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View Full Version : Bike Trailers, What do you use?


K'Tesh
01-08-2008, 10:36 PM
I got the following private message, but I thought that this would be a good topic.

I noticed in your user photo that you have a Bob trailer. I'm considering getting a trailer and everyone swears by their Burly trailers. I've known a couple of people who love their Bob trailers, but I've also heard stories of them becoming unstable if loaded improperly.

I hope you don't mind sharing your experience with the Bob trailer.

Well, first, it's not a Bob trailer, it's a Yakima Big Tow... It was Yakima's reply to the very successful Bob trailer. Yakima, I understand no longer manufactures the Big Tow, perhaps due to legal trouble, or a lack of sales, I don't know.

I bought it to use for bike touring (then never did a tour), so it ended up being mostly used for grocery shopping. I mainly use it for large shopping trips, as it is a bit of a hassle to drag the bike and trailer around Winco (yes, I take them both inside, but I use a shopping cart to carry the trailer). It is capable of towing about 70lbs and its crossed more than 20 bridges (I've had it on the last two Bridge Pedal rides, the last one with Kenny, a large balloon Velo-si-rapter (Bicyclisaurus)). I've noticed that it does slow me down, and I do have to pedal a little harder than without it, but that's to be expected.

It tracks directly behind the bike. I've never had a problem with it causing any kind of instability while riding. It's major problems are attaching the loaded trailer (it can be a bit heavy), backing up (it can and does jackknife), and parking the bike ('cause it's hard to find something to lean it on). Had I found a Bob for the same price, I may have gone with that, but I never considered any other style of trailer, as I don't like their attachment point/methods. The Big Tow came with a waterproof bag, I really appreciated that.

I've modified it slightly, I slimed the tire (was going flat), added a taillight (Blackburn Mars... I found that I don't like lights that require small screwdrivers to replace the batteries), and covered it with reflective film.

Final thought, I'm happy with it.

Now, for you other trailer owners, what do you use? and Why?

Rubberside Down!

K'Tesh

rainperimeter
01-09-2008, 02:05 AM
i have a burley nomad. my employer purchased it for me through the health/wellness program they have. mark at revolver fudged the receipt to make it look like a bike as my employer wasn't into buying the trailer. i use it for groceries and other similar situations where something is gonna be heavy and not going in my backpack, or there is going to be more of whatever than my backpack can carry.

it's great. it's waterproof. holds a ton of stuff (burley says up to 100lbs.). has helped me and other friends move. if i had a dog i'd have it ride in there. my cats probably wouldn't go for that.

mizake
01-09-2008, 09:22 AM
my girlfriend and i use the burley nomad as well. we've been using it for 2 years now and as we do not drive, it has been hauling everything: groceries, shelves, beer, chairs, a giant kitchen cutting board/island/spice-rack, and many other things. we've also loaded our large cat carrier for vet visits (lowering tire pressure for a smoother ride for the cats helps). often times i'm certain we've exceeded the 100lb "capacity" listed for the trailer. i've even taken it off-road a few times with a full load and punished it on purpose, just to see how well it could handle it. it passed with flying colors and hasn't flipped once. needless to say, i've been VERY impressed by it's durability and design.

the waterproof top comes off if you have tall loads, as do the sides and back if you've got larger loads. we also use lots of bungee cords with certain loads :)

we purchased ours from city bikes.

highly recommended!

vseven
01-09-2008, 10:45 AM
I am in the market for a trailer and would like to hear whether folks have comments on one or two wheeled trailers and stability, handling etc. I have no experience whatsoever with trailers and need one primarily for grocery shopping. I would use it on a road bike as well as a MTB.

brock
01-09-2008, 10:57 AM
I have a BOB (one-wheeled).

Pros: Tracks and corners really well, almost hard to notice when it's not there. Great for touring and long distances.

Cons: Tough to handle for around town stuff. Backing up, turning in tight spaces, etc. is a real hassle because the trailer won't stay upright as you muscle things around like a two-wheeled one would.

mizake
01-09-2008, 11:01 AM
I am in the market for a trailer and would like to hear whether folks have comments on one or two wheeled trailers and stability, handling etc. I have no experience whatsoever with trailers and need one primarily for grocery shopping. I would use it on a road bike as well as a MTB.

the burley nomad handles extremely well!

there's also a mesh divider which we use to keep the heavier groceries in the front of the trailer to keep from shifting (and possibly crushing fragile stuff), and the weight in the front.

in addition, there is a rack available for seperate purchase, which you can affix to the top of the trailer and bungee other stuff to. AND you can also buy fenders for the trailer wheels.

Cruizer
01-09-2008, 11:20 AM
I gave much thought to trailers last summer and, after researching what's available and what my needs are, I narrowed my final choices to the Burley Nomad versus the Croozer cargo trailer. [Croozer is a sub-brand of Chariot, a Canadian company.]

