Tail Angel or Tail Gator

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
robert17
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009, 1:41pm
Location: Worcs

Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby robert17 » 3 Aug 2015, 6:37pm

People,

Has anybody any experience of either of these said products? Any thoughts or opinions?

Thank you.

Robert
Kidderminster CTC

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gaz
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Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby gaz » 3 Aug 2015, 7:11pm

Useful thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=44268

Pop "Trail Gator" (with the quotes) in the forum search engine for a few more. There's only one mention for "Trail Angel".

The "Follow-Me" gets better reviews but it's got a premium price tag.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

latequartet
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby latequartet » 4 Aug 2015, 7:44pm

We have two FollowMe tandem couplings.

For the premium price you get:
- solid positioning (no counter-tilting);
- room for rear rack / luggage / bike seat;
- additional safety features;
- 30 seconds to hitch / unhitch.

Obviously a rear rack bike seat plus FollowMe adds 10kgs, but means our two can chill out / snack without travelling being suspended.

Pic only has one bike seat on, but a Yepp maxi fits on the step-through frame. Note, the Yepp Junior works in combo with rear panniers, up to a point (and depends on rack strength).
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A towing-daily-road cyclist (without a car) with children and a wife. Cycling close to and on the NCN 6 in Sheffield.

Vorpal
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby Vorpal » 4 Aug 2015, 9:04pm

We didn't get on with that sort of thing. I had a Tail Gator briefly. I like the idea, but I found it made my bike unstable at higher speeds. Once I knew that Mini V liked pedalling behind me, I bought a used child back tandem, and it's been well worth the money.

That said, it does seem to work well for some people. Even if we'd gotten on with it, it's use was going to be somewhat limited for us, because I have two kids. We have a trailer bike for the tandem, and that works pretty well. The kids like it, though Mini V is mostly cycling independently, now.

You might be able to borrow or hire one to try it out? That way you wouldn't spend money on somehting that may not work for you?
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― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

robert17
Posts: 144
Joined: 24 Mar 2009, 1:41pm
Location: Worcs

Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby robert17 » 5 Aug 2015, 7:07am

Many thanks. I do like the idea of the follow me, if the price is a little wincing. I not considered a child back tandem. I have heard mixed reviews of budget tandems.

latequartet
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Joined: 8 Oct 2013, 2:10pm
Location: South Yorkshire
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby latequartet » 5 Aug 2015, 8:22am

2nd hand child-back can be effective, but FollowMe allows your bike to become a tandem and depending on child age, save the need for kiddicranks for a tandem. UK stockists of FollowMe and supplier all have advantages. Buying from Bike-DE 10% cheaper, but local bike shops have >10% advanatages I guess. We've done it both ways, recommend both!

Worth noting, three different adaptors for child's front spindle come as standard. If your child's bike has a quick release (QR) skewer, you need to buy the fourth adaptor for a further ten quid (e.g. Islabike range).

Jeremy
A towing-daily-road cyclist (without a car) with children and a wife. Cycling close to and on the NCN 6 in Sheffield.

Vorpal
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby Vorpal » 5 Aug 2015, 8:24am

We bought a secondhand Thorn Voyager. IIRC, I paid £500 or £550 (approx. £1000 build spec), and I think you can get them in reasonable condition around that price. Ours is basically the second car, so it's seen lots of use, with absolutely no trouble.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

pwa
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby pwa » 5 Aug 2015, 9:35am

Vorpal wrote:We bought a secondhand Thorn Voyager. IIRC, I paid £500 or £550 (approx. £1000 build spec), and I think you can get them in reasonable condition around that price. Ours is basically the second car, so it's seen lots of use, with absolutely no trouble.


We found the tag along trailer bike experience distinctly underwhelming. We found the steering and braking and handling unsafe, and I know other people have had the same experience. We then got a proper tandem, and that was great. Stable, easy to stop, and fine for longer journeys. Bolting two bikes together does not make a tandem, unfortunately.

latequartet
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Re: Tail Angel or Tail Gator

Postby latequartet » 5 Aug 2015, 12:28pm

Yes we knew of problems with tag along from a steering / braking / balance point of view. We cautiously greeted the Cycle Magazine's FollowMe review with interest. It's slower, heavier and longer than a tandem. We were surprised and continue to be impressed by its versatility. For us those obvious disadvantages were overwhelmed for us by our 4 & 6yr olds wanting to ride alone so much. We have plenty of weekly traffic-free places to go, where we need to travel hitched together to arrive. We also put our set up on and off trains 40 - 50 times a year.

Is the FollowMe worthy of its "tandem" moniker? It is more like a tandem than any other tag-along option.
A towing-daily-road cyclist (without a car) with children and a wife. Cycling close to and on the NCN 6 in Sheffield.