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3 Things You Need To Know About Bicycle Trailers

When it comes to the functionality of a bicycle trailer, there are differences that are considered when answering the question: what will I be using my bicycle trailer for?

There are 3 things to consider when choosing a bicycle trailer for your specific style of riding:

1. Is the bicycle trailer single or two wheel?

2. Does the trailer mount to the axle or the seat post?

3. What is the carrying capacity?

Bicycle trailer functionality differs by whether it is a single or two-wheeler, and how or where it is mounted to ones bicycle (axle or seat post).  These two specifications will affect the cyclist’s ride, how much weight can be carried, where the bike trailer can be used (i.e.: paved roads, trails, city streets), whether it follows directly behind the bicycle and/or whether there is a possibility of it tipping over.

Maya Cycle Bicycle TrailerAxle-mounted single wheel trailers are designed to follow directly behind a bicycle’s back wheel, cutting a narrower profile through traffic and are as functional off road as they are  in and out of city street potholes.  Two wheel trailers differ in mobility and size.  They do not follow directly in-line with a bicycle’s wheels, are much wider on the road and usually have a heavier carrying capacity.

Here is the breakdown:

AttachmentAttachmentPROSCONS
Single-Wheel Axle Mounting
Attaches from left and right side of axleFollows directly behind bicycle wheels at all timesHeavy cargo is being balanced on one wheel and may affect cyclist
Single-Wheel Seat Post Mounting
Single bar attaching trailer to seat postLess stress on axle or bike, quick and easy attachment, Most carry heavy loadsDoes not follow directly behind bike wheels, heavy loads on single wheel trailer affect rider, most often does not have a flat bed area for cargo
Two-Wheel Axle MountingAttaches to left side of axle onlyAllows you to place your bike down without affecting trailer and cargo, carry’s heavy loadsWide and bulky, does not follow directly behind bicycle wheels (cautious wide turns needed)
Two-Wheel Seat Post MountingSingle bar attaching trailer to seat postCarry’s heavy loads, less stress on rear axle, seat post attachment can be used as handlebarMay tip on sharp turn or if you hit a pothole/speed bump in the road

 

Whether you are commuting to work by bike or touring the country with a handful of things, bicycle trailers can prove to be a huge help in carrying heavy cargo.

What kind of trailer do you use?  Why?  What do you like about it?  Let us know what we are missing.

Happy and safe cycling to you and yours!

3 Comments

  1. Benefits of a Bike Trailer - Maya Cycle August 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    […] 3 Things You Need to Know About Bicycle Trailers […]

  2. Zee June 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I don’t understand, how does a two wheeled trailer “tip”? which direction does it tip to?

    • Maya S July 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Zee, thank you for your comment. A two wheel trailer usually attaches to the post of the bicycle seat. The trailer can tip if you go off a curb or bump under one wheel. If there is not enough weight in the trailer to keep it on the ground, the trailer may tip onto one wheel, and at times tip right over. I hope that helps. Thanks again!

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