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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 09-17-13, 08:20 PM   #1
col
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What's the type of trailer you use to grocery shop?

Any recommendations?
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Old 09-17-13, 08:30 PM   #2
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Old 09-17-13, 08:50 PM   #3
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I have an old Burley trailer: D'Lite from the 1994 era http://www.burley.com/shop/wpimages/...ghtheyears.pdf when my oldest was born. The specs say that it can carry up to 100 lbs... I still use it & it's over 19 yrs old. I have transported two kids easily along with 4 full-sized bags of groceries in the back or 8 bags of groceries without kids, Costco-loads, spinning wheel, stroller & picnic supplies, etc. Now I'm looking at it & wondering if I can load my electric lawn mower into it (see my other posted thread) to see if anyone has done it before. It also has a rain tarp which has been great for keeping snow & rain off the grocery bags. I have nothing bad to say about it (and nooo, I don't work for Burley ) Look at garage sales or CL to find old ones that people want to get rid of & check out if the hitch will work with your style of bike.

As for parking it, I have to bring an extra lock to lock it to my bike and then lock my bike to the rack... which is tricky because I feel like I'm taking up too much room with a big ol' trailer (hence, my other post asking about utility bikes instead of using a trailer). But just wanted to throw those other considerations into the pot as you decide what kind of system would be best for grocery getting.
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Old 09-17-13, 11:35 PM   #4
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I use a kiddie trailer. Works great for me. I've towed all kinds of stuff with it, some very heavy loads, some very unwieldy loads.
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Old 09-17-13, 11:56 PM   #5
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My reconfigured MEC trailer carries a 100 litre tote which keeps things secure and dry in bad weather... we also have a Burley trailer and my Extrabike can carry a pretty sizeable load on it's own and pulls the trailer now that my Kuwahara Shasta lives with my nephew.
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Old 09-18-13, 04:14 AM   #6
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A lot of options out there, most people seem to use repurposed child trailers. Burley is one of the better ones out there, especially if you can find a used one. I don't use a trailer I can get a weeks worth of groceries for four adults in my 40+ litre panniers on my city bike, if I need to haul more I take my expedition bike which has 4 panniers for about 65 litres capacity, plus whatever can be strapped on the front and rear racks.

I like the rig that Sixty Fiver has though....

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Old 09-18-13, 08:08 AM   #7
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Any recommendations?
For convenience, the Burley Travoy would be your best option. It is a lot lighter than any child modified carriers, plus it doubles as a shopping cart where you can tow around in the super market or in the farrmers market. Very convenient and works with practically any bike as the hitch is seatpost based.
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Old 09-18-13, 08:13 AM   #8
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For convenience, the Burley Travoy would be your best option. It is a lot lighter than any child modified carriers, plus it doubles as a shopping cart where you can tow around in the super market or in the farrmers market. Very convenient and works with practically any bike as the hitch is seatpost based.
I have a Travoy, too... have you ever had any tipping problems with yours? Have you felt awkward loading your groceries directly into it while shopping & using it as a cart? Those are probably the two biggest issues I've had with ours, so I've been trying to get more information. Thanks. (not trying to derail the op's original question, though)
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Old 09-18-13, 08:22 AM   #9
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I have a Travoy, too... have you ever had any tipping problems with yours? Have you felt awkward loading your groceries directly into it while shopping & using it as a cart? Those are probably the two biggest issues I've had with ours, so I've been trying to get more information. Thanks. (not trying to derail the op's original question, though)
I never had an issue with tipping per se, but I tow it with my Dahon folding bike so the hitch is placed a bit lower than a normal bike. I think this contributes to some added stability plus I have Burley's dedicated bags for grocery shopping and it helps organize my goods -- veggies, sauces and cheeses on top, dairy and heavy stuff on the bottom so it makes grocery not only a breeze but fun too. But for heavier and bulkier stuff, I also have a Maya cycle trailer which is like a BOB trailer and I use that instead of the Burley. The Maya can be converted in wheel barrow mode so I can shop in farmer's market pushing it. This way, I only carry a lock for the bike. The Maya again is heck a lot lighter than the BOB and it is a single wheel trailer. PPurrfect on single trails to get to some farms for fresh produce!
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Old 09-18-13, 06:36 PM   #10
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I have a Travoy, too... have you ever had any tipping problems with yours? Have you felt awkward loading your groceries directly into it while shopping & using it as a cart? Those are probably the two biggest issues I've had with ours, so I've been trying to get more information. Thanks. (not trying to derail the op's original question, though)
Also have the travoy. I did have a few incidences of tipping the first few weeks of use. One time was particularly nerve wracking; I was going down a hill at probably around 20-25 mph on my usual commute route but this time I was pulling my trailer. I kind-of forgot I was pulling the trailer and centered my bike wheels between two bumps in the road (the kind that buses and trucks make in asphalt when they stop in the same place all the time) as I usually do, but this habit of mine on this occasion actually lined up the wheels of the trailer with the bumps. The trailer flipped over with it's backside grinding on the asphalt. I freaked out momentarily thinking, oh crap, here comes the pain. I was sure I was going to eat it hard, but then I was amazed when after feeling the jerk from the trailer flipping, I was only very gradually slowing down from the trailer dragging and it didn't force my bike off balance or anything. I gently applied the brakes and pulled over. The trailer was probably dragging on the asphalt for about 100 ft or so, by the time I actually stopped. The only damage was a few small holes in the lower bag. I was also impressed with the flexibility of the rubber joint with the hitch. It feels like fairly hard rubber/plastic but somehow it was able to twist around a full 180 degrees and shows no sign of damage. I was pleasantly surprised by it's...here it comes...burliness.

