Cost vrs panniers and racks
On road use
Off road use
Cost vrs panniers and racks
On road use
Off road use
On the road the extra tire rolling resistance and the weight of the trailer being heavier than four panniers, will slow you down. Get a light high pressure tire for the road. If you are riding alone it's not a problem. It could be if you are in a group. Mainly on long rides.
The trailer will take a lot of the stress off of your wheels and your bike. Might make tires last longer too. Of course something big in the trailer is easier.
I think it might be easier to handle the trailer off road than a bike with four panniers.
For me the cost was about the same as my Ortlieb panniers. As for the handling I like them both the trailer tracks nice but sometimes with a heavy load you may get a little whip action at slow speeds.
trailer might be lighter....at 12 pounds (plus dry sak). compare to weight of two racks and
four panniers. difference will be insignificant. of course, with a trailer you'll be able to
carry much more stuff...and you probably will.
don't use the crappy 16" tires from the department stores - the ones made for bmx bikes with
all knobby tread. side knobbies are fine, just be sure to have a solid raised center tread.
the extra wheel will add rolling resistance, offset by the decrease in wind drag. the narrow
trailer in the bike's shadow does not catch the wind like full panniers.
the trailer handles fine on rough roads, but is miserable when walking the bike thru sand.
cost? you can find a decent used bob on ebay for <$150, or the similar yakima trailer
new for less.
Performance puts the BOB on sale on rare occasions. Combined with a 20% off coupon and you can get one at a good discount.
As far as handling goeas, I have a BOB (without suspension) and have no problems with bike stability on paved or very rough dirt/rock jeep roads. It takes a little getting used to the sluggishness of the bike with the trailer attached, but after a while you just forget about it and let the trailer do it's thing back there. On dirt roads you do need to pick out you line ahead of time as the bike is not nearly as nimble with the trailer.
I use my BOB with an MTB and have had it up to about 40 mph (knobby tires really slow you down) on a very steep mountain descent with no stability worries.
The 12 lbs of the trailer is double the weight of my two racks and four panniers. The front panniers make the bike a little more aerodynamic as it shields your legs and feet a little. If you are touring and going 100 miles a day like I do, the 6 lbs. is a big difference. If you are going 20 miles you may never notice.Originally Posted by saddlesores
I'm referring to road riding only.
Maxxis makes or made a high pressure tire that fits the trailer. It's about 95 psi and smooth. Suitable for long road rides. There are others as well, you may have to look hard for them. Off road this may make things worse. Do avoid dept. store tires.
That is an extremely light set of panniers, my rei brand not including racks weigh 9 lb 4 oz. They barely held the gear I took on a 12 day ride down the coast. I was not carrying that much food, shopped as I went. I did have extra clothing and rain gear as it was the 2nd week of October. All told the gear weighed about 55 lb.
I did have a problem one day with wind, and the sail effect of the bags. When it was across the road it made a big negative difference in the bikes handling. I wonder if the same is true for the BOB.
My rack and pannier setup
Jandd Expedition rear rack: 2.2 lbs
Jandd Extreme front rack: 2.2
Arkel t-42 panniers (2550 cu): 5.7
Performance pro panniers (2480 cu): 3.75
total: 13.85 lbs for about 5000 cu inches
Doesn't count the Arkel handlebar bag, which adds a couple more pounds and maybe 450 cu.
Seems to me that if you need to carry a lot, the trailer looks good. If you can get by with 6 pound racks+panniers setup, then that's the way to go.
PS: the bobtrailers website lists the trailer (including dry sak) at 13.5lbs, not 12. The dry sak has a listed capacity of 5600 cu, and the trailer can hold 70lbs.
Last edited by bradw; 01-02-05 at 11:44 AM.
The BOB is flexible in how you use it. Here's a photo of my BOB on a recent trip to Big Bend National Park. I used a backpack instead of the BOB sack so I could ride up into the mountains, then hike to the top to camp.
