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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 03-24-12, 02:40 AM   #1
frantik
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Best trailer?

I'm wondering what is considered the best bike trailer? the burley nomad looks pretty nice.. any others that compare?
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Old 03-24-12, 04:16 AM   #2
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Best trailer for what? Road touring? Off-road touring? Grocery hauler/utility trailer? Kiddy trailer?

I'm partial to the Nomad for road touring in the US. The BOB trailer is also a long-time standard for road touring and great for off-road touring due to it's narrower stance. Many folks have home-built trailers for utility use. See
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...trailer-thread.
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Old 03-24-12, 05:54 AM   #3
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trailer for city utility hauling.. groceries, laundry, etc

i had been looking at making my own but might have opportunity to have a nice one purchased for me so want to find the best ones to look at
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Old 03-24-12, 06:37 AM   #4
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trailer for city utility hauling.. groceries, laundry, etc

i had been looking at making my own but might have opportunity to have a nice one purchased for me so want to find the best ones to look at
I love the Nomad,it's a great design. I've hauled lots of groceries with it and toured with it also. Just keep in mind that it's canvas floored. If you want to haul heavy or sharp objects you might want to lay something on the floor first, maybe a piece of thin plywood or something.
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Old 03-24-12, 08:34 PM   #5
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im starting to lean towards the flatbed actually.. can it fit through a normal doorway?
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Old 03-25-12, 12:47 AM   #6
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I use the Carry Freedom Large Y-Frame trailer. Flat deck and fits thru standard doorways. About 18lbs empty, and capable of carrying 200lbs.

http://www.carryfreedom.com/Y-Frame.html
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Old 03-25-12, 10:57 AM   #7
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The best utility trailer is one you can afford and will use.

Personally, I think the Bikes at Work trailers are far superior to the Nomad or those of similar designs. The only trailers that may be in the same league as BAW is perhaps the Surly Bill and Ted or Black Oak Fabrications. Though, I've never seen either of the latter in person, only read about them.

I have the BAW 64A and have hauled dozens of loads on it. I've had bins of sand or soil, bins full of glass/plastic to haul to the recycle center, metal for recycling, odds and ends to go to the second hand store, etc. Other than the fact that it's heavy duty, I like the fact that it's designed around the ubiquitous Rubbermaid bin - 4 fit perfectly across the bottom. With lids any items in the bins will be protected from the weather, and an additional second row can be stacked on top of the bottom row.

The downside to the BAW trailers is they're expensive ~$500. However, I've made $200 in the past 9 months recycling metal. I've also saved numerous trips by car or truck to the recycle center, the second hand store, etc. Mine will pay for itself within a few years. My last metal recycle trip included a 300 pound wood stove. I would not have been able to haul that in a lighter-duty trailer, so my BAW made it possible to transport it by bike.

I have a cheap child trailer that's now converted to a smaller, light duty utility hauler. Sometimes I attach it to the back of my BAW trailer so I have even more room to haul things. While I've not used a Burley Nomad, my trailer is one of the dozens of cheap konock-offs, so I have experience pulling a similar trailer. It has been good to me, but doesn't even come close to my BAW trailer in terms of sturdiness and load capability (both volume and weight).

I have numerous pictures and descriptions of hauls in the What Utility Rides/Trips/hauls/errands did you do today? thread.

Last edited by hopperja; 03-25-12 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:31 AM   #8
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The best utility trailer is one you can afford and will use.

Personally, I think the Bikes at Work trailers are far superior to the Nomad or those of similar designs. The only trailers that may be in the same league as BAW is perhaps the Surly Bill and Ted or Black Oak Fabrications. Though, I've never seen either of the latter in person, only read about them.

I have the BAW 64A and have hauled dozens of loads on it. I've had bins of sand or soil, bins full of glass/plastic to haul to the recycle center, metal for recycling, odds and ends to go to the second hand store, etc. Other than the fact that it's heavy duty, I like the fact that it's designed around the ubiquitous Rubbermaid bin - 4 fit perfectly across the bottom. With lids any items in the bins will be protected from the weather, and an additional second row can be stacked on top of the bottom row.

The downside to the BAW trailers is they're expensive ~$500. However, I've made $200 in the past 9 months recycling metal. I've also saved numerous trips by car or truck to the recycle center, the second hand store, etc. Mine will pay for itself within a few years. My last metal recycle trip included a 300 pound wood stove. I would not have been able to haul that in a lighter-duty trailer, so my BAW made it possible to transport it by bike.

