Bicycle trailers are great for hauling kids and groceries around. Before using yours this summer, do some annual maintenance on it. Your kids lives could depend on it.
The flex connector is the rubber piece that is at the end of the trailer tow bar near the bicycle. It is the piece that allows the trailer to make tight manuvers and keep the trailer upright if the bike falls over. It is argueably the most important piece of the trailer aside from the safety harness.
Like all rubber parts, they age, get brittle, and snap into two parts. They should be replaced every five years. Every trailer has one. The one on yours may be hidden under a metal spring.
Replacement connectors can be ordered online direct from the manufacturer or from online bicycle trailer stores. Know your brand of trailer manufacturer and if you have a round or square tow bar. There are a variety of styles of flex connectors that fit specific types of trailers.
While you are changing the flex connector, you’ll also need to change the nylon safety strap. This is the backup safety system in case your flex connector breaks. It attaches to the tow bar and threads through the bike frame.
It does get cut up and worn out from use. Without it, your trailer could go careening into traffic if the flex connector breaks. Replacement bicycle trailer safety straps can be purchased online at http://us.ebid.net/for-sale/replacement-bicycle-trailer-nylon-safety-strap-with-heavy-duty-clip-105763443.htm
If you use a trailer to transport children, make sure it has a modern five-point harness. Replacement seats are available from most manufacturers so they can be retrofitted with the safer five-point harness system.
Check for broken buckles. Most manufacturers today use cheap plastic buckles that break. If your kids hate wearing the harness, it’s probably because the shoulder straps rub on their neck. Pads are available that can be attached to the straps to make them more comfortable.
Nylon strap parking brake
Most older style trailers did not come with a parking brake. It keeps your trailer from rolling away when stopped. It attaches to the frame and one end is then threaded through the trailer wheel and attached to a clip on the brake.
Do not use it to leave unattended children in the trailer. Nylon strap trailer parking brakes can be purchased at http://us.ebid.net/for-sale/replacement-bicycle-trailer-nylon-strap-parking-brake-105763361.htm
All modern trailers have plastic reflectors on the back. As with most plastic pieces, they can break over time. Replacement ones can be obtained from the local bicycle shop or online. These are important if one does any night riding. Trailer lights are a good investment if one does alot of nightime riding.
Living with West Nile virus is now a fact of life in most parts of the USA. It is transmitted by mosquitoes. Make sure the bugscreens on your bike trailer is intact to keep them from biting your kids.
If the screens are torn, new bugscreen obtained from the hardware store can be sewn in to replace the torn screens. One does need an industrial sewing machine and outdoor thread. Repairing your trailer cover is less expensive than buying a replacement one (if they are even available for your model).
Bicycle trailers require annual safety maintenance. Do yours and you’ll have more enjoyable summer travel experiences.
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