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Bike touring with a trailer?

Old 09-24-18, 11:48 AM
  #1  
RidingMatthew 
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Bike touring with a trailer?

anyone ever bike toured with a trailer? I am looking at buying a cheap one wheel trailer to attach to my Journeyman so my son and I might be able to do an overnight on the Greenbrier next year.

Any suggestions as to a good low cost trailer to haul overnight camping supplies?
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Old 09-24-18, 11:52 AM
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Interested to see if cheap, one-wheeled trailers that I would consider using actually exist. I have a B.O.B. in my basement that I bought so my ex-GF could use it for touring. Never used it myself.
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Old 09-24-18, 11:56 AM
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@indyfabz i have looked at the BOB but it is pretty $teap. I know I get what I what I pay for but I am wondering if a cheaper trailer is a viable option. Would a trailer be the best way to go to carry supplies for an overnight?
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Old 09-24-18, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
@indyfabz Would a trailer be the best way to go to carry supplies for an overnight?
Probably the simplest way to go.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:20 PM
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We see a few touring the coast every month, during the summer, BoBs primarily..

At the end of east-west tours, they sell theirs, get bought cheap,
from someone who did not want to ship it home ..
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Old 09-24-18, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
We see a few touring the coast every month, during the summer, BoBs primarily..

At the end of east-west tours, they sell theirs, get bought cheap,
from someone who did not want to ship it home ..
i am on the wrong coast for that to work haha
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Old 09-24-18, 12:47 PM
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I occasionally see two wheel kiddie type trailers at a garage sale. Several years ago a friend of mine used one to haul his camping gear for a week long tour behind his mountain bike. And I occasionally see them used to haul a load of groceries home from the store.

I have toured with Bike Friday owners that used the Bike Friday travel case as a two wheel trailer.

But I have never seen a cheap one wheel trailer that was capable of bike touring.
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Old 09-24-18, 01:13 PM
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i was thinking about something similar to this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aosom-Sol...5140b89f5621c7
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Old 09-24-18, 01:57 PM
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Low cost is probably the key sticking point...

I do have three trailers and use them for slightly different purposes:
1. I have an Extra Wheel trailer that I've used on a 6-week trip across the western USA and also used in Kashmir, India. I really like that trailer as it is pretty stable and tracks close to the rear wheel. It also lets me re-use panniers.
2. I have a Bob. I mostly use it for carrying stuff around town. It carries more than my Extrawheel but is also slightly heavier itself.
3. I have a Burley Travoy that is my two wheel trailer for groceries around town. It does that purpose well, though wouldn't be my choice for touring.
Depending on your budget they might not fit your low cost criteria but the do the job.
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Old 09-24-18, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
i was thinking about something similar to this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aosom-Sol...5140b89f5621c7
looks like it would work fine to me. Bike overnights with ur son are about as cool as can be!
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Old 09-24-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
i am on the wrong coast for that to work haha
Probably too late in the season, but you might try contacting some bike shops in the Williamsburg/Yorktown/Norfolk area and see if they have any left over from eastbound cyclists. Next year, you might keep an eye on craigslist in the same area.

Spend an extra night and explore Colonial Wlliamsburg. Road trip!
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Old 09-24-18, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
i was thinking about something similar to this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aosom-Sol...5140b89f5621c7
If it is any good, that is a great price.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
looks like it would work fine to me. Bike overnights with ur son are about as cool as can be!
yeah he enjoys camping and biking as do I. I figured we might be able to combine the two. He has ridden 17.4 miles around a lake (gravel and paved trail) I was thinking if we could get a geared bike he could ride and really enjoy it.

I am thinking that we could get get 12-15 miles the first day and 10-15 the second day and he will have have ridden from Cass to Marlinton.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If it is any good, that is a great price.
any particular things I need to look for in a trailer? it looks like it has a spring? shock mechanism.

Might be heavy as all get out but I dont thing that I can fit all of our stuff in panniers.
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Old 09-24-18, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
i was thinking about something similar to this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aosom-Sol...5140b89f5621c7
For 10 or 20 overnights, that trailer is going to be adequate. For a cross country trip, not so much.

That said, I have trailers and have used them for mostly off-road touring. I also tried one while training for a road tour. I'm not a huge fan. In my experience, they have a negative effect on the handling. They push the rear end around in odd ways that you aren't used to. Under heavy breaking on a downhill, the trailer lifts the rear of the bike and makes it feel vague. This is on fairly steep downhills, however.

Panniers perform better in my opinion but a trailer will do. Just be aware of the handling issues and adjust accordingly.

Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
any particular things I need to look for in a trailer? it looks like it has a spring? shock mechanism.
Adding anything like a shock system will significantly increase the cost of the trailer. A B.O.B. Yak, for example, is about $330. An Ibex is $409. I'm not sure the suspension is worth the extra $70.

Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
Might be heavy as all get out but I dont thing that I can fit all of our stuff in panniers.
You are carrying way too much stuff for an overnight trip if you can't fit it into panniers. I'm not a super light tourist but this is what my bike looked like for a 4 day trip


DSCN1197 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

That's tent, sleeping bag, 4 freeze dried meals, camp stove, flat tea kettle, cup, 3 extras days of clothes and some cold weather gear. For an overnight, you could leave the 2 days of clothes at home.

Reassess your load!
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Old 09-24-18, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
For 10 or 20 overnights, that trailer is going to be adequate. For a cross country trip, not so much.

That said, I have trailers and have used them for mostly off-road touring. I also tried one while training for a road tour. I'm not a huge fan. In my experience, they have a negative effect on the handling. They push the rear end around in odd ways that you aren't used to. Under heavy breaking on a downhill, the trailer lifts the rear of the bike and makes it feel vague. This is on fairly steep downhills, however.

