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Have just gotten the Nashbar single wheel Trailer

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Have just gotten the Nashbar single wheel Trailer

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Old 08-06-07, 08:25 PM
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elfich
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Have just gotten the Nashbar single wheel Trailer

I just got the Nashbar single wheel trailer. I'm going to post my comments on it as I go.

My immediate observations

Just horsing around with the trailer while not on the bike:
With the trailer mounted the entire assembly is long and a beast. When the bike is not moving and you are dismounted the bike and trailer naturally want to jack-knife or fall over. Very unwieldy in a confined space apartment.
I live on the second floor of an apartment building. You have to be very careful decending with the trailer mounted to the bike as you descend. I would not suggest pure road shoes for this activity, you need all the traction you can get.
Climbing the stairs at the end of the ride was just as hard in a different way: You MUST keep the bike as upright as possible or the trailer will flop around and change climbing the stairs from a chore to a significant hurdle.

Riding:
The trailer likes to descend on hills. Having both brakes ready to go is not optional. You will pick up speed on descents much faster.
Climbing. I had a single courier bag with two large locks in it (one for the bike, one for the trailer). My total extra weight was around twenty five pounds. I found a short sharp hill climb (Pine Street in Albany, NY-cobbles and all) and found that I really wanted to down shift more than the range I had available (front 39,53). I'm guessing I'll be finding a three speed front and a granny gear eventually. Do not attempt to stand on the pedals and rock the bike back and forth in order to get more out of your climb. You have to rock the extra weight of the trailer as well.

So far I like it. I don't feel like I'm (personally) weighted down while on the bike. The overall bike feels 'heavier' but personally I do not loaded down quite so much and that feels a bit better.
I plan on starting to run errands in the 3-7 mile (one way) range and I'll start commenting as I discover idiosyncrasies with the trailer.

Last edited by elfich; 08-07-07 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-06-07, 10:37 PM
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elfich
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A couple of additional observations:
The ball bearings in the quick release easily come loose. The balls lock the quick release into the over-sized skewer nuts and if the nuts go AWOL you cannot lock the trailer onto the bike. I packed them with poly-lube to prevent them from coming loose. We'll see how that holds. I'll eventually pick up some additional ball bearings in case I loose one on the road.

The mounting instructions for the fender are lacking (ie almost nonexistent). I ended up using the picture on the Nashbar website so I could figure out how to mount the fender.

In other news: My cat has claimed the box the trailer came in. Traditional box cat technique: find box, sleep in box.

Last edited by elfich; 08-07-07 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:54 PM
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My cat loves when I get bike stuff, too. Waits patiently while I unpack it, then makes his move.
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Old 08-08-07, 07:25 AM
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elfich
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Went to the grocery store last night. Getting the trailer down the stairs could get old very quickly.

Riding the bike in open traffic is a little bit of an experience. First, your are not going as fast as when you are not towing. Plus the front end feels little unweighted, but that may be from the back end feeling heavy.
Riding with the trailer requires a very deliberative riding style. Sit on the seat and peddle away. No getting out of the saddle to put on more power. Don't do anything in your riding style to unsettle the trailer. If you lean over, the trailer will tip as you do this. The result is that as the trailer tips the hinge will start to flex and the trailer can try to chase you around. You end up with the feeling that the back end is encouraging you to turn in the direction that you are leaning.
Mount the trailer first and then load it up. Not the other way around, something will fall over and get hurt (you, the trailer, the bike, your cargo).
Once you are moving the bike behaves well, if a little sluggish feeling. You want to keep as straight and smooth a line as possible. Trying to weave through the street to find good pavement will punish you with the trailer trying to back talk you a bit.
After towing home forty pounds in cargo over 2.5 miles of patched pavement I can appreciate its uses.

Things to eventually look into:
Touring tires and a rear wheel with an increased spoke count.
Figuring out how to rear bias the weight in the trailer so the third wheel takes more of the load. I had ended up front loading the trailer last night.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:52 PM
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that. Nashbar has been having a big sale over the last week or so. If you were considering a trailer, now is a good time to pick one up at a cheap price.

