Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Bicycle Evangelist BeSelfPropelled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Home Grown Hard Tail, Schwinn Home Grown 4 Banger, Torelli Spada Road Bike, Santana Arriva Tandem, Dyno Cruiser - Single Rider Tandem Length Crusier, Trek 400 - My Commuter Bike
    Posts
    46
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Panniers or Trailer?

    I'm planning a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway from VA to NC, about 540 miles and my plan is to camp along the way. In May I did the 340 mile Great Allegheny Passage to the C&O Trail from Pittsburgh to DC Ride (videos) and used rear panniers only and stayed at Hostels, Camping Cabins, one night at a hotel and even one night at a bike shop in Hancock, MD:
    IMG_0425.jpgIMG_0430.jpgIMG_0433.jpg
    I know that the weight distribution on the bike wasn't the greatest but I didn't carry a tent or cooking supplies so the weight was very reasonable. I coverted my Schwinn Home grown hard tail to be more of a rail trail crusier:
    MB2.jpgMB1.jpg
    My road bike is a Torelli without a single braze on to mount anything and it is the bike I intend to use on the Blue Ridge Parkway ride.
    imgp0225.jpg
    After doing some research I found that I can get a front rack that will mount on these bikes but they are not optimal typically being low rider racks. My other option would be to get a BOB trailer and tow everything. I'm pretty sure that my wife would murder me if I suggested getting another bike (I have 6 now) so investing in a touring bike isn't an option. The cons I see of the BOB trailer are weight and the ability to carry the bike if I need to which I did on the C&O Trail. There were stairs in a few places and one set withont a bike rail.

    Your experiences and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks - Johnny P - Be Self Propelled

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    40,071
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like My Carry Freedom City trailer .. it folds flat and tows by a hitch under the QR. I use it with My Brompton.. both fold..

    big sling bag , will carry on your back, snap, buckle, off the bike, like a messenger bag.

    Terms changed so US Importer did not re order from Scottish company,
    but they will sell direct from the UK.
    you can shoulder, the bike, and tow the 2 wheel trailer up stairs
    if needed.

    BoB trailers are popular for road bike tourists..
    lots come thru here on the OR coast.

    and the Xtrawheel... another 1 wheel trailer
    uses a 2nd front wheel, same as your bike, if you wish,
    to carry 2 rear panniers on It.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-04-12 at 05:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Panniers. Trailers suck, especially on downhills, they mess up the handling.

    What's wrong with low riders? Those are better.

    You can get racks that attach to bikes w/o formal rack attachments.

    Example: Tubus Fly with a quick release adapter. I think Delta and Old Man Mountain have options too.

    Talk to Wayne at www.thetouringstore.com he'll help you figure it out and sell you good racks at reasonable prices.
    ...

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    40,071
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You do have that Beam rack already on another bike ..
    use it and front panniers, for the heavier stuff,
    and you are good to go..

    trip aint that far..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-05-12 at 11:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    898
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BeSelfPropelled View Post
    I'm planning a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway from VA to NC, about 540 miles and my plan is to camp along the way. In May I did the 340 mile Great Allegheny Passage to the C&O Trail from Pittsburgh to DC Ride (videos) and used rear panniers only and stayed at Hostels, Camping Cabins, one night at a hotel and even one night at a bike shop in Hancock, MD:
    IMG_0425.jpgIMG_0430.jpgIMG_0433.jpg
    I know that the weight distribution on the bike wasn't the greatest but I didn't carry a tent or cooking supplies so the weight was very reasonable. I coverted my Schwinn Home grown hard tail to be more of a rail trail crusier:
    MB2.jpgMB1.jpg
    My road bike is a Torelli without a single braze on to mount anything and it is the bike I intend to use on the Blue Ridge Parkway ride.
    imgp0225.jpg
    After doing some research I found that I can get a front rack that will mount on these bikes but they are not optimal typically being low rider racks. My other option would be to get a BOB trailer and tow everything. I'm pretty sure that my wife would murder me if I suggested getting another bike (I have 6 now) so investing in a touring bike isn't an option. The cons I see of the BOB trailer are weight and the ability to carry the bike if I need to which I did on the C&O Trail. There were stairs in a few places and one set withont a bike rail.

    Your experiences and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks - Johnny P - Be Self Propelled
    Is there a reason why you need a trailer?

    Adding a tent, cooking set, sleeping bag plus thermarest won't take much space right.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  6. #6
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Baltimore/DC
    Posts
    2,442
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did the *** with a trailer. Since it is flat I never really felt it at all. I gave up on the trailer after I rode the dirt backroads of West Virginia. The hills were really steep with loose rocks. I felt the trailers weight the entire time. Now the BRP is smooth BUT is just as steep. I would go with panniers and pack lightly. A trailer with 2 wheels is easier on the downhills, more stability. That's what I use to use.

