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1 vs. 2 wheel trailer

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1 vs. 2 wheel trailer

Old 05-06-13, 08:56 PM
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jowilson
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1 vs. 2 wheel trailer

I am making a 2 wheel trailer for touring and I was reading this how-to guide and somewhere on that page it says that 1 wheel trailers can't carry as much weight but have better high speed stability. Then it states that 2 wheel trailers can carry more weight but have lower stability at high speeds. Why is this? I can't understand why and I have spent a whopping minutes self debating this but I can't come to a conclusion why... I'm also curious how one accomplishes right turns with a trailer hitch like this one.

TIA

Josh
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Old 05-07-13, 07:35 AM
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Maybe I'd get better luck in the touring forum...
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Old 05-08-13, 03:50 AM
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I have used both extensively. One is a BOB Yak, the other Burley. Think about the single wheeled trailer as an extension of your bike. It leans into a turn with the rest of the bike allowing the rider to carve the turn naturally at any speed. The two wheeler does not and cannot do this. It behaves more as a trailer on a car does with the inside wheel forced to turn slower than the outside wheel which discourages carving and speed at the same time. As for load capacity the 2 wheeler is larger. I have loaded the BOB with 60 pounds of gear with no problems other than lack of space to put stuff. The Burley has carried just shy of 100 pounds and had the room to do it. Could have put more in there, but it is real tough up hill with that much gear in there!
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-08-13, 07:55 AM
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This hitch is easy to make from 1/8" x 1" flat stock and some bolts and nuts and is way better than that one.



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Old 05-08-13, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jowilson View Post
I am making a 2 wheel trailer for touring and I was reading this how-to guide and somewhere on that page it says that 1 wheel trailers can't carry as much weight but have better high speed stability. Then it states that 2 wheel trailers can carry more weight but have lower stability at high speeds. Why is this? I can't understand why and I have spent a whopping minutes self debating this but I can't come to a conclusion why... I'm also curious how one accomplishes right turns with a trailer hitch like this one.

TIA

Josh
One wheel trailers will want to track in a line behind the bike's wheels. Two wheel trailers will want to squirm back and forth due to their tire treads reacting to road imperfections.

Roads are never glass smooth.
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Old 05-08-13, 04:49 PM
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I've decided to use a one-wheel trailer because of what you and the folks in the touring forum said about two wheelers.

So now I have a few questions about the design.

1. Reynolds: What is the name of that hitch in the picture and can it be bought at any local Home Depot or Lowes?

2. Do you have to have bolt on wheels to attach the hitch via the axle or will I be fine with my QR?

3. I have read in just about every DIY Bicycle Cargo Trailer that 16" wheels should be used. I don't have any 16" wheels and I also think that it would be better to have the trailer as close as possible to the height of the bike. In my case, I have 26" wheels on my bike which leaves the dropout 13" off the ground. If I attach the hitch to this, then wouldn't using 16" wheels make the trailer downward sloping?

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Old 05-09-13, 06:09 PM
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So I was just making some drawings for the trailer design and realized why 16" wheels are so common and that's because they keep the trailer low down on the ground and keeps it more stable. Any one got any blueprints for w single wheeler they made?

Josh
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Old 05-12-13, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jowilson View Post
1. Reynolds: What is the name of that hitch in the picture and can it be bought at any local Home Depot or Lowes?
It's a DIY hitch, easy to make with only a few common tools. Note that it's for a 2 wheel trailer.
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Old 07-22-13, 12:47 PM
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is the trailer arm straight? it's gotta be curved out to make a right turn.

my one wheel trailer broke when turning too tight a circle https://commutercycling.blogspot.com/...es-review.html
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Old 07-22-13, 01:38 PM
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I am making a 2 wheel trailer for touring...
I'm also curious how one accomplishes right turns with a trailer hitch
the one you linked to is rather crudely made , I wouldn't leave town using it..


I have 2 , 2 wheel trailers , they each use a flexible elastomer connection between hitch on bike
and the tongue tube on the trailer..

tongue on my Carry Freedom City comes in at a right angle to the bike.
the one on the Burly flat bed it comes in at a 45 degree angle ..

that is only noticeable turning sharp at low speeds like maneuvering it walking and backing up.


How High a speed did you have in mind.. ?? there are brakes on larger cat/truck towed trailers for a reason,
but bikes are not really going that fast, and if that is a worry you can build trailer wheels around drum brakes
like made for front wheels on bikes. , add another brake lever
then the trailer can drag the bike back on a steep hill,
rather than have the load wanting to pass you if you brake from the bike in front.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-22-13 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 07-22-13, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jowilson View Post
I'm also curious how one accomplishes right turns with a trailer hitch like this one.
The tow bar that connects that type of hitch to the trailer is curved so it goes away from the bike on the right side before curving back to connect to the front of the trailer.

I have a two-wheel trailer for my Bike Friday and have never had any stability issues even when going downhill at high speeds. A clear disadvantage of two-wheeled trailers is that you now have to worry about three parallel wheel tracks when riding on uneven terrain off-road or even on poor road surfaces. Single wheel trailers follow rather close to the same track as the bicycle wheels making it much easier to avoid hitting obstacles. OTOH, for utility use I much prefer the two-wheeled trailer. For one thing it can be unhitched from the bike and still be used to carry things. And I've found them easier to load and unload.
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Old 08-05-13, 04:41 AM
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2 wheels trailers can flip under some circumstances, usually from being bounced around when lightly loaded. I haven't flipped mine but I am aware of the rear wheel tracking and try to avoid potholes.
The advantages of each are pretty much as you said, single wheel has better tracking and is flip-proof, 2-wheel has better loadbearing and can usually carry larger volume loads.
A good rule of thumb is single wheel for touring, 2 wheel for utility.

The lollipop style of hitch is really good and can be adapted to fit many trailers.
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Old 08-05-13, 06:47 AM
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I've never used a one-wheel trailer. I've used two-wheel trailers quite a bit. I ride pretty fast and nimbly and never had the problems that others have had. I don't know why this is. This leaves me entirely satisfied with my two-wheel trailers. I get them cheap on craigslist and yard sales. I don't see any bargains on one-wheel trailers.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've never used a one-wheel trailer. I've used two-wheel trailers quite a bit. I ride pretty fast and nimbly and never had the problems that others have had. I don't know why this is. This leaves me entirely satisfied with my two-wheel trailers. I get them cheap on craigslist and yard sales. I don't see any bargains on one-wheel trailers.
I'm with you. I have a Schwinn Free Spirit (two wheels) and I bounce that thing over rain gutters all the time empty and loaded and I've never had it flip or get squirrly.
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