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  1. #1
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Trailer for towing a bike... with a bike?

    I like to ride a mountain bike trail about 12 road miles from my house. Problem is, I've tried riding the MTB to the trail and I didn't like it. I've ridden my commuter bike down there, but it's no good for riding the MTB trail.

    Soooooo... does anyone know of a bike trailer I could pull with my commuter bike? Or plans for same?

    I have this crazy notion, once I find such a trailer and get used to pulling it, to head out to Moab and other great Western MTB destinations....

    Well, it's a nice dream. First I'll see if I can handle the 12 miles. Anyone know of such a trailer?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  2. #2
    nomatt
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    Extracycle (see website) makes a yakima style gutter rack enabling you to 'tow' yer mtb. with yer commuter/xtracycle.

  3. #3
    nomatt
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    sorry, thats xtracycle, not extracycle.

  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Can you disassemble your mtb and put it in a Bob yak?

  5. #5
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Can you disassemble your mtb and put it in a Bob yak?
    That's a good idea, especially for a long haul, and I hadn't considered it. My vision has been to pull up at the trailhead, lock my commuter/trailer, roll my MTB off the back and start riding. But taking the wheels off the MTB and carrying it as 'cargo' makes a lot of sense, and seems a lot more simply doable.

    I've been envisioning something like this: http://www.marinersdirect.com/shorts...p?ITEM=6501200

    ...only made to carry, and be towed by, a bicycle. The best idea I've had on my own is to buy one of these-
    http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trailers/

    ...and 'somehow' modify it to carry a bicycle.

    I'm still curious to know if this has been done, or if anyone with a little more design/building skill than me has any ideas.
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  6. #6
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomatt
    xtracycle (see website) makes a yakima style gutter rack enabling you to 'tow' yer mtb. with yer commuter/xtracycle.
    This looks like a good idea, too. But I'm not sure if want to take the total xtracycle plunge. Do you have an xtracycle? If so, do you like it?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    I've carried my dui bike (old xmart huffy) on the trailer of my commuter without any problems. itsa bike at work 64"?? version. I can carry *anything* my car can now.

  8. #8
    ... thelung's Avatar
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    If your commuter has a rear rack on it, there should be some way you can rig up a mount for your mtb's front fork to attach to the rack, and sort of drag the mtb behind you with the rear wheel on the ground. If you can weld it wouldnt be hard to set something up to do the job, but I imagine the handling would be pretty terrible... would probably be worse than just riding the mtb there.

  9. #9
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR
    I've carried my dui bike (old xmart huffy) on the trailer of my commuter without any problems. itsa bike at work 64"?? version. I can carry *anything* my car can now.
    Rock! That's probably what I'll get. Those things look incredibly useful. Do you stand the Huffy upright on the trailer, or lay it down flat, or what?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  10. #10
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelung
    If your commuter has a rear rack on it, there should be some way you can rig up a mount for your mtb's front fork to attach to the rack, and sort of drag the mtb behind you with the rear wheel on the ground. If you can weld it wouldnt be hard to set something up to do the job, but I imagine the handling would be pretty terrible... would probably be worse than just riding the mtb there.
    I'd had similar thoughts based on this thing:

    Yeah the handling probably would suck, wouldn't it? And I don't weld (but I have been wanting to learn...).
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member jasongilbert's Avatar
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    I've always thought something based on this concept, but for adult bikes, would be nice.


    It's called a Trail-Gator

  12. #12
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Here are some trailers that you can move almost any thing on.
    http://www.bikesatwork.com/

  13. #13
    nomatt
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    aint really gonna tow a bike without adding something substantial, like an xtra, big ass trailer, etc., unfortunately.
    yeah, ive got an extra linked to a rockhopper and have made my own gutter type rack, not unlike what they sell. works flawlessly: balance? check. handling? check.
    unfortunately, they have recently gone way up in price wh. may ruin the xtracycle experiment.
    maybe a trailgator type thing would work for an adult bike if you removed the front wheel?

