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Please discuss your seatpost-hitched trailer experiences

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Please discuss your seatpost-hitched trailer experiences

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Old 02-04-09, 02:46 PM
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Please discuss your seatpost-hitched trailer experiences

I'm going to be going on tour pulling some sort of trailer and am trying to gather information. I have only pulled kiddie trailers with bikes a handful of times and have a few questions on how different types of trailers can affect handling. I've read through numerous threads discussing differences between two-wheeled and single and left-side hitch vs hitching on both sides, but I haven't been able to find much on seatpost mounted trailers. Could those who have used seatpost mounted trailers talk about what they like/dislike about them?

I'm considering taking an used Adam's Trail-a-Bike and converting it to cargo use as a sort of seatpost hitched Extrawheel. I'd remove the seatpost/bars/cranks while mounting panniers on either side. I've heard great things about the handling of the Extrawheel trailer and, provided I keep the weight low and centered near the trailer wheel, can I expect similar handling from a seatpost mounted version? I've read some comments about the high hitch mount requiring you to lean a lot more on the bike in high speed corners. Is that only for two wheeled trailers? Is shimmying/fishtailing any worse than say with a Bob Yak when braking when flying down hills? If I stand up to pump with the bike swinging side to side will that make the trailer fishtail badly?
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Old 02-06-09, 03:30 AM
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Since you`we got the stuff already I suggest you set it up as intended and start using it for grocery hauling and one or two weekend tours. This is going to be different from a regular seatposted trailer, and different from riding with a child on the rear bike. Therefor I suspect you are not going to get any good anwers.

It sounds like a good idea, but try it out first. Maybe you want to make some big x-tra type bags to put your stuff in to get the weight where you want it and a much bulk as you want).
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Old 02-06-09, 11:24 AM
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Finally a response! I'm kinda worried by how few people seem to use seatpost-hitched trailers...

I don't currently have the trail-a-bike but there's one for pretty cheap on craigslist right now. I could make my own trailer but I'm thinking that I won't be able to make as light and strong a trailer as the trail-a-bike, nor will I be able to do as good a job on the hitch.

In my OP I didn't mean that I wanted to only hear about the experiences of those with single-wheel seatpost mounted trailers. I'd also like to hear about any sort of seatpost mounted trailer experiences, including those who have used a trail-a-bike with a kid or used a two-wheel seatpost mounted trailer.
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Old 02-06-09, 12:40 PM
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I've used a seatpost mounted hitch, but it was a two-wheel trailer and handled completely differently. http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/refl...es/trailer.jpg
It tended to hold my bike up for me, which was great when loading/unloading kids. However, the trade off is that it always held my bike in place, cornering was more like a trike and I had a hard time with the stand and mash. The trailer wouldn't allow me to swing the bike while pumping, and I found it really hard to get used to the feeling.

There are a number of threads in Recreation and Family that mention the trail-a-bikes, you might want to search over there a little. The difference from kids to cargo mainly has to do with the wiggle factor so any advice you get should be useful.
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Old 02-06-09, 03:24 PM
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With a child on a trail-a-bike you also get the weight much higher up (torso). I would expect you to put your panniers/ bags a bit lower on the bike than the weight of a child would be.

I know in general that there can be some problems with the hitch since there is a lot of strain on it. Weight is high up as already mentioned, and some children tend to lean to one side instead of balancing, at least for a start. Also a price/ quality issue as always.

I had a two wheeled trailer for kids. Did not use it much. I found it heavy, homemade seatpost hitch.

I think if you do not already own a trail-a-bike I think i would rather buy a light two wheeled kiddy trailer second hand. If you want a one wheeled I also heard great things about the Extrawheel. Remember that one is made for speed, the trail-a-bike is not.

Did you try the Touring forums? I think a lot of them has toured with trailers.
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Old 02-06-09, 04:35 PM
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I used trail-a-bikes for years, with no problems. I even had one with two seats on it, which I sometimes pulled with our adult tandem. No problem at all, but, when I sold it to a friend of mine, he didn't like it. He felt it was too wobbly. Go figure! He didn't like it, yet my wife and I felt perfectly comfortable with it. I guess it's all a matter of preference. I'd say try it, and see how it feels.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:51 PM
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I actually find the seat-post hitch on my trail-a-bike annoying.

If it's too tight, the trail-a-bike turns very hard, and can even turn the seat-post/seat. Backing up on a turn when dismounted, or even turning a corner riding forward can become very difficult. The wheel of the trail-a-bike skips when you turn corners too.

If it's too loose, it turns great, but then the hitch eventually slips down the tube, which then rubs on the rear rack. I put duct tape under the hitch in hopes that it will keep the hitch from slipping down. So far it seems to be working. But the more weight you put in the back the more it will want to slip down, so keep that in mind.

I keep thinking that the best hitching solution for a trail-a-bike is Burley's -- they integrate it into a a rack. But then your rear rack isn't as useful as it could/should be, especially for a tourer such as yourself.

As for fishtailing, I think it depends on the weight you're carrying and how it's distributed. I'd definitely try it out before doing anything long-distance with it. I can't help but remember the tourer's rule of thumb here--pack almost as much weight on your FRONT rack as you would on your rear rack for best stability. It makes me think that you'd be awful light up front if everything is way back there. I think the weight dynamic with what you propose is different than a trailer, which hitches much lower and is thus more stable. Since this hitches so high it's inherently a lot less stable.