I chose the Croozer and I've been totally pleased with it. You can get it on this site (and read several real-people reviews) for $199 with free shipping:

http://www.bicycletrailers.com/Croozer-Cargo-Trailer.pro

Or you can get a returned one for $59.00 (no doubt in scratched up condition): http://returnsforsale.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=16

I really like my trailer. It only holds 65 pounds but it has a lot more cubic space than the Burley Nomad, which is one of the reasons I chose it. It goes together easily, is sturdily constructed, and tows and handles smoothly. When I took it out for a test ride (empty) to see what it felt like to tow, I kept looking back to see if it was still there because I couldn't feel any difference from riding trailer-less!

I've used it to haul a week's worth of groceries and I've been on one bike move (and plan to do many more). It has a rain cover and you can remove the back wall to carry longer objects. It's coolest feature, which no other trailers have that I'm aware of, is that the hitch arm has two positions -- regular, for towing, and at an angle that turns it into a handcart! Since it's only a couple of inches wider than a typical grocery store shopping cart, I wheel it in front of me at New Seasons and use it for a grocery cart. This is a totally awesome feature and is the other reason I chose it.

Bicycletrailers.com is a great company to do business with. They are in Wisconsin and if you call them for further info you always get real people and they're very friendly and knowledgable. They also have inexpensive return insurance for something like $5 so that if you decide you don't want it you can return it and they pay the shipping. But I doubt you would want to return it.

joeb
01-09-2008, 11:24 AM
http://www.carryfreedom.com/bamboo.html
http://www.carryfreedom.com/products.html
http://www.carryfreedom.com/custom.html

joeb
01-09-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks for this thread. I've been researching trailers. I was looking at the Nomad. Iíll check out the Croozer.

About a month ago, I got stuck needing to pick up some rental equipment before Kennedy Rentals closed on 11th and Steven's (between Hawthorne and Division). I checked Craigslist and called around to see if I could buy a trailer real quick. Used trailers are hard to come by. My solution was going to be, rent the equipment, walk back to work to drop off equipment, walk back to Kennedy Rental to get bike, ride home to Gresham to get a car, drive back to work to get equipment, deliver equipment, drive home. After renting the equipment, I walked pasted Clever Cycle (9th and Hawthorne), rented a Bakfiet, delivered the equipment and saved 2 hours and a 20 mile round trip in the car. A very cool solution!!

All that to say... I need a trailer. I was told trailers arenít good for touring, but I prefer Cruizerís experience. I have a fairly lightweight road bike. I donít know if that is an issue for hauling a trailer.

One of the criteria I was looking for, and could not find anywhere, was a quick unhook shopping cart conversion for groceries. I canít believe it exists. Primarily I would use the trailer around town (want to join a bike move) but would also like to take overnighters in the Gorge or weekends to the Coast.

...checking out bicycletrailers.com now. Thanks!

rainperimeter
01-10-2008, 12:29 AM
Primarily I would use the trailer around town (want to join a bike move) but would also like to take overnighters in the Gorge or weekends to the Coast.


i used my trailer once on an overnighter (coast range) and that sucked. i was going with a friend who was gonna carry his stuff on his back the whole way (just over 50 miles out from hillsboro). i thought that was crazy, he was going to be suffering by mid-ride. so we took my trailer and that ended up slowing us down drastically. never again...

mizake
01-10-2008, 08:13 AM
i used my trailer once on an overnighter (coast range) and that sucked. i was going with a friend who was gonna carry his stuff on his back the whole way (just over 50 miles out from hillsboro). i thought that was crazy, he was going to be suffering by mid-ride. so we took my trailer and that ended up slowing us down drastically. never again...

I still haven't used the nomad for camping, which is sad. However, I pretty much figure it's going to slow me down considerably (how could it not?). especially filled with food, beer, and gear.

The bike that I use to pull the trailer is also a workhorse and nowhere near as nimble as my commuter. Since my commuter/main ride is a track bike, the trailer hitch won't work (space between hub and dropout is too narrow), and I flat out won't attach a trailer to that frame in any case.

scdurs
01-10-2008, 11:34 AM
Here is a comparison chart that is kinda handy:

http://biketrailershop.com/catalog/compare.php

On a similar note: My friend said he prefers to use a Burly kid trailer over the Nomad because it can carry more cargo. I guess that's why they offer the top rack accessory for the Nomad, eh?

I liked the Croozer until I noticed the weight was 25 pounds and its only rated for a 66 pound load! The Nomad is only 14.5 pounds and can carry a 100 pound load. Not that I'll be pulling 114.5 pounds, mind you, but that's a huge difference there. That suggests that the Burly, while lighter, is more sturdy?

Matt P.
01-10-2008, 03:07 PM
I have a super-cheap "In Step" trailer. It's rated at 100 lbs and is meant to hold 2 children. I haven't modified it at all. I find it works well for groceries, boxes, and anything you can get around the permanently attached fabrics seats. I've also used it to haul steel tubing, a hide-a-bed from IKEA (boxed), furniture from Goodwill, and a number of other atypical items, and it's worked quite well.

peacepeddler
02-04-2008, 04:42 PM
I have a Burly trailer as well. I did some modifications to it. Felt kind of weird considering how much I paid for it. I took off all of the fabric. So it is a open trailer with no canopy. I have the four corner uprights that fold down across trailer. That way I can have a flat trailer if needed. When the four corner uprights are vertical. I have cross members that attach with very easy installation, and removal. When I have everything installed on the trailer. I can fit two of the large square rubber maid plastic bins. Usually have a bungee cord over the top. With the two bins I can fit lots of stuff in them. Grocery shopping, laundry, recycling, etc. This trailer I modified for strict use as a work trailer for around town (Arcata, CA). Piece of cake....