  14. #14
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    The Trailgator would work, even if you keep the front wheel, as long as no adult is riding that bike! However, the bar is fairly heavy to carry around most/all the time and the clamp on the headset of the towed bike takes some time to install and does a number on the paint. In other words, it might be an acceptable solution for a bike you pull all the time, but not for an occasional use.

    Another solution I have heard a few times is to install a front wheel clamp (such as those used on car roof racks) on the floor of a Burley Nomad trailer. The bike without front wheel fits in the trailer and you just have to attach the front wheel separately.

    One that doesn,t really work: I attached a bike to the left side of my bike: her front wheel against my rear rack. It worked, but it took a long time to attach and wasn't too stable. Perfect example of an emergency solution, nothing more.
    Michel Gagnon
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  15. #15
    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budster
    Rock! That's probably what I'll get. Those things look incredibly useful. Do you stand the Huffy upright on the trailer, or lay it down flat, or what?
    I just laid it on the side and put some bungees around it for stability...you wouldn't BELIEVE the crazy looks I got from the cagers!

    Between the studded tires & trailer, they've been my two BEST investment's I've made maybe ever....definiteley reccommended for anyone considering being carfreee.

  16. #16
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR
    I just laid it on the side and put some bungees around it for stability...you wouldn't BELIEVE the crazy looks I got from the cagers!

    Between the studded tires & trailer, they've been my two BEST investment's I've made maybe ever....definiteley reccommended for anyone considering being carfreee.
    I'm going to buy one as soon as I can afford it. Thanks for the excellent review.
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  17. #17
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    OK, now I feel a little dumb.

    Browsing the truss trailer accessories page, I found this:


    That's exactly what I'm looking for, and it was right there all the time....

    http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trai...cessories.html
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  18. #18
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    See, this dialogue helped you find what you wanted. It all worked out.

  19. #19
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    See, this dialogue helped you find what you wanted. It all worked out.
    That's what it's all about! No, wait -- I have bikeforums confused with the hokey pokey again, don't I?

    Anyway, the BikesAtWork trailer looks like a perfect solution for the 12 mile trips -- but I like your idea (carry disassembled MTB in BOB trailer) for longer (as in 12 hundred mile) trips.

    But maybe the BikesAtWork is good for long trips, too? Has anyone toured with one?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  20. #20
    Patrick Barber weed eater's Avatar
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    we have a smaller (the smallest) bikes at work trailer. we've carried bikes on it, in disassembled state. I was going to point out their nifty bike-rack thing but you found it already. Note that the bike rack option doesnt work on the smallest-size trailer (it's not long enough).

    The BAW trailers weigh 30lbs empty, which is perhaps its only disadvantage compared to...anything else (I can't praise these trailers enough! Ours allowed us to ditch our car for good. YOu can pile whatever you want onto them. I could go on, but I always do...just get one!).

    If I were going to tour with a trailer, I'd use a Burley Nomad, but if I wanted to tour 1200 miles with a MTB in tow, I would choose a BAW simply because I know the bike wouldn't damage the trailer. It would be a lot of added weight though.

    However...rather than tour 1200 miles and carry your extra bicycle behind you, why not tour with one bike and then carry an extra set of wheels on the trailer for offroad riding? For example, you could tour on a Surly cross check (or equiv), and take along a set of tough, knobby-tired wheels for the trails. Or you could tour on a MTB and use a set of wheels fitted with narrow slicks for the touring, and carry your big knobbies on your trailer.

    Guess that wouldn't work so great if you are using a heavily-suspended MTB. But it's something to think about.

    and no matter what you come up with, much respect for the notion of carrying your MTB to the trail in something other than a car!

    regards

    patrick

  21. #21
    likes avocadoes
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    A friend of mine (and weed eater's) Towed his racing bike in the small Blue Sky cyclecart being pulled by a touring Bike Friday from Northern Oregon to somewhere in Northern California. When he had problems with the Friday, he just stapped out the trailer hitch and towed the Friday with the racing bike the rest of the way to Berkeley. I use the larger version of the Blue Sky and have carried up to three bikes at a time with it (with front wheels off.) http://blueskycyclecarts.com/

  22. #22
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I think if I were doing the 1200 mile trips thing, I'd go for the weightweenie solution:

    rigid mountain bike with not-too-narrow slick tires and cowhorn bars or drop bars, for on and off road.

