Trailer vs. Pannier

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by mistersoul, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. mistersoul

    mistersoul New Member

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    I will be doing several tours over the next few years. Paved roads as well as off road. I will be riding a hardtail MTB, and am wondering which would be better, a trailer, or panniers. I will be camping, and staying in hotels. Also, something very important is that I am able to take JUST my bike (ei, no bags, racks etc) on trails around places I stay in for a while. So is it worth the trouble of taking off racks to not have a trailer? Or is towing a trailer that can be removed with 2 pins easier? HELP!!!

    thank you, happy trails
     
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  2. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    I've only ever toured with panniers, and haven't had any problems with them since they're so easy to remove - they just unclip. The only downside I can think of with a trailer is getting it onto a plane/train/bus in addition to your bike. Usually the bike is enough of a problem to deal with.
     
  3. Jeytown

    Jeytown New Member

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    i would probably say pannier regardless


    i use a tioga pannier and no probs i am going to start some trailing and camping soon so i will invest in fronts as well the advantageous part is that they will help in a fall or in an accident so think about it this way if i stack my bike how much pain will i be in with a tralier and how much pain will i be in a pannier

    easiest way to formulate this one
     
  4. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    If you do a search of the posts you will find alot of info on this topic as it tends to polarise people.
    We use a full set of ortleib panniers on our tandem and find them convenient, easy to carry, well balanced and waterproof. I have read of people suffering from speed wobble if the trailer is not correctly packed and with the speeds we get up to on the tandem, I have no wish to experience this.
    When we were in France last year we came across a mobile home cutting the corner on our way down a mountain. We were only doing 40kms/hr and even with the tandem fully laden, I locked the rear wheel while breaking front and rear as hard as I could. The back of the bike swung out, I released the rear, straightened up, grabbed it again, skidded and released again to straighten and squeeze through the small gap. The back of the bike with my terrified stoker on just missing the front of the vehicle. If we had had a trailer, the weight of the trailer would have pushed the rear of the tandem around and we would have crashed for sure.
    I like our panniers. A pic of our setup is here

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  5. pwolffe

    pwolffe New Member

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    I did something similar a few years back using a Trek 8000 (aluminium, no suspension) with front and rear panniers made by Ostrich. I have not had the experience of towing anything. I might try it sometime, but I like the idea of having everything between the front and rear tires; I reckon it helps with maneuverability, provides some protection for the legs against vehicles, bright-colored or reflective panniers good for visibility, and I like being able to access everything without getting off the bike. The front bags were easy to remove, with the rear ones requiring a few extra unclip actions.

    The benefits of a trailer might be less drag, easier to detach for joyrides, maybe easier to keep water out (but I like to have one of four bags be for wet stuff; canvas bags with rain covers, vs. Ortlieb-type that have excellent water protection but don't let water out, either), less weight on your bike tires, and more room to affix gadgets to if that's your bent.
     
  6. blorg

    blorg New Member

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    Just a question- are you sure you would _really_ need to take off a rack. Panniers, sure, a trailer, sure, but a rack isn't that heavy and really shouldn't get in the way too much. The panniers will just clip off.

    If you feel you really need to take the rack itself off (which I think is bizarre, but then I am not a mountain biker) then no question, you need to go with a trailer, removing and reaffixing a rack every day/few days would drive me bonkers.

    EDIT: Having said that, thinking it over, if you really need to be rid of the rack, it is generally only around four screws and while I don't think I've ever removed mine, it probably wouldn't actually be too much effort, and they are not the sort of things that require ultra-precise alignment. Only one way to find out, get a rack and see how you find it.
     
  7. Velotour

    Velotour New Member

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    I too use panniers front and rear. I cannot really think of any reason for switching to a trailer. Your incident shows that less was best. From what I have read so far a trailer's main advantages seem to be less drag, less pressure over the back wheel, and convenience. Read journals about long tours using trailers and you see continuing problems where the trailer attaches to the bike, not with all but with quite a few.

    Most cyclists seemed to be perfectly happy with using trailers. To me using a trailer is a matter of adding weight, and having more tires and more parts that can break down. Keep it as simple as possible. That is my advice but many used trailers and are happy they did.
     
  8. xilios

    xilios New Member

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    My wife and I found this cyclist in Freiburg towing this home made(chuck) wagon around Germany. He has a normal matress in it with storage underneith.
    He claims it to be very comfortable to sleep in, and it weighs 80kgs :eek:
    He has been touring with it for a few years, and the reason he gave for having it was he was tired of folding and carrying a wet tent every morning :rolleyes:
    As for climbing hills anything over 5% he pushed it :D
     
  9. blorg

    blorg New Member

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    Now _that_ is a trailer.
     
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