How Hard Is It to Pull a Bike Trailer With Kids?

The difficulty of pulling another human by bike is one of the first mental blocks we face when buying a bike trailer. After all, just pedaling ourselves up a hill can be a monumental task itself.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly how hard it is to pull a bike trailer with kids, as well as give you seven helpful tricks to make it easier. 

Is it hard to pull a bike trailer with kids? 

Pulling an additional 40+ lbs of weight (the bike trailer plus one or two children) is significantly more difficult than pulling just yourself. However, the difficulty of pulling a bike trailer will decrease over time as you become stronger and follow a few riding tips.

How much do bike trailers weigh? 

The average bike trailer weighs from 20 to 40 lbs (or 9 to 18 kg). Factoring in the weight of a child and cargo, the total weight being pulled ranges from 40 to 100+ lbs (or 18 to 45 kg).

If you plan to do longer rides that entail hills and lots of stop-and-go riding, then the weight of the trailer will be a significant consideration. A good-quality lightweight trailer is recommended in such cases.

If you’re considering exactly how much extra weight you will be pulling around, then it’s important to consider a few factors: 

  • The average bike trailer weighs around 20-30 pounds, depending on whether you are using a single or double bike trailer. Other factors would include the material from which the trailer is made and the brand of the bike trailer. You can always check the product description page of a specific bike trailer to know the exact weight. 
  • Be sure to factor in the weight of your child or children
  • You can add about 10 pounds of cargo to the equation. It’s always nice to have snacks, diapers, extra clothes, books, or toys for the kids, or whatever you need.

Total Weight = Weight of Bike Trailer + Weight of Child(ren) + Cargo

The total can add up quickly, from 40 lbs to 100+ lbs. 

If you’re an avid cyclist, you will know that’s a lot of added weight! Just imagine what gaining that amount of fat or muscle would do to your hill climbs. 

But hope is not lost…

7 tips to make pulling a bike trailer easier

1. Remember the benefits of riding

Reminding yourself of the benefits of riding with your child will absolutely help with the mental aspects of pulling more weight. Shift your mindset from “this is so much harder” to “this is great exercise and my kid loves it!”.

Remember, you are putting down some serious power and getting better exercise due to the added weight. More importantly, your child is reaping all the benefits of being outdoors and learning the importance of cycling as a lifestyle. 

2. Realize that it will get easier

If you maintain a relatively low speed (under 10 mph), then pulling a bike trailer will become easier for you over time. Reminding yourself of this will help every time you face that massive hill in your neighborhood. It’s also helpful to remember that the added weight means better exercise for you!

3. Choose the optimal gear ration 

Pedaling at a higher cadence will make pulling a bike trailer easier because you will not be over-exhausting your legs too early.

Especially on hills, choosing the optimal gear ratio is essential. It’s tempting to want to go fast and get to your destination quickly, but it’s actually safer and less difficult in the long-run to keep a higher cadence and just take it slowly.

On downhill descents, just cruise and give your legs a well-deserved rest. 

4. Plan the flattest route possible

This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many local backroads there are that you never knew existed until you looked it up on Google Maps. Any map app on your phone will be your best friend when mapping out your ride with the bike trailer. Google Maps can even estimate the difficulty of the ride by the gradients of hills on the route.

My family was living in a busy part of New Jersey when I first bought a bike trailer. I was immediately intimidated by the big hills and high traffic volume, until I took out Google Maps and actually found some very quiet, flat backroads that took me exactly where I wanted to go. 

Go out on a solo ride before taking your bike trailer out to test the roads for safety and flatness. If you run into a few hills, just treat them as good training and they will get easier over time 🙂

5. Fill your tires, especially the rear tire

Deflated tires on your bike, as well as on the bike trailer, will make it much more difficult to pedal. Be sure to check your tire pressure before every ride.

Pro tip: inflate your rear tire to the maximum pressure to improve rolling resistance, since there will be more weight on the rear wheel from the bike trailer. 

6. Try not to stop pedaling

Stop-and-go traffic is the single greatest time and energy waster. Try to plan ahead as much as possible and avoid stopping whenever you can. This could mean just slowing down earlier before a stop sign or crosswalk. You’ll learn very quickly that braking and starting up again are quite taxing on the legs. 

7. Pace yourself, you’re pulling another person!

It sure is tempting to hit the ground running as soon as we hitch the bike trailer, but burning up your legs too quickly will not be fun on the way back.

Know your limits and just enjoy the ride. Keeping speeds under 10 mph (or 16 kph) is recommended to keep a safe and easy pace. After all, you’re pulling more than just yourself this time!

It might take some time to get used to pulling more than just yourself, but after about 3 or 4 rides, you’ll have a handle on it.  

Top 5 lightweight bike trailers

Here are the best 5 lightweight bike trailers that all weigh under 25 lbs. I’ve compiled this list with price as an important factor for most people. If you need further help choosing a bike trailer, check out my Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer.

1. Burley Bee
Weight: 20 lbs

Price: Around $300 (check on Amazon)
Seats: Double
Stroller Conversion: No
Weight Limit
: 80 lbs (36 kg)

View on Amazon

The Burley Bee is a well-designed, high-quality, suprt lightweight, and budget-friendly bike trailer for frequent riders. It’s just 20 lbs and impressively light for the size of the frame.

With the reputable Burley brand and high-quality materials, the Burley Bee is one of the best bang-for-buck trailers for anyone looking for a trailer that is just really good at being a trailer.


