Trek refers to the Mountain Train 206 as a “pedal trailer,” and that may be one of the more apt descriptions for this type of kid-hauling device I’ve heard. Whatever you call them, these attachments are great equalizers, allowing young kids to keep up with adults while still contributing to forward propulsion.
The Mountain Train 206 gets it name from the wheel size (20 inches) and the gearing (six speeds). The beefy steel frame has multiple mounting points for the handlebar stem and an extra-long seatpost, allowing a lot of adjustability. I was able to fit kids from age four to almost nine comfortably.
The front of the bike is hinged, with a large knob in front of the handlebars to unlock it. When folded, the Mountain Train fits in most car trunks or rear racks. The hitch slips around the seatpost of the lead bike, and shims are included to fit most every diameter. The hitch has a single pivot to move the trailer up and down, and it rotates side-to-side around the seatpost. This proved to be very stable, but rubbed the finish off the seatpost.
Both of my children got the hang of the gearing pretty quickly, but during hot days, sweaty little hands had some trouble rotating the grip shifter. Their newfound shifting knowledge seems to be transferring over when they’re riding their own bikes. The seat got no complaints, even on multiple-hour rides, and both kids were fine on most terrain, including smooth, non-technical singletrack trails.
If I have a gripe, the $290 price tag is steep, but the sturdy build has easily stood up to over a year of use. Resale value seems to be relatively high, too. For those looking for a simpler bike, the single-speed Mountain Train 201 is $260. Throw in Trek dealer support and professional assembly, and the Mountain Train looks like an even better deal.