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  1. #1
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    Any Bill or Ted trailer users out there?

    I'd like to see or hear how people have these set up.

  2. #2
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    Phil and Ted? The company that makes baby Strollers? We have one of those tandem strollers for our two kids. Best stroller evar.

    We joke around and call it Phil and Ted's Excellent Stroller.

    Anyway, if the trailer is built by the same folks, I say go for it. The stroller I have is built like a tank... very well designed and well thought out.



    This is Bill and Ted:


  3. #3
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    Those are the Surly trailers. .

    I think the original poster does actually mean Bill and Ted--I think that's what Surly has called their two new trailer models.
    Fat, tired.

  4. #4
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    Yes
    The long awaited Surly trailers. Well, long awaited by some of us.
    They came available about 2 weeks ago. http://surlybikes.com/frames/surly_trailer/

    I wanted to see how folks were setting them up and hear about experiences.
    Maybe it's a little early still.

  5. #5
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    http://surlybikes.com/frames/surly_trailer/

    I'm curious about these too. msrp looks to be a little over $700, which seems like a lot to me.

    Proprietary wheel design is a big thumbs down to me. What are you going to do with nearly a grand worth of trailer when the bearings die on a long ride and the insides of the hubs get chewed up and you can't fix 'em? or the axle bends? and surly isn't around, they've stopped making the trailer, etc?

    In my experience sealed bearing hubs are far less durable than unsealed hubs. Often when you replace that several year old bearing, the inside of the hub where the outer race presses in doesn't fair too well, and the new bearing won't go in without wobble, and if the first replacement set goes together well, could luck with the hub's third round of bearings..

    I'm also surprised that after making a complex piece to attach to your bike's rear triangle, that they didn't have the trailer mount behind the wheel and centered. The design they've followed, having a single arm on the non-drive side can lead to a wierd rhythmic pulsing as you apply power, ease up, apply power, ease up.... i.e. standing up and pedaling. If the trailer is extremely stiff, then this won't be a problem, but near the weight limit of 300 lbs I find it hard to believe that steel tube won't flex enough to be annoying.

    I have two similarly designed, albeit sorta cheap, trailers that have a single bar mounted to the non-drive side axle. Mine are aluminum, which tends to be stiff and overbuilt so it can last (compared to a steel design engineered for comparable loads), and this problem is very annoying when I'm pulling more than 40lbs or so. I'm very curious to see how this pans out for bill and ted owners. Perhaps it won't be an issue, but I'm waiting to hear reviews before I consider a purchase.

  6. #6
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    The axles are replaceable quills.

    Surly has been around long enough and is part of QBP, so even if Surly dies QBP will still support the products. And if not, they'll closeout the remaining spare parts stock and all the current owners will buy up what they need.

    The hubs are sealed bearing. Big ones. It has a very large axle so the bearing is quite a bit larger. If a bearing does fail you'll know it well before you actually damage the hub. If you do damage the hub, you deserved it. Phil Wood could easily make you a new one if you couldn't get another.

    Your experience with sealed bearings is that of someone that should not be pressing in bearings. Pay a competent mechanic to do it. I have never had the problems you speak up, but then I am competent.

    The pivot point is up by the axle of the bike to help prevent it from becoming a fulcrum. If it was behind that'd be a longer lever that would lift the front end of the bike. I have my Big Dummy set up with the hitch right in the back, but that bike is much longer and the rider weight is a lot further up as well. This keeps the front wheel down. I doubt the steel tube would flex much at all to create the pulsation you fear. If this does become a problem, spend some time on rollers and learn how to pedal smoothly. When hauling heavy loads, shift down and spin. The triangulation of the rear with the hitch design will remove most of this by providing a balance against twisting forces.

    The way mine is setup I can't really tell that I'm pulling a trailer. I've put 200lbs on it and it pulls just fine, but I'm not using the stock hitch. I'm sure the hitch will pull it just fine.

  7. #7
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    The Surly's are fine looking trailers, But I'm saving my bucks for a Bikes at Work trailer. These are well proven trailers with allot better price. Course they don't look as spiffy as the Surly. http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trailers/
    Schmucker , Got any pics of how you connect the Surly trailer with the BD ?

  8. #8
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    Sorry pbasinger, Didn't mean to jump on your thread...

  9. #9
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    Big Dummy and Bill... Best Friends Forever!

    But the tongue is getting a redesign to come straight into the back. Basically two cuts and a weld to orient it a little better. It interferes too early when turning sharp. I'll probably add some rubber bumpers too just in case I do turn too sharp they'll suck up the force before cracking/bending anything.

