The Benefits of Bike Trailers

Bike trailers turn your bike into a cargo-bike, or a sport utility vehicle, so that you can transport whatever you need to, by bicycle!

Tote-10

Bike trailers are relatively light, versatile and made to fit most bikes. So you can probably use your favorite bike to haul your cargo, recycling, golf clubs or whatever! And you can still ride it like you’re supposed to ride a bike. You can stand on the pedals, lean side to side, and lean into turns.

Then you can disconnect it from the bike for easy storage or transport.


Benefits of Bike Trailers:

  • Turn your bike into a cargo bike.
  • Detachable – easy to store or transport.
  • Stability – two-wheeled trailers are very stable with heavy loads or children.
  • Streamlined – trailers are low to the ground and single-wheeled trailers track inline with the bike.
  • Bike can lean – you can ride it like a regular bike and stand on the pedals for more power.
  • Easy to fix flats – the wheels are easy to get to and remove.
  • Kid trailers are a safe option for hauling children. These trailers have seats, harnesses and a barrier, and with two wheels they’re very stable, much more so than a Dutch cargo bike.
  • Bike and trailer weigh 100 times less than a car but 10 times more efficient.

biketour - Glacier (bike only)I pulled a BOB trailer across and around the country, used it for commuting and my bike courier service.

BOB trailers are single-wheel bike trailers that work great for touring and commuting. When touring with a BOB you don’t need to worry about weight distribution like you might with panniers. And for commuting you can haul anything from groceries and laundry to sports gear. The trailer is low to the ground, narrow and with the front pivot it tracks inline with the bike. Check them out at http://www.bobgear.com/bike-trailers.


 

I know bike trailers, these are mine.

four bike trailers

I am also very familiar with cargo-trikes. As Outreach Assistant at Ft. Collins’ SmartTrips program from 2000-2004, I used the program’s Pedal Pick-up from Main Street Pedicabs for everything from hauling for event set-ups to delivering loaner bikes. It is basically a large trike with an enclosed bed in the back, that sits over the rear axle. The one we had came with a rechargeable battery and pedal assisted motor. When the battery ran out of juice the trike was very slow with only pedal power. The rechargeable battery was as heavy as a car battery And didn’t last that long. The design of a trike isn’t as efficient as a bike and trailer in my opinion, which is why trikes often have electric assist motors.


Two wheel trailers offer stability for really heavy loads, especially if you hang the bed low. Heavy payloads are more stable the closer to the ground you get the payload, and the wider the wheels on the trailer.

bbrp photoIn the six years I hauled glass, 400 lb loads at a time, 2000-3,500 lbs every week and 280 tons total, I never had a pay-load tip over.

I could also ride the bike like a regular bicycle, which means I could stand on the pedals and lean the bike to either side for power and efficiency.  I could also disconnect and store my trailers easily.

bike move - couchesI moved twice with only bikes and bike trailers! It took me about 10 trips both times, but it worked.

I’ve also used bike trailers for hauling; groceries, laundry, camping gear, touring gear, soccer gear, climbing gear, gardening supplies, lawnmowers, golf clubs, lumber, dogs and even someone with a torn ACL.


 

Food Coop WBTWDWhen I was pulling my covered trailer around working, I often was asked where can you buy one like mine. I had mine custom built so I always recommended Cycletotes as the best, large capacity, retail trailer made.

Here are a few reasons why I think the Cycletote design works so well;

Tote-5  1) seatpost hitch – attaching the trailer at the seatpost gives the rider a large turning radius and pushes the load from the drive wheel.

2) 700c wheels with high pressure tires give the trailer more rolling momentum than smaller trailer wheels.

Tote-43) And a low hanging cargo-bed makes a heavy load more stable and efficient to pull.

Cycletote frames are built in Ft. Collins with high-grade aluminum and have a lifetime warranty. Check them out at https://cycletote.com/trailers/cargo-and-utility-trailers/


Bikes with trailers are an affordable form of urban transportation but can also get you across the country while being outside the whole time!

Thanks for reading my blog!

 

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Published by

robsbike2013

Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources - Colorado State. Promoted alternative transportation, especially bicycles, for four years at City of Fort Collins SmartTrips Program. Rob's Bike Courier Service for nine years. Completed solo, self-contained, cross-country bike tour, riding over 6,000 miles in almost four months. Created the Car-Free Recreation Guide to Northern Colorado, published in 2008. Owner and operator of Get Reel! Push Mowers, a push-reel mower sharpening service. Gardener. Composter. Car-free almost 10 years.

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