    But then, if I were a good enough mountain biker to do really technical offroad stuff, I'd probably find myself wishing for wider bars.

    Hey, that gives me another idea: copy Sheldon Brown's goofy idea of a bike with one pair of drop bars and one pair of MTB bars. Still about half the weight of two bikes and a small trailer.
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  23. #23
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weed eater
    rather than tour 1200 miles and carry your extra bicycle behind you, why not tour with one bike and then carry an extra set of wheels on the trailer for offroad riding? For example, you could tour on a Surly cross check (or equiv), and take along a set of tough, knobby-tired wheels for the trails. Or you could tour on a MTB and use a set of wheels fitted with narrow slicks for the touring, and carry your big knobbies on your trailer.
    Quote Originally Posted by cerewa
    I think if I were doing the 1200 mile trips thing, I'd go for the weightweenie solution:

    rigid mountain bike with not-too-narrow slick tires and cowhorn bars or drop bars, for on and off road.

    But then, if I were a good enough mountain biker to do really technical offroad stuff, I'd probably find myself wishing for wider bars.

    Hey, that gives me another idea: copy Sheldon Brown's goofy idea of a bike with one pair of drop bars and one pair of MTB bars. Still about half the weight of two bikes and a small trailer.
    These are good ideas. Right now, the 1200 mile trip is just a mental exercise. Hell, the 12 mile trip is just a mental exercise, since $400 trailers weren't on my Xmas wishlist.

    For now, I'm just going to ride my hardtail MTB down to the trail. Soon, really!

    If I were to tour now, I'd use my rigid MTB. I tried that bike on the local trail once. Not good. I had to crawl around bumps which I breeze over with front shocks, and I got some debris caught in the rear fender, which found its way into the rear derailleur -- and trashed it. Bleh.

    But I do like the one bike idea. I'm not such an MTB hammer that I need full suspension. Maybe a MTB with front shocks, but I tune them super tight for the road, then open them up a little for the sweet Colorado singletrack?

    As this thread is progressing, a new idea is growing on me: sort of the classic American on-the-road vacation, but with one huge variation: a bike instead of a car.

    The MTB on a Bikes at Work trailer would be the pièce de résistance, an ironic, hard-earned -- but still thoroughly useful and enjoyed -- parody of classic American, pre-planned-frivolous fun!

    In that spirit, I could also get South of the Border and This Car Climbed Mt. Washington bumper stickers for the trailer....

    Who's with me?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

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  24. #24
    Climb on my trusty steed BeTheChange's Avatar
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    Go on a tour and you will never look back. It's THE best way to see any country. The hardtail would be a good idea if you were going for one bike. Probably a more racy hardtail with an air shock up front to save wieght. Hell, my stumpjumper pro weights less than my Surly LHT. For my money though I would get a LHT or Crosscheck so I could have racks and fenders and then just bring some foldable cyclocross tires with me for the mountainbiking if I was going on a long distance tour.

    I can't wait untill this summer when I can do some nice touring. As for now though I'll have to settle with my ecology class in Costa Rica in a few days. I have a feeling I'm going to miss college.
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
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  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Trailer? Swing that bee-ach over your shoulder like a real man Very useful technique when salvaging bikes from dumpsters. My great-grandfather was a carpenter and used to carry a full lengh ladder on his shoulder to the job.

    Ghost riding a bicycle is also an option for transporting bicycles short distances. It's a lot easier than you'd think; you don't even need to put your feet down at intersections because of the third support your arm and the second bicycle give you.

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