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Thread: High speed Yak

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    Member BananaMan's Avatar
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    High speed Yak

    Just wondering what speeds people have ridden with their Bob Yak trailers?

    Reading the booklet that came with mine it says not to exceed 25mph. We hit 30mph on a quick test ride with it hitched onto the tandem with no ill effects so am just wondering how much faster we can push it.

    Without the Yak we've regularly hit 50mph+ speeds on long Alpine descents but at that pace it's not the time to discover any instabilites!!

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    Got up to I think about 70 km/h a few times when towing a Yak with an mtb. Could have gone faster, but I was a long way from home with no helmet so I bottled it and braked. Didn't feel at all unstable actually.

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    There's a lot less chance of the Bob fishtailing at high speed on a tandem as it would on a single bike. Tandems have much more stability and due to their weight, can resist the twisting/rocking rythmic motions of these single wheeled trailers.
    Last edited by roadfix; 04-05-05 at 12:29 PM.
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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    There's a lot less chance of the Bob fishtailing at high speed on a tandem as it would on a single bike. Tandems have much more stability and due to their weight, can resist the twisting/rocking rythmic motions of these single wheeled trailers.
    I think he is right about this, a tandem should have no problem at any speed.
    I personally have done mid forties a couple times and high thirties many times. This was a very loaded bob and a single bike, with no problems at all, couldn't tell the trailer was there (except stopping with the extra weight).

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    I've had mine pushing into the 50's and no problem.. It was with a mountain bike with disc brakes. I would be afraid of that speed with rim brakes they might get to hot and have a tire blow out...

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    Mine got unruly around 15 mph, the greater the load the worse the swerving. A friend described it as "the tail wagging the dog" - wish I had listened to him. I loaded it too heavy one day, got it up to around 25-30 mph, and it high-sided me.

    I'm a smaller rider, I wonder if that had anything to do with it. Anyone else had this experience?

    Anna
    ...

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    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    It may have a lot to do with ones riding skills/style both with and without a trailer.

    I don't see how a trailer that leans with the bike could possibly "highside" someone, I'm not saying it didn't or couldn't happen, I just don't see how it could.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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    Quote Originally Posted by capsicum
    It may have a lot to do with ones riding skills/style both with and without a trailer.

    I don't see how a trailer that leans with the bike could possibly "highside" someone, I'm not saying it didn't or couldn't happen, I just don't see how it could.
    Well, I had only been riding with the trailer for about 15 days, so it could have been a skill issue, but nothing like that ever happened without the trailer. I was going downhill, the trailer was heavily loaded, and the whole bike started oscillating from side to side, like the trailer was pushing me from behind. I had felt this kind of thing before, and been able to control it by braking gently, but this time, possibly due to speed, load, road conditions (?), the oscillation wouldn't come under control. It just increased until... well, honestly, someone told me I high sided, but I don't remember anything until the ambulance.

    It could have been operator error, but I really don't know what I was doing wrong. I didn't grab a huge handful of brakes.

    Anna
    ...

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    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Valygrl- what is 'too heavy?' i.e. how much do you estimate was in the trailer, particularly compared to how much you weigh?

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    I don't know, never weighed it. But it was about 10-15 pounds heavier than usual - it was a long hot day with no services, so I loaded a lot of extra water. If I had to guess, I'd say around 40-45 pounds of gear, plus whatever the trailer itself weighs. The bike was a 23 pound titanium mountain bike with locked-out fork, no panniers, a small light handlebar bag. I am about 115 pounds.

    After the crash, the bob's tire was messed up, but there's no way to tell if that was cause or effect of the wreck.
    ...

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    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    If you get any occilation without the trailer even at high speed there is somthing wrong either with the bikes mechanics, geometery, setup/fit, or the riders skills.

    Any vehicle requires a totaly new and different set of skills the moment a trailer is attached.
    I'm not saying it was your falt, any number of things could have gone wrong and without having witnessed it there really is no telling what whent wrong.


    I do know of quite a few motorcycles that tow trailers as heavy as the motorcycle and rider combined.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=capsicum]If you get any occilation without the trailer even at high speed there is somthing wrong either with the bikes mechanics, geometery, setup/fit, or the riders skills.

    QUOTE]

    The finest bicycle in the world can develop a "speed wobble" if conditions are right (or should I say wrong). The best way to prevent occilation with or without a trailer is to have your body weight on your feet on a fast decent (not on you saddle). This lowers your center of gravity and make speed wobbles much less likely. It is also a good habit to get into because it also takes the weight off your nether regions which helps to prevent saddle sores. I have made it a habit of putting a little air between me and the saddle anytime I will be coasting for several seconds or more. Just a tip.

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    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaMan
    Just wondering what speeds people have ridden with their Bob Yak trailers?

    Reading the booklet that came with mine it says not to exceed 25mph. We hit 30mph on a quick test ride with it hitched onto the tandem with no ill effects so am just wondering how much faster we can push it.

    Without the Yak we've regularly hit 50mph+ speeds on long Alpine descents but at that pace it's not the time to discover any instabilites!!
    I've had mine up to 88.5kmh [about 56mph] fully loaded going down a long hill ... even passed 3 cars too ... I knew the hill quite well, it was long with a gentle curve that you could see all the way around and had a very long run off that I could also see and there were no side roads ... was quite a buzz though ... it was the hill that leads down from the dam into clyde, central otago, new zealand for those that know it.
    have regularly hit 40+mph lightly loaded, both on tarmac and gravel ... you do have to look a long way ahead so you can move aorund stuff, otherwise you just gotta plough over it ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

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    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Well, I had only been riding with the trailer for about 15 days, so it could have been a skill issue, but nothing like that ever happened without the trailer. I was going downhill, the trailer was heavily loaded, and the whole bike started oscillating from side to side, like the trailer was pushing me from behind. I had felt this kind of thing before, and been able to control it by braking gently, but this time, possibly due to speed, load, road conditions (?), the oscillation wouldn't come under control. It just increased until... well, honestly, someone told me I high sided, but I don't remember anything until the ambulance.

    It could have been operator error, but I really don't know what I was doing wrong. I didn't grab a huge handful of brakes.

    Anna
    ouch, nasty! ... I have never really experienced any oscillations with my BoBYak, and that includes bombing down a bumpy gravel road where the lid on the box bolted to my BoBYak for the time being actually bounced off ... trailer was lightly loaded at the time.
    I do find that you have to be a smoother rider as a sudden change of direction or lean of the bike can throw you. Most of the time I forget the trailer is there until the next uphill bit or the first corner on a downhill as you do have to brake earlier and gentler with that weight behind you and it does push you into the sharp downhill corners too!
    I tow it behind a rather large thick tube aluminium framed MTB ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

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    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    I unloaded a couple of 40 foot cans of BOB trailers this last week, the yak boxes are a pain in the but to stack because they are trapizoidal.(New word? Maybe, maybe not.)
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
    "yuo ned to be deadurcated"

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