Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 Strollers

As you may know, I used to be a loyal fan of Dreamer Design strollers, but they no longer manufacture jogging strollers. I believe the company only makes handicapped equipment now. So, I really don't have any useful parts left since most of what people are looking for either broke on my stroller as well or I was unable to remove it without damaging it. Before you send a request for a part, please consider whether the broken part is one that can even be removed if it were not already broken. Many parts are riveted on, for example.

So, if this leaves you in the market for a new (or new-to-you) stroller, the options may have changed since the last time you took a look. Here are some suggestions that are available NOW:

1. Best Mixed-Terrain Running like you are training for something: Bob Ironman Stroller
2. Best Straight and Paved Road Running as fast as you can: Baby Jogger, 25th Anniversary Performance
3. Best I want one stroller to do everything: Joovy Zoom ATS Fixed Wheel Jogging Stroller
4. Best Inexpensive and good enough for real running: Schwinn Joyrider Jogger
5. Honorable Mention for Brand Loyalty: Kelty Speedster Swivel

Generally I have a strong preference for fixed wheel strollers, but in light of EIGHT years (and counting) of loyal service by my Kelty stroller, I have allowed it on the list.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inner tube, Bent Valve

All my strollers have 16" wheels, but the smaller size wheels are 12" and it can be tricky fitting a pump in there to add air.
If you have an air compressor, that will work because of the small head. Alternatively, strollers such as Valco and Phi and Ted use inner tubes in their tires with bent valves. This allows you to use a regular hand pump. It can be hard to find these replacement tubes, however. Best bet:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Old Stroller


So, my 2003 Kelty stroller is not getting any younger either. Today I replaced the handlebar padding with handlebar tape [designed for a bicycle]. It was pretty gross underneath the old tape. Because of the split handle style, I've had to replace one side before. On that side the elements and probably a lot of sweat have seeped through the overlaps of tape and caused the metal of the handlebar below to corrode significantly. I am hoping this weakness is not at risk for actually breaking.

This activity does remind me, yet again, that jogging strollers are very much like bicycles. Luckily there are neither chains nor gears to take care of, but the wheels, tires, hand brake and, in some strollers, suspension are all built the same way as those components on a bicycle. The hand brake relies on a cable and brake pads. The cable will stretch over time and the pads will wear down. Likewise, tires can get flats. Even the tread tends to wear down to the wire below after about 2000 miles. The next point of failure that I am worried about are the ball bearings in the wheels. I just have to squeeze 2 more years out of it...