Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 6th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
Eugene-based BicycleR Evolution knows a thing or two about trailers. The 15 year-old company is owned by Ian Scholz, brother of Alan and Hans Scholz, the guys who run Bike Friday (Alan also founded Burley Designs back in 1973). But, when the "EcoShopper" trailer showed up on my porch a few weeks ago, I had no idea of its esteemed heritage. It just seemed like a well designed and handy bike trailer. Now I know why.
The EcoShopper is a basic trailer. Its got two wheels, a hitch arm and axle made from thick aluminum tubing and that holds up a plastic, 27 gallon (6237 cu. in.) cargo bin. The minimalistic hitch is great because I can use it simultaneously with my Burley trailer hitch and it attaches to the trailer arm with a pneumatic hose fitting. The wheels, frame, and hitch attachment method are all very similar to the Bike Friday trailers I've used when traveling with my folder. The reason? Ian Scholz designed those too.
I put the EcoShopper together very quickly. Just some washers and some bolts to tighten. My first trip was to the store with a bunch of beer bottles to recycle. It worked great: It tracked behind the bike and didn't throw off the handling of my bike. Being mostly plastic and using small wheels, the whole thing is relatively light. That's handy when rolling the trailer around like a shopping cart. Although for those of us over 6-feet tall, the handle is a bit short and you either have to hunch over a bit or tilt the trailer so much that your stuff falls over. A minor quibble.
The trailer is rated for 75 pounds. When not loaded, it flipped on me twice, but that's more likely because I cut a few curb ramps and driveways too tight. Overall, I love this trailer. It's affordable at $179 and a no-brainer to assemble and use. The hitches are simple too. I'd buy several of them to put on all my family's bikes so we could all just hook it on and have an instant cargo bike.
Ian at BicycleR Evolution is still looking for a few beta testers. If you become one, you can get the trailer for $99 in exchange for staying in contact with him and offering your input. BTA members can get 10% off the trailer's $179 standard price and free shipping within Oregon (free shipping and discount does not apply to beta program).
If the EcoShopper is interesting to you, you might also like to check out our review of the Burley Travoy. Check out a few more photos in our gallery and see the BicycleR Evolution site for more detailed images, videos, and more information.