Run Oregon receives and tests running gear from time to time. This post is the second about the Thule Urban Glide which Matt has been testing with his two daughters. This post goes further into Matt’s first 21 days with this stroller. Check out the initial post here.
Here is a reminder of the technical details:
- Stroller Weight = 23 lbs.
- Weight Capacity = 75 lbs.
- Front Wheel Size 12 in.; Rear 16 in.
As the weather has been a little more challenging that usual, my ability to take my kids out for runs has slowed. The nights are getting darker quicker, and I am finding myself running once the kids go to bed, or early in the morning before work. I have taken them out on the weekends and during breaks in the rain.
The first run was really a lesson in getting “fit” or situated. I tried to utilize all the features to find out what worked best for me. It was obvious that the wrist strap is a simple necessity when running and I settled in on putting the handle in the highest position when running, and lower when walking. I also toyed around with adjusting the front wheel tracking, but settled in on “even”.
Over the first 10 days, I went on a few more “runs”. I added quotation marks, because they were really slow trots that also encompassed hanging out at the park, checking out the dogs at the dog park, or putting on a little family play at the quiet amphitheater. They weren’t distance or speed filled runs, that’s for sure. But it gave me enough time and usage to get comfortable with the settings and feel of pushing a stroller.
I suppose getting anything out of a 5 and 2-year-old is success, but I’m surprised they actually have some positive feedback. Here are a few quotes (mildly rearranged for understanding purposes):
- This isn’t as bumpy as our old one
That would be very accurate. While it’s true that any new stroller would be less bumpy than the shock-less and extremely outdated stroller, the smooth ride of the Urban Glide was appreciated.
- I like having my own water bottle holder and window
My 5-year-old was referring to the mesh pocket that she has claimed as her own, and the “sunroof” window that allows us to see each other. Too bad her view is just me looking tired as I’m running. She’s not exactly overlooking the beach or anything, but a window is cool nonetheless.
- It’s kinda cozy
Both of my kids are on the bigger side of the spectrum. My 5-year-old is a slender skinny little thing (I see volleyball in her future), and my 2 year old is a linebacker of sorts – a rough and tumble little pudgier who is almost as tall as her sister. When they get into the stroller, there is not a whole lot of headroom left. Any pony or pigtails rub up against the canopy. They don’t mind this, and I don’t anticipate it being a problem going forward, but this is their way of warning you about the snugness that some kids may feel in there (and my plea to them that the stop growing up so fast)!
I have used the Urban Glide in one race this past 21 days – the Steps to Safety 5k. This was about the perfect race location for a stroller. My recap stated:
There were long periods of straightaways, and one long angled curve (which felt like a NASCAR turn). Over the course, there were more twists, turns, and minor ups and downs mimicking highway driving. 5k runners made one giant figure 8-ish loop before heading back to the finish area.
While this race course is typically utilized to train police officers on a variety of road conditions, it did the same for my race testing of the Urban Glide. There were long periods of straightaways, minor climbs and downhills, long sweeping turns, and a few tighter turns as well. The Urban Glide was up the challenge in all areas.
The straightaways proved that the stroller was well-built and balanced. I hardly had to do any side-to-side steering over these portions because once I set out on a straightaway, the stroller just followed. The turns were where the real test of any stroller is – and the Urban Glide dominated!
Even though I had experience with manipulating the turns in my test runs, this took it to a much higher level with greater speed than I had been running at before. It took minimal effort to move the handle to one side and get the perfectly executed turn in the opposite direction to cruise through the turns. Even the tight turns and maneuvering in and out of runner-traffic were done with relative ease.
The smoothness and control of the stroller allowed me to actually keep one arm off the handle and used it for pumping, as I would have with no stroller. This allowed me MUCH more stamina and led me to a 5th place overall finish! I tried arm-pumping in my old stroller, and the second I took both hands off that handle, I felt like it was going to spiral out of control. I remember how excited I was to tell my wife that I could actually run fast (did my 5k at a 7:54 min/mi pace – not too bad)!
The first few weeks with the Urban Glide has been great. I am encouraging my kids to come on runs with me more, and they are actually answering affirmatively due, in large part, to the Urban Glide. I have plans for another 2-3 stroller-races through the end of November, so be on the lookout for my final review in time for holiday shopping season!