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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-05-05, 03:40 PM   #1
SpiderMike
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I lived car free for years but I was doing it solo. I was a UBER-bachelor back then. A grocery run for a week's worth, was able to fit in a backpack or my Chrome Stingray bag. Well that all ended when I got a better job, and was able to buy a truck. (Don't beat me).

Now, I am married, and have been commuting by bike for a long time now. Where I live now, there are two grocery stores very close (less than 5 miles). It bugs me to drive for the grocery run. Its more the old car free part of me that is bugged, and the whole less money on gas, and maintenance on the truck is just logical. As for commuting, I have gotten by with alternating between my messy-bags on my kona mtb I converted to SS. The bike is fully rigid, chromo, and is ready for panniers.

I am just looking for the cheapest trailer, for grocery mainly. Secondary purpose would be down at the beach house, to haul the ice chest and fishing gear. Didn't see a trailer FAQ, so I have lurked through some of the post, and seen alot of suggestion about the Nomad trailer. Just wondering the nomad better than the BOB? Or is there a better suggestion? **I am being sincere here, not trying to troll.**

Last edited by SpiderMike; 08-05-05 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-05-05, 04:13 PM   #2
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Burley Nomad, no comparison! Not the cheapest, but you'll thank yourself for making a good choice often. To give an idea of carrying capacity, this holds two "Bankers Boxes" plus a bit more room between them, on top, and then you can get an extra little dealie that goes on top for long things like fishing poles. It will carry 100lbs and you don't even know it's there in corners. You will notice a bit of extra weight to pull on the bike, but it's just very well behaved.

I have not tried a BOB so I can't compare the two, although I've heard here and there the Nomad is considered at least as good as the BOB if not better.
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Old 08-05-05, 04:24 PM   #3
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If you're looking for *cheap* and you mainly are thinking of groceries, check out Ebay and include the Burley children's models in your searching. People will let these go cheap sometimes when the older canvas gets a little skuzzy looking. The kids carriers can do groceries front and back (strap them in in the front). Pulling a kids trailer will get you more respect from cars, the drivers of which seem to feel that whereas jeopardizing your adult life is OK, jeoparding your child's life (or your grocercies) is different.
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Old 08-05-05, 04:56 PM   #4
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Advice I gave before and still holds true....
(and I'm still using this trailer 25 years later)

"Yep, do as I did.....build your own trailer. I used these
plans many years ago using an old oak skid for framing and
left over roofing plywood and some free 20" bike wheels
(20" is way better for both weight and tracking) along with
some left over enamel paint I had. Total cost: $15 for tires,
tubes and hardware.

Now the good part.....This completed trailer tested out as
able to carry 250lbs repeatedly!!!!!!! Sure I was in granny
gear but I NEVER worried about breaking this trailer that is
still in use to this day.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/6552/ "

*
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Old 08-05-05, 06:25 PM   #5
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Check out Burley's trailers at http://burley.com/products/trailers/ The Nomad and the Flatbed are their cargo trailers. Several people on this forum seem to love their Nomads. But the Flatbed is cheaper and might be a good choice if you're going to haul coolers and oversized fishing poles.

Myself, I've been trying to decide between a Nomad and a Flatbed for awhile. A few days ago I finally ordered a Nomad -- I'm a city dweller and I wanted the narrower wheelbase. But I do love the sturdy, utilitarian look of the Flatbed! I'll post something when I've received my Nomad and had a chance to try it out.
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Old 08-05-05, 07:26 PM   #6
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I have a Flatbed and my one complaint is that the bed is made out of fabric, probably vinyl. It'll only take one sharp object to ruin the whole thing. It really needs more support, at least some crossbeams, to make it truly utilitarian.

I second MarkS suggestion of getting one on the cheap at eBay or Craigslist. People dump em all the time.

But that scratch built one on the Mother Earth zine from TightWad's post looks like the best!
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Old 08-06-05, 01:10 AM   #7
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Yep an older Burley will work too, and Burley will sell parts for the old ones too - very cool company.
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Old 08-06-05, 11:23 PM   #8
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I've had a model64 bikesatwork.com trailer since early July.
300lbs capacity truss trailer which seriously rocks. Uses 16" nylon wheels and it has a great hitch.
If you're carfree but you need car-boot capacity this is something you need to check out.
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Old 08-08-05, 01:19 PM   #9
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my partner and i also use a Bikesatwork. it's not the cheapest but for hauling big things like ice chests, cases of wine, bales of pinewood chips, 50lb bags of chicken feed, etc, it has few parallels.

if your ice chest is not-that-big, the Nomad seems like the best choice, or, as many have suggested, getting a used kid-trailer is probably the cheapest route of all. Maybe go that way and see how you like it...if you stick with the bike-hauling, you will soon see that $200-400 for a good quality trailer that will handle your weight and capacity needs is money well spent.
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Old 08-09-05, 06:26 PM   #10
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if you are looking for very cheap...
i found an old baby trailer in the trash and stripped it down and gave it a board bottom. i've carried friends in it and have had it for years. it's ugly, but it holds twice as much (size AND weight) as my bob (although i don't mean to bag on the bob).
just my two cents, though. i'm gonna look at tightwad's plans, that sounds pretty good.
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Old 08-09-05, 09:18 PM   #11
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I had quite a conversation with a guy with a BOB trailer on his bike on the weekend, he doesn't like how the BOB "influences" his balance and cornering, we compared our BOB and Burley Nomad experiences, and it looks like he's going to get rid of his Bob and get a Nomad. Just my 2c
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Old 08-15-05, 10:51 AM   #12
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How about a shopping cart bike? Take a look over here.

