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Thread: Cargo Trailers

  1. #1
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    Cargo Trailers

    I always figured I'd get a Bob trailer eventually for doing bicycle touring but I just ran across another trailer manufacturer's website (I think burley) and they make an interesting point. The bob desing makes for a lot of tongue weight, where a two wheeled desing balances the load more. How much effect does tongue weight have on bicycle handling? The weight you are dragging could be the same, but for every bump your rear tire rolls over, would having less weight on that tire make it easier, but then you have tow rear tires hitting twice as many bumps than the bob trailer would..... Makes my head spin. It'd be nice to try both out back to back for a few days but that's probably not going to happen.

    It'd be really cool to make a custome Ti trailer though... Hmm, tig welder, ti tubing, machining costs.... It'd be cool though...
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  2. #2
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    I ride with trailers a lot and tongue weight is not an issue for the bike but an issue for the trailer. I run a kid carrrier trailer and find that it likes to be loaded more over the front of the trailer wheels for best performance. The Bob I believe has a max weight and I would stick to it but I have way overloaded my 2 wheeled trailer with a big grocery run (gallons of milk 50# bags of dog food++ and a kid) and it handled surprisingly well. I only run my trailer on a steel frame bike. If you plan to run the bob on trails get the suspension model to both save your rear axle and trailerable load. Have fun with the Ti project my main BUV is a trike, handles well over 1/2 ton http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=47889

  3. #3
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    I have two trailers

    I own a chariot carrier (two wheels) and a bobyak (one wheel).
    both attach to the rear axle/drops. the bobyayk atttaches on both sides, chariot carrier on one side.

    Both trailers have the wheels behind the load. With that in mind, I would think the weight on the tongue would be the same for either design with an equal load.

    What I have experienced is a bit different. With the bobyak loaded I have found that the rear wheel of my bike becomes unweighted, If I lift the back of the bike it practically floats up. It is a full suspension mt bike. With the chariot the back of my road bike stays heavy.

    Other differences. When stopped, the bobyak can get alot of momentum towards tipping over quickly. A person needs to have the trailer propped up against something (or a small rock tucked under one side of it would hold the entire bike and trailor up). The two wheeled trail is more stable when stopped. A small concern and easlily dealt with.

    the bobyak pulls easier, catches less wind. good luck.
    Charlie

  4. #4
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    Whoa! You ever finish that behemoth? Post some recent pics.. please.

    Do you have some serious granny/underdrive gearing to move that thing with 800lbs on it? How much does it weigh empty?
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson
    What I have experienced is a bit different. With the bobyak loaded I have found that the rear wheel of my bike becomes unweighted, If I lift the back of the bike it practically floats up. It is a full suspension mt bike.
    I don't have any experience with trailers towed by a bicycle, but I have towed many types of cargo trailers with pickups. I'm not meaning to get into your business here, just hear me out...

    If your loaded trailer is un-weighting the rear of your bike, you have too much weight loaded behind the trailer axle. With trailers, you want to center the load weight over and just forward of the trailer axle, not behind it. A common weight distribution for bumper-pull trailers is to have 10 to 15% of the total loaded trailer weight on the hitch ball and the other 85 to 90% of the weight on the trailer axle(s). You may want to increase the tongue weight percentage for a bike used off road with a single axle trailer though, due to the effect rolling terrain and other terrain irregularities have on the towing attitude of single axle trailers. Anyways, loading the trailer with sufficient tongue weight makes for more stable towing. Without enough weight on the trailer tongue, you get see-sawing and the trailer tends to pull the back end of the towing vehicle around instead of the towing vehicle controlling the trailer.

    Hope that might give you some ideas to help ya out.

  6. #6
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    With my experience in carrying cargo or heavy loads it really depends on what you are looking to accomplish with your trailer. If you are looking to carry a lot of weight, the double wheel would be best because it won't pull you left to right like a single wheel trailer would. If you need your trailer for touring or riding where the trailer needs to follow directly behind your bike with less drag, the BOB or Maya Cycle are good designs. Most recently I got myself a Maya Cycle, a new trailer design and I'm really happy with it. It has a kickstand too, which makes life SO MUCH EASIER! I've borrowed a BOB from a friend before and although it's great, it's a bit expensive and I never brought myself to purchasing one.

    So single or two wheel? Depends where you're going, what you're doing and how much weight you are carrying. They function differently so do your research and try to maybe test each out before you make a decision.

  7. #7
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    I have been using a B.O.B. Yak for a few years. I haven't used a two wheeled trailed.

    I'd say having a fair bit of weight on the rear axel DOES make a difference to bike handling, especially at higher speeds. At slow, or cruising speeds and in a straight line or gentle, progressive bends the handling is very predictable or almost unchanged.

    Where I really notice it is for quick direction changes and turns at higher speeds. In these situations the bike needs to be torsionally rigid as trying to turn the front wheel is resisted by all the weight on the rear axel trying to keep the the rear wheel from leaning over. I hope that makes sense.

    For example; riding along at reasonable speed and some obstacle suddenly needs to be steered around. I find getting the bike to change direction quickly is difficult and then once it starts to change direction it's hard to turn back the other way. It's kind of like death wobbles on a skateboard or something similar.

    If your load and speed are moderate however, I'd say the Yak is brilliant and you almost forget it's there. I absolutely adore mine and can say honestly it kept me riding when without it I wouldn't be on two wheels.

  8. #8
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    2 wheels, no ST. 1 wheel, you're good on the goods.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

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