Bumper Solo bike trailer review
NOTE: This review was written in 2013. The Bumper Solo trailer is no longer available new. If you you wish to buy a new single seat bike trailer, click here to go to our post on the Best Single Seat Children's bike trailers currently available
Occasionally the Bumper Solo trailer can be found second hand on EBay
Bumper Solo bike trailer is one of the best value single seater bike trailers on the market. Retailing at between £120 and £130 it's a great way to get cycling with your little one without blowing the family budget.
We've asked Chris, Daddy to 10 month old Tyler and supporter of the charity Life Cycle UK in Bristol, to tells us how they've both found using the Bumper Solo Explorer - here's his review.
Setup of the Bumper Solo bike trailer
The trailer is very straightforward to set up - just unfold the main canopy, slide on the wheels and insert the safety flag and the trailer part is complete. It then remains to attach the towbar to the trailer and attachment to the bike which is a 5 minute job. Being a steel frame the Bumper Solo is not the lightest trailer on the market, but that is not such a priority for a single seat bike trailer as a double trailer.
On either side of the seat there is a drinks bottle holder and some additional storage at the rear of the trailer - great for all the bits and bobs you need on a ride out with a small child.
The wheels are quick release, and the trailer can be easily folded up and will fit in all but the smallest of car boots.
Using the Bumper Solo bike trailer
The manufacturers warnings include ‘do not ride at more than 10mph’ however this is clearly unrealistic and while I’m lucky to have relatively flat cycle paths nearby even a slight downhill stretch will see you easily exceed this. At up to 20mph all feels good and I've not had any concerns over the stability of the trailer or my bike.
The hitching mechanism works well with enough flex to perform relatively tight turns without adversely impacting the bike handling. My maximum distance to date with the trailer has been 15 miles, and it coped fine.
Usual rules for trailers obviously apply – impact on weight, braking distance, width, length, turning circle, etc.
I’ve not tested the unit with the additional buggy bar attachment and am unlikely to use it for that purpose, however the option exists for those interested.
Comfort for the child
The child sits in a sling type ‘seat’ with a five point fastening, which seems secure enough. However, there is no additional support so your child must be be able to hold their head up. The manufacturers do not recommended the trailer for those under 12 months old, but it does depend on how developed the neck muscles are - every child is different.
The ride comfort for the child depends wholly on the surface and tyre pressure. I've had limited feedback from my son as he’s 10 months old and sleeps for most of the ride (surely a good sign!)
A couple of points to note
Putting the child into the seat is not the easiest. The only access is through the front and I have to reach right inside to secure my son which is a little awkward, however hitching the trailer to the bike is straightforward.
On gravel for short distances I've had no problems although I can’t comment on taking it off road or very rough surfaces for longer distances and would probably not want to myself. I would also not recommend this trailer for winter conditions or anything more than light rain – there is no firm seal where the front panel meets the sides and rain or spray looks likely to find its way in before long.
Overall verdict on the Bumper Solo bike trailer
The Bumper Solo is a good value and practical three season, single seat trailer for most terrains. For the price I would definitely recommend it.
Like what you've read? Here's where to go for more information:
Where to buy the Bumper Solo Bike Trailer
To find your local Bumper Trailer Stockist, click here. Alternatively, to buy on-line click here for Amazon.co.uk, where a number of independent bike shops are selling the Solo single seater child bike trailer.
Manufacturers Specification for the Bumper Solo Bike Trailer
16" strong and light alloy wheels
Single seat including padded belt
Maximum carrying weigh 60lbs / 27 kgs
External storage pockets
Fold up fly screen and wind screen
Folds down easily and wheels unclip in seconds for easy storage
Want more information on using your trailer?
There's loads more information about using a bike trailer to tow your children here on Cycle Sprog. From setting out for the first time to what other makes and models are available, there's loads to get your started. When you're ready to ride, don't forget to check out our family cycling routes section.
Disclaimer: The Bumper Solo Explorer single seat trailer discussed above was provided for review.
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