I have a cheap child trailer that's now converted to a smaller, light duty utility hauler. Sometimes I attach it to the back of my BAW trailer so I have even more room to haul things. While I've not used a Burley Nomad, my trailer is one of the dozens of cheap konock-offs, so I have experience pulling a similar trailer. It has been good to me, but doesn't even come close to my BAW trailer in terms of sturdiness and load capability (both volume and weight).

I have numerous pictures and descriptions of hauls in the What Utility Rides/Trips/hauls/errands did you do today? thread.
The Nomad is a touring trailer. It's designed to carry stuff like sleeping bag, tent, clothing, etc. It is only 14 pounds and it's covered. You just put your stuff in and go.

The lightest BAW trailer is 27 pounds, bare. You still have to supply a cover or tote or put all your stuff in bags if you want to tour with it. Sure, it's superior in design for utility hauling, but it isn't neccessarily superior as a touring trailer.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:22 PM   #9
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The Nomad is a touring trailer. It's designed to carry stuff like sleeping bag, tent, clothing, etc. It is only 14 pounds and it's covered. You just put your stuff in and go.

The lightest BAW trailer is 27 pounds, bare. You still have to supply a cover or tote or put all your stuff in bags if you want to tour with it. Sure, it's superior in design for utility hauling, but it isn't neccessarily superior as a touring trailer.
Agreed 100%!! I built my flatbed based on the B@W style and love it as my ute trailer....however, once my wife and I transit to touring I will definitely be getting the current version of the Nomad. Nomad is the touring trailer IMHO.
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Old 03-25-12, 01:01 PM   #10
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The Nomad is a touring trailer. It's designed to carry stuff like sleeping bag, tent, clothing, etc. It is only 14 pounds and it's covered. You just put your stuff in and go.

The lightest BAW trailer is 27 pounds, bare. You still have to supply a cover or tote or put all your stuff in bags if you want to tour with it. Sure, it's superior in design for utility hauling, but it isn't neccessarily superior as a touring trailer.

Agreed, and the OP stated he wanted the best trailer for utility hauling. No doubt the Nomad is a superior touring trailer. However, the BAW is the better choice for the OP's purposes (utility hauling).
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Old 03-25-12, 02:23 PM   #11
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I would go for the Burley Travoy Bike Cargo Trailer for doing groceries and laundry and a little bit more seems like the likely choice in my opinion.
Check it out here or go to the Burley web site.
http://www.biketrailershop.com/burle...er-p-1843.html
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Old 03-25-12, 02:37 PM   #12
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I have the Co-op made flat-bed, 406_20" wheels..
Quote:
can it fit through a normal doorway?
,
sure, unload it, first, helps..
take off the wheels and it will store in a hall closet, too.

new 16" wheel types are narrower than the CoOp era 20"..

I have a Rubbermaid plastic dry case I can tie down in the Load area
of my Burly Flatbed, for serious space..

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Old 03-25-12, 04:16 PM   #13
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I would go for the Burley Travoy Bike Cargo Trailer for doing groceries and laundry and a little bit more seems like the likely choice in my opinion.
Check it out here or go to the Burley web site.
http://www.biketrailershop.com/burle...er-p-1843.html
really?? I in all good conscience as a utility/cargo rider with trailer, I would/could NEVER recommend this thing to anyone. A 2 wheel handtruck attached to your seat post???? good god man.....
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Old 03-25-12, 06:46 PM   #14
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the bikes at work trailer looks nice but it's really 27 lbs? i'll have to carry the thing up and down stairs so lightness is a virtue. i dont think i will be hauling much more than 60lbs at a time
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Old 03-25-12, 08:28 PM   #15
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Convert a child trailer to cargo duties. Find one on craigslist, take off the nylon, and put a floor on it. I have a Bell trailer, it'll haul ~200 pounds, is 15 to 20 pounds in weight, and the tongue folds down/wheels come off to make it more compact. If you go this route, I strongly recommend the Burley hitch set-up. For under 100$ you can have a decent trailer with a decent hitch. This is what I did for a few years before upgrading to a BAW trailer.
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Old 03-26-12, 01:51 AM   #16
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yeah i would DIY but someone might buy me a brand new one so i was looking at my options

btw rarely can you find any trailers for under $100 on CL here..
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Old 03-26-12, 06:16 AM   #17
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yeah i would DIY but someone might buy me a brand new one so i was looking at my options

btw rarely can you find any trailers for under $100 on CL here..
The burly Travor could be a good trailer for somebody that has to bring the trailer innside every time it has been used. Depends on what you need to haul!

If you have to carry it innside (and upstairs) each time you use it I would go for something with wheelchair type axels so that remowing the wheels are really quick. Also such trailers tends to be narrower for the same loadingspace so therefor easyer to take trough a door.

