Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
nevets10
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Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby nevets10 » 30 May 2012, 4:47pm

Hi hope I can get some advise on here -

I'm planning on going touring on a budget (will be camping) for a few weeks in the uk this summer - Initially I thought to build a racing bike and hook a trailer up to it (quite like the small y frame ones) - the reason for this is that I have a racer with a damaged frame to source parts from so could use all the gears brakes etc and It would get plenty of use after the summer - I was going to build round a used good quality steel frame.
My other bike choices are pro flex full suspension or Raleigh 3 speed - I like the Raleigh but its a little bit small and the rod brakes don't really work in the wet. Full suspension is probably not required although it is very comfy to ride.

Looking at dedicated touring bikes I'm not sure I would need the extra strong frame and mounting points if I am planning on using a trailer anyway ?

Any help or comments would be appreciated - I am not new to cycling but have not done any touring since I was 12 and I borrowed my mums MTB.

Cheers !

snibgo
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby snibgo » 30 May 2012, 7:14pm

Welcome to the forum!

One of our number, Mick F, tours with a trailer and a racer. It works well for him.

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Mick F
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby Mick F » 31 May 2012, 9:21am

Yep.
Excellent.

I hated the racks and panniers I had previously, it made my bike feel like a tank. I read on here that if a bike is designed to carry loads, panniers are fine. For my steed with 73deg parallel geometry, it was awful.

My Carry Freedom trailer on the other hand, is fantastic. It doesn't affect the bike or the handling and my bike feels like a bike, not a tank! :D

Yes, you still have to pull the load, but believe me, it's hardly noticeable unless you're climbing a hill. Flat roads and downhills are easy - just need good brakes.

I cannot recommend CF trailers highly enough. One wheel trailers I have no experience of, but I wouldn't have one because they must put strain on the frame as you have to balance them. Two wheel trailers don't need balancing.
Mick F. Cornwall

james01
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby james01 » 31 May 2012, 10:30am

Whatever format you decide on just make sure you've got some low gears or it could put you off touring for ever!

nevets10
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby nevets10 » 31 May 2012, 4:24pm

Low gears, probably a wise idea ! - I'm from Leicestershire so we don't really have proper hills here, I never use the granny gear !
Not too sure about one wheel trailers either - I wont be going off-roading but there is always going to be compromises when travelling light-ish.

thirdcrank
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 May 2012, 5:39pm

So much depends on what the words mean. It's hard to imagine a true modern racing bike - ie something a serious racing cyclist might ride in a road race - being suitable for touring rather than riding the Tour. One of the reasons why a racing bike is unsuitable for touring is the difficulty of carrying luggage, but I think such a bike would still be unsuitable if the luggage were are being carried in a following car complete with directeur sportif. ie A suitable trailer can get over luggage problems, but it doesn't change the character of the bike.

Now, if you have a bike that tends more towards the audax type of thing - some of the characteristics of a racing bike but with more emphasis on all day riding and with gears for normal people - then a suitable trailer could be just the job.

I've seen Mick F's set-up in action and it's impressive. The advantages go beyond the towing.

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bigjim
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby bigjim » 31 May 2012, 5:42pm

I toured last year with a race bike with panniers and rack. Did not have any particular comfort/performance issues. Though I did change the gearing and used a larger rear tyre.
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You will get lots of personal opinions on here and whats works for one person will not work for another.

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foxyrider
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby foxyrider » 31 May 2012, 10:27pm

I'm guessing by your description that your 'racer' is in fact an old school sports bike which probably could take a bit of a load if you wanted it to.

Without heading off into fuzzy land, yes, the trailer is a great idea, a CF y frame model one of the more practical choices.

Go for it, just try not to fall into the trap of taking the kitchen sink, you don't need it and the less weight you are pulling the more enjoyable it will be.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

nevets10
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby nevets10 » 31 May 2012, 11:08pm

I am enough of a load for any bike ! an audax type bike might be just the thing, I have my eye on one on the bay but much to learn I think - they are a bit cooler than touring bikes ! The main thing is I don't like the way loaded panniers feel when the bike is moving around or climbing.

My idea of a racer is probably an old school sports bike yes !

ericonabike
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby ericonabike » 6 Jun 2012, 1:55pm

"I'm from Leicestershire so we don't really have proper hills here, I never use the granny gear!"

Chapeau Sir! I too am from Leics but visit granny frequently. I'm off to France next week, towing a Carry Freedom City two-wheeled trailer behind my Airborne road bike. First time behind that bike, but we've tandem-toured with it often, and it's a great piece of kit. PM me if you want to give it a try!
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

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RickH
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby RickH » 8 Jun 2012, 7:05pm

ericonabike wrote:"I'm from Leicestershire so we don't really have proper hills here, I never use the granny gear!"

Chapeau Sir! I too am from Leics but visit granny frequently. I'm off to France next week, towing a Carry Freedom City two-wheeled trailer behind my Airborne road bike. First time behind that bike, but we've tandem-toured with it often, and it's a great piece of kit. PM me if you want to give it a try!

How do you find the City on longer rides? I've got one but so far I've used it as a luggage transporter (in conjunction with the train) to &/or from supported tours, probably about 10-15 miles in 2 or 3 legs (but including central London station changes), I've not used it as the main carrier yet. I'm hoping to do WOTR later in the year so might use it then to see how it performs.

Rick.

ericonabike
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby ericonabike » 8 Jun 2012, 7:55pm

Its only downside is that it's not waterproof, only showerproof and Carry Freedom don't do a dedicated cover for it. I use a bin liner inside - put it on the bottom, pile everything in then fold it over again. It's lasted through torrential rain in Belgium that way with no moistness! Build quality is excellent in my opinion and the wheel bearings are buttery smooth. My one concern is getting a puncture in the tyre as finding a spare tube might be tricky. But the tyres are substantial and touchwood have had no problems.
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

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RickH
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby RickH » 10 Jun 2012, 12:02am

ericonabike wrote:My one concern is getting a puncture in the tyre as finding a spare tube might be tricky.

a quick Google search show Halfords (& others) do tubes - they are the same size wheels as things like buggies - even ones with a 45 degree bend in the valve so it is easier to get a pump on.

Rick.

ericonabike
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Re: Racer with trailer for touring? bad or good?

Postby ericonabike » 10 Jun 2012, 9:10am

That's cool - I bought a kinked valve extension but hadn't figured on the tubes being available. Will invest in one before French foray next week.
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.