To make it more utilitarian, you could just make it a trailer.
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Old 08-15-05, 03:20 PM   #13
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I pull a BOB Yak daily and really like the way it pulls...BUT I don't carry very much weight. I use it to carry necessities back and forth from work...most of the time what I carry I could fit in panniers, but the BOB is great because I can use it with several different bikes. My wife also uses it on her bike for grocery shopping. I have hauled groceries, and some cargo with it, but if the weight gets very high or the load is top heavy it adversly affects the bikes handling. So...if you don't carry a lot of weight and like a smooth pulling trailer, the BOB is great. If you are going to carry heavier loads, you definitely want a two wheel design.

As an aside, I live in Ames where the bikesatwork trailers are made. Jim Gregory, who runs bikesatwork can be seen regularly pulling huge loads on his trailers. He uses them in his delivery service. He has some pictures on his web site with two large trailers attached to his bike with hundreds of pounds of cargo:

www.bikesatwork.com
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Old 08-16-05, 02:45 AM   #14
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Wike. I have the large flatbed - reasonably cheap, and I can bungee anything to it, including my studio light kit. I got two plastic bins ($6 each) for grocery shopping.

http://www.wike.ca/lct.htm
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Old 08-16-05, 10:16 AM   #15
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Here are instructions to build your own from old bike parts. I haven't tried it but it looks like a sensible design--even attaches at the stays!

http://re-cycle.org/trailer/instructions.html
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Old 08-16-05, 10:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
Wike. I have the large flatbed - reasonably cheap, and I can bungee anything to it, including my studio light kit. I got two plastic bins ($6 each) for grocery shopping.

http://www.wike.ca/lct.htm
I am really impressed by the Wike site...those flatbeds are the most practically-designed, reasonably-priced trailers I have seen yet.
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Old 08-16-05, 10:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weed eater
I am really impressed by the Wike site...those flatbeds are the most practically-designed, reasonably-priced trailers I have seen yet.
I second that. Oh and looked those trailer instructions, that looks like it would fun to build. But I'll stick to buying a trailer to start with.


And the comments on handling. Wish my LBS had trailer to stock, let alone to demo. Come to think of it, I have yet to see a trailer in any Houston area LBS I have visited. Sure some of that is timing.

Oh and thanks, and thanks again for y'all's input.
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Old 08-16-05, 11:00 AM   #18
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the biggest thing that will affect handling is whether it attaches at the rear axle stays or not. Some trailers attach to your seat post--avoid those.

seems like 1 wheel or 2 has all kinds of pros and cons. I generally recommend 2 wheels for utility/in-town cargo use, since you can stop and put down the bike with the trailer attached, the trailer can stand on its own, etc. But I've never tried the 1-wheel models. I understand they are great for lighter loads, longer trips, and things where tracking is essential, like off road.
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Old 08-16-05, 11:46 PM   #19
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In all fairness, a Burley Nomad would have a hard time on the singletrack.
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Old 08-17-05, 10:46 AM   #20
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I have owned both 1 and 2 wheeled trailers. The BOB trailer (1 wheeled) has much better handling characteristics than the 2 wheelers when lightly loaded. You really can't tell its back there other than the bike feels heavier when pedalling and you hear it bounce around now and then. However, when the load gets heavy the BOB's handling characteristics decline rapidly and the two wheelers are far better.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:26 AM   #21
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Your talking about pulling with a bike , Has anyone ever tried pulling one with a trike. I'm thinking of the Nomad behind my catrike with small ice chest for store runs.
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Old 08-20-05, 02:55 PM   #22
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The guy I purchased my BOB trailer from used it on a trike. I think he just put a BOB skewer through the drive wheel on the trike and was good to tow.
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Old 08-20-05, 03:12 PM   #23
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just go all out. http://www.pedicab.com/

i have a pedicab im thinking of getting a box for it,man you could haul any thing.ive had 700 pounds in the back off my cab
thats my two cents
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Old 08-20-05, 03:17 PM   #24
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depends on how much weight you want to haul around. I did 137# on the burley flatbed but thats pushing it. I wanted a traielr that could really haul loads. i was going to get one from bikes at work but they were 6 weeks out. so I built three of them. the green one is for 300# loads so I can haul about anything. the yellow is for work to haul lumber and such about 200# I towed a 200# box 10 miles with it.
I jsut finished a thrird that I forgot to take a picture of. I made the yellow one from my burley flatbed ad it cost less then buying the parts to do so from someone. but then I wanted a light trailer for small stuff so I made a ligth one that was simple to build and uses the same wheels as the yellow one.
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Old 08-20-05, 04:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Your talking about pulling with a bike , Has anyone ever tried pulling one with a trike. I'm thinking of the Nomad behind my catrike with small ice chest for store runs.
The Catrike is a two-in-front trike, yes? So you'd just use the rear wheel as you would on a 2-wheel bike. And enjoy the benefits of a lower center of gravity, better stability, and a smaller/stronger wheel, of course!
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