You can use a flatbed trailer and atatch anything (crate, bag, box) to it or just place the stuff (like a bag of catlitter) directly on the trailerbed.

Some trailers has a "built in bag" like the Carry Freedom City trailer http://www.velorution.biz/shop/carry...cycle-trailer/

I have the Carry freedom flatbed small, and a homemade copy of the same one in big size.

I would maybe suggest the cyclone https://www.radicaldesign.nl/en/prod...ailers/cyclone since it can be a "hold all and roll trough doors and up stairs" trailer and also can be used as a flatbed. Also you can quick and easy move the wheels further back so that it is easyer to roll it by hand without the rear end of the trailer hitting the ground.

Do a search, a lot of trailers has been presented earlyer.

Edit: http://www.biketrailershop.com/

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Old 03-26-12, 11:17 AM   #18
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yeah i would DIY but someone might buy me a brand new one so i was looking at my options

btw rarely can you find any trailers for under $100 on CL here..
Hmm... I went to the Bay area's craigslist, searched on trailers, max price $100, and 28 results came up. Sure, some of the results weren't actually trailers (they were trail-a-bikes that were entered as trailer bikes), but there are over a dozen viable options.

In case you don't know how to do that search, here's the url:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/b...sk=&maxAsk=100
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Old 03-26-12, 03:10 PM   #19
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the "bay area" is huge.. there are a handful in the southbay for $80 though. add $20 for a burly hitch and it's still about $100..
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Old 03-26-12, 03:53 PM   #20
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Well the Travoy with a seat post hitch, tows directly behind the center of the bike.

The other trailer's tow center is the left end of the rear hub.

given a set of stairs to cope with, the one which is like a fridge dolly

Perhaps would be better..

you can leave it loaded and drag it up the stairs ..

flat bed tow hitch is a bit low as a hand pull handle.

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Old 03-26-12, 05:16 PM   #21
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flat bed tow hitch is a bit low as a hand pull handle.
unless you lift it up.. Real problem is if the rear hits the ground when you lift the (towbar in the) front up.

I remowed the towbar from the Carry Freedom flatbed, inserted it again with the towbar now pointing upwards. Drilled a new hole and inserted the pin. Much easyer to pull by hand this way.
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Old 03-26-12, 08:53 PM   #22
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... I built my flatbed based on the B@W style....
Home-made BAW style trailer... let's see some pictures please.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:13 AM   #23
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I'd say +1 on the converted burley for cargo use. Often, a used Burley is super cheap if the fabric is all messed up (so, no more kids). I picked up a couple here for $30-$40 (Minneapolis). For one, I used a couple of bolts to attach 1x1s across the frame, then bolted a large plastic tote to it. Now, it is my waterproof, contained, grocery getter and hauler. The second is still waiting for conversion, but I want to make it into a fairly large flat bed. I'd like it to be large enough that I could put gardening supplies, a small mower, or even a bike (even if awkwardly attached) to it. I have some spare boards and plywood, so, I'll just make a floor with it, put some hooks on the side (for bungee cords) and use it for hauling summer garden supplies and what not.

For touring, I have a Burley Nomad. It is the lightest and "nicest" of the bunch. It doesn't look homemade. However, with the fabric floor and what not...I wouldn't use it for utility hauling (it is also expensive for that purpose).
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Old 04-04-12, 03:23 AM   #24
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btw rarely can you find any trailers for under $100 on CL here..
Here's a $120 Nomad about an hours drive away:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/2928840104.html


And plugging in "Burley trail" gets a few more:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/?...ler&catAbb=sss

And a generic "bike trailer" search gets you this:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/s...inAsk=&maxAsk=

Yard sales are ripe with'em too...
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Old 04-04-12, 05:37 PM   #25
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really?? I in all good conscience as a utility/cargo rider with trailer, I would/could NEVER recommend this thing to anyone. A 2 wheel handtruck attached to your seat post???? good god man.....
Do you own one? I've had mine for a month now and for day to day hauling it is the very best trailer I have owned. I have had the yakima BOB knock off and a flat bed. For ease of use the Travoy is excellent, I can carry it empty up and downt he stairs, the wheels are large enough to go up and down stairs when the cart is loaded. I manage a restaurant and recently made a run to the local market and came back with about 80lbs of groceries. It handled the load just fine. The hitch is the simplest I have ever used, I can hitch and unhitch it with one hand. I roll up to the store, unhitch, lock the bike and roll the Travoy right into the store and load up check out and roll away.
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