Bike Trailers! Yes? No?


New Member
Apr 5, 2011
Hello everyone! I am an industrial designer living in Savannah, GA. My team and I are collaborating With the Savannah bicycle campaign to help design a storage system or trailer for bicycles whose owners use their bike as their main mode of transportation and have to transport their tools or groceries etc, from one place to another. We are trying to learn as much about trailers, or any other way people carry items on their bike, as possible so any information would be a great help. Why you like trailers, why you don’t, problems you’ve encountered, etc. Thanks so much in advance.
It's all down to how much you want to carry. Trailers make the bike really cumbersome to manhandle, but particularly the one-wheeled ones are surprisingly nimble during riding.
The two-wheeled variety takes some getting used to before you've learned to compensate for the width when turning or passing near obstacles. And forget taking them on narrow trails.
Heavy trailers can make descents a bit scary.
I'll stick with panniers as long as possible, but trailers are an intermediate option before I have to bow to the superior carrying ability of the car.
I have pulled a kid's trailer in the past, when my children were too young to ride. I have always been leery of the danger to the children, so, in the end, I always biked in very safe areas where driving speed was low and streets were wide. As a result, I did not tow it much... On the other hand, the kids loooved it. When the kids were older, but still not old enough to go riding, I considered getting a saddle trailer (i.e. a single wheel trailer with saddle, e.g. Trail-a-bike or Pathfinder), and borrowed one for a while, but did not end up buying one.
As for carry trailers, before I ever used one I would switch to a car. You can pile a lot in panniers + a backpack before needing a trailer. Then you need to worry about locking it at the supermarket (I can't think of a significant reason other than regular errands to get one) etc. In the end, I rate it as too much of a hassle. But that's me:) Sorry not to be able to be more help...
Forgot to mention: has a specialized subforum for utility cycling, where they often discuss trailers. You might want to check them out.