Bicycle Trailer?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by PennyS, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    I do not have a car and use a bicycle as my only transportation. The only thing this really does not work for is when I need to buy bulk dog food (which is by far the cheapest option).

    I have been wondering about getting a bicycle trailer for my workhorse commuting bike (a tough oldy Huffy which puts up with the rough roads, salt and general commuting crap and is less likelt to get stolen outside work or home because no one wants a "granny" bike)

    But before I even get down to looking at brands and stuff I wonder if anyone can tell me how practical these things are to use? I am worried about it not only for ergonomic reasons but because I am afraid cars will not see it or leave proper room for it.

    Does anyone use a bike trailer for routine city/suburban shopping etc and get tell me how well it works? Also do they need to be stored inside as this might be a bit tricky with my current living situation. Are they easy to pull even with heavy loads?
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Panniers vs trailers boils more down to personal preference. However you have a Huffy, those bike didn't come with pannier rack mount provisions, so a trailer would be your only reasonable solution.

    When you say heavy loads, how heavy are you thinking of?

    Also does the Huffy have multiple gears? towing a loaded trailer with a single geared bike could be quite a chore made even worse climbing even a mild hill.

    The cheapest solution to a trailer is to get something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Aosom-Elite-Luggage-Trailer-Removable/dp/B0029KBA26/ref=sr_1_23/192-0158947-6388113?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1435159502&sr=1-23 This is a very good utility type of trailer, may not very portable though but you could lock it up outside if bringing it inside your house was an issue but it will haul up to 180 pounds though that could be quite a workout. Don't forget to to browse Craigslists, sometimes child carriers (trailers) come up and those will support about 40 pounds max but can be found occasionally used for less than $50.
     
  3. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    I need to get dry dog food in minimum lots of 15 pounds, 27 pounds is cheaper. And it comes in a single bag so it cannot easily be divided for easier transport. Currently I prevail on a friend to drive me to pick it up, but I would prefer to be able to do this myself.

    If it had a greater capacity that would also be okay as I could use it for collecting my home improvement materials too (I just bought a condo and am busy painting, fixing the toilets and doing all those things an "as is" short sale property needs).

    My bike has five gears and actually I find it leans to being very low gears. I guess it is made for more casual users but I am going 8 miles a day minimum, typically twice that or more. So I have got pretty fit. I wish it had some high gears. But as I said having a beat up looking bike is beneficial because thefts are very high here in my part of Chicago and my bike is stored in an outside rack when I am not using it. I also painted it pink on the (apparently correct) assumption tha the homeboys don't want bright pink bikes.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Pink? LOL, this is a great anti theft idea!

    You may want find a used mountain bike with 3 gears up front and 9 or 10 in the rear, then paint that one pink too! But this sort of bike will give you more gearing options including a really low gear for going up hills with a heavy trailer.
     
  5. sbatz72

    sbatz72 New Member

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    This is an interesting concept. I have been thinking of trading in my car for a bike and just getting all the exercise anymore. However, I have already thought grocery shopping might be an issue. I think that I am now considering this.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm a huge fan of cycling, but I also have cars, even if I was single I would still have a car because sometimes weather presents problems that riding a bike would be a real issue, or maybe you need to go someplace far and doing it by bike would be impossible, or who knows what that might and will occur that a bicycle isn't suitable for the problem, or maybe something happens and all the car rental places are closed, and in all those regards you're screwed without a car. Sure you could ask friends but friends are not always reliable and they'll get tired of you asking, so you should have a car. If the cost of car insurance is getting you down then get a cheap car that only requires state minimum liability insurance and not comp and coll because you had to get a loan for it. Some places in this world you could live in like New York City having a car just isn't doable, cost to park it is outrageously expensive, finding someplace to park when you leave your house could be impossible and expensive when you do, and with buses, rail, taxis, bikes, and walking there isn't a real need to have a car, but those places are far and few between.

    I wouldn't trade the car in, I would save up around $700 and buy one of those $500 new bikes, or save up around $500 and buy a used bike for around $250. Why save up more money than it cost to buy the bike? because you'll need odds and ends to make the cycling adventure a little more comfortable and safe, like a helmet, shoes, special clothing, lights, a rear rack etc, the list does grow and it does cost money.
     
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    Trailers are pretty popular among serious greenies in my area. We have a lot of hills and many rough, not so well maintained roads, so I think that shouldn't be a problem for you as long as you have the fitness to pull the extra weight, which it sounds like you do, or could easily build up to it. I would recommend going to a shop and asking what kinds they have that would fit the bike you have.
     
  8. welshdude3

    welshdude3 Member

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    For utility applications I use a 2 wheeled trailer alot. I live urban. Get one off CL. A 2 child trailer is usually available for 50.00 or less. They're rated at 100 lbs, but will hold more. The 'feel' of the bike will change, but one will adjust. Brake smoothly as a trailer will 'bump' the bike.
    Depending how much of a diy person you are converting a child's trailer to a cargo trailer shouldn't present much of a problem.
    Storage would depend on your situation. Lock and cover it at least.
    While I ddon't use mine everyday having the option of being able to buy a full shopping cart and transport the load by bike is invaluable. I live carfree as well. Trips to the laundry become an adventure. Wouldn't recommend one for touring, but for around town utility use they're perfect.
     
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  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2 passenger Burley trailer that I used to use on a daily basis for the kiddos. Now that they are bigger it is in storage most of the time, but I do break it out when there is a-haulin to do. I have made hardware store trips toting home a few bags of salt, 5 year old and numerous other goodies with the trailer. Somewhere around 150 pounds the load gets too high and the wheels begin to rub the frame.

    Just this weekend, I pulled out the trailer to haul a 70 pound child, 3 folding chairs, blankets, snacks, numerous water bottles and swim gear for an evening at the beach to watch the fireworks. After dark, I put several red blinky lights on the back and was able to navigate the vehicular traffic just fine.

    Trailers are also nice because you bike handling and balance are mostly unaffected.
     
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