've used the Baby Jogger Baby Jogger. I own the model that Sears and
Rareback sells, and can't imagine that the difference in quality is worth
the difference in price. (Sears model $139) 

*************************************************
I'd highly recommend you not shop based on price. Why do I say this, you
ask? My son is two years old (next month). I started out two years ago
with a baby jogger I saw advertised in a catalog called "Heartland
America." I choose this one because it was much less expensive than those
I'd seen in local shops and other catalogs - about $129 at the time. Also,
it appeared to be well constructed. 

Big mistake. The critical structural element was held in place by two
aircraft nuts. But they never stayed tight! When my wife saw that I was
running with a wrench in the pocket of the jogger, she pointed out that I'd
taken my usual quest for the best price/value to the point of foolishness!

I then went out and bought Motiv model that could also be attached to the
seat post of a bicycle, as well as be a regular ol' three wheel jogger.
Again, a mistake. The front wheel frame, since it was detachable for the
bike option, was never really tight enough, and the entire contraption
would shake rattle and roll when taking the slightest bump. 

So, my son and I now jog with a stroller from Racing Strollers, Inc. I paid
much more that I ever planned, $295, but this one is light, solid, well-
built and definitely a cut above the rest. Beside, baby # 2 is on the way
and I plan many more years of running together. 

************************************************
Consider seat style. Some are more sloped back and better for infants
whereas other models have a more upright seat. 

Also, it's easy to bang little heads on the pipes that make up the sides of
the stroller. An older toddler could deal with it, and a small baby's head
much not reach the pipes but it's worth a thought to pack a blanket around
the side of the stroller.
************************************************** 
I've not considered the combo bike/jogger strollers, mainly because they
are even more expensive than the basic joggers and price is an issue for
me. One other thing occurred to me that you might want to look for: the
better joggers have bicycle-like hand brakes, which seems like a nice
safety feature. The cheaper brands usually have something like a strap
that you wrap around your wrist, to prevent the thing from getting away
from you. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& 
HELPFUL HINTS, COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS, Q&A from Racing Strollers inc.

Some of this is anecdotal. I'll include some questions and answers from 
Racing Strollers, Inc at the end. I put my second in the jogger at 4 
weeks, but I had a special car seat insert that I used in it and used 
blankets to pack her in well. I was walking on a fairly even surface too 
rather than running on trails. As always, a lot of this is common sense.

-------------------------------
My daughter had her first ride in the baby jogger at three weeks of age.
The three week wait was for me not her since she was born via the
surgical method -- I'm sure she would have fared very well in the jogger
to keep her from flopping around, and I always put the canopy up to keep
the sun off of her. A ride in the jogger does wonders for quieting cranky
babies anytime of the day or night. And it helps to reduce YOUR tension,
too. As she grew I attached toys for her to grab and took a bottle along.
Next came the cassette player with the "Disney songs" and "Wee Sing"
tapes (and an occasional New Orleans jazz tape for me). One year for
Halloween I dressed us both up as bats and turned the hot pink jogger into
a Batmobile for a costume 5K. (Ok, I know, this is getting a little weird!)
Now that she is almost three I take a baggy with cheerios for her to munch
on. Those joggers are great! Good luck with the new little one, and happy
trails!

**************************************************
Our pediatrician suggested that we wait until our daughter is 6 months old
before using one of these, but the sales brochures mention using them at
2-3 months. I'm tending to go with the MD's advice. Anyone had medical
approval to use them earlier? 
*************************************************
Q&A from Racing Strollers Inc. 
(They sent me this when I told them I maintained an FAQ on jogging 
strollers so there's no copyright worries...)

Q) What is the weight limit on these strollers? 
A) (Cindy's embellishment on the answer:) You'll have to check the
manufacturer, but racing strollers, inc strollers have a weight limit of
75 pounds, except for the Zipper which has a weight limit of 50 pounds. 
The Huffy has a weight limit of 50 pounds as well. 

Q) How old does the baby have to be to ride in it?
A) We ask that the child be a minimum of 6 weeks old. Also, until they 
can hold their head up on their own, a neck support should be used.  We 
determined the minimum age based on the condition of the mother after 
child birth (assuming that she may be the one using it) and by the baby's 
natural thermostat or temperature control. Typically, from birth to 6 
weeks, they can dehydrate very easily so it is best not to have them in 
the hot sun for extended amounts of time.

Q) Up to what age can the child ride in the stroller?
A) The strollers (Racing strollers inc) hold a child up to 4 years of age 
or 75 pounds safely and comfortably. After the average child reaches 4, 
they are usually too tall for the stroller to still perform at what 
Racing Strollers considers a safe standard.  Even though they may not 
weigh 75 pounds yet, a 4 or 5 year old's body length will make the 
stroller tippy since they are designed for the weight distribution of a 
baby or toddler. (Cindy's note: Actually I've noticed this with the 
Twinner, where I haven't with the Huffy).

Q) Does the Twinner take 2 canopies?
A) No, there's a specific one that's wide enough for the twinner.

Q) Does the Twinner hold 75 pounds on each side?
A) Nope. It holds a combined weight of 75 pounds.

Q) If only one child is in the Twinner or if one child is larger than the 
other, will this cause the stroller to track incorrectly or be off balance?
A) No, the Twinner can operate fine with only one child.  So on the days 
when one child is sick, you can still take the other child our for a run.


Q) Can I rollerblade with it?
A) Unforunately, people do take their children rollerblading with our 
(Racing strollers inc) strollers.  We want to stress that this is NOT 
SAFE.  The conditions, balance, etc. are different for rollerblading than 
they are for running, jogging, hiking, etc.  If someone is about to fall 
while rollerblading, their first reaction is to grab onto something for 
balance (like the stroller). Then down goes the baby with mom or dad. 
Please, if a customer even mentions it, tell them we DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.

Q) What is the difference between the 16" wheel and the 20" wheel in the 
areas of use and performance?
A) The 16" wheeled strollers (both Jogger IIs and Twinner IIs when they 
become available) are excellent for running and jogging.  A lot of people 
enjoy the 16" over the 20" for portability reasons.  However if the 
customer is constantly jogging/running over rough terrain (like mountain 
trails, sand, snow, etc.) or if they are training for a marathon, we 
suggest the 20 inch wheel.  It gives the baby more shock absorption and 
the runner less resistance.

Q) Can the children breathe when the rain canopy is on?
A) Yes, there are air holes punched in the sides of it. Also, the rain 
canopy does not cover the area under the foam grip on the handle. So air 
flows freely from various areas.

Q) Doe Racing Strollers inc carry a windshield?
A) Not a windshield per se, however the rain canopy acts as a weather 
guard against wind, snow, rain, etc.





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