    I was planning on this trip this fall but a friends sickness has put a hold on my adventure. Might still go.
    I did a lot of research on the route and was stunned buy the climbing. Some very serious hills. Sometimes the downhills are worse than the ups when fog shrouds the area. Fill up on water whenever you can, when leaving the parkway to refill be ready for steep returns. You can take a train to Greenville SC, bike(1 day) to the BRP and bike back home. Enjoy

  7. #7
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    West Central FL
    My Bikes
    Specialized, Felt, Surly, Masi,Giant
    Posts
    383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Panniers. Trailers suck, especially on downhills, they mess up the handling.

    What's wrong with low riders? Those are better.

    You can get racks that attach to bikes w/o formal rack attachments.

    Example: Tubus Fly with a quick release adapter. I think Delta and Old Man Mountain have options too.

    Talk to Wayne at www.thetouringstore.com he'll help you figure it out and sell you good racks at reasonable prices.
    +1 on The Touring Store Wayne was a huge help when I was setting up our Truckers.
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

    11 Giant Talon 1, 10 Masi 3VC, 08 Long Haul Trucker, 08 Felt Curbside, 99 Specialized Allez

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Gunnar Crosshairs, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,150
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    That is a tough choice because your Torelli frame is not designed for touring so the stays are probably too short and the frame not designed for carrying loads. The short stays mean that you might very well be kicking the rear panniers when pedaling. Even if you can find a way to mount panniers front and rear, the frame is likely to be noodly -- particularly if you don't balance the weight well front and rear. I HAVE a touring bike but was rudely surprised by how poorly it handled when loaded just using the rear rack and panniers.

    I would be inclined to try the trailer route rather than adapting a frame not designed for carrying loads. Do you know anyone who would let you try out a BOB trailer to see how the bike handles? I have read reports from many cyclists who have toured successfully on non-touring bikes using BOB trailers. You obviously won't be able to ride as fast and carefree as unloaded, but that would be true with a touring bike as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    My Bikes
    1995? Trek 830 (with mods); 1980ish Fuji S12-S
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After having tried panniers on my MTB-> tourer I am going more the trailer plus front panniers route because I just hate kicking my heels into panniers. I have tried mounting them further back, but then the handling is all screwy in front and the bags flap around a lot more. I got the idea for a BoB type trailer and front panniers from the Three Wheel Journey guy (he has a blogspot blog that will come up if you search for Three Wheel Journey) and so I am giving that a shot. I got a trailer from CL and I am looking at putting some lowriders or similar on my front forks. So far, pulling the trailer with a dummy load seems to be working well for me. I have pulled both two wheel trailers with a curving arm and now this BoB, and I will say that the two wheeler trailers mess up my handling more and plop back and forth on me a lot more.

    I think, like saddle choice, it's really a matter of personal prefence and fit. If I didn't have size 13 feet I'd probably be keener on the idea of rear panniers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,559
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    That is a tough choice because your Torelli frame is not designed for touring so the stays are probably too short and the frame not designed for carrying loads. The short stays mean that you might very well be kicking the rear panniers when pedaling. Even if you can find a way to mount panniers front and rear, the frame is likely to be noodly -- particularly if you don't balance the weight well front and rear. I HAVE a touring bike but was rudely surprised by how poorly it handled when loaded just using the rear rack and panniers.
    I will comment that a stiff road bike with short stays may just be less noodly than some touring bikes because of the short stays. My 1900-ish vintage Cannondale crit bike is very stiff and I happily did the southern tier from Sandiego to Sarasota on it albeit with a light load.

    BTW, I have found mounting a rack with P clamps to work well if you keep the load light and maybe even if you don't.

    Whether that will all work well for the OP will depend on a lot of factors including how much they carry.

  11. #11
    Gone.
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm curious where you had to carry your bike on the C&O.

    Anyway, my personal preference is a BOB trailer. Front panniers can help with weight distribution and give you some more space.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    40,071
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I now have a couple trailers , for the utility at home..

    when I saw I could use my folded up Brompton, sitting on top of the
    CF-C trailer I had to get one , with visions of taking it in places I had to Bypass
    on previous trips when the security of places with parking attendants
    denied any courtesy of, let alone,taking responsibility for,
    keeping an eye on my loaded bikes gear while I went inside..