Now I have cats lining up to take turns in the box. Its a big box but evidently it is only big enough for one cat.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:38 PM
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I got mine freight free too.
I have enjoyed reading your comments, with each I say to my computer "Been there done that".

I had issue with the skewer nuts coming loose till I got em real snug.
I took and screwed a round sealable can under the belly of the trailer near the trailer wheel, inside is a tube for the trailer.
I do not care to haul more than 30 lbs in mine, bike gets squirrely.

I put a mini pad lock in one side of the skewer lock instead of the clip.

Other that what yall said, thats all I got. I hope you like yours as well as I like mine.
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Old 08-10-07, 11:16 AM
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I haven't had issues with the skewer nuts but I 've only had it for a week now.

I like the idea of the can holding the trailer tire. What do you use, something like a tennis ball can? Do you include any tools (tire levers, inflator, etc).

With the forty-some odd pounds in my last posted trip, I noticed the bike is very sensetive to bieng tipped over.

With the mini lock-you are replacing one of the cotter pins with a lock so the trailer cannot be released from the bike unless you have the key?
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Old 08-10-07, 01:45 PM
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Nycycle

Have you tried a kick stand on the trailer to help keep it upright when you are stopped? I was wondering about that.
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Old 08-11-07, 11:45 AM
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Rode to the dojo, gi (aikido uniform) bag and bag to carry bike stuff (locks, ID, etc). Cargo weight was 25-30 pounds (plus trailer & bike). The ride it self was uneventful. On climbs I am geared almost to the bottom but this cargo weight seemed to be a bit more cooperative all the way around (unlike the 45 pound grocery run a couple of nights ago). Can almost get out of the saddle with this weight. I still have to be very attentive to the bikes need's and bike to that.

Locking up is something that requires extra advance planning. I am currently using two locks and a six foot looped cable from Kryptonite. The U-lock locks the bike up (frame and both wheels). The second lock and the cable lock the trailer up (frame and wheel). I am try to find two (secure) poles that are 4-6 feet apart so I can lock up with the trailer still mounted. Then I can lean the whole thing against the two poles and they don't go anywhere as I lock the beast up.

Maintenance issues on the trailer itself: In the course of the last couple of days the trailer has successfully thrown both rear reflectors that it came with. the mounting piece is there, the reflector has slipped from the mounting piece. I have subsequently used Red and Yellow reflective tape on the trailer to make it more visible (most easily found at Wal-Mart. Other choices are Ebay and some Reflective Tape retailers online). The rear fender got a big piece of it.
I lost one of the machine screws that hold the fender in place. I have the the one cranked down. I'll have to go to the hardware store and find a couple more (and some lock nuts to got with it).
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Old 08-11-07, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by elfich View Post
Nycycle

Have you tried a kick stand on the trailer to help keep it upright when you are stopped? I was wondering about that.

No, never thought of that, yes the mini lock locks the skewer thing, The can on the bottom is the can a Specialized Speedo came in, it's held on with a screw right through the bottom of the can into the trailer, bike has tools, I just needed a place to haul the tube. I spoze tennis ball can would work.

Mostly I take it grocery shopping, I just lean it all against the shopping car rack and then lock it up.

If I could post pic I would.