Tait
02-13-2008, 10:26 PM
Nice thread. I've been eyeing trailers lately, and had narrowed it down to either:
http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trailers/model-32a-bike-cart.html or http://www.bikerev.com/pg3.cfm. The first one is rather spendy, but appears sturdy and it's expandable (for extra $$).

Anyone have experience with either one?

What are general thoughts about trailer width? Does anyone have a sense of how wide is too wide?

Western Flyer
03-03-2008, 09:31 PM
I use an Oregon made Kool Mule made by the Kool Stop brake pad folks. I has a 100 lb capacity and is single-wheel. It is set up for 6 panniers, but I fabíd some canvass carriers similar to the Xtracycle system. It is very easy to load 4 to 6 bags of groceries or a broken down bicycle.

I had a two-wheel trailer decades ago and it had a nasty habit of flipping over when one wheel hit a bump at speed. I assume there have been improvements since then.

dmc
02-15-2011, 04:55 PM
I just recently purchased an AOSOM brand Cargo Trailer. http://www.aosom.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=46

Assembly was a snap. I lubed up the wheels nice and good.

Two nights ago I loaded the trailer with pillows and hauled my 120lb girlfriend (rated for 180lbs) to a local burrito joint. It was a lot of fun. I could definitely feel the trailer the whole ride. On the flat ground I could get momentum built and got moving at a decent pace.

I'm going to go haul some groceries and a few other things and give a detailed review in a couple weeks. :)

Spiffy
02-15-2011, 07:47 PM
wow, 2 year old thread...

that looks like the same design as 100 lb limit kids trailers... I wonder if they underrate the kid ones for safety reasons...

I haven't pulled much weight since I gave up driving, but it my recreational weekend biking days pulling 75 lbs in the trailer was a lot, so I'd be concerned about pulling 120 lbs, even though I'm in better shape than I was back then a couple years ago...

how far did you go? and were there many hills?

also, why don't you get her a bike of her own?! c(:

dmc
02-16-2011, 01:42 AM
We only went about four miles.

I planned the route for absolutely no elevation.

My girl has her own bike. She is as gangster as they come. I have much respect for her willingness to ride the trailer.

:) <3 <3 <3

Schwinnzilla
02-16-2011, 04:14 PM
I have a schwinn instep trailer works really good so far (I have only had it a week). Says it holds up to 100 pounds not sure on that though and I would rather not test it cause I dont want it to break lol. The reason I bought this one is cause its basically the cheapest ($64.99) I could find in brand new condition. I use it to pick up cans off the road, im sick and tired of seeing all that crap on the side of the road plus a little spare change in my pocket cant beat that.

dmc
02-21-2011, 12:08 AM
I have a schwinn instep trailer works really good so far (I have only had it a week). Says it holds up to 100 pounds not sure on that though and I would rather not test it cause I dont want it to break lol. The reason I bought this one is cause its basically the cheapest ($64.99) I could find in brand new condition. I use it to pick up cans off the road, im sick and tired of seeing all that crap on the side of the road plus a little spare change in my pocket cant beat that.

Wow, that is awesome!

I've heard of people rolling with a broom and clean up glass. You have a whole different category of agenda.

Has your 65 dollar trailer paid for itself yet? With all the cans and stuff you pick up?

I live in Vancouver and grew up familiar with the homeless that take cans down to Jantzen beach. I see some of them with "rich" rewards of cans in their bike trailer. That would be a really fun pictorial. God bless the Oregon can refund!

(p.s. I grew up returning cans for money.) :D

Schwinnzilla
02-21-2011, 10:30 AM
lol its just about paid for itself, and the trailer is pretty tough. I live in scappoose and on the back roads ppl throw cans out the window ALL the time mostly beer cans unfortanetly. I havent taken the cans in just yet but i have about 12 big bags in 2 weeks time. Plus the road is looking a lot nicer.

wsbob
02-21-2011, 10:52 AM
lol its just about paid for itself, and the trailer is pretty tough. I live in scappoose and on the back roads ppl throw cans out the window ALL the time mostly beer cans unfortanetly. I havent taken the cans in just yet but i have about 12 big bags in 2 weeks time. Plus the road is looking a lot nicer.

Impressive! That gets to be a lot of cans. Kind of a messy job too. For your sake, I hope it keeps up, because it's nice to be able to pull in a little cash, just riding around. People out your way apparently still feel sure enough about their income that they can throw money out the window. Wouldn't have thought that about Scapoose residents. Maybe it's out of area people that are trashing the place.

innkpr
07-13-2011, 10:43 AM
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-562919.html

- a good summary of available trailers.

One question for you Burley Nomad owners - the sides look too short to properly keep the rain out with grocery bags fully loaded. Does the rainfly cover the difference down the sides?