Other occasions were just from my not being mindful of the trailer in low speed turns though parking lots and around posts and curbs and such, mostly uneventful.
Now that I've had it a little while I am much more aware of my movements when I'm pulling it and I make sure to give extra space around turns and stuff. As for using it inside stores for shopping, yeah, I do feel a little strange sometimes. I think that people around me think I'm trying to steal stuff, but the reality is that probably no body cares and they're just curious about where I got this strange shopping cart...like something an old lady would use because they have no clue that I got to the store on my bike. But no one has ever given me flak about it yet.

But to get back to the OP about a recommendation; despite all these incidents, I do still really like the trailer. The benefits of being able to roll it around easily like your own personal shopping cart, the break-down size, the weight...for me, all outweigh the one negative that it's less stable than the usual "flat bed" type trailers. I had a bob for a while and I liked it for certain things (bike camping), but for more of a daily utility/commuter setup, the burly travoy is far better suited.
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Old 09-18-13, 06:51 PM   #11
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Thank you for the replies, pacificcyclist & urbanescapee. Urbanescapee, I really appreciate the details and information. It gives me hope to keep it and try it again. We've had it tip once and I thought my husband was going to fall into traffic, but similar to your situation, the Travoy landed on its side and dragged & my husband was able to remain upright. Another time I was going downhill pretty quickly and it seemed like it was fish-tailing (didn't tip over though). So again, thanks for the info... it gives me a lot to think about.
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Old 09-18-13, 07:02 PM   #12
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A lot of options out there, most people seem to use repurposed child trailers. Burley is one of the better ones out there, especially if you can find a used one. I don't use a trailer I can get a weeks worth of groceries for four adults in my 40+ litre panniers on my city bike, if I need to haul more I take my expedition bike which has 4 panniers for about 65 litres capacity, plus whatever can be strapped on the front and rear racks.

I like the rig that Sixty Fiver has though....

Aaron
When the box comes off (that takes a few seconds) it converts to a flat trailer...

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Old 09-18-13, 10:50 PM   #13
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I use a homemade Y-Frame Big clone, hauled 50kg on it, no problem.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:56 AM   #14
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I use a Y frame large (20" wheel). For shopping I strap on a 40x60x40cm plastic box (glass bottle household recycling container). I could fit a much larger container on the flatbed. I havent made use of the flatbed mounting holes yet but the straps also hold bits inside the box.
The container is also good for transporting old bikes, the bike rests on top and can be tied down.
I havent made use of the flatbed mounting holes yet but the straps also hold bits inside the box.
The wheels are QR and the unit stores as flat. For security, I usually run a cable from one wheel to the main lock.
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Old 09-19-13, 04:57 AM   #15
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I have a old Burley kids trailer I bought used some years ago, I paid $50 for it. Mostly now I just use my Surly Big Dummy.
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Old 09-19-13, 05:19 AM   #16
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A Nordic Cab kid trailer here. As our kid still travels in the trailer, only the rear luggage compartment is available for groceries. It's surprisingly roomy though. If we know there will be a lot to haul, we can always take panniers too.

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