Last edited by Nycycle; 08-11-07 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 08-15-07, 12:15 AM
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I don't have the Nashbar trailer but I do have their waterproof bag and it ROCKS! I got it on one of their cheap sales and its a great bag to have for any time its rainy or snowing.
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Old 08-16-07, 02:05 AM
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To be fair, the reflectors likely got mashed in the closet. The reflecty tape is getting scratched up on the stairs on the ups and downs from the apartment; he has mentioned that he wanted to give the bottom of the trailer a good coating with some spray-on truck bed liner. We need to come up with an effective way of lighting the trailer so some dumbkopf doesn't run over my Diet Cokes.

elfich has come up with a pretty pleasing locking technique involving a Krypto 15' cable attached to his NY U-lock for when he carries my big insulated messenger bag for groceries in the trailer; I need to take a pic of this in the field and post it sometime. The only downside is that he makes me carry the bag upstairs after we're done shopping. :'(

Also, Nycycle, I did not know that you could get a banana hammock in a can nowadays. Technology, huh.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:33 PM
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Comments on riding with the trailer in wind:

A stiff head wind does odd things to the trailer. If you start to get any speed (say on a down hill) and you have a stiff head wind (or worse, a slightly sideways head wind), the trailer will start to act unsettled. squirrely, you could call it.
I almost dumped the whole thing when a car blew past me at that instant and the trailer started acting like it had a mind of its own. Not a fun thirty seconds. I ended up locking my knees to the bike frame to help brace the frame from vibrating, it kind of helped.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:21 PM
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The stated weight capacity for the trailer is 45 pounds. DO NOT EXCEED THE WEIGHT LIMIT.

Here is what happens when you put 60 pounds in the trailer (we went to the grocery store and bought groceries):
The trailer unbalances and turns over; with or without the bike. You have to unbend the trailer so it will stand up again. The trailer is made of steel so it can be unbent without a problem.

We managed to unload the trailer so it had around 50 pounds in it and that rode okay.

The failure mode is quick and unforgiving. If it happens, you MUST lighten your load. If you find that you are going to have to haul heavier loads than 45-50 pounds, find another trailer (like the bob yak at 70 pounds or a two wheel trailer).

After getting it home and checking it out and checking to make sure there was no long term issues it appears to be okay. I just have to be very careful when loading the trailer. When near the load limit, the trailer is much more left-right load sensetive as well. Be careful near the limit.

EDIT: Now I have to wait for my beer to settle before I can drink it.

Last edited by elfich; 08-21-07 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:33 PM
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The trailer suffered catastrophic failure this evening. The joint that had previously bent worried itself into a crack and failed on the joint during a ride home. I had to completely unload the trailer and carry the contents home on a bag. The trailer was towed home unloaded.

I am currently evaluating the trailer to determine if it can be repaired. The cro-moly tubing is pretty thin so finding a welding shop that is willing to take on repair work (and not make hash of it) may be tough.

In the long run I would suggest against this trailer. It is too easy to accidentally overload the trailer and cause it to fail. I had the trailer for less than a year before rendering it inoperable.

Last edited by elfich; 03-03-08 at 10:39 PM. Reason: extra clarification
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Old 03-04-08, 12:17 AM
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this was really helpful
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Old 03-04-08, 08:19 AM
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convinced me to stay with a two wheeled trailer
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Old 03-04-08, 05:24 PM
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Elfich, sorry it didn't work out. I've been following this thread with interest, and your experience confirms most of what I've learnt from the single wheel trailer I built last year.

For these and other reasons I've concluded that a two wheeled trailer is usually a better choice for load hauling and general utility use.
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Old 03-06-08, 05:15 PM
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I'm planning on taking a serious look at the BOB trailer. From what I know it is more robustly built and can can more abuse.
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Old 07-01-08, 12:23 PM
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I received my nashbar trailer last week (free shipping deal) but didn't get it out until last night due to smoke (NorCal). I was pretty apprehensive after reading that others had difficulty with the single wheel concept. Took it for a spin around the neighborhood last night for the first time and it pulls great. I could hardly tell that it was there. Pulled fine up and down hills, took corners well, even pretty sharp ones. Mind you it was not loaded, but it wasn't squirrelly at all even when standing on climbs. It tracks great and never came close to tipping or anything. I will take it to get some grocery's tonight so I will post back that experience. I can see how the load should be balanced, but cannot see how I could tip it over or even on it's side. It was way too stable for that to happen. I wonder if people who are having problems with it tracking right really got the lock nut on the mounting arms tight enough?