  • Affordable—A low price point for a high-quality Burley trailer
  • Burley quality—A high-quality trailer that might turn into a robot
  • Lightweight—Weighs just 20 lbs, which is half the weight of some trailers


  • No stroller conversion—It’s a minimalist, lightweight trailer

I wrote a full review of using the Burley Bee, which you can check out here.

2. Thule Cadence
Weight: 22 lbs

Price: Around $330 (check price here)
Seats: Double
Stroller Conversion: No
Weight Limit
: 100 lbs (43 kg)

View on Amazon

A lightweight minimalist trailer with the highest quality that Thule has to offer, the Thule Cadence is a steal of a deal at under $350. 

If you want the high-quality materials and customer service of Thule without having to pay high-end prices, then the Thule Cadence is a solid option. It does not have the stroller conversion features that I would hope to see on a trailer in this price range, but it is a solid minimalist trailer with large wheels and large interior space.


  • Affordable—for such a high-end brand
  • Double seats—wide, spacious bench-style seat
  • Large 20-inch wheels—20 inches is the gold standard
  • Large interior space—a comfortable amount of space for the kids


  • No stroller conversion—It’s a minimalist, lightweight trailer
  • Frame and cover quality—not as good as other Thule trailers
  • Harness quality—not as good as other Thule trailers

3. Thule Chariot Lite
Weight: 25 lbs

Price: Around $1,000 for double (check on Amazon) and $900 for single (check on Amazon)
Seats: Double
Stroller Conversion: Yes
Weight Limit
: 100 lbs (43 kg)

View on Amazon

Best for active families who want the most out of their bike trailer, the Thule Chariot Lite is a top-of-the-line quality trailer that is worth every penny. Its large wheels and suspension feature make it a great option for gravel riding or mountain riding.

Although on the higher end of the price spectrum, the Chariot Lite is actually a few hundred dollars cheaper than its older brother, the Thule Chariot Cross. For that reason, the Chariot Lite makes the list of exceptional trailers and I would recommend it to someone looking for a trailer that can take a beating.

But why would anyone swing for such a pricey bike trailer?

The Chariot Lite comes with suspension, which adds extra comfort to your child on rough terrain. If you plan on any gravel or mountain rides, then this trailer is ideal for your type of riding.

But if you’re just planning on recreational riding, then the Schwinn Joyrider does many of the same things for more than half the price.


  • Highest-quality materials—Truly the best components on the market
  • Suspension—Added comfort on rough terrain
  • Double front wheels—Makes for an excellent stroller
  • Lots of storage—It even comes with a pannier bag attached to the back


  • Cost—It’s a top-of-the-line bike trailer and has suspension
  • Complicated to assemble—It comes with a lot of attachments that are hard to understand at first

I wrote a full review of using the Thule Chariot Cross, which you can check out here.

4. Schwinn Trailblazer
Weight: 24 lbs

Price: Around $130 for Single, (check on Amazon), $200 for Double (check on Amazon)
Seats: Single or Double
Stroller Conversion: Yes on Double, No on Single
Weight Limit:
80 lbs (36 kg)

View on Amazon

For budget-minded families that also want a bike trailer with great reviews, the Schwinn Trailblazer is hard to beat at under $150! There are two other noteworthy trailers that are in the same price range as the Trailblazer: the Instep and the Allen Sports Deluxe.

The reason I would recommend the Schwinn Trailblazer over those two options is simply because of the quality. They just don’t have the same level of durability and safety features that the Trailblazer offers.

The Trailblazer also comes in a double-seat capacity and stroller conversion for around $200. You can check out that model on Amazon here.


  • Acceptable quality—for a budget trailer
  • Double and single seats available—few trailers give both options
  • Stroller conversion available—only on the double version


  • Lower quality materials—budget trailer
  • No stroller conversion—on the single-seater

I wrote a full review of using the Schwinn Trailblazer, which you can check out here.

5. Burley Minnow
Weight: 21 lbs

Price: Around $280 (check on Amazon)
Seats: Single
Stroller Conversion: No
Weight Limit
: 75 lbs (34 kg)

View on Amazon

A high-quality single-seat trailer at an affordable price, the Burley Minnow is recommended if you aren’t looking for a trailer that converts to a stroller.

Why get a single-seater?

You might be wondering why someone would want a single-seat trailer as opposed to a double-seater. Apart from the obvious reason that some families will only be carrying 1 child, the reason a single-seater is a good choice is simply because of weight. The weight of a bike trailer can make or break your riding experience.

For example, if you’re going on a longer ride or climbing lots of hills, then the Burley Minnow will really come in handy. Also, having a single child sit alone in a double-seater is not as comfortable due to the weight distribution.


  • Affordable—A low price point for a high-quality Burley trailer
  • Lightweight—Weighs just 22 lbs, which is half the weight of some trailers


  • No stroller conversion—It’s a minimalist, lightweight trailer


Pulling an extra 40 to 100 extra pounds by bike sounds like a daunting task that makes even the most avid cyclists wonder if it’s a good idea.

But if you take your bike trailer out just a few times while following the above 7 tips, you’ll quickly learn how easy and enjoyable it can be. Not to mention how much your kids and your health (and your legs) will thank you for it! 

Need help finding the right bike trailer?

If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.

Ride on!

Benjy Suzaki

Hi, I'm Benjy Suzaki and I love cycling with my kids. Biking has been a big part of our family life ever since I decided to bike everywhere instead of drive, including to my job in NYC from New Jersey. is all about how to make biking a priority in your daily life through bike commuting, bike maintenance, and riding with kids.

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