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BOB Trailer on a Racing bike....

Old 04-29-10, 08:56 AM
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BOB Trailer on a Racing bike....

I want to tour and I have a Cannondale Caad 9-5. You cannot put racks or panniers on it, plus, I wouldn't want to ( Paint, wear, Fragile). I have been looking at the BOB trailers, or the extra wheel to tour with. I'm afraid the extra weight the bike has to pull may put too much stress on the frame or cause a flat.
I'm choosing a BOB becuase it seems to be the most durable trailer, but I'm afraid I'll damage my bike by using it.

Has anyone toured with a trailer on a racing bike? i could afford a 300 dollar trailer (that I can use on multiple bikes for the future) but not a full touring bike, racks & panniers.
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Old 04-29-10, 09:01 AM
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I would suggest a two wheeled trailer such as the Burley Nomad. Just my 2 cents but it will not stress the rear of your bike like a Bob.. I've had both trailers. I would pull the Burley with my carbon TCR with zero problems.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:02 AM
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I did the southern tier with a BOB and a Trek 5200 carbon road bike. There was no problem for me, but if you want to be conservative don't park your bike by "jack-knifing" the rig. Instead, lean the bike against something. The BOB worked for me very well and would not hesitate to use it again, although now I do prefer panniers.
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Old 04-29-10, 03:32 PM
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I don't know if this will help you out but here goes I have a 2008 Fuji Touring Bike and have made up my mind to buy the Burley Nomad because of the two wheels and I feel better stability then a one wheel trailer, I also feel better pulling a trailer then having the bags on the front and back,
Hey just my opinion like I said I don't have the trailer yet and this is what I have come up with.
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Old 04-30-10, 02:02 PM
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I have a Bob Yak trailer. I usually use it behind a Surly LHT, but have tried it with my 15 pound titanium Merlin, only for around town grocery runs. It works fine, up to about 20 pounds. When I stop at another store and add more weight, it starts getting "back heavy" and feeling like the front wheel is wanting to come off the ground. Not the case at all with the LHT, up to the 50 pounds I've carried in it. (It's rated to 75, I think. Never tried it.)

Anyway, I'd not try to ride much heavier than 20-25 pounds with the Merlin, not because of fear of damage, but because the bike just doesn't ride well. The LHT may actually ride BETTER with that weight! And I'm weighing the payload only, not including the 14 pounds or so trailer weight.
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Old 04-30-10, 04:39 PM
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i pulled a light/moderately loaded bob (i didn't weigh my stuff, but it wasn't much) with my 2005 douglas fusion (aluminum w/carbon seatstays+fork, easton wheels, ultegra/fsa) to nevada and back without issue

edit: i did this ride on 700x23s or 700x25s @90ish psi. i can't say i cared to feel every little bump and crack on the highway. i advise installing the biggest tires that will fit, and running them at the lower end of the recommended pressure range.

Last edited by jabantik00; 05-11-10 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 04-30-10, 06:31 PM
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I think it matters where and how you ride:
  • going up slopes will add extra stress on the frame because the rear axle will be pulled back thus stressing the seat stays and chain stays
  • the same if you accelerate suddenly
  • if the road is rough and the trailer goes slightly to the left or to the right, it will induce tension into the bike that's different between the L-R sides
  • braking downhill will add extra stress on the front fork (which is made of carbon fibre). Granted, a heavier rider would do the same.

I don't have a degree in mechanics so I cannot quantify the forces above. Again, I guess how you ride may be crucial. I have the same bike and indeed, I'd be ... careful. What you could do is to use it for flat road touring and avoid it more bike-stressing rides. If the CAAD frame gets damaged, it's not a cheap replacement and will likely not be covered by warranty. Cannondale's docs are pretty stern about using this bikes for anything else but road. Of course, they are very conservative for fear of litigation and if we followed all written rules we'd never do anything :-)

https://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng...ual_124451.pdf

https://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng...plement_en.pdf
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Old 04-30-10, 08:47 PM
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I toured with a BOB on my Cannondale SR500 for a week with no issues. Cargo weighed 43lbs. There's a kickstand available that works with the BOB so parking is easier. No need to fabricate one from PVC or a standard kickstand. As long as you load it properly and don't do a lot of side to side cranking/swaying it should be fine. If it were a carbon frame I'd say no to a BOB.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:35 PM
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@ Jeanluc: Way to scare the hell out of me!.... I know how fragile the caad9 5 is but you bring it to a whole other level when thinking about it. Until I have enough to invest in a good touring bike, this is what I'll have to use. If I'm carefull and take it easy with the trailer, I think i'll be fine. The sooner I can get a touring bike instead, the better though. I suspect even when I do get a touring bike, i'll still use the trailer. After alot of thought and consideration, "towing" my load instead of it being ontop of me just makes more sense. I have plenty of friends who use trailers and they say the whole "racks & panniers" trend is just that, a trend, and that trailers are just as good as long as you understand their pros and cons aswell.

