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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 02-23-09, 12:33 PM   #1
manicmike
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do i need a touring bike to tow a trailer?

i'm going to buy a new bike in a month or two and i can't decide if i want to go full dedicated tourer. i would love to do some touring, but most of my riding will be around town, commuting and i'd like to start doing some slow cub riding (i'm not a racer). i definatley want a steel frame and my first though is the lht. but i might be better off with a cyclo cross bike or maybe something like the raleigh clubman.
so any way, my question is, if i just tow a trialer on my occasionl tours, do i even need a touring bike?

thanks, mike

Last edited by manicmike; 02-23-09 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 02-23-09, 01:19 PM   #2
DuckFat
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If you aren't a heavy rider then you should be fine with about any bike except for an ultra-light racer. I'd beef up the rear wheel with a heavier duty wheel and make sure most of the weight was loaded near the rear of the trailer. If you are a heavier rider then a more durable bike may be in order. Some consideration should be made regarding the surfaces you'll ride on. If you'll be riding on gravel rail trails then you'll appreciate the flex in a steel framed touring bike and the ability to run wider tires.
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Old 02-23-09, 01:48 PM   #3
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You can use a trailer with any bike, even one with a carbon frame. Gearing is another matter, however. For touring you'll need a triple and if you're still hurting (with a stock roadie setup) swap out for a 12-27 cassette. Ideal? No, but perfectly fine if you stay on pavement.
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Old 02-23-09, 01:49 PM   #4
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I would think a lot of it would depend on how much you ride, and what you do when you ride, and what you are hauling in your trailer... I think the Geometry of a touring bike is great for commuting/errand running and generally spending more time on your bike. I wanted to look at the LHT for the very same reasons.. I couldn't find one locally and happened to find a Rocky Mountain Sherpa, and I couldn't be happier so far... I would visit the bike stores and test ride everything you can, then pick the most comfortable. f you are pulling a lot of weight in your trailer a mountain bike may be a better solution, from what I have read the biggest concern when pulling a trailer is having good brakes.
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Old 02-24-09, 01:01 AM   #5
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Need a touring bike for pulling a trailer? Nope. One of the nice things about a trailer is that you can hook it up to pretty much any bike when you need it and be completely unencumbered when you don`t need it. They come in handy for other stuff too. On the other hand, since you seem torn between cross bikes and touring bikes (I don`t know what the Clubman is), you ought to consider that either of those options should also work fine for the other riding you`re talking about- commuting and slow club riding. Really can`t go wrong no matter how you slice it.
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Old 02-24-09, 06:52 PM   #6
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I've heard you shouldn't hook a trailer to a carbon frame. I don't know exactly why, I'm just repeating what others have said.

Other than that, you can pull a trailer with most any bike. However, many people, myself included, who have toured both ways - with panniers and pulling a trailer - clearly prefer the panniers. If I was serious about touring, I'd buy a touring bike (and panniers) and use it for other riding. The LHT is an excellent tourer (it's what I have) but there are many others. If I wasn't that into touring and really wanted a different type of bike for other things, I'd consider buying a different bike and pulling a trailer when I wanted to tour. My Bob trailer isn't that bad, I just prefer panniers.

I now stick to panniers for touring on roads. I use the trailer for shopping, and touring with my mountain bike on trails and dirt roads. But if for some reason I had to pull it on a road tour, I wouldn't complain too much.

Does this help at all?
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Old 02-24-09, 07:01 PM   #7
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Yes, you definitely need a touring bike to tow a trailer. Ideally it should be custom built from titanium at great expense.

But seriously, you can tow a trailer with any bike provided you can attach it.

Just look at crazyguyonabike dot com for 1000 examples.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Other than that, you can pull a trailer with most any bike. However, many people, myself included, who have toured both ways - with panniers and pulling a trailer - clearly prefer the panniers.
Many people that have done both clearly prefer trailers also
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Old 02-24-09, 09:50 PM   #9
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Bob

I towed a BOB for many years with a Hybrid bike. I now use a touring bike or converted mountain bike to tour with. I use panniers sometime and the BOB sometime and have no preference.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:34 PM   #10
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You can pull a BOB with practically any bike, including CF. The (minimal) riding stress is on the skewer not the frame. The loaded weight range is not a factor either unless you are extremely heavy packed, then the wheelset becomes an issue, again, not the frame.
Where you DO have to extremely careful is the potential heavy stress put on the chainstays when up-righting a bike/trailer from its resting jack-knifed position. You always need to remember to support the trailer when raising the bike up to its riding position.
I once pulled a BOB coast to coast with a CF Trek 5200 with Racelite wheels. (wouldn't recommend it, but that's a different story). It performed very well.
That said, I strongly prefer panniers on my 520, but that wasn't the original question.
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Old 02-24-09, 11:13 PM   #11
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BOB trailer is about 17lbs.
racks + panniers less than 5lbs.
so the question becomes... what do you need to haul in a trailer?

if you get panniers that "click" off and on, i.e. REI (Novara) Safari Panniers.
its really easy to use a touring bike for commuting/errands.
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