It seems I have become the designated the bike trailer tester. That's a good thing as there is nothing better than getting out in the Great British Summer – only to get totally soaked! This week I have been riding around with both Sam and Harry in tow in the Chariot Cheetah 2. Its light on its feet, sporty and green…..
It seems I have been designated the bike trailer tester. That's a good thing as there is nothing better than getting out in the Great British Summer – only to get totally soaked! This week I have been riding around with both Sam and Harry in tow in the Chariot Cheetah 2. Its light on its feet, sporty and green…..
Whats in the Box
Not much! The Cheetah comes as a chassis only. You do get the fabrics including a 2 in one rain screen and mosquito net, but you must purchase the accessory kit for the application you wish to use your Cheetah for. We have been supplied with the Jogger and Bike accessory kits. However it can also become a pushchair, be used for hiking or even cross county skiing!!
The Cheetah's RRP without any of the following conversion kits is £465.00
Conversion Kit pricing:
For more information about these accessories, please vists Amba Marketing's website.
The Chariot Cheetah 2 has a more sporty design and therefore does not have the level of flexibility or convenience of the Croozer we reviewed earlier this week. It is however £465 in base format without a conversion kit.
The Cheetah weights a featherweight 9.7kgs! Add a bike kit and you will only increase this weight by 1kg or so.
Aimed squarely at a more focussed market, the Cheetah bike trailer compliments an expensive bike rather than simply attaches to it. It can be turned into everything from a pushchair to a ski trailer you just need to pick the accessory pack you require and off you go!
It must be said that the Cheetah oozes quality at every turn with fantastically light materials demonstrating excellent strength and integrity.
Opening and Folding.
I suspect that the folded size of the product was not a super critical issue when the Cheetah was designed. When folded down the Cheetah is 107cm long – over 13cm longer than the Croozer. The Cheetah does not benefit from the Croozers clever internal folding mechanisn so the fold was never going to be as compact.
It is however very easy. To unfold, simply pull up the front ‘handles' towards the rear upright, squeeze the two elements of the chassis together and listen for the snap of the latch and you are done.
The wheels slip on with the usual centre push to insert/remove mechanism and the conversion packs slot into the front multi function adaptors locating with a sprung ball latch.
When folded, the Cheetah appears surprisingly compact but it's the weight that really makes the difference. Being under 10 kilos make a big difference when moving the folded Cheetah from garage to car.
Seat and Cabin.
The Cheetah's added length when folded and lack of rear internal storage compartment has a real added benefit. There is plenty of legroom. We used both the Croozer and Cheetah when out and about shooting some of the photos for this article, and my 4 year old found the Cheetah far more comfortable as he had much better legroom.
Both Harry and Sam found the seat well padded and comfortable. Neither grumbled when we strapped them in to the 5 point harness. You can also use the Cheetah with one child sat in the middle by moving the harness straps. This is easy as they are all on snap clips so takes no time.
The Cheetah, comes with a combination rain guard and mosquito net and also a very nifty sunshade that keeps the sun out of the eyes of the kids – a simple touch but well thought out.
The side windows are tinted keeping the worst of the sun out when it is shining side on to the trailer – a nice touch.
As I have mentioned, the Cheetah does not come with a huge storage compartment, but it does come with a very big ‘oversize' storage net at the back. This is big enough for a couple of bags of shopping or a picnic, but that is all. There are also a couple of pockets inside the cabin where the kids kept a couple of toys each.
As previously mentioned, the fold is not as compact in length at the Croozer, however I suspect that this was less of a consideration when the product was designed. What I can see is a product where lightness and chassis rigidity has been under the microscope. The Cheetah is very light and very strong.
The fold is simple and quick and the Cheetahs fold down pretty flat, so really does not take up as much room as you think.
The handle although not height adjustable, can be turned the other way up to raise or lower it. This is simple and effective and works well for both myself and my wife.
Attaching the hitching kit is very easy. This is really helped by the build quality of the Cheetah. Everything slides into slots, and pops into location points so easily. Quality counts and it really scores well here.
The mosquito / fly / stone net is excellent, attaching easily and pulling down well at the front. The rain cover is ok, but not if you are looking for something to prevent rain ingress in a storm! If you are planning to cycle a lot, I would consider the optional rain cover. The built in sun shade is a great idea though.
The brakes work using a centre foot pedal you push down for on and lift up with your toe for off. They work effectively, but the pedal can get obscured by the storage net making it hard to find with your foot – a small niggle.
We have used the Cheetah as the jogger on the Race for Life and as a bike trailer. It has proved excellent for both jobs.
As a Jogger it is both light, well balanced and very stable. The only thing I would say it lacked was a jogging brake. This is especially relevant if you live in a hilly area.
As a bike trailer it is fantastic! The light weight really contributes to making it an easy steer. It is very comfortable for the children and handles well even at speed. The harnesses are a little fiddly with so many clips, however this is worth the payoff as they are incredibly secure once done up.
One great design element is the tow arm. This has a ball joint instead of a flexing spring to connect the rigid arm to your bike. This meant I was much happier laying my cycle down when not riding it as the ball joint rotated in the socket.
We only really used the mosquito/stone net and this did its job amiably. As I have said before, I would recommend a full rain cover for longer potentially wetter journeys.
The Chariot Cheetah is an excellent bike trailer, make no mistake. It is incredibly light, strong and safe and rides like a dream. It performed well as a jogger, but it lacks a jogging brake - necessary with two children on hilly terrain.
It is not designed to be as functional at the Croozer, but this is intentional and does not detract from the appeal.
The Cheetah is comparable to a sports car where as the Croozer is the fast family four door. The designers have produced a lightweight multifunctional product that does the two jobs we have used it for very well. Yes you cannot do the family shop with the kids in tow, but it was not designed with this in mind. The design screams get outside and use me. Run!
It is expensive. The RRP of £465 excludes any kit that allows you to use the Cheetah, add in the extra £52 - £220 it will cost for this and it makes it pretty pricey.
But, (you knew there would be one!) when buying a bike I always look at the weight as well as what I will be doing with it. The same can be applied to the Cheetah. Why buy a bike that weights less and then attach a heavy bike trailer when you can buy one that weights around 10kgs!
Two does go into one and less really does cost more – but it's worth it.
We give the Cheetah 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Weight and Load Capacity