  10. #10
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    So I received my trailer about a month ago, set it up and put about 200 miles on it pulling what I'd estimate to be about a 100-130lb load. Sorry, no pictures of the setup, but I had a second bike, 2 plastic bins, and a cooler all on top of a pretty simple wood deck.

    The trailer is really well designed. Except for the substantial drag you would expect from a big load on 16 inch wheels it is hardly noticeable. Tracks nicely and has no problems making tight turns. I took it over a few passes in Utah and Colorado and it felt super stable with the load I had.
    In the future I'll be using it primarily for recycling and short errands. Doing long miles with a trailer of this size is pretty brutal.

    Not a lot of time with it, but so far I think Surly did a good job with this one.
    I haven't used one of the Bikes at Work trailers, but was really close to buying one before the Surly became available. I went with the Surly because I work at a shop so the price is better, and because the Bikes at Work trailer mount did not look as well thought out, but I'm sure they are great also.
    I believe the Bikes at Work trailer disassembles, which is a huge plus, because the Bill is just big enough where it gets pretty expensive to ship.

  11. #11
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    Schmucher, Great looking config. Thanks for posting the pics.
    pbasinger, Sounds like the Surly is working well for you. Wish I could see one in person
    but in this part of NC most people never heard of Surly even LBS in the region. Their loss...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    The axles are replaceable quills.

    Surly has been around long enough and is part of QBP, so even if Surly dies QBP will still support the products. And if not, they'll closeout the remaining spare parts stock and all the current owners will buy up what they need.
    I'm thinking about keeping this for a decade or two, and can imagine using a trailer in a variety of countries, so proprietary is still a concern. your assumption about the actions of all the current owners at the time of surly's future demise is amusing and smacks of incompetence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    If you do damage the hub, you deserved it.
    that's a cute assumption too!
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    Phil Wood could easily make you a new one if you couldn't get another.
    I'm sure there are plenty of people with the machinery to make hub shells, but thanks for pointing out the obvious
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post

    Your experience with sealed bearings is that of someone that should not be pressing in bearings.
    your experience with judging someone's experience by an internet post is not that of one who should be making e-judgements
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    Pay a competent mechanic to do it. I have never had the problems you speak up, but then I am competent.
    illusions of competency abound in the internet world. In the world of bicycles only time will tell, and plenty of time with products from the bicycle industry has left me firmly convinced that standardized products are almost always preferable to proprietary ones. Perhaps no standardized product exists that can handle the loads (aside: other than a high-quality 14mm bmx front hub/wheel which has been nearly entirely replaced by the 10mm variety and is getting harder to find. also, high quality 20 inch tires are more abundant than there 16" counterparts) and their use of a proprietary design is unavoidable. This is one of a few reasons that I can see supporting their design.


    yes, its probably a good trailer and my worries are somewhat assuaged by what appears to be a positive review nestled within your psudo-expert palaver.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 07-11-2011 at 10:04 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker View Post
    Hey, you're the first person I have ever seen with a red block for rep. You must be a ****ing dumbass!
    yes, that's clearly the case. good job, you should pat yourself on the back.

    Still interested in hearing from folks who've had experiences hauling significant loads with a conventional setup surly trailer. I'm especially interested in hearing how it handles when pedaling standing up while heavily loaded.

  14. #14
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    You don't want one. You might wreck a bearing then have to throw the whole thing away.

  15. #15
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    Lol

  16. #16
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    I have a Trailer, and it is good.

    So, got my Surly Bill trailer the day it finally cam out. Since then I have used it a lot for my business, which requires me to haul a grill, propane, two large coolers filled with food, and other supplies necessary to operate a food stand. Surly even posted about me in their blog.

    Ok, now what you all wanted to hear about. I was looking for a trailer and looking at this one and the Bikes at Work variety. Ultimately, I chose the surly design for three reasons: the hitch is universal, compared to BAW hitch design which doesn't play well with discs or support pieces in between seat and chain stays. I want to be able to switch bikes if I need to get one repaired, I don't have to close down shop. Second, since Bill is made of solid chromoly, I can have my buddy weld stuff onto it, which I have. I had him tack down some expanded steel sheet metal, as well as some many D ring tabs all along the side for cords to hook onto, and also my favorite addition, a sort of trailer jack stand, that is welded onto the front center of the rig, so I can load it separate from the bike, and not tip the bikes over when loading. Nice. The last reason I chose Surly over BAW was because I favor the hitch design going through the rear axle, than to use hose clamps attaching it to my frame.

