Great as a bicycle trailer; drives like a tank as stroller!!

Feb 22, 2005 (Updated Feb 22, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Well built frame, sturdy and colorful, great for even roads

Cons:not made for a clumsy rider; hard to convert into stroller, assembly time

The Bottom Line: If you are comfortable on a bike and want to pull your kids, this stroller/trailer is affordable with only some flaws.

After three kids, I have amassed an amazing amount of baby stuff. By stuff, I mean a thing that looks so good in the store that I can't possibly live without it. This happens to be one of those items that I could really like but have a few concerns that made this a save yet use infrequently item!

Manufacturer Description :

"Now you can take 2 little ones on the go with this Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser Trailer/Jogger. It converts easily without tools or leftover parts and it's safe and comfortable for children. This jogger is constructed with a sturdy, double-wall plastic base, a rugged nylon canvas canopy and a lightweight metal frame that collapses for transportation or storage.

Features: * Comfort-plus sling seat suspension with a 5-point harness * Large storage compartment * Constructed with a sturdy, double-wall plastic base, a rugged nylon canvas canopy and a lightweight metal frame that collapses for transportation or storage * Hideaway front wheel * Easy-rolling rear wheels * Fully adjustable padded handle for comfort * Dual foot brakes * Dimensions: 60"L x 30"D x 39"H * Helmets not included

Specifications Shipping weight in pounds: 44.15 Product Measurement in inches: 9.75 x 38.0 x 26.0x148

My review

Let me start by saying my reasons for buying this trailer were two-fold: it was intended to be used as both a jogging stroller and as a bicycle trailer. I was going to be able to hook this up to my bike and go with my then 9 month old daughter and three year old son! I used this until my now five year old learned how to ride a bike; now it sits waiting for the new baby and I have a bicycle seat for my daughter.

As a jogging stroller For all intents and purposes, this Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser does not easily switch from its bicycle trailer function into a stroller. The idea is you simply fold the front wheel underneath as a bicycle trailer and then simply slide it back into position to transform it into a stroller without the need for tools. Whenever you read that you need no tools whatsoever, run, don't walk. I was never able to easily swing the wheel out from under the trailer without tools. The wheel seemed locked into position and having the kids stand there and look at me while I fought to get it out from under was more of an annoyance than anything.

This does work well as a jogging stroller and yet it maneuvers like a tank making wide turns and needing lots of room to back up; it simply does not turn on a dime. This is not something you can haul to the mall but more than adequate for the park. Overall, if you need a jogging stroller, buy one. This is not your normal jogging stroller and even though it is sturdy, it doesn't handle like you'd expect. I never tried to run with it since I have no real even roads or sidewalks; I was always afraid of tripping. Little Tikes recommends this for Maximum weight capacity of 100 lbs; 50 lbs per child ...that's a lot to push since the stroller weighs over 40 pounds alone!!

The wheels Another issue I took with this Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser is that the wheels are hard rubber in front and air tires on rear.
When hooked on youe bike, only the back air tires are being used. With hard plastic in the center of the tires, they were very sturdy but the front wheel simply did not lock into the front position without help. (My husband eventually got it to lock using a wrench but the box says no tools needed!) I did need to request a new front wheel after a year of use(uneven pavement and sidewalks warped the wheel and it lost its form). While I was at it, I also requested new rear air tires as well; who knows if they'll be available when I need them! Little Tikes charged me for shipping only.

As a bicycle trailerThis Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser does work well as a bicycle trailer. It is sturdy enough for a toddler and an infant but the seats are simply not comfortable. Every time I hit a bump, my toddler complained that his butt hurt. I ended up stuffing two fleece blankets into the seats in order to make them more comfortable.

There is a five-point harness for both children and they were locked over the shoulders and between the legs but my toddler also complained that the harness was too tight between his legs and he was a normal sized three year old at the time. I did try to adjust it over and over to no avail; it simply remained uncomfortable for him. My infant at the time was snug but I felt it does not really tighten down sufficiently for an infant, in my opinion.

Safety Note
If you are not used to riding a bicycle with the extra weight of a trailer with kids, I highly suggest practicing with this trailer empty a few times. You need to be confident and competent on a bicycle and also to be aware that it will take you extra time to stop. If possible, practice with bags of potatoes for your first trips with this trailer and practice turning and stopping before heading out with little ones. The added weight and length may cause you to overadjust or even to underestimate your ability to stop. Although the trailer is sturdy, you can tip it over if you should dump your bike. Also, remember that your kids need helmets when riding with you; they can tip over or even get hit by other bicyclists and they need their head protected.

On the roadThe Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser does manage to stay upright over many bumps but at times, on the uneven sidewalk, I feel it pull on my bicycle as if it were going to tip. It never did tip but I did notice the kids looked jiggled around a bit on uneven pavement and sidewalks. The wheels distribute the weight as even as could be expected with two children weighing different amounts with only a little help from me: I place two or three full water bottles on my daughter's side in order to even out the weight and that keeps the trailer even while at a standstill.

This Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser really must be rode on even sidewalks or pavement. The littlest bump causes me to almost lose my balance and the kids do get jostled when mom does that. I also have a problem when alone using my bike kickstand and trying to offload the kiddies. It seems to have a mind of its own and if I don't take my daughter out first, the trailer will lean to her side and threaten to dump my toddler (on the heavier side)and my bicycle. I feel better when my husband is able to ride with me and help me empty the kids. I don't have many parks that have bike racks and trying to keep my bike upright without dumping the kids becomes a safety concern for me. If you do have a bike rack, park your bike first and then get out using your hand to steady the trailer.

The canvas coverThe netting is wonderful at keeping the bugs away during those humid night rides and the sun shade is also a clever idea. But, the sun shade is only on the front and does not protect the kids from the sides. This to me seemed to be a design flaw; I mean really, the sun does come from all angles!

The fabric faded fairly quickly and after two years of use, there are areas of rust on the metal. The netting and fabric tore easily (a little finger poking at a fly went right through) and I did have to request a new cover. You can ride without the fabric but that really defeats the purpose of keeping the kids protected. I did have Little Tikes send a replacement cover and they again only charged me shipping.

There is also a neat flag that rises from the back of the trailer to let people know you have a caboose. This rises about six feet from the back of the trailer and is easily bendable to store.

The handleThe handle is hollow metal covered with the rubber gripping material and it does get tacky and smelly after using this Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser a few times. The rubber grip also does not cover the entire handle but leaves a little over a foot on each side with no grip and just metal; which does get hot in the summer sun.

Foot brakes, collapsibility and assembly time Dual brakes are located in the rear of trailer (left and right sides. They are located under the seat and are easily engaged and perform well to lock the trailer in place. They hold the kids upright while I am offloading them.

The metal frame is supposed to collapse easily, but after it took us two hours to assemble out of the box with the hard to understand directions, and after trying in vain to convert this into a jogger, I wasn't going to try and take it apart to travel. I have yet to fold it up as directed; it sits ready to attach easily to the bar on my bicycle or to have my husband convert into a jogger.

The bottom line I have safety concerns about this trailer/jogger. If you have twins, the children's weight is evenly distributed and there is no uneven feeling while riding behind your bike. But, with two different age children, their unequal distribution of weight makes it hard to pull without feeling lopsided. It does perform adequately as a jogging stroller. If you want to ride your bike with a toddler and an infant, this trailer/jogger may work well for you. In my case, you really do get what you pay for and if you want a jogging stroller, simply buy one. This works well as a bicycle trailer but is too large as a jogger and too hard to convert.

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