Certifiable Bike "Expert"
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
I think topography, gearing, and size of the kid(s) are the main issues. You'll always be able to pull them downhill, but climbing can be difficult if there's a lot of it and your gears don't go too low.
Well, I guess rider strength is as much a factor as the rest.
One thing that you DO have to consider is the way the hitch mounts. Most trailers today are going towards skewer-mount hitches. These will work with any bike. But the older Burleys were made with a hitch that clamped itself into a corner of the rear triangle. These hitches are easy to use, BUT they will eventually rub a spot on your seatstay, and you can end up hitting them with your heel on a road bike (short chainstays). Plus, for a carbon frame or stays, you may not want to clamp onto them at all. Best to go with a skewer mount.
My personal experience is that the gearing of a standard road bike is fine -- but I mainly pull the trailer on bike paths
, and they generally don't have severe hills. For hills, having a trailer on the back increases your weight by about 20lbs (30 for cheap steel-framed trailers) plus the weight of the kid. So that makes whatever hill you're climbing that much more severe.
180-lb rider on 20-lb road bike pulling 40-lb kid in 20-lb trailer up an 8% grade
is equal to
180-lb rider on 20-lb road bike climbing up a 8%*(260/200) = 10.4% grade