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Touring loaded bike or trailer?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
In article <119jr2n3vcls59b@corp.supernews.com>,
"Ken" <kcmarcet-dispose-trash@hotpop.com> wrote:

> I am thinking seriously about doing a bit of in-state (Florida) touring late
> this summer / fall, and I am curious as to opinions about whether to load
> the bike down with front and rear pannier racks (actually already have rack
> on the back) or to invest in a trailer. The rack I have on the back is rated
> for 35 lbs. And I figure if I got a trailer that could carry another 35 lbs.
> that would be 70 lbs. which I think is probably the most I would want to
> haul on a tour. I have seen and read about people that load the bike up with
> 70 lbs. and then have a trailer too! Seems like they are hauling a bit too
> much too me.
>
> Ken


I rode from McMinville ( Portland ), Oregon to Philadelphia, Pa on a
flat bar equipped Moots Psyclo-Cross. I towed a Cycle Tote 2 wheel
trailer.

I was told many times.... "you can't do that!"

I carried about 60lbs which was probably too much, but as I had a Joe
Blow floor pump, I was the most popular rider first thing in the AM.

The hardest part with the trailer was telling friends they could NOT put
"stuff" onboard.

I carried nothing on the bike but me.

YMMV

HAND
post #2 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

On Sun, 29 May 2005 17:01:17 GMT, H M Leary <mikie357@verizon.net> wrote:

>In article <119jr2n3vcls59b@corp.supernews.com>,
> "Ken" <kcmarcet-dispose-trash@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>> I am thinking seriously about doing a bit of in-state (Florida) touring late
>> this summer / fall, and I am curious as to opinions about whether to load
>> the bike down with front and rear pannier racks (actually already have rack
>> on the back) or to invest in a trailer. The rack I have on the back is rated
>> for 35 lbs. And I figure if I got a trailer that could carry another 35 lbs.
>> that would be 70 lbs. which I think is probably the most I would want to
>> haul on a tour. I have seen and read about people that load the bike up with
>> 70 lbs. and then have a trailer too! Seems like they are hauling a bit too
>> much too me.
>>
>> Ken

>
>I rode from McMinville ( Portland ), Oregon to Philadelphia, Pa on a
>flat bar equipped Moots Psyclo-Cross. I towed a Cycle Tote 2 wheel
>trailer.
>
>I was told many times.... "you can't do that!"


Since I know nothing about towing a trailer, but I'm interested, why would
they tell you that?

What kind of a towing hitch do they use? I'm trying to imagine leaning the
bike from side-to-side a little, standing and climbing. Is it just a ball
and socket or what? Forgive my ignorance. ;-)

>I carried about 60lbs which was probably too much, but as I had a Joe
>Blow floor pump, I was the most popular rider first thing in the AM.
>
>The hardest part with the trailer was telling friends they could NOT put
>"stuff" onboard.


Any other trailer/touring hints?

>I carried nothing on the bike but me.


Did that turn out to be a good thing in comparision to those riding with
you using panniers? Could you keep up with them easily, or vice-versa?

TIA

jj

>YMMV
>
>HAND
post #3 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

i'd go for a single-wheel trailer... more aero, less problems with
cross wind, less likely to beat up your bike/wheels.

I use a two-wheel 'double wide' burley almost every day for kids,
groceries etc. and while the payload is fantastic, having a 34" wide
track with three wheel tracks to think about when approaching debris is
a bit problematic.

d
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

In article <9t3k91lkpjhps4chbr2qqqcrp63hoakj1o@4ax.com>,
jj<jet@jetnet.com> wrote:

snip
> >
> >I rode from McMinville ( Portland ), Oregon to Philadelphia, Pa on a
> >flat bar equipped Moots Psyclo-Cross. I towed a Cycle Tote 2 wheel
> >trailer.
> >
> >I was told many times.... "you can't do that!"

>
> Since I know nothing about towing a trailer, but I'm interested, why would
> they tell you that?


Not aero enough and not enough hand positions. Bogus because with "bar
ends" I had no problem.

> What kind of a towing hitch do they use? I'm trying to imagine leaning the
> bike from side-to-side a little, standing and climbing. Is it just a ball
> and socket or what? Forgive my ignorance. ;-)


Take a look at http:/www.cycletote.com for abetter explanation than I
can give.

