Touring - Trailer: Quik Pack vs Nomad
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06-01-11, 10:52 PM
So, they wife and I have gotten more into car camping and simultaneous light touring with our bikes - and are interested in some more self-supported touring. We are a bit minimalists and don't want to fork over the money it would take to purchase and equip two dedicated touring bikes. Currently, we both ride well-maintained, upgraded, mid-80s,steel Treks, with "sport" geometry; we also use the bikes as our commuters and tooling around town bikes. So, we decided on a trailer - as it'll work with our current bikes (provided some change to the gearing) and have some day-to-day practicality to us when we are not touring. I've been leaning towards either the Quik-Pak or Burley Nomad. The Nomad seems to be very well regarded and well-tested. However, the Quik-Pak has some good reviews - and I like how it looks to pack down very well for transport (if needed) and uses 20 inch vs 16 inch wheels. At the same time, the Burley Nomad seems to be the gold standard...so, why go with anything different? Does anyone have experience with both or either one of these? What are your thoughts and experiences?
06-02-11, 03:33 AM
Just yesterday rode 20 miles along the Pacific Coast Highway chatting up a cyclist who was riding with his brand new Nomad. He was lamenting his decision, bemoaning the unfortunate reality that equipment is bought before one's own needs are known. The shame was that he had an LHT so he could even have fit panniers instead.
Some people swear by their Nomads, but you see far more BOB's on the road. If you are true minimalists, however, consider paring down your gear list so you each can run large saddle bags, handlebar bags, and frame bags. Forget the 15-20 lbs of trailer or racks / panniers.
06-02-11, 05:07 AM
I have had a Quik-pak for 7 years now and have used it on many tours. I think, given your situation that a trailer makes sense. I got the trailer when it was still being built in a small shop in Colorado.nI have many issues with bad quality, parts that were missing, holes not drilled, and wheels built wrong. It took months to get it all straighten out. But it was finally fix and now works after I made some changes to it. At least mine, the folding doesn't work since removing the wheels requires a wrench and it uses thread lock goo to hold them on. I think they fixed that now, but check. The trailer rides very nice and I enjoy using it when I need the extra room, like touring with my kids. I think the 20 inch wheels roll very nice. If you want to see more pix's, see my crazyguyonabike.com journals for Brian Youngberg. My Nova Scotia, Train du Nordic, and my sons first tour all have pix's of the trailer in use. If you have any other questions, just pm me.
06-02-11, 09:39 AM
another Burly product, the Flatbed, is what I own. adding a big dry bag,
like an Ortlieb rack pack, which has a roll closure on the side, top when laid down,
would be good.. or a portage pack, thats a big dry bag with backpack straps.
making wearing the trailer , to surmount stairs ,etc. possible.. only
having the unlaiden bike to deal with,
in your hands..
06-02-11, 08:18 PM
We all have our own unique needs and wants in a trailer, so it's hard to say yay or nay - but I would go with a one-wheeled trailer if I didn't have a kid or dog in it. If you are transporting something a kid or dog, you really need the trailer to stand up even if you fall over - but not if it's just gear.
I started out on our 2006/07 tour with a two-wheeled trailer. It was an old Blue Sky (I think they're out of business now) and was an excellent trailer - but it had two wheels. Whereas my husband and kids on a triple bike pulling a BOB could ride in the narrow strip of road between the rumble strip and the edge of the pavement, I had to be way out in the road because otherwise my wheel was bouncing on the rumblestrip. Although cars went out and around and gave me good clearance, I felt very vulnerable and would have liked to get farther over.
In the end, I had to go back home to take care of my mom for a month so I took the trailer with me and left it there - just piled everything on my bike from there on.
So - I don't know anything about the trailers you are considering except the fact that they're two-wheeled trailers and that may not be what you want. Just something to think about.
06-03-11, 04:19 AM
I really like my Nomad, but the Quik Paks 20" wheels are attractive. And the fact that the front cover appears to guard against wheel/water spray better is a nice touch as well. I'd like to try one.
06-05-11, 06:04 PM
Hmmm...it sounds like enough people have had enough problems with their Quik-Pack, I doubt I'll go that route. I don't think we could load up our bikes with bags and panniers and carry the gear we need (e.g., tent, sleeping bags) with both our current bikes and current wheels. My wife would probably be alright...I don't want to push my wheels on it. I certainly don't want to push her by giving her all the gear to carry! This is the main reason we are looking for a trailer. We can get to use our current bikes (which we like), with relatively minimal gearing changes (as compared to the price of two new touring bikes), and get a chance to use it to haul stuff around town. I do sometimes ponder the BOB Yak, as has been mentioned; however, I am a bit concerned about it still putting a fair amount of weight onto my rear wheel as well as instability at higher speeds (particularly for lighter riders like my wife). However, I also know that people rarely post about "everything's fine" experiences- and many seem to like the Yak. We don't have immediate need...maybe I'll keep perusing craigslist/ebay and let a decent deal on a used one make the choice for me... If I go one way or the other...even if it is months, I'll make sure to update this post.
However, I also know that people rarely post about "everything's fine" experiences- and many seem to like the Yak.
Got a nearly-new Nomad, and everything is fine :)
For real, though. It's great for me and my riding style. I'll go way out of my way to avoid busy highways with narrow shoulders where possible, and I putter around and meander a lot. That right there negates the two more serious drawbacks. The trailer does slow me down, but I feel less worn out at the end of the day - I think it's because I don't have to constantly balance panniers. It's easier to stop and park, and I don't have to worry about stressing my rear wheel or frame. So far this'll all go for any two-wheel trailer, but I vastly prefer the design of the nomad to the quik pack 'big waterproof bag in a cart'. It's a lot easier to get into and arrange your gear in. It's not 100% weatherproof, but it airs out and doesn't get that rubber-and-sweat stink. Water coming into the trailer will most likely come from the bottom, from splashes or fender spray, so a tarp under your gear solves the problem.
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