Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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You are right, Kevbo, fishtailing is not an issue with the Trail-a-bike.
The main issue is that there is a small unavoidable amount of play in the hitch, which is essentially a bolted-on universal joint. Even if there is almost no play at the beginning, play will develop as the bolts and holes in the universal joint will wear out (been there, done that). Addams has upgraded their hitch 3-4 times over the years (and at least one of these upgrades was due to a preventative recall)
So Trail-a-Bike lateral stability is an issue, but mostly a comfort / enjoyment issue rather than a true safety issue (i.e. it is a pain in the rear end if you ride a whole day and have to counter steer all the time, but you won't fall). I haven't tested it, but I suspect the problem will be much less severe with a load than with a child: after all, the load doesn't wiggle right and left during a ride.
Finally, even if fishtailing isn't a problem, the bike + trail-a-bike combo is bound to be more flexible than a single bike. So high speed shimmy, which is a potential problem with any bike, is even more likely with a bike + cargo trail-a-bike combination.