> >I carried about 60lbs which was probably too much, but as I had a Joe
> >Blow floor pump, I was the most popular rider first thing in the AM.
> >
> >The hardest part with the trailer was telling friends they could NOT put
> >"stuff" onboard.

>
> Any other trailer/touring hints?


I don't do that much self supported touring, but with experience you
will find out what you need and what you don't. the trick is to carry as
little as possible.

> >I carried nothing on the bike but me.


Not entirely true. I did wear a Camelbak Rocket. 72oz of water and a
rain jacket/ wind breaker.

> Did that turn out to be a good thing in comparision to those riding with
> you using panniers? Could you keep up with them easily, or vice-versa?


Yes, no problems there. Make sure the bikes breaks are good especially
on steep descents. This was the only time I felt weight behind me.

> TIA
>
> jj
>
> >YMMV
> >
> >HAND
post #5 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

Ken wrote:
> I am thinking seriously about doing a bit of in-state (Florida) touring late
> this summer / fall, and I am curious as to opinions about whether to load
> the bike down with front and rear pannier racks (actually already have rack
> on the back) or to invest in a trailer. The rack I have on the back is rated
> for 35 lbs. And I figure if I got a trailer that could carry another 35 lbs.
> that would be 70 lbs. which I think is probably the most I would want to
> haul on a tour. I have seen and read about people that load the bike up with
> 70 lbs. and then have a trailer too! Seems like they are hauling a bit too
> much too me.


If you're touring solo, you should have nowhere near 70 pounds of gear!


My longest tour ever was a coast to coast with my wife and daughter.
Since I'm way stronger, I loaded my bike much more, carrying part of
their stuff, and still had only about 55 pounds of stuff on my bike.
That included the big tent and all the cooking gear.

We had front & rear panniers, no trailer. I considered a trailer, but
rejected it. Here are some reasons why:

You move more weight if you use a trailer. In Florida this won't
matter much, but we had mountain ranges to cross, and you can't avoid
the fact that the trailer is extra weight.

Transporting your rig at either end of a tour is tougher if you need to
pack a trailer too.

Wind resistance is likely to be worse, especially in crosswinds.
(Compact and smooth front panniers can actually reduce wind resistance
a bit.)

Parking a bike/trailer combination can be tougher. To lean it at the
front of a restaurant, etc, you need lots more clear space.

We had a few times we had to load our bikes into pickup trucks, haul
them upstairs, etc. We had many, many times we took them into motel
rooms. This would be much more difficult with a trailer.

You have a third tire that can go flat or get irreparably cut. It
needs a different size spare tube, and a different (odd) sized
replacement tire.

I think trailers are best suited for off-road touring, especially with
suspended mountain bikes. In 4000 miles, there was _never_ a time I
wished I had a trailer. And BTW, that's just one tour of many, about
which I have the same feelings.

- Frank Krygowski
post #6 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

On 30 May 2005 16:26:36 -0700, frkrygow@yahoo.com wrote:

>
>
>Ken wrote:
>> I am thinking seriously about doing a bit of in-state (Florida) touring late
>> this summer / fall, and I am curious as to opinions about whether to load
>> the bike down with front and rear pannier racks (actually already have rack
>> on the back) or to invest in a trailer. The rack I have on the back is rated
>> for 35 lbs. And I figure if I got a trailer that could carry another 35 lbs.
>> that would be 70 lbs. which I think is probably the most I would want to
>> haul on a tour. I have seen and read about people that load the bike up with
>> 70 lbs. and then have a trailer too! Seems like they are hauling a bit too
>> much too me.

>
>If you're touring solo, you should have nowhere near 70 pounds of gear!
>
>
>My longest tour ever was a coast to coast with my wife and daughter.
>Since I'm way stronger, I loaded my bike much more, carrying part of
>their stuff, and still had only about 55 pounds of stuff on my bike.
>That included the big tent and all the cooking gear.


Hey Frank, that's pretty cool. How old was your daughter? Did she ride her
own bike? Is this tour written up anywhere - I'd love to read about it.

jj
post #7 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

jj wrote:
> On 30 May 2005 16:26:36 -0700, frkrygow@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> >
> >My longest tour ever was a coast to coast with my wife and daughter.
> >Since I'm way stronger, I loaded my bike much more, carrying part of
> >their stuff, and still had only about 55 pounds of stuff on my bike.
> >That included the big tent and all the cooking gear.

