BANG! Click. Whirr….
That’s the front door slamming before the Other Half maneuvers the Bugaboo Runner out of the gate and down the road. With Little B sitting inside it of course.
He gets to exercise, Little B gets to relax and have some Daddy time, and I get to sort out the fridge without ending up with cheese slices hidden around the house.
Five months into owning our second running pushchair, the Bugaboo Runner, and we’ve been busy discovering all the things we really like about it, and the couple of things that don’t work quite so well for us.
First off, the things that we really like:
The reversible seat – it’s great having child time while you’re running, but in our previous pushchair it wasn’t bonding child time. When they’re sitting forwards, they get to see the sights, but sometimes its great for them to be able to see you, too. On the days where Little B is a bit grumpy, or in super-talkative mode, it’s nice for her to have the opportunity to parent face rather than world face. It also means that if you are new to running with a little one, you can keep an eye on how they’re finding the experience too.
Compatibility – having the option to use your existing Bugaboo seat is a big win. Less stuff to store, familiarity for your little one, and of course it’s cheaper than buying the whole thing too.
Sleepy time – on the occasions where Little B does fall asleep while she’s out for a run, the seat reclines smoothly so that she can have a comfortable ride. There are three seat positions – fully upright, ‘chill out’ recline, and ‘fast asleep’ recline. Little B generally likes chill out position when she’s parent facing, and upright when she is facing the world. The vast majority of the time, whichever way she’s been facing, she comes home asleep.
Adjustable handlebar – I’m not much of a runner, but when I am taking Little B out for a slower jog in the Bugaboo Runner the handle will adjust down from the height that 6’5” Other Half uses to a level that is comfortable for a much shorter 5’3” me!
Storage – the shopping basket, with it’s elasticated strapping, has securely held everything in each time we’ve used it. You can’t hang things off the handle of a running pushchair and because the basket is so useful, on the Bugaboo Runner you don’t need to use storage anywhere else.
Plus of course the Bugaboo Runner itself stores really easily – it folds down very compactly compared to our previous running pushchair.
Stability – I’ve not run with a fixed wheel pushchair before and it takes a bit of getting used to, but the tradeoff is that it’s incredibly stable. Even running over bumpy ground, the wheel and the super suspension give Little B a lovely smooth ride.
Attention to detail – it looks sleek. It looks sturdy. It looks like it is made for carefree, effortless running. And it is.
The wheels are beautiful, and there is an air pump included to deal with any tyre emergencies. The cabling and brakes are all enclosed. The suspension is beautifully integrated.
Security – the five point harness is easy to use and adjust, and keeps Little B tightly secured without being uncomfortable. The bumper bar is also very useful – she likes to hold on to it when she is in the upright position. It gives her a sense of safety when she is flying along the pavement!
Versatility – yes, it’s first and foremost a running pushchair. But if I happen to need to pop into the local shop for some milk on the way home, it’s not so unwieldy that we can’t navigate around the shops with it. And it’s equally as happy on bumpy ground, smooth pavements, grassy ground, and shiny shop floors. Basically you can take it pretty much anywhere…
And then, there is the slightly more niggly stuff:
First off, since we first wrote about it, I have still not completely mastered the whole folding thing.
I think because it’s a slightly longer chassis than other pushchairs – and it needs to be, to maintain that stability as discussed above – it’s just that little bit too big for someone smaller like me to easily close and open. I CAN do it. It just takes a bit of time.
Weight – it’s heavier than I expected. I suspect this also contributes to the slightly slow folding technique that I have. And I think because it looks like it can fly effortlessly down the pavement, I kind of thought it would be light to lift too. It’s not as light as it seems like it should be. Once again I think this comes down to stability. And we DO value that.
The handlebar and the brake coverplate – this is something specific to our particular Bugaboo Runner, and so I’m not saying that it is necessarily attributable to all of them. We noticed after using it a few times that when putting pressure on the handle to turn – which you need to do with the fixed front wheel – one side of the handlebar would click down to a lower position to the other. We also noticed that the cover for the brake calipers on the front wheel wouldn’t close.
Further investigation solved the brake coverplate issue – there are some little flappy bits that secure it in place. A little bit fiddly, but once you know about them it’s all plain sailing.
And the handlebar – well, I contacted Bugaboo and the customer service was excellent – they investigated the problem and then sorted us out with a new, fully working chassis quickly and efficiently. Which just goes to show that if you DO have an issue with your Bugaboo, it most likely won’t be an issue for very long!
Overall, we absolutely love the Bugaboo Runner, and the new freedom it’s given us to get out with Little B for a bit of fresh air and exercise. She gets really excited now whenever she sees it being unfolded, and as it is suitable from 9 months old up to toddlers weighing 17kg, she’s got a good few months of riding around in it left yet 🙂