How to Tow a Bike with the GSD Gen 1
This article refers to GSD Gen 1 bikes. If you'd like to tow a bike with the GSD Gen 2, click here.
Once the GSD becomes part of your lifestyle, you may want to use it for some more ambitious jobs. One of our favorites is putting a bike on your bike—using your GSD to tow a kid- or adult-sized bike. Towing a bike with your GSD can be useful in many different situations. Here are a few things to try:
- Let big kids ride their own bikes alongside you until they tire out, then give them and their bikes a lift back home.
- Haul kids and their bikes to a park or bike trail where they can practice riding safely.
- Tow an adult-sized road or mountain bike to a trailhead or other starting point. Park and secure your GSD, tire yourself out on your conventional bike, and then return home with help from e-assist.
- Pick up a friend at the airport or train station. Bring a bike for them to ride and use your GSD to carry their luggage.
This article will cover our top recommended way to tow a bike with your GSD Gen 1.
- What is the Strap-and-Secure Method?
- How do I tow a bike using fastening straps?
- Can I carry passengers and cargo while towing a bike with fastening straps?
1. Strap-and-Secure Method
What is the Strap-and-Secure Method?
This method uses three fastening straps to carefully secure the front wheel of the towed bike to your GSD. By using three straps (instead of two or one) and three different attachment points on your GSD, you'll ensure the towed bike stays in place.
How do I tow a bike using fastening straps?
- Step 1: Support the front wheel of the towed bike using your GSD’s lower deck Place the front wheel of the bike you want to tow on the Sidekick Lower Decks. Make sure to position the wheel as close as possible to your GSD frame. If necessary, add some padding to protect the GSD frame or the towed bike's fork from getting scratched.
- Step 2: Secure the front wheel of the towed bike to your GSD Use straps to secure the towed bike’s front wheel to your GSD using three points: one point on the upper rear rack tubing, one point on the lower rear rack tubing, and one point on the lower deck. Also, make sure the towed bike’s fork is free to pivot around the wheel—this will ensure a problem-free ride even over bumps and dips in the road.
Can I carry passengers and cargo while towing a bike with fastening straps?
Probably! Depending on the size of the bike(s) you're towing, the size of your passenger, and your accessory set-up, you may be able to both tow 1-2 bikes and carry a passenger on the GSD.
HEADS UP!: When towing a bike and carrying a passenger at the same time, NEVER carry the passenger on the towed bike.
However, keep in mind this method limits the accessories you can use while towing a bike. Large panniers or the Storm Box, for example, would block access to the lower deck and the rear rack tubing.
2. Important Safety Note
If you plan to tow a bike with your GSD, it's always best to test it yourself and to practice on your own before you decide to take your bike and your passenger(s) on your next ride. When riding, pay particular attention to your surroundings, and make sure you ride on wide roads and avoid sharp turns.
One important reminder: When towing a bike and carrying a passenger at the same time, never carry the passenger on the towed bike.
Note: This article on bike towing, along with other guides and how-to articles on this site, are intended to serve only as a helpful resource for Tern bicycle owners. They are for informational and educational purposes only and should be used at your own risk. Consult with your authorized Tern dealer for professional advice and assistance specific to your bicycle.