The bikejor and scooter antena arm from Canadian mushing company Windog has to be one of the most user-friendly on the market. One of our team ram with this arm participating in bikejor last season, so we’ve got all the ‘need to know’ facts before you purchase.
Let’s start off with the cost, in the UK this arm is available from Snowpaw Store in the UK at a reasonable £24.99 (at time of writing). This makes it one of the cheaper options on the market, without out it being ‘too-cheap’.
The construction is pretty simple, it consists of a single moulded piece of hardwearing flexible resin, dubbed Acoflex, coated in a water resistant rip-stop fabric, to product both bike/scooter and attachment from damage.
Along with the aforementioned, it houses a looped rope (seen above in green, although colours do vary) – this is the point at what you thread your your running line through, to prevent it coming in to contact with the wheel. Always remember that your line should be attached directly to the person or frame, and never attach to the arm itself – it is not an anchor point.
Attaching the device to your frame is reasonably simple, it utilises a simple locking-nut and bolt system, which you undo completely to seat the flexible band around the desired location. There are two pre-drilled holes which can be used to vary the tightness of the wrap around your frame.
How does it perform?
In terms of performance and durability we have no complaints (bar what we mention later on – which is circumstance specific). The Windog Bikejor/Scooter Arm is certainly in a league of its’ own when it comes to ease of use, and took a whole season of abuse without so much as scratch.
Many of the dogs used when testing this arm were rookies and young recruits, meaning quite a lot of unexpected dives off the trail looking for squirrels and other wildlife, so rest assure that this is without-doubt, very flexible indeed.
One concern of many bikejor enthusiasts is if their attachment could cause any damage to the bike – we can confirm that this didn’t leave a single scratch, rub-mark or any discolouration to the frame or components…the same cannot be said for the dogs. Although we would always advice the use of helitape should you be very partial to your paintwork.
Any negatives to consider?
Now bare with us here, we’ll try not to get too technical. Because there are only two pre-determined sizes for the frame attachment, it does mean that it is more suitable to some frame styles more than others.
If your frame has a 3.5″+ of clear space around the steerer-tube (see image below), then this product is almost certainly going to be a perfect fit.
If your frame doesn’t resemble the above, and either has less space between the top-tube and down-tube – or they are fused completely then you have a few options available to you.
If your frame has a gap, but it’s a bit smaller than the width of the attachment, it can be possible (with some careful persuasion) to bend the attachment in to place, this can result in a snug fit which in rare circumstances is better than having more adequate space – however it is important to ensure you do not cause any damage to your cycle/scooter or the attachment itself.
If the gap is simple too small – or you have no gap at all, you can place the attachment around your stem, below the handlebars (see below).
Although the manufacturer provides this setup as a primary option, it’s success is largely down to the bikes setup. The length and rise of your stem, and the number of spacers below your stem fill greatly dictate how well this attachment point will sit on your bike or scooter.
During our test, it is safe to say that our short and low stem was far from the ‘ideal’ setup, however, it functioned as described without incident. That said, the arm is more susceptible to sagging toward the wheel under the load of the line in this position. In our experience, it didn’t had any odd effect – other than looking a bit droopy. But every bike is different, so you really need to ensure that there is no way that the line could drop in to the wheel – we found ours got closest during heavy-braking. It’s always worth testing out the best setup without your canine companions – wherever possible.
It’s pretty simple really – keep it stored flat and not under pressure, and keep it dry & clean. On one occasion we did neither of these things and ended up in a banana shaped bikejor-arm that had slightly rusty nuts. No fault of the product in our opinion, just something to be aware of.
We realise that the negatives here might sound like a big deal, but in reality they really aren’t. What makes the Windog Bikejor Antena so great, is it’s simplicity – inherently, simple ideas are often limited in some way, so it’s about weighing up if it is the right solution for you. We’d have no hesitation in recommending it – just ensure it works for your setup.