Sep 08

Newest Member of the Cycling “Family”

For many years now, we’ve been coaxing a second hand, child trailer into service as a cargo trailer.  It served us well, but was a beast to haul around and was pretty much constructed with fabric, which became increasingly patched.  Ultimately, we were going to have to put some significant money into keeping this trailer running and decided it just wasn’t worth it.

One of the features we really liked about the trailer was that it had two connection points with the bike.  Perhaps we are paranoid, but it made us uncomfortable as we looked at the majority of cargo trailers and they only had a single connection point.

I’d heard and read about many people who have raved about BOB trailers.  The guys at Legend Bicycle let us borrow a 19 year old BOB for a weekend to do a test grocery run and some general riding.  My first impression of the BOB, on the ride home from the bike shop, is that it was a pleasure to ride with.  The trailer was empty and I barely even knew it was there.  The really nice part of a single wheel trailer is that it tracks the bike nearly perfectly; if my shoulders and handlebars make it through a gap, then the trailer likely will as well.

During our weekend test, we discovered that the BOB wasn’t quite big enough to handle our weekly grocery run for the family.  Aside from this fact, we loved the trailer and weren’t excited about going back to the drawing board.  Either we would need to switch to making more grocery runs during the week or come up with some other option.  While researching other options, I discovered that Greenspeed makes a rack for the BOB.  With the addition of this rack and a couple of panniers, we figured it would give us just the space we needed to keep our grocery run down to once a week.

Obviously, we ultimately went this route.  We’ve had the trailer for just over a week now and the rack and panniers for less than a week.  Karen made the first grocery run earlier this week without the panniers and made it, but is looking forward to the little bit of extra space. We also splurged and added a kickstand to the setup.  Yes, you can kick the trailer over at about a 90 degree angle and have it hold up the bike/trailer combination.  However, when we played around with this technique with the borrowed trailer and found that, when fully loaded, it could be a bear to pull it out of this setup.  You can’t just grab the bike and yank, because it puts a ton of strain on the bike trailer connection and will likely fatigue over time.  Adding a kickstand allows us to load the trailer pretty inline with the bike and easily get rolling.

We will try and post an update after we have a few (hundred?) miles under our belt with the setup.

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