    I regularly carry upwards of 300lbs, the posted limit, but I am able to spin the cranks to get to wherever I need to go, albeit slowly. F & R 185mm BB7 discs stop me when I need to. The trailer does have a bit of that bobbing when you apply pressure, but due to the hitch design, you should be able to center it to your bike to reduce that sensation. It feels tough, and rolls really nicely. The cow catchers in front of each wheel are a nice addition. Even at speeds of 30 mph + I still feel very much in control. The price was steep, but take car of this trailer, and it will last you a lifetime.

    Check out my facebook page "Griddle Me This" to see images of the trailer in use, and it's evolution along the way.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGeorges View Post
    So, got my Surly Bill trailer the day it finally cam out. Since then I have used it a lot for my business, which requires me to haul a grill, propane, two large coolers filled with food, and other supplies necessary to operate a food stand. Surly even posted about me in their blog.

    Ok, now what you all wanted to hear about. I was looking for a trailer and looking at this one and the Bikes at Work variety. Ultimately, I chose the surly design for three reasons: the hitch is universal, compared to BAW hitch design which doesn't play well with discs or support pieces in between seat and chain stays. I want to be able to switch bikes if I need to get one repaired, I don't have to close down shop. Second, since Bill is made of solid chromoly, I can have my buddy weld stuff onto it, which I have. I had him tack down some expanded steel sheet metal, as well as some many D ring tabs all along the side for cords to hook onto, and also my favorite addition, a sort of trailer jack stand, that is welded onto the front center of the rig, so I can load it separate from the bike, and not tip the bikes over when loading. Nice. The last reason I chose Surly over BAW was because I favor the hitch design going through the rear axle, than to use hose clamps attaching it to my frame.

    I regularly carry upwards of 300lbs, the posted limit, but I am able to spin the cranks to get to wherever I need to go, albeit slowly. F & R 185mm BB7 discs stop me when I need to. The trailer does have a bit of that bobbing when you apply pressure, but due to the hitch design, you should be able to center it to your bike to reduce that sensation. It feels tough, and rolls really nicely. The cow catchers in front of each wheel are a nice addition. Even at speeds of 30 mph + I still feel very much in control. The price was steep, but take car of this trailer, and it will last you a lifetime.

    Check out my facebook page "Griddle Me This" to see images of the trailer in use, and it's evolution along the way.
    your facebook page and business look great!

    I wish our local farmer's market had more alt-powered setups.

    I originally was using my cheapo trailer to haul my veggies from garden to farmer's market, but have since moved on to other ventures.

    Thanks for sharing an honest review.

    I have a few questions:
    -how does the loaded trailer handle on hills? If you were going down a large and steep hill with a full load would you be happy with brakes on the bike alone?

    -if you pedal uphill while standing up and with a full load, is the bobbing sufficiently minimal to be safe or do you have to stay seated and spin?(you sort of answered this, but am hoping for more details)

    -do you have to pay much attention to getting the tongue weight correct? With the longer trailer, it seems like it would be difficult to load it up and stay within the 50lbs tongue weight recommended limit, as so much of the load would be in front of the axle. Since you can't move the axle fore and aft like with a semi-trailer, some loads seem like they would be difficult to balance.



    I've been toying with getting a big-dummy or a nice trailer. I recently got a tandem, and having a good trailer to work with it or a single is a nice reason to go with a trailer rather than dummy. Also on the tandem, the power transfer tends to be more pulsed than with a single rider. I could offset the timing of the cranks, but this has its own problems. So I'm particularly concerned about bobbing.

    Thanks Mgeorges!

  18. #18
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    Ok, to get to those questions quickly

    The trailer handles just fine loaded on hills, but as I said, I upgraded the brakes on my bike to serious downhill disc brakes. It is important to be able to use the rear brake only as much as possible to avoid jack knifing.

    I highly recommend against standing up on the pedals when carrying a load. You can do it for a few pedal strokes to help you get started, but it usually becomes uncomfortable to do so for a long time. The discomfort comes partly from the "bobbing" but mainly because with that much weight, the ride becomes kind of stuttered, and it is a much smoother, linear application of power when I sit and spin the cranks. I have a total granny gear on this bike, which helps me pull the trailer up even the steepest of hills, or my driveway!