A point everyone seems to miss is that, if you're really concerned about bein aerodynamic and saving weight, you wouldn't tour! Trailers are good for carrying enough gear for extended and comfortable touring. Tourers who sweat about efficiency and grams should buy a Madone and carry nothing but a water bottle and a credit card!
Agreed. After the 50 pound plus mark, it really doesn't make much of a difference, your bike is LOADED. I have, on occasion, thrown into my loaded panniers cans of food, adding 20% more total weight with little difference in handling or performance. And strong winds suck anyway you look at it, unless they are blowing up your ass!Originally Posted by krispistoferson
I disagree about weight. Every unnecessary pound saved is one pound available for more important cargo or one pound less to haul up the hills. Just because you plan to carry a lot of weight is no reason not to lighten up where possible. In fact, the more you are carrying, the better your opportunity to reduce weight.Originally Posted by krispistoferson
I disagree. It is only common sense to want to reduce weight as much as possible. Especially if you use only a backrack and frontrack like myself. Anothing thing to consider is reducing VOLUME. Probably not so much an issue on a BOB but on a rack/pannier system, volume can be an issue.Originally Posted by krispistoferson
I was really referring to tourists who use a race-oriented approach to loaded touring, which isn't racing. Carbon fiber this-and-that, worrying over whether their panniers are aerodynamic enough(!) cutting the tags out of their clothing to shave micrograms, etc. C'mon, it's a loaded tour, and if weight is THAT important, and money is no object,(ultralight is expensive, cycling or camping,) carry nothing but a credit card! I tour, sometimes with my dog in a trailer, and I don't carry my tuba with me or anything, but dang, why dress like Georg Hincapie and cut your little toes off when you've got 2 to 4 big-ass bags hanging off your bike? I've done ultralight cycling and camping and it's fine for short term stuff, but they call it fully loaded because it's exactly that. Oh well, it's better than touring on a mtb with fat knobbies, which is overkill in the opposite direction...
I am not that concerned about weight either.
Reading your post I take it you use a trailer.
The original post was about cost, and handling.
Cost for me would seem to be about equal, maybe less for the BOB.
What I would like to know above all at this point is the handling.
Do you like your trailer? Any problems?
How does the dog like riding?
Sorry, didn't mean to drift off topic. The dog doesn't like the trailer so much as the destination! I've used just panniers, just a trailer, and both, on a mtb and road bike. I'm assuming you're using a road bike, because newer mountain bike's geometry is hard to load down,(which is unfortunate, since they can make excellent tourers.) If you do tour with a mtb, I would go with the BOB. If you have a roadie, I would only load it down with panniers if it was MADE to be loaded down, I just don't trust racing bikes with that much weight,(but I've seen it done!) My favorite setup is a rear rack and panniers on a steel framed touring bike. I only use the kiddie trailer when I bring the dog along.I've ridden a BOB, and I honestly can't tell a big difference in handling between a single wheel trailer and loaded panniers, but I would definitely think about investing in good quality brakes, with extra pads.
Ah, the constant battle of which is better. I prefer panniers myself, as I like that "flying a 747" feeling the bike has.
I have ridden my racing bike with a Yakima trailer and around 30 pounds, and it almost felt as if nothing was back there, but that was only for an overnight trip on the insanely easy Natchez Trace.
I think I would like to tour with both. I like the panniers, but I would like to bring a dutch oven with me this summer. I tour with kids, and usually get around 25-40 miles per day, so I tend to LOAD UP so that I can get a workout (personally, I would ride around 70-90 per day). Many times on tour, I have been caught carrying the loads of a kid or two for a day, when they might have knee pain, or starting to get sick. (pic below) was taken in Ireland when one kid had a platellar tendonitis come back, and I think they load weight was around 100 pounds. I had her rear panniers on my front lowrider, my rears (donned with Park AK-32 toolset and EMT level med kit) strapped around the upper load in the rear.