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    898
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    That is a tough choice because your Torelli frame is not designed for touring so the stays are probably too short and the frame not designed for carrying loads. The short stays mean that you might very well be kicking the rear panniers when pedaling. Even if you can find a way to mount panniers front and rear, the frame is likely to be noodly -- particularly if you don't balance the weight well front and rear. I HAVE a touring bike but was rudely surprised by how poorly it handled when loaded just using the rear rack and panniers.

    I would be inclined to try the trailer route rather than adapting a frame not designed for carrying loads. Do you know anyone who would let you try out a BOB trailer to see how the bike handles? I have read reports from many cyclists who have toured successfully on non-touring bikes using BOB trailers. You obviously won't be able to ride as fast and carefree as unloaded, but that would be true with a touring bike as well.
    The length of the stays make no difference in terms of handling as long as the loads are kept low near the center axle of the rear wheel, except your heels will kick panniers. The only issue with a road bike is its dynamic load bearing characteristics (how well it can dampen torsional vibration caused by side by side movement of panniers) and the dynamic load bearing characteristics of the rack. The only few rack makers that publish dynamic load capacity is Old Man Mountain. Other rack makers; well I take them with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that a $150 OMM Sherpa rack is not only lighter than a $40 Axiom Streamliner DLX axle mount but a heck of lot stiffer too. Mine survived and protected the rear wheel from being tacoed after being ran over by a heavy 18 wheeler truck when my then full suspension touring off-road bike came off my friend's rack and got turned in pretzels!

    The problem with the handling issues is actually not with the bike, but rather with the rider! So your touring bike is not to blame. The reason handling issues became apparent when loaded is due to side to side movement of your heavy panniers that resonates through the frame. What causes these side to side movements? Everyone pedals the bike with some sort of side to side movement. But for experienced riders like those in the Tour De France with a smooth pedalling motion, this side to side movement of the bike is dramatically lessened.

    There are 2 things a hard linkage trailer will expose you to.

    1, Your pedalling motions aren't circular and smooth.
    2, Your lower core is weak (namely the Traversus Abdominus) and thus you have excessive side to side pelvic motion which causes hips to move inwards your bike during the down pedal stroke, causing excessive side to side motion. Best is when your hip and entire leg move down in a straight line like a piston engine.

    With #1, you will feel a tugging motion when you are towing a trailer. In fact, any trailer you tow will do this (forward and brake motion). This is due to dead spots during your pedal stroke. It's actually a good thing because the trailer forces you to pedal smoothly with consistent power input. It's bad when you tour when the trailer keep kicking in the rear every time you pedal poorly.

    With #2, you will feel a fishtailing effect at a much much more grandeur scale, because the side of the road or highway is not flat, it's curved either camber or canter depending which country you bike in (Australia or North America). A hard linkage trailer, like the BOB Yak or Nomad, will pull the bike towards to curve edge of the highway due to gravity. If you have excessive side to side pedaling motion however, this will exacerbate the fish tailing effect. It's apparent especially on the downhill portion as you need to use your strong lower core and hips to stabilize the torsional forces being acted upon the frame of your bike by the trailer by clamping both legs on the top tube.

    I can tell if a rider is strong and experienced by the experience of them towing a trailer. If they have a good experience, that means the rider's pedal motion is smooth and he or she has a good core base. People who have a poor experience with a trailer don't. I own both a 2 wheel Burley trailer as well as a single Maya Cycle trailer and have no problems with handling at all at high speeds going downhill.

    I just like to warn the OP before he gets into trailers as there are certain issues, positive ones, that he needs to be made aware of.

    I love trailers much better than 4 panniers with a rack setup. I can attack hills standing up with less interference from the heavy panniers as long as I keep my core engaged and cycling form smooth.
    Last edited by pacificcyclist; 09-05-12 at 01:49 PM.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  14. #14
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    My Bikes
    74 Schwinn Paramount P10, 88 Fisher Montare
    Posts
    1,683
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So you have 6 bikes? You only showed us 2. What are the other 4? If 6 is your magic number, I'd sell one & buy a touring bike. Keeps you at the same number. Tell your wife it was either that or buy a trailer.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    112
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You will need some low gears to pull a trailer or a loaded bike up some of the climbs on the BRP. It is not flat like the GAP and C&O
    Comotion Speedster, Caad 9, Salsa Vaya