The other thing to think about is that putting a lot of weight that far in the back can make it a pain to handle the bike when dismounting and/or picking the bike up when it falls over, especially with 60-70lbs of gear in the rear. WHat made me think of this is that just today, my 40 lb kid on the trail-a-bike fell over when I accidentally let go of the bike as I dismounted. Nobody got hurt, but picking my bike and him back up was a real pain. Even without a kid on it, it can sometimes be a pain to maneuver the bike and trail-a-bike for easy mounting/dismounting.
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Old 02-07-09, 08:30 AM
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I have use both. For what you are proposing the best bet is going to be to get it set up and take it for a decent length test ride. As a general rule I prefer the lower mount, it gets the fulcrum point down lower and makes it harder for the trailer to lever the bike around. FWIW most of my seat post mounted trailer miles were with the old Cannondale Bugger and there weren't a whole lot of other options at that time. I did find that if you brought the trailer around to 90* with the bike and had the bike nosed against a solid object it was pretty hard to have it fall over while loading.

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Old 02-07-09, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the responses! I'm going to be touring with a road bike and so will not have any racks or panniers. Aside from a possible handlebar bag, all my gear will be in the trailer. I have a bit of experience with lightweight backpacking so I'm not expecting to carry more than 25lbs of gear, not including food/water.

Luis Vivanco, what kind of trail-a-bike do you have? It seems like there's lots of variation in the hitch quality of the various manufacturers. I'm anticipating leaning into high speed corners as I'm bombing mountains so getting a trailer that tracks and corners well is pretty important to me.

badmother, I considered the Extrawheel but it's out of my price range. Used kiddie trailers are affordable but I was worried about the width, weight, and air drag. I couldn't find a case where a person has toured with a converted trail-a-bike. The closest I've seen was this trailer out in SF:
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Old 02-08-09, 06:06 AM
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May not apply to what you're doing, but what I have found in towing a canoe, http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/g...guide_147.html, on a trailer, http://www.wicycle.com/canoe_woody_w...le_trailer.php, behind my Townie3, is that the way the weight is distributed fore and aft in the trailer can be very important. With the trailer's attachment point to the bike being up high on the bike, on the seatpost, too much or too little weight on the drawbar will make the bike less stable. I use my Townie for this trailer mainly because it's my most inherently stable bike. The trailer should be loaded so that it's just a little bit heavier toward the front.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
Luis Vivanco, what kind of trail-a-bike do you have? It seems like there's lots of variation in the hitch quality of the various manufacturers. I'm anticipating leaning into high speed corners as I'm bombing mountains so getting a trailer that tracks and corners well is pretty important to me.
My t-a-b is a gary fisher freeloader. It being basically a Trek product, its attachment is the same as you'd find on any of the Trek Mountain Train: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...rs/mttrain241/. No bombing with this hitch--if not just because of the hitch attachment to the seat post, but also I think the quick release axel piece might not be strong enough with so much weight on it. (Although, having said that, I get a whole train going of my t-a-b, which then has a Burley trailer attached to it--kids on each-- which is a pretty weighty rig altogether, and I've never had any problems with the axel in question.)
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Old 01-16-10, 07:53 PM
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seatpost-hitched seatpost

hi enthusiast, i think i have your solution.I two was intensely searching for a seatpost-hitched trailer. Very lucky for me i went to one of my local bike shop, they had a BIKE-A-PACK from adam's.
Sadly they don't make it anymore. it's the same as a trail-a-bike but for carring stuff. Since the store was stock with it, i got it cheap. here's two photo, one at the store and one on my bike.there is also aevon trailers a germain company, but those trailers will cost you a arm and leg !!!!!!!!(and i don't even when to think about the shipping cost!!!!)
good luck in your search.

p.s.:i added a photo of a aveon trailers and one of a others company i can't find on the net
(i think it's tony's trailers)

i hope it help you.
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Old 01-17-10, 07:04 AM
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All you need is the Oxtail Bike Trailer.Take a look at the pics & videos.

http://www.oxtailbicycletrailers.com/index.html
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Old 01-18-10, 12:37 PM
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briorinos, timothias, thanks for the suggestions but this is an old thread. I already made a seatpost-mounted trailer and used it on a bike tour this past summer.
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Old 01-18-10, 01:15 PM
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trailers

Enthusiast, how did it(your tour) go with it? i know a lot of people who are affraid to do tours/big tours with any kind of trailer. from the few threads i saw they say it's always a wheel axes failure or a frame failure. i am curious how much it cost you to make/modify a trail-a-bike trailer;that is what i wanted to do before i saw the trail-a-pack and bougth it. I would like to see some pics of your set-up to see how you packed it and how you made it.(it's all new to me, i am just starting)

thanks.
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Old 01-25-10, 02:57 PM
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The trailer broke my bike frame 3 weeks into the tour. I used a 80s steel racing frame which couldn't take the weight of the trailer wrenching on the seatpost. The top tube broke away from the headtube at the lug. I think a non-racing bike could handle the weight better.

Making the trailer cost me maybe 10 dollars. I volunteer at a bike co-op and pieced together the trailer from scrap bikes, components, etc.
Here's the equipment page from my tour journal: CGOAB Equipment Page

I stitched together a hammock type sling from an old tent and laid a hiking pack in there while riding. At night I'd telescope out the trailer and sleep in the hammock, suspended between the bike and the trailer wheel. It was a really fun design but it certainly needed more work. I've stopped using the trailer, not because I'm afraid of it breaking another bike, but because I tour with a very minimal setup now and don't need the hauling capacity of a trailer.

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Old 01-27-10, 01:58 PM
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