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We had trouble with a Graco Remix stroller's front wheels getting stuck on ~1-inch bumps in Portland's sidewalks. When looking for a replacement, we're noticing that nearly all strollers have larger rear wheels, when it's the front wheels that need to be able to handle bumps better.

The Bugaboo Chameleon advertises that you can reverse the handle to put the larger wheels in front for uneven terrain. What's the downside of that mode, of putting the smaller wheels in the rear?

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  • Pure speculation here, but I think in the reversed-handle situation the idea would be that you would then lift the handle to raise the (now rear) small wheels off the ground, as opposed to pushing down as Rory describes. The idea would be that in this scenario the greater distance between your feet and the two wheels that remain in contact with the ground would increase stability on uneven terrain. If I'm correct, that would be a correction over your presumed upside of this mode. Jan 6, 2017 at 14:39

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The main problem is not the front wheels, but the rears. The general use case for taking any baby buggy up a kerb or over a bump is not to use large diameter front wheels to take the bump, but to use downward pressure on the handles at the back to raise the front.

You always have a weight trade-off with buggies - lighter is always better when you also have a baby, change bag, shopping etc so an ideal buggy has really small wheels. Off road buggies have large wheels and proper tyres all round, but still you take bumps by reducing the downward force at the front. You can't do this by moving the centre of gravity too far back, as your baby will tip over backwards so control of the front wheel loading is always given to you, as the parent.

If we try to put the bigger wheels at the front, the baby gets a rougher ride, as the main wheels cannot soak up the bumps as well. You also have a harder time lifting the front up kerbs (as you will still need to do this) and steering becomes much heavier.

Over the years I think I have had 9 or 10 strollers, ranging from ones light enough to carry on a strap over my shoulder to 2-person off road tricycle buggies, and the above points hold true for all of them.

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