Trailer or Panniers

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
memnoch
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Trailer or Panniers

Postby memnoch » 15 Jun 2012, 10:49pm

Evening,

I'm kitting up for a two month tour staring the the end of July. The panniers I have at the moment are absolutely rubbish and are constantly falling off so I'm looking for alternatives.

I could go out and get a set of Ortleibs which would be excellent but I'm also tempted by a Bob Yak or something similar.

So I'm after peoples thoughts, and a bit more cheekily if there is anyone around the Derby are who has a trailer and would be willing to let me have a quick trial to see what it's like.

Cheers
Ralph

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b1ke
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby b1ke » 16 Jun 2012, 11:13am

I use trailers in my job (Carry Freedom and previously Pashley Euro) and they're good. I've never seriously considered touring with them because it's more moving parts/spares to think about. Personally, I've yet to find a better option than panniers (Ortlieb in my case) and a dry sack for the tent.
Last edited by b1ke on 17 Jun 2012, 10:43pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mick F
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby Mick F » 16 Jun 2012, 12:55pm

I love my Carry Freedom trailer, and with a decent weatherproof box on it, it's very convenient on a tour.

You can stop, lift the lid, and take out anything. Maps, extra water, Goretex top, camera, etc - it's all in there. You don't need to think about which bag something's in and root about into the bottom of them. When you get to your destination, you can lift out what you want. I put clothes and stuff in plassy bags to make it easy.

Trailers, especially two wheel trailers, tow very easily and leave the bike free of clutter. Even a lightweight bike can tow, and you don't need any braze-ons or brackets on your frame - just the tow hitch.

Trailers don't slow you down. Yes, there must be extra rolling resistance because of the extra wheels, but contrast that to carrying the weight on the bike. You need bigger tyres and as they are carrying the load, they will produce extra rolling resistance. I reckon the the rolling resistance of carrying a load on a bike vs towing the same weight will be the same - if not less because the tow bike will be able to use lighter thinner tyres.

I used panniers a few times, and now I've got a CF trailer, I would NEVER go back.
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meic
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby meic » 16 Jun 2012, 1:14pm

Mick F wrote:I love my Carry Freedom trailer, and with a decent weatherproof box on it, it's very convenient on a tour.

You can stop, lift the lid, and take out anything. Maps, extra water, Goretex top, camera, etc - it's all in there. You don't need to think about which bag something's in and root about into the bottom of them. When you get to your destination, you can lift out what you want. I put clothes and stuff in plassy bags to make it easy.

Trailers, especially two wheel trailers, tow very easily and leave the bike free of clutter. Even a lightweight bike can tow, and you don't need any braze-ons or brackets on your frame - just the tow hitch.

Trailers don't slow you down. Yes, there must be extra rolling resistance because of the extra wheels, but contrast that to carrying the weight on the bike. You need bigger tyres and as they are carrying the load, they will produce extra rolling resistance. I reckon the the rolling resistance of carrying a load on a bike vs towing the same weight will be the same - if not less because the tow bike will be able to use lighter thinner tyres.

I used panniers a few times, and now I've got a CF trailer, I would NEVER go back.


Some trailers dont slow you down as much as you expect, most trailers certainly do slow you down.
I love my trailer for taking my daughter around in but it is like a great big parachute, sometimes a turn into the wind feels like the brakes have come on. Top speed is very restricted because the air resistance is enough to make 15mph hard work.
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby alanesq » 16 Jun 2012, 1:36pm

I know it is probably not the sort of quality you are looking for when touring, but I have had several of these panniers:

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sjsc-black-hook-on-rear-pannier-bags-prod11550/

they are very good for the money

boris
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby boris » 16 Jun 2012, 1:46pm

one of the regulars in ctc derby used to have a single wheeler. Maybe Alan Keeton. I remember someone borrowed it . If you make contact with them they might give you a trial if it's still around. Perhaps a small donation might be appropriate or not.

I have always bought my panniers from argos or lidl and they've been fine. A plastic bag or several, preferably see-through, to line any rucksac or pannier is always my policy.

simonhill
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby simonhill » 16 Jun 2012, 2:31pm

You don't say where yo are going touring.