Panniers perform better in my opinion but a trailer will do. Just be aware of the handling issues and adjust accordingly.
I am not sure how many trips we would be doing but it seems like it would be a good way to get some extra stuff carried. It would be off road sorta rail trail but not singletrack.

thanks for the advice regarding the handling. I figure it would be different but hopefully not adverse.
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Old 09-24-18, 09:35 PM
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The single-wheel trailer like the B.O.B. has one advantage over the two-wheel type off pavement. As long as you're on a smooth graded path they're probably equal but as soon as you encounter a two track road, like most of the C&O Canal Towpath that I've seen, the single-wheel follows your bike in the path it describes while a two-wheel is going to hit the rough spots that you and your bike are dodging. I rode north and south from Marlinton years ago and do not recall the trail's surface but I recently ran into a fellow on the C&O and I asked him about his two-wheel trailer and he said it was a pain in the ass in the two track. He picked his line and the bike rode fairly smoothly, but if there was a bump or hole to the left or right the trailer hit every one.

I still had the pic! The guy's a veteran with a prosthetic leg, his dog in the trailer and enough gear to do the whole GAP/C&O. Note the trailer wheels and they're on fairly smooth grass in this photo. Imagine rough trail.

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Old 09-25-18, 12:29 AM
  #18  
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This is a few years ago, of me on me on my Hasa Ti bike with a relatively cheap single-wheel trailer with the bag came with it on board filled with camping stuff for me and Machka (her bike had stuff too). We were in South Australia for that out-and-back trip. Traliers have also been used for furniture and other possession moves. Dual and the one in the picture still exist for my use, but not usual touring.

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Old 09-25-18, 02:45 AM
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I have done a couple long tours with the BOB, and highly recommend it (if you want a trailer). My then-8 year old daughter and I spent eight weeks riding up and down the Rockies in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming with the BOB, pulling it with our tandem. We rode over multiple 10K+ foot passes with it. You definitely feel the weight on the climbs, but it is really steady on the fast descents.

Two years later, she and I used the BOB with our tandem when we rode from Seattle to Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. For two riders on a long tour, it is a good way to carry your gear (assuming you are camping).
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Old 09-25-18, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Marley View Post
I have done a couple long tours with the BOB, and highly recommend it (if you want a trailer). My then-8 year old daughter and I spent eight weeks riding up and down the Rockies in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming with the BOB, pulling it with our tandem. We rode over multiple 10K+ foot passes with it. You definitely feel the weight on the climbs, but it is really steady on the fast descents.

Two years later, she and I used the BOB with our tandem when we rode from Seattle to Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. For two riders on a long tour, it is a good way to carry your gear (assuming you are camping).
I can understand how good a tandem and trailer can carry the needs for two people. I say that not having used for camp touring either of two tandems we have ridden.
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Old 09-25-18, 07:23 AM
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@thumpism that is what I am worried about. i think that a single wheel would be the better way to go for us to carry stuff while we are riding. I think it would/ should go pretty much where I go. It is just a trial run on a gravel for the most part rail trail.

@Rowan thanks for chipping in your thoughts and picture. I appreciate it. I am thinking that it might be worth taking a chance on the trailer i posted earlier. i was reading the description and it says that it weighs about 19lbs but can carry 88. i don't think that we will carry that much but I will have to carry more than if it was just me riding because he will be 9 and we will need snacks for motivation

@tony_marley I like the idea of the bob trailer too but it $359 and that is too much for an over night. Plus i would like to convince the CFO that he needs an upgraded bike for this trip. aka one with gears at least. it may be something that we work towards with a few trips under our belts.
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Old 09-25-18, 07:35 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
....the description and it says that it weighs about 19lbs but can carry 88. i don't think that we will carry that much but....

if you go to the link you provided, there are reviews included, some of which cover weight carried.


ignore the max rating...you don't want to get anywhere near that. bob is rated at 70, and is murder to pull over 50. don't want an ueber heavy trailer, especially on rough ground with the bike wanting to go x fast after a low spot and the trailer pulling back more than ever. yuch.
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Old 09-25-18, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
if you go to the link you provided, there are reviews included, some of which cover weight carried. ignore the max rating...you don't want to get anywhere near that. bob is rated at 70, and is murder to pull over 50. don't want an ueber heavy trailer, especially on rough ground with the bike wanting to go x fast after a low spot and the trailer pulling back more than ever. yuch.
right... i don't think i will carry that much either but just stating the stats i read. i do appreciate your advice though. I do see us carrying too much for an over night.
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Old 09-25-18, 08:07 AM
  #24  
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Check out Nashbar for Bob-like trailers. They look like the Bob, and cost less. I have seen them there for years.
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Old 09-25-18, 08:21 AM
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From one of the reviews:

"The bag is a rather useless object. It is made out of robust waterproof cloth but offers no way to close it from the top. Thus it is useless in keeping camping gear dry during the rain. I received a wheel and one of the bearings was already bad. Welding quality is terrible - I hope that this trailer does not fall apart on the C and O canal. Little tip - there is a hinge and I placed two stick and peel rubber feet in the gap of that hinge to keep it springloaded and to keep the frame from flexing around. There is a lot of play in the assembled frame. I used the bold that they provided for the fender to hold it together. Locks that hold everything to the rear wheel of the bicycle could use longer bolts. Floor of the trailer came with a huge nick that I would need to hammer out and then spray paint."



Does that wheel have a QR? Can't tell from the photo. And don't forget a 16" replacement tube, or at least a patch kit.
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