One of the most confusing question's for new running buggy shoppers is, why do some buggies have a fixed front wheel, some not, and why is it important?
THE FIXED FRONT WHEEL BUGGY
(Classified as 'Just for Running' on our website)
Some running buggies have a fixed front wheel. The manufacturer’s state it is arguably one of the most important safety features for a running buggy. When moving at higher speeds the front wheel is susceptible to wobbling. If the wobble of the fixed wheel or rotation of an unlocked wheel becomes significant enough it can cause the buggy to turn sharply and tip or flip over. If the front wheel on the stroller is not fixed or it can't be locked in a fixed position, then they state you should not be moving faster than a strolling pace to be safe. In summary it provides STABILITY AT SPEED.
A fixed front wheel running buggy can take getting used to but turning is either via lifting the front wheel, pressure to the handle bars, or adopting a push/pull method which is shown in the video our blog on Buggy Running technique. (12th April)
These models tend to be longer in their base dimensions (from front to back) which provides increased stability and a smooth ride. Therefore they always have the option to remove the front wheel (as well as the rear wheels) to enable you to transport it in the car, this is with a bike quick release lever on all models I have tested.
Examples of running buggies which have a fixed front wheel are; the Thule Glide, Thule Chariot range, Phil & Teds Sub4, Out & About Nipper Sport, BOB Ironman (discontinued in the UK) and Bugaboo Jogger.
THE SWIVEL FRONT WHEEL BUGGY (Classified as 'Universal Use' on our website)
The other type of running buggy available is one with a swivel front wheel which has the option to be locked. It can swivel 360 degrees which is great for turning without the need to lift the front wheel. All models have a switch to move it into locked position near the front wheel. Fixing the wheel is recommended for running to provide stability at speed. These models can be used for day to day life as well as running. Many have carry cot's which can be added on as well as car seat adapters to make them suitable from birth. We recently took ours on holiday to Spain and Monarch airlines had no issue with us taking it to the gate. Busting the myth you need lots of buggies for different things!
Examples of running buggies which have a swivel front wheel are the Mountain Buggy Terrain, Thule Urban Glide, the Britax BOB Revolution & Baby Jogger Summit X3.
IN SUMMARY ....
If it's just for running then go for the fixed front wheel but if you want it for going to the shops as well then opt for the swivel front wheel. And a watch out is that not all buggies which have a 3 wheels, of which the front one locks, are necessarily designed for running!
We are buggy geeks and are always delighted to provide 121 advice to anyone about running buggies. Please don't hesitate to message us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a small, mum run, business so we work evening's and weekends! (In between running about after the children)