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Panniers vs. Trailer

Old 03-17-13, 07:09 PM
  #26  
texasdiver
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Just did the same thing with my daughter last week. About 30 miles each way out to a state park to shake out our gear. Co-motion Periscope pulling a BOB trailer. Only thing on the bike was a rear rack and trunk bag that stays on it for recreational rides as well. I found that the BOB rode quite nicely behind the bike. Happy I got it. With a sometimes unattentive 10 year old stoker I wasn't sure about balancing heavy bags on the bike. We also found space to be limiting. Will need to possibly cut out some bulky but light things like backpacking pillows.

On our big Pacific Coast tour this summer I'll have a handlebar bag for valuables and electronics. And I'm thinking of expanding on the cargo capacity of the BOB by stacking another duffel on top. The existing dry bag was pretty full to where it only properly closed with difficulty. I see lots of photos of riders with all variety of gear strapped on top of their BOB...tents, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. I'm thinking the better and cleaner solution is to break the load up into two bags that are less full. Heavier one on the bottom and lighter one on top. Some type of waterproof or highly water resistant duffel that comes with backpacking straps so that I have a handy day pack for side trips. If neither are jammed full it should all cinch down nicely. And it will provide separate space for clean/dry gear and dirty/wet gear.

By the way, we have WIND out here in the plains. Took 3 hours to go 30 miles on the way out. Got home in just 2. No elevation change, only the wind. The tandem and trailer really sail along with a strong tailwind.

One piece of gear that has already earned its pay is the click-stand that I just ordered. With the brake lever cinched down it does a nice job of holding up the tandem and trailer. But you have to make sure things are pretty balance out. The jackknife trick also works but with a tandem and loaded trailer it seems to put a lot of strain on the trailer fork and rear triangle so I like using the click-stand better. Clever piece of gear. Definitely get the larger rubber end if you buy one. Only way to make it work on soft grass.
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Old 03-18-13, 02:03 AM
  #27  
Chris_W
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As you can see, space was also our limiting factor more than weight. We upgraded several pieces of equipment before going on our big tour, with the aim being more to minimize bulk than weight. We were able to substantially cut down the size of the sleeping mats, sleeping bags, rain jackets, off-bike shoes, and cooking stove. Getting photochromatic sunglasses removed the need to carry extra lenses and cases.

We were also able to get rid of a bunch of electrical cables and spare batteries by ensuring that all devices that we took (bike GPSs, headlamps, flashing bike lights, cell phone) were all rechargeable via USB cables. Plus, we bought the pdf versions of the Lonely Planet guidebooks and had those installed on our 1 kg (2 lbs) laptop instead of carrying paper copies. The laptop also served as the 3-port USB charging hub (and we also had an on-bike USB-converter for the dynamo hub to charge things while riding if needed - The Plug II by Supernova).

Another goal was to have things that served at least two purposes. One of our panniers (an Ortlieb Vario) converts into a backpack for day hikes / exploring towns, and we sewed belt loops onto the top-tube bag that is behind the captain's stem so that it could also be a wearable camera bag. Plus, for the first week of the tour, we had a fold-up bike bag that we used for transporting the broken-down bike in buses, a groundsheet for the tent, and a picnic blanket; however, we sent this onto our final destination after one week once discovering that we didn't really need it for any of those purposes.
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Old 03-26-13, 10:58 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
If I was ever going to use any trailer for touring, then the ExtraWheel is the model that I would go with. This is partly due to the simplicity of having the same size spares as on the bike (spokes, tubes, and tyres), and partly because I've read reports of them working quite well and not being too heavy. However, having never used a trailer then my opinion is probably not worth much.
I've had an Extrawheel trailer and I would thoroughly recommend them. The trailer is very light and I believe the model which is used with panniers weighs in just below eight lbs. Another advantage is that the wheel can be chosen to match those of the bike which means the same spares can be carried. Tracking is superb and on the flat there is little or no drag at all.
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Old 03-26-13, 07:38 PM
  #29  
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I think Extrawheel is a great idea, it is light. I wish someone made the bob in aluminum or cf!
R&J
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Old 04-08-13, 08:34 PM
  #30  
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Given that the Bob trailer takes the majority of weight off the bike wouldn't you find you're breaking less spokes/getting less flats etc?

Not the mention the extra drag 2 front panniers are going to give you in a mean headwind... Other than a couple of accounts I've read of people finding their trailer jackknifing or fishtailing to a crash, I can only really see advantages in touring with a trailer? Could I be that naive?

But dont let that be my final word... I've never been one to ride with panniers so I guess a trailer made sense for me. I also like the idea of the bike handling being less 'truck-like'
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Old 04-09-13, 09:20 AM
  #31  
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Any trailer, auto or bike, has to be loaded "weight smart", or they don't tow correctly, hence the problem of fishtailing. We have several hundred miles on our old BoB and the disadvantages we see is 1: more weight, 2: extra tube/tire. We have a light team and we also have had no rim, spoke problems. Honestly, we would like to try a pannier setup, but it means a front rack (can't, carbon fork) and panniers.
R&J
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Old 04-27-13, 02:24 PM
  #32  
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I guess I'm lucky or maybe unlucky since my wife and I have used both on several tours, though never with a tandem. If I had to pick just one, I would go with panniers. However, we're planning to do a short tour with the 2 kids (5.5 and 2.5 y.o.) this summer and I have the feeling that I'll have 4 panniers plus the Bob on the tandem. Good thing it's gonna be flat and short!
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Old 04-30-13, 10:09 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
We bought a set of Pacific Outdoor rear panniers, thinking that we'd buy the front set if we liked them. Sadly, they were out of business by the time we were ready for the front set. Ended up with a pair of Ortieb's which are fine. Too bad another American company had to give up. They had a good product.
? Recommend try the Lone Peaks. Just bought a full set (set #LP-10) of the new yellow/black color scheme. Only the rear bags and the rackpack have come in so far, but they look really good and the mounts are a breeze. The www.TouringStore.com (ask for Wayne) carries them as well as the mainsteam Orties and Tubus racks. The LP's are 100% USA materials/production/labor and have a lifetime warrantee, all of which were important to me. I have installation pictures if desired (request via PM). Here is a basic full set on someones bike.

/K

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