All in all, i'm going through with it, but will ride with caution
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Old 05-04-10, 12:17 AM
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Just wanting to comment on the so called "trend" of racks and panniers. I consider a trend to be a short lived, flash in the pan life span of consumerism. A novelty. Not sure how dictionary describes it. Anyway, racks and panniers or saddle bags have been around since the very beginning of bicycle touring or randonneuring, and even since early days of the "safety bicycle". Oh, late 1800's? Over 200 years of use is in the category of tradition, not trend. To each their own, just wanted to clear that up. I use both. I have not taken my rear panniers off in over a year. I use a single wheeled trailer for utility and travel. However, when I want to take off on a 30 mile ride or more, I like having the rear panniers for picking up a few grocery items, a six pack, whatever. : ) I ride with smallish panniers and a trailer for very extended travel. As one post commented on the weight of the trailer feeling heavy and pulling on the front wheel up, I like to balance things out with weight distribution and this provides a sturdier feel to my overall ride. How the bike feels is very individual. The main component being experience. Once you log some trips with your new setup you may not care what anyone has to say and just enjoy the ride. : ) Be Well
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Old 05-04-10, 11:26 PM
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My opinion is to go for something like a Burley 2-wheeled trailer like mentioned above. This will balance the weight, whatever amount, over the axle of the trailer, thus relieving any extra pressure on the rear axle besides stopping and going. The Bob trailers have the wheel in the rear, which means that the weight will push down on the rear of the bike which is why someone above said the front end felt light with a lot of weight on it. A Burley won't do that. Two wheeled trailers both carry their own weight and balance themselves. They seemingly do more of the work for you. And about durability, I pulled 150 pounds of stuff across the state over some gravel roads on my Burley Flatbed, and it had no issues.

The only reason I would ever get a Bob trailer would be for singletrack mountain bike type trails, because they are thinner and will track better.

But whatever you choose, just have fun. Pulling a trailer on a bike is a fascinating experience.
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Old 05-11-10, 11:45 AM
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I did a solo week long trip on a carbon Scattante CFR Race with a BOB a few years back, as I was in the same situation as yourself. The lightness of the frame definitely makes for a delicate ride, and at least for me, even taking a hand off of the bar was nerve racking. I got used to it, but not as relaxing a ride as if the trailer were on a heavier frame. But, no problems with the integrity of the frame and I put around 700 miles on it that trip. However, wheels are the main issue. I still had stock Shimano wheels on that were admittedly not too nice and my first day out I broke 3 spokes, got chain mashed in b/t cassette and wheel, and cracked my rear derailleur in half. Of course, I'm 6'4 200lbs so having the extra weight of trailer was a lot to ask of stock wheels, but after I replaced the spokes I set back out and had no problems.

I say go for it if that's what you have and want to do a tour. I'm sure the production of the Cannondale is stronger than the Scattante anyways.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:13 PM
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Great comments, all. I have an aluminum Motobecane/carbon fork and will be touring all summer with a Bob. I think one point that hasn't been mentioned is....be very concise and invest much effort in keeping your cargo LIGHT! For example, I chose a sleeping bag that is 2 lbs instead of one that was 3.2 lbs. If you make that effort, you will have reduced tongue weight AND less gross towing weight....better handling and less wattage required for a given distance. Enjoy! Raydog
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Old 05-29-10, 12:17 PM
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Finding Mr. Goodtrailer