Thats my report
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Old 07-03-08, 11:05 PM
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I've had one for over 6 months now.

I regularly haul 65 pounds of tools to work, 3 miles each way. 'Town' is 6 miles. I ride singlespeed so I have to stand sometimes. I've learned that the trailer likes to do weird stuff, but it's not as bad as it feels, just go with it. Just stand and crank, or muscle it into the corner. I'm not even clipped in when going to work. I routinely do 2ft drops in town with 20lbs in it.

Only serious excitement I've had is hitting stutter bumps on a sharp corner down a fast paved hill. YIKES! Gentle brakes and luck kept me out of the other lane, it did not want to turn as sharp as I wanted.

Pushing it around with a load takes some strength and often feels like it's tweaking things. On my 29er it catches the rear tire if I turn it too sharp, hasn't done it while riding it.

I lost the ball bearings in one of the pins, so I wired it to the frame. Multiple times I bent the trailer frame a bit, but generally left it tweaked, didn't affect the ride. Recently I broke one of the main bars near the joint. I've lightened my load a bit and am going to see a friend who's a machinist/welder. I brought the full load home tonight and it was ok.

I'd like to mount the tie-rod ends to my frame instead of the axle. I'll get a more solid connection and quick release again. Add some gussets in key areas. Maybe mod it for a 20".

I get more space than usual from cars when I'm towing it. Lots of positive comments. Prius drivers won't make eye contact, they bow their heads and shuffle quickly to their stinky cars.

Definitely worth $90. Great for loads up to 50 lbs. Could handle more with easy mods.

I'm going to try a Burley Flatbed for around $200. Not too thrilled about the extra width on narrow roads, but we'll see. I'll have options!

Last edited by BIG-E; 07-03-08 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-04-08, 11:07 AM
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interesting thread ... thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-04-08, 04:33 PM
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I have had on of these for a year and have used it for a 200 mile self contained tour and many grocery and shopping runs. I find that if I get over about 35 lbs the handling of the bike is effected quite a bit. I use a rear triangle mount kickstand from greenfield and it works just fine. When I used the center mount stand it didn't work well at all. I originally had an issue with the ball bearing in the quick release mechanism, the hole in the think was not round and the bearing would fall out. Nashbar gave me a new one and I haven't had any more problems. I have found it to be useful and did I mention cheap.
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Old 07-08-08, 11:11 AM
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So since I last posted here about my trailer experience I have taken the trailer to the grocery store a couple of times and to the farmers market.
The first trip I took a cooler, which fit in the cart perfectly, and picked up 4 gal of milk, 2 7lb bags of ice, some butter and a few other items. All told almost 60 lbs. I thought I was in trouble as I walked my rig to the parking lot, it was way unstable. But as I mounted up and started moving it was fine. At 20 mph it started to wobble and almost pulled me over. So with the speed at around 15 and a smooth steady cadence it was just fine.
My next couple of trips I carried loads of 45 and 48 lbs with no problems at all. Any wobbles were easy to control. I had a top speed of 28 mph with no issues at all.
Yesterday I took it to the store again and picked up what ended up being 67lbs. along with some dry goods I had two gal of milk. The liquid weight seems to be the issues with wobble. but with only two gal, I could control it ok. I did find that sitting way back on the saddle at higher speeds helped a ton.

All in all the cart works great. But I will still likely move to an xtracycle.
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Old 07-14-08, 08:58 AM
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Trailer capacity

When I got my trailer the instructions were not to exceed 45 lbs. Has this changed? I read recently in Nashbar's description of the trailer that they had made the swing arms bigger and that they could be retrofitted to older trailers. Regarding BOB capacity of 70 lbs, I don't see how this kind of weight could not affect the handling of the bike, looks like the same physics are in play for all one wheel trailers. There is currently a guy on tour(Victor Weinreiber, crazyguyonabike) with a heavily loaded BOB that has had 2 failures of the swing arms.

Happy trailering
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