>
> Hey Frank, that's pretty cool. How old was your daughter? Did she ride her
> own bike? Is this tour written up anywhere - I'd love to read about it.
>


She was 24, just graduated from college. Yep, she rode the bike we
gave her as a graduation present. In fact, she was the one who
proposed the tour, although I'd been dreaming about it for decades.

You can read a bit about it at
http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Recreat...SummerRide.htm

Despite pretty bad weather, we all feel it was one of the most
wonderful things we've ever done!

- Frank Krygowski
post #8 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

Tue, 31 May 2005 21:33:58 -0400,
<v93q91pf34gpev08smgohses1f3tal8959@4ax.com>,
Don Wiss <donwiss@no_spam.com> wrote:

>>Dude! You haven't lived until you've learned to cut down the handles on
>>your toothbrushes (and similar thing) to save weight, lol.

>
>I haven't done that. But when my toothpaste gets near the end I save it to
>use when traveling. And I buy the sample size of shaving cream.


Shaving cream when you're counting grams?
As long as you've got hot water and soap you don't need shaving cream.
Toughen up. You can shave with cold water but blades won't last long.
--
zk
post #9 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

On Tue, 31 May 2005 06:52:38 -0400, "Ken"
<kcmarcet-dispose-trash@hotpop.com> wrote:

>> I think trailers are best suited for off-road touring, especially with
>> suspended mountain bikes. In 4000 miles, there was _never_ a time I
>> wished I had a trailer. And BTW, that's just one tour of many, about
>> which I have the same feelings.
>>
>> - Frank Krygowski

>
>You have some good points. I guess I was going over kill on the weight.
>
>Ken


Dude! You haven't lived until you've learned to cut down the handles on
your toothbrushes (and similar thing) to save weight, lol.

jj
post #10 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

Ken wrote:

> I am curious as to opinions about whether to load the bike
> down with front and rear pannier racks (actually already
> have rack on the back) or to invest in a trailer.
> ...
> 70 lbs. which I think is probably the most I would want
> to haul on a tour.


I've done a lot of touring with panniers and with a trailer, and for a
70-pound load (which is quite a lot) I'd use a trailer. You may be
happier with a much lighter load in panniers, though, unless (1) you'll
be camping for an extended period in some dry, remote area into which
you'll need to carry provisions, water, and a complete set of spares and
tools; or (2) you're a souvenir collector, rock hound, or some other
kind of pack rat, and expect to return home with a lot more than what
you had when you left.

--
"Bicycling is a healthy and manly pursuit with much
to recommend it, and, unlike other foolish crazes,
it has not died out." -- The Daily Telegraph (1877)
post #11 of 13

Re: Touring loaded bike or trailer?

On Tue, 31 May 2005 07:16:46 -0400, jj<jet@jetnet.com> wrote:

>Dude! You haven't lived until you've learned to cut down the handles on
>your toothbrushes (and similar thing) to save weight, lol.


I haven't done that. But when my toothpaste gets near the end I save it to
use when traveling. And I buy the sample size of shaving cream.

Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
post #12 of 13

In all my experience with bicycle trailers and towing cargo, here is what I know:

- There is a difference between a single or two wheel trailer in how it functions and how convenient/inconvenient your travels will be depending on this

- Single wheel trailers that attach at the axle function differently than those attached to the seat post

- Ideally for touring, the best trailer is one that acts like a third wheel extension to your bicycle and follows directly in line with your bicycle wheels

- panniers in the rear are fine but panniers in the front will really throw off your center of gravity and pull from left to right

- I recommend rear panniers and a single wheel bike trailer that attaches at the axle

- Best option for single wheel trailers are: Maya Cycle bicycle trailers (www.mayacycle.com), Bob trailers, Extra Wheel

 

If you are interested in learning more, check out "Your bicycle trailer & Cargo Carrier buyers guide" with lots of useful information and comparisons for carrying cargo by bike.

(http://mayacycle.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=235c8f6f5839ab81800bb986a&id=986c5c66f9)

 

Hope that helps!!

 

M

post #13 of 13

get a "bob"  http://www.bobgear.com/trailers    I have a burley and lust for these, I've used panniers as well but.... most shops can order if not in stock or try  Steve's on Cannon Street  509 747-5200  he will ship anywhere- great guy VERY knowledgeable and HONEST!!!!

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