At one point three years ago, I had a similar incident where a kid had a problem, and then the others decided to buy a 20 pound bag of charcoal and a sack of potatoes for dinner, both of which ended up on my bike. I think load weight that time was around 140 pounds.
Those are the times I wish I had a trailer with me, in addition to the panniers. I think I will do that this year, and throw the dutch oven in there for yummy dinners and some extra workout during the day (dutch oven = 11 pounds of cast iron)
That's a super-nice touring bike!
But, sadly it is no longer. It accompanied me many places, but probably a few too many. It got a bit rusty, and kinda beat, and I didnt trust it loaded anymore.
This year, I just got a Long Haul Trucker, which will get most of the stuff shown there, sans STI levers in favor of more dependable bar-ends. Oh, and full Tiagra. The only way to go. I have run Ultegra triple groups, and all they do is break. 105 does the same. Mountain groups are lame. Tiagra is where the coolest dudes ride. Except wheels, I found LX hubs retrofitted with a solid nutted axle work the best.
Have you considered the Nomad 2 wheel trailer made by www.burley.com ?
I started touring with panniers and didn't like the handling, upgraded to a BOB trailer and didn't like the handling and weight limits then I traded my BOB in to get a Burley Nomad and I recommend it to everyone touring loaded.
If your fully loaded the 2 wheel trailers weight capacity and ease of handling is fantastic, at times I forget the trailer is behind me. There's virtually no wear and tear on your bike, tires last 3 times longer and you can disconnect the trailer in 15 seconds and pull it around like a wagon. The Nomad capacity is 100 lbs if you want to pull it.
When it's hard ride easy. When it's easy enjoy it.
Well after all that, it looks like I am going to have to use panniers, on my next bike.
Reason being according to a BOB tech, the trailer will not work with a Rohloff disc brake speed hub as it has an external gear shifter box. Interestingly the tech also said that it will not work with avid disc brakes.
Here is the response I got:
Our trailers will work with most disc brake hubs, except with the avid
mechanical brakes. I'm not familiar with the disc brake version of the
Rohloff, but our trailer is not compatible with the SRAM dual drive
system which has an external box on the hub. So if your system is similar
to this then it might not work. Hopefully that helps out.
(800) 893-2447 or (805) 541-2554
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For product information and dealer/distributor listings try our site
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I was surprised about the avids.
Since you can't mount a BOB trailer, a non-skewer mounted trailer option in your case would be a two-wheeler like the Nomad.
Nomad wont work with any type of disc brakes.
I used my Burley Nomad with the rear chain stay frame mount hitch on a 1999 F600 Cannondale with Avid disk brakes for 10,000 miles. The clearance was enough (1/2 inch) to not cause any concerns or problems.
Buttttttt I had to change the hitch from the rear chain stay frame mount to the skewer type mount when I bought a 2004 F600 Cannondale with Avid disk brakes, there was no clearance because Cannondale changed the angle of the rear chain stays inward towards the disk. The problem was the hitch would not clear the disk (it cleared the caliber). I had to buy the skewer hitch and it worked fine but the frame mount was bomb proof. Burley say's the skewer can handle 100lb loads. I sort of trust their specs but with reservations. The frame would have to break before the frame mount hitch would fail.
I recommend the Burley Nomad 2 wheel trailer to everyone that tours fully loaded, I would go to a bike shop that sells burley's and try hooking the trailer hitch to my bike before buying anything else.
You know the Burley hitchs hook onto the left side of your rear wheel. The skewer mount should work on any bike. Correct me if I'm wrong.
When it's hard ride easy. When it's easy enjoy it.
I do not think it will work with an internal geared hub like the rohloff or sram or shimano. Highly unlikely with the rohloff and a disc brake as that configuration has an external shift box that seems to get in the way. I emailed burley about this but do not have much hope that it is possible