  16. #16
    Bicycle Evangelist BeSelfPropelled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Home Grown Hard Tail, Schwinn Home Grown 4 Banger, Torelli Spada Road Bike, Santana Arriva Tandem, Dyno Cruiser - Single Rider Tandem Length Crusier, Trek 400 - My Commuter Bike
    Posts
    46
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wanted to thank everyone for all of the detailed advice. I really appreciate it! You helped me to clarify what my trade-offs are and like most questions there are multiple options and personal preferences. I've decided, for the short term, that I would go with a rack and front paniers and use my converted mountain bike on the parkway. I can always get a trailer if I decide to do really long rides but the paniers give me options for the future. Putting cargo capability on the Torelli just felt wrong. It's like towing a trailer and putting roof racks on a sports car. You can do it but you just shouldn't. The mountain bike is geared well for lots of climbing and the urban tires allow it to handle well on the road. The top end gearing is limited but I don't expect that to be much of a problem on the parkway where the terrain is constantly rolling. If I beat up the bike a bit I won't be heart broken like I would with the Torelli. I called Wayne at http://www.thetouringstore.com/ and left a voice message. Finding someone who is knowledgable and willing to talk to you is awesome. Thanks for the recommendation. Chicken Man asked what my other 4 bikes are. I have a Schwinn Home Grown 4 Banger MTB that I call Bad Betty. Bad Betty provides a level of confidence off road that can really get you in trouble. I broke 2 bike helmets in Moab on that bike and tore my ACL in Winter Park, CO when my cleats iced onto my pedals. I have a vintage 12 speed Trek 400 that I used for commuting. I work from home now so I'm thinking about converting it to a fixie just for fun. I have a Santana Tandem that I ride with my wife and last but not least a Dyno Roadster which is a beach crusier with the wheel base of a tandem. It is not the least bit practical with a single speed and coaster brakes but I can't help but smile when I ride it. These are photos of Bad Betty, the Trek 400 and my son riding the Dyno (click to enlarge the photos):

    4Banger.jpgTrek400.jpg108_0887.jpg Johnny P Be Self Propelled

  17. #17
    mmustard mrmustard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Stoke On Trent , uk
    My Bikes
    Tonaro Bighit E/Bike
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi i ride a Tonaro Bighit E/Bike and i too could not make my mind up as what to use ,panniers or trailer so as to take all my camping gear on a 4 day trip and after much thought i bought both ,heres a short holiday vid showing my set up iknow i used a E/Bike but i have to say the trailer was brilliant and really good to pull and would hold max weight 30kg which was plenty for my tent, cooking and most of every thing else i would require , heres the clip http://youtu.be/TOlmvCK71o0

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    160
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
    The reason handling issues became apparent when loaded is due to side to side movement of your heavy panniers that resonates through the frame. What causes these side to side movements? Everyone pedals the bike with some sort of side to side movement. But for experienced riders like those in the Tour De France with a smooth pedalling motion, this side to side movement of the bike is dramatically lessened.
    Sorry, not always true. I commonly experienced a "death shimmy" on downhills w/ my LHT, no pedaling involved. Granted, I'm a clyde and was carrying ~45lbs of gear, but still.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    898
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by northerntier View Post
    Sorry, not always true. I commonly experienced a "death shimmy" on downhills w/ my LHT, no pedaling involved. Granted, I'm a clyde and was carrying ~45lbs of gear, but still.
    This is called front end shimming or front end speed wobble and is induced by the front wheel gyroscopic forces which is obviously speed dependent -- going dowhill will do that. This is different from what I was discussing earlier. This is due frame geometry -- longer larger frame with a higher saddle height will be more noticeable than say a smaller frame and low saddle height. What most people do not realize is that the death shimmy is actually attributed mainly to the death grip that people cling too hard to the handlebars going downhill that your shivering action due to the colder air if you are coming down from the mountain pass almost equates to the harmonics of the front end shimmy thus exarcebating the problem. Which is why it is known as the death shimmy. The only fix is to loosen your grip and relax your hands on the bars and steer accordingly. This will reduce or eliminate the shimmy. Others have suggested replacing the headset with a Stronglight A9 and some others have suggested front fat tire with lower tire pressure to slow down the steering.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  20. #20
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,559
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
    What most people do not realize is that the death shimmy is actually attributed mainly to the death grip that people cling too hard to the handlebars going downhill that your shivering action due to the colder air if you are coming down from the mountain pass almost equates to the harmonics of the front end shimmy thus exarcebating the problem. Which is why it is known as the death shimmy. The only fix is to loosen your grip and relax your hands on the bars and steer accordingly. This will reduce or eliminate the shimmy. Others have suggested replacing the headset with a Stronglight A9 and some others have suggested front fat tire with lower tire pressure to slow down the steering.
    A pilot friend of mine refers to it as a PIO (pilot induced oscillation).

Posting Permissions

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