    As for load balancing, I do try to put the heaviest items closest to the axle, but when I'm fully loaded, a good deal of weight is still pretty forward on the rig. This does increase the flex a little bit, but nothing you won't be able to get used to, especially when you consider you're pulling more weight than you ever thought was possible on a bike!

    Happy Trailing!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGeorges View Post
    ...Ok, now what you all wanted to hear about. I was looking for a trailer and looking at this one and the Bikes at Work variety. Ultimately, I chose the surly design for three reasons: the hitch is universal, compared to BAW hitch design which doesn't play well with discs or support pieces in between seat and chain stays. I want to be able to switch bikes if I need to get one repaired, I don't have to close down shop. Second, since Bill is made of solid chromoly, I can have my buddy weld stuff onto it, which I have. I had him tack down some expanded steel sheet metal, as well as some many D ring tabs all along the side for cords to hook onto, and also my favorite addition, a sort of trailer jack stand, that is welded onto the front center of the rig, so I can load it separate from the bike, and not tip the bikes over when loading. Nice. The last reason I chose Surly over BAW was because I favor the hitch design going through the rear axle, than to use hose clamps attaching it to my frame.

    I regularly carry upwards of 300lbs, the posted limit, but I am able to spin the cranks to get to wherever I need to go, albeit slowly. F & R 185mm BB7 discs stop me when I need to. The trailer does have a bit of that bobbing when you apply pressure, but due to the hitch design, you should be able to center it to your bike to reduce that sensation. It feels tough, and rolls really nicely. The cow catchers in front of each wheel are a nice addition. Even at speeds of 30 mph + I still feel very much in control. The price was steep, but take car of this trailer, and it will last you a lifetime.
    ...
    Your decision is your decision, and I'm sure the Surly trailer will serve you nicely. However, re: BAW:
    1- things can easily be attached to the trailer because of its design. If necessary, small holes could be drilled and things (D rings, tie down loops, etc) could be bolted on. I don't see the need for this on the BAW though because there's numerous tie down locations.
    2- My BAW trailer hitch works just fine with disc brakes, so that's not an issue. The issue with attaching a BAW hitch only applies to monocogue frames. Any other frame should work fine.
    3- I can lay my bike down when I load the trailer to keep the bike from tipping over when loading. I could also attach a kickstand to the tongue to support it while not attached to the bike. My bike tipping over while loading the trailer hasn't been an issue.
    4- I have carried 350 lbs in my BAW 64A no problem. It's slow and I take it easy, but the trailer doesn't have any problems with it.

    Again, I'm sure the Surly trailer will serve you well and last as long as you need it to. Just know that some of your 'reasons' seem more like justifications rather than objective reasons.
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 08-27-2011 at 10:27 AM. Reason: correct spelling

  20. #20
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    Hey

    Thought I just share a quick picture of the Bill trailer in action.

    I'm pretty happy with the thing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any Bill or Ted trailer users out there?-boxes.jpg  


  21. #21
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    "Phil and Ted? The company that makes baby Strollers? We have one of those tandem strollers for our two kids. Best stroller evar.

    We joke around and call it Phil and Ted's Excellent Stroller. "

    hahaha love it- they are the BEST stroller ever, love mine, plus you can use it's pannier bag on your bike!

    sorry off topic from the thread

  22. #22
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    I got a Surly Bill trailer 3 weeks ago.

    I chose the Bill trailer because it is constructed out of 4130 steel. Although aluminum is lightweight and attachments can be tig welded or drilled, I simply prefer 4130 steel. I can tig weld, but I just don't always have access to a tig welding unit like I do now and I know there is an array of welding processes for 4130 and I appreciate that sense of security.

    Today I put my Bob trailer on top of my Bill trailer to take to a friend. I have been using the Bill trailer for just three weeks now but have already made good use of it.

    I am going to tack on some u shackles and am making it possible to easily bolt on a piece of diamond plate sheet.

    Hauling lots of food, water, et cetera. It's great.

  23. #23
    biking where I'm going
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    I pondered the Surly trailers before I got my Bikes at Work trailer. They certainly have their merits, but I decided that the Bikes at Work trailer would work better for my intended use patterns.

    Good thing all three are available!
    Getting where I'm going--by bicycle!

    1996 Ryan Vanguard
    2010 Globe Vienna 3 Disc
    2012 Surly Big Dummy

  24. #24
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    I almost got one this week (2nd hand), but was not fast enough.
    Anyway, the wheel hubs look strange to me. Is there any chance changing them for a dynamo hub?
    Thanks.

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