I only mention this as it could influence your decison. If you need to take plane, or boat, or train, etc a trailer may not be such a good idea.

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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby daveg » 16 Jun 2012, 2:41pm

Having carried panniers several times I always think it;s a trailer next time, but still not got one.

I'm going to Spain soon and again its panniers. I've been out a few times to sample the extra load and I find panniers simply make the whole dyanmics of the bike different. It just has to be better on a trailer. The one I looked into was the single wheel version, but I've never ridden with one.
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memnoch
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby memnoch » 16 Jun 2012, 3:52pm

Thanks for the thoughts, it's all good reading.

I have a Kona Sutra kitted out for panniers currently with the racks it came with, which to be honest are probably one of the only original features left. I'm currently using 4 Altura Arrans and I hate the things they bounce off so easily that I generally lose one once or twice a day, once off the front wheel when going 45+mph which scared me stiff!

I didn't find cycling with panniers all that difficult on my last trip from London to Zurich but did find loading / unloading all the kit a right pain in the rear as it all had to fit be fitted in very carefully. So the ability to be able to put it into one large bag is quite tempting.

I'd have to replace all 4 bags and probably the front rack as it keeps on bending so would be looking at £220 to replace with Ortliebs and a Tubus rack (I know there are cheaper options but I prefer to have to spend a bit more and have something that works and lasts) and a Yak with bag isn't a huge amount more expensive.

This years tour is pretty road based, taking the ferry to Santander and heading up the coast to Biarittz and cross over to the South coast and follow round to Nice, ferry down to Corsica & Sardinia spend a week there then ferry to Rome and fly back estimated time 2 months.

SteveL
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby SteveL » 16 Jun 2012, 10:16pm

I have a carry freedom, if you want to try it out.

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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby lebarronblue » 17 Jun 2012, 10:49am

Ive just got back from a tour of Normandy, very wet most days and tent came down wet 8 out of 12 days

Tour was cut short due to a weld failure on my recumbent trike so looking to get a trailer and take weight of the trike which will also lower center of gravity alot for riding Trike

Does any body in the Northamptonshire area have a Y Frame trailer..? I could have a look at

Nick

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Mick F
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby Mick F » 17 Jun 2012, 10:56am

Trailers don't slow you down - except child trailers! They do indeed appear as a sail and wind scoop.

Sorry, Meic, I should have been more specific. :oops:
However, in my defence, the OP was about touring.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby Mick F » 17 Jun 2012, 10:57am

SteveL wrote:I have a carry freedom, if you want to try it out.
Me too, of course.
I'm a bit out of the way for most folk, but if I can be of assistance in lending mine for a road test, I would be delighted to show it off.
Mick F. Cornwall

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b1ke
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby b1ke » 20 Jun 2012, 9:10pm

I find panniers simply make the whole dyanmics of the bike different. It just has to be better on a trailer.


I don't think there's any easy way to move weight on a bike. All a trailer does is shift the burden to the back, whereas panniers spread it around a bit. I reckon the best option is to take less. Or go for titanium, which will also reduce the weight of your wallet :)
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Re: Trailer or Panniers

Postby Vorpal » 20 Jun 2012, 9:43pm

There are other threads on this topic. Do a search on 'trailer pannier' or similar.

Each has advantages...
I think of a trailer as being used for bigger and heavier loads, and panniers for touring, carrying stuff to work, etc.

However, a trailer can allow the use of a bike that couldn't otherwise be used for touring. And some people find a bike with panniers difficult to manage when they aren't riding (i.e. pushing it, manuevering it at the beginning and end of a journey. etc.).

In general, I prefer not to carry any more capacity than I need. My stuff seems to expand to use all available capacity. I have, partly for that reason, always toured with two panniers, a tent on the rack, and a bar bag.

If you're touring in the UK, and planning to use off-road cycle tracks, check for barriers ont he routes. Different types of barriers are easier to pass with different solutions. For example, a one-wheel trailer goes through the A-frame type barriers easily, but not the kissing gate types. Panniers can be a pain for any of the width restricting type barriers.

On the other hand, if you are buying something to use for more than touring, a trailer has a much wider range of utility uses....
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