After a lot of research, I decided to use a two-wheel trailer with a seatpost mount, in order to avoid the balance, instability, and rear wheel problems addressed above. I had bought a regular ('sidewinder' hitch [attaches to left rear]) cargo trailer to get used to towing, and it confirmed my suspicion that this hitch style was NOT what I wanted. It slightly effected handling, and had a disconcerting tendency to 'surge' over uneven road surfaces. This was probably due to a spring type system used in the mount, just behind the point of attachment.
In looking further, I was only able to find ONE trailer that had a low center of gravity, and mounted to the seatpost. At a base price of $700, I decided to build my own. I took about 10 months to get the pieces I needed to complete the project, and another couple to size the pieces, and have a friend with a MIG welder help complete the process.
I used an inverted canoe carrier with 16in wheels as a base, with a reversed one-wheel trailer (narrowed and rewelded) as a load bay, and a modified 'Buddy-Bar' for attachment to my tow rig.
The wheels/tires that came with the carrier looked to be good UP TO 2mph or so,https://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/mad.gif so I get a pair of injection molded PVC BMX-style wheels with machined aluminum hubs that take 1 3/8in bearings. These have proven to be nearly bulletproof! I mounted up some 100psi tires, and on a winter trip to Death Valley, was able to haul 30lbs of gear downhill at 40mph with the whole rig steady as a rock!
My only concern was some less-than ideal braking performance. I have since upgraded my fork to a '29er' disc fork with a 203mm rotor and an Avid road caliper (mechanical). Now it stops! Just for comparison, I had a 26in fork with XTR linear pull brakes and 'brake boosters'. Pretty good, but not as strong as the disc, not to mention not having to be concerned about rim overheating on long downhill runs. The rear still has the XTR, since my frame is not set up for disc brake, so I use it judiciously!
If all this seems like too much trouble, consider this: I have invested around $350 for this setup, which includes a few Ortlieb dry bags. I plan to do some serious long-distance touring when I retire in a little under three years, so the time I invest NOW will pay dividends "down the road"--pun intended!
All this may seem a bit 'off topic' related to towing a BOB with a racing-style bike, but most of the same concerns I faced will affect a lighter towing bike as well. Stability, reliability, handling, and safety are all in favor of a two-wheel trailer--with the one exception being single-track riding someone previously mentioned. The only drawback I can think of is a SLIGHT weight penalty, although your increased load capability more than offsets this IMHO.
As a side note, I plan to carry my cel, and a light notebook computer, so have set up a system for recharging them when not in 'civilization'. I mounted a standard size battery box on the 'tongue' area of the reversed one-wheeler, in which I will carry an ATV 12V battery, an inverter, and a charge controller for the 20W solar panel I will strap to the top of my loaded trailer. This will keep the ATV battery charged during the day as I ride, and at night, I can recharge the cel, notebook, or whatever else needs to be recharged!
My headlight of choice is a Niterider MOAB HID, so I can REALLY see, if I decide to ride past dark. Of course, it can be recharged while I ride during the day!
Anyone interested in my setup (pics or more info) email me at badamsjr@earthlink.net. I'll do my best to answer questions and send requested photos.

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Old 05-29-10, 09:32 PM
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You sure you want to ride long distance on a CAAD? I have one as my racing bike but I can't stand riding it longer than about 70 miles. Sure is fast though. I have a steel road bike (Surly Pacer) that is great for long distance though, and I have used a trailer on it and its great. Geometry is different and I can't say how the CAAD would behave.
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Old 05-29-10, 09:56 PM
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I think the fact that the Burley rest its weight on its own wheels is reason enough to go with it over the BOB. I've pulled my son with a 1/2 ton of food, diapers, cameras, you name it and it was quite comfortable. I would suspect that climbing would be not much (if any) worse than it would be with panniers. The reduced strain on the bike vs the BOB would be considerable.
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Old 05-30-10, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by professorbob
I think the fact that the Burley rest its weight on its own wheels is reason enough to go with it over the BOB. I've pulled my son with a 1/2 ton of food, diapers, cameras, you name it and it was quite comfortable. I would suspect that climbing would be not much (if any) worse than it would be with panniers. The reduced strain on the bike vs the BOB would be considerable.
Unless you're hauling a huge load of bricks, a properly loaded B.O.B would be fine. You're blowing things out of proportion. I wouldn't hesitate to use the B.O.B. with any aluminum, steel, or titanium bike. And unless the Burley has three or more wheels, it is not supporting the full weight of the cargo. Assuming it has two wheels, it would have the side-to-side stability advantage, that's it.
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Old 05-30-10, 09:01 AM
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Assuming you can pack light, you may want to consider the Tubus Fly rack and a smaller set of panniers, such as the Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. I'm riding down the PCH in a couple of weeks and will be on my Specialized Tarmac (carbon, racing, very close wheelbase, etc.). I'm choosing this rig as opposed to a BOB, which I did consider quite strongly, almost on the basis of weight alone. The Fly and bags together weigh about 5 lbs, as opposed to 13 lbs for the trailer alone. Also, because the bags are up off the ground, closer to you, the weight seems better-managed by your center of gravity. Of course, I'm planning on keeping my load at 20 lbs. If this isn't for you, disregard, but it may be worth some consideration (in which case I can't speak more highly of Wayne at thetouringstore.com).
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