Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    My Bikes
    Trek5000
    Posts
    949
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Offroad Touring: Panniers or Trailer

    This year I plan to do a lot of off-road touring such as the Colorado Trail and I am trying to decide if I want to use panniers or a Bob type trailer. I know what to expect with panniers but I've never used a trailer. Can anybody who has used a trailer off-road share their experiences?

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,988
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TomM
    This year I plan to do a lot of off-road touring such as the Colorado Trail and I am trying to decide if I want to use panniers or a Bob type trailer. I know what to expect with panniers but I've never used a trailer. Can anybody who has used a trailer off-road share their experiences?
    I'm not a big fan of trailers on-road but off-road, I feel that they are a necessity. On something as rugged as the Colorado Trail, any thing on the bike isn't going to help - panniers or trailer but the trailer doesn't interfere with your suspension. You might actually be able to ride up and down a lot of the stuff on the trail with a trailer. I doubt that you would with panniers.

    I've ridden both off-road and the trailer is far better...neither is ideal but the trailer is a better way to go.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,413
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It sort of depends what you mean by "off road". If you're talking about dirt roads that are relatively smooth and kept up then a trailer is a good choice.

    If you're talking about horrible roads resembling mountain bike terrain then panniers are a better choice. Remember that on this sort of stuff you might have to portage the pannier over sections separately from your bike. I've done this before and while it's a lot of fun, it takes a lot of time and such tours cover very low mileage each day so plan on reduced mileage in such cases.

  4. #4
    40 yrs bike touring
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara,CA.
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon Ti Rock N Road [1989], Fat Chance Mountain Tandem [1988]
    Posts
    902
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Off-Road touring translates as fire road and single track to me. I have been using panniers on my unsuspended bike forever on this kind of terrain and do not plan to change to a BoB. I have toured offroad with those who do use BoBs. My friends like the trailers for their high capacity but curse them when struggling with the overload at times or when forced to carry them over downed trees on trails. I have heard and observed their complaints about rutted roads redirecting the BoB off line and the BoB pushing and unweighting the rear wheel of the bike with traction loss.
    As usual each method has good and bad points.There is no correct answer to this question. Choose your poison, live with it and just go ride.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    370
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used the Bob Ibex suspension trailer with an older, rigid mountain bike.
    It works great on singletrack provided the trail is non-technical, free from deadfall and you don't have steep hills to climb. Pushing your bike and loaded trailer up steep hills is brutal.
    For something like the Colorado Trail. I'd be inclined to go ultra-light (without trailer).
    IMO the best off-road application for using a trailer is on rails to trails and unimproved gated forest service access doubletrack. The limited grade change makes this much more enjoyable.
    When you intersect with singletrack, it's much more fun to unhook the trailer, and do an out and back without all the extra weight.

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If your off-road include long baren stretches, then maybe you need the extra capcity of a trailer for water or food and gear. I would follow my normal preference of bags first then a trailer if I ever need the extra gear. I have done touring on snowmobile trails and they often have technical sections that are twisty not so much like a trials course, but just switches between rocks, steep little climbs, sections of riding through streams and just about anything you can imagine being covered with snow and smooth in the winter. Small capacity paniers with high mounitng racks seem the perfect solution.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •