June 29, 2004

NASA Scientist Reveals How to Work a Bugaboo

Don't blame Gwyneth's minions. They just revealed to the world what every Bugaboo owner already knows: opening and closing one of those things is hard to figure out.

The Bugaboo differs from, say, an umbrella--or even an umbrella stroller--where these two actions are symmetrical and reversible. When combined with the Bugaboo's unconventional structure, this asymmetry makes it difficult to just stare at a Frog and intuit how it works.

Daddy Types asked a bona fide NASA astrophysicist/Bugaboo owner (and, incidentally, former schoolmate of Gwyneth) for help.

This good doctor offered to have her, um, minion demonstrate the easiest, most efficient way to grapple with this cool-but-confounding rig. The illustrated 3-step tutorial follows below:

- The Frog is set up; you've already spent hours poring over the manual and have managed to put the Frog together. You have removed the bassinet/seat/car seat (and any car seat adaptors).
- The Frog is set up for street driving, with the small wheels in front.
- The brake is engaged, so the thing doesn't go rolling around on you.
- For illustrative purposes, the underseat storage bag has been removed. Leaving it on doesn't change the instructions; it just makes the thing more unwieldy.


Closing a Bugaboo

how to fold a bugaboo in three easy steps, image:daddytypes.com
1. Engage both spring-loaded levers and drop the handle down, not forward.

2. With the handle on the ground, grab the Frog on the main crossbar (the one with the label) and lift it up. The small wheels and handle should both close toward the center.

3. With the little attached clips, secure the small wheels to the crossbar.

Opening a Bugaboo

how to open a bugaboo, as explained by a NASA scientist, image: daddytypes.com

1. Hold the closed stroller with the wheels facing you, then let the small wheels drop. (They'll stop when the struts form a right angle with the large wheel struts.)

2. While holding the rig slightly away from you and at least 12-18" off the ground, engage both spring-loaded levers with your thumbs and let both sets of wheels and struts swing freely down. Before they close together, set the wheels down.

3. That's it, really. Make little adjustments if needed: e.g., push down a bit to open the bottom struts to a 90-degree angle; engage levers to bring the handle back toward you if it's over the small wheels.

Note: This method would be 10x easier if the small wheels would click into place when they swing down. But they don't. Yet.

Buy a Bugaboo and try it yourself.


Perfect timing...just took delivery of my Bugaboo today. Struggled with the Buagboo manual all evening trying to emulate the ease that the store clerk demostrated when opening and closing the stroller. Just about gave up here when I came across your pictorial directions. Awesome. Now even my wife can handle this close/open operation.

My technique is similar, but more fluid... at times.

I click the nobs, lift and then push down to the ground. It usually works. Up is trickier.. the wheels tend to stick.

I'd love a NASA scientist to explain how to put the damn thing in the bag... Have one of those? The directions were an embarrassment and I'd say they generously provided about 1 inch of extra space making it impossible to zip without frustration unless you magically get everything perfectly aligned -- which btw the is all but impossible. I sweated it out in the airport after (seriously) practicing at home before we left.

LOL. I've been worrying about this as we get ready for our trip to Japan next month. For now, the bag is a just $120 kick in the head.

No regrets on the bag... you'll probably need to call them up to get real directions, unless they fixed what was included in the box we got from babystyle.

Like all things Bugaboo, it's expensive, well made, and designed to work one precise way.

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