Trailers - Any advice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Trailers - Any advice

Postby BobSweet2 » 30 Dec 2007, 7:43pm

We are thinking of getting a trailer to be used to get the shopping, so no need for a light version. There is one in Argos for £99, and similiar ones in rutland cycling about £20 less. Does anyone have any good or bad experiences to share.

Many thanks

Bob Sweet

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Postby dkmwt » 31 Dec 2007, 1:52pm

I can't say much about the ones you mentioned but I use a Radical Cyclone. It makes shopping so much easier, just get the girl on the checkout to help with packing into carrier bags. Then just put them in the trailer like you would the boot of a car.

Take a look at the link in my signiture and look at the long vehicle pics for other ideas on what to carry. I've also carried a big plastic compost bin (empty at the time) on my trailer.
Cheers, Donald
Trice "Qnt 26" 26/39/55 F 10sp 11/36 R, now with Windwrap fairing.
ICE B1 34/50 F Capreo 9/32 R.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 31 Dec 2007, 2:09pm

I often go on about my Carry Freedom Y Frame trailer.

The prices you mention sound very reasonable indeed!
The Carry Freedoms come in at about £160 but are worth every penny.
Mick F. Cornwall

tartan socks


Postby tartan socks » 31 Dec 2007, 6:11pm

I bought the one that you mention although I paid around £70 new from an "E-Bay Shop",Catford Cycles.
I have used it a number of times more recently an 18 mile round trip to Ikea to pick up some shelving.
I use it with my dutch bike and it is worth noting it's quite hard work with a load.

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Postby Cunobelin » 31 Dec 2007, 7:31pm

The trailer market is diverse both in cost and design.

Most simple is the bolt on to the seatpost "box"

This just allows you to chuck everything in, and costs about £60. However with a seatpost mount there is more affect on the bike

After that you have a wide range bolting on to the seatpost, or on to the rear triangle or axle.

Perhaps the widest range of options is at;

Really you need to decide what you want and your budget. Regrettably quality increases with cost.


Bike Hod for large and bulky items
Bob Yak for heavyweight, shopping and off road tourimg
Radical Cyclone for B&B touring
Old Burley child trailer stripped out for tip runs.

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Postby john4703 » 31 Dec 2007, 9:10pm

I bought a trailer on ebay from Germany for £20. There was a wheel bearing missing when it arrived so I got a £10 refund after buying a bearing for 50p. (They offered the £10)
I replaced the hitch after my first trip, loaded it was fine but empty it came free of the bike so I made up a hitch using a bolt and hinge, a bit heavy but 100% certain to remain secure. I find the trailer great for trips to the shops or taking building rubbish to the local tip, I was surprised how hard it is to pedal but far better then as wheelbarrow for a few miles.
I am planning a camping trip next year and am positive that with less weight the trailer attached to my seat post will be no problem at all.
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Postby Moondog » 2 Jan 2008, 8:08pm

I have an Avenir mule.Very similar to the Croozer listed in the bikes and trailers website mentioned above.I paid less than the Argos price at the local LBS.

I use it for shopping,recycling but mostly in the summer for taking the dog to the beach and onwards for a pint or two.

It is heavy, and the old pram wheels and tyres are prone to puncture and depredation from salt, but apart from that it does the job.

Upon reflection i would go for a CarryFreedom and 'find' a wholesale , perhaps damaged,plastic fish box from the shore for the dog and shopping.I am sure it would be a nicer tug and the dog, not being style conscious would hardly worry about the origins of the container.

Ah! The joys of an eccentric old age. :)


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Postby Peyote » 3 Jan 2008, 9:16am

I've been using the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op's version of the BoB Yak for 2 years now, I can't fault it for the amount it costs (less than half the price of the BoB Yak). It's build quality probably isn't as good, and it's probably heavier, but it's been great for the weekly shop, tip-runs etc. The single wheel design makes it easier to cycle with, but more difficult when stationary, and limits the weight a bit, but you can still fit two slabd of beer in it without a problem!

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Postby byegad » 3 Jan 2008, 10:50am

I own a Bike Hod and a Carry Freedom Y frame (large {20" wheel} size). They both do the job well,
The Hod carries an entire weeks shopping no problem. However there is a little pulsing when loaded which precludes long distance use.
The Y frame is flat bed and I have a large hardshell case for it. The case has door stops bolted to it to locate in the holes on the bed and a strap holds it down. No pulsing and the same size wheels as my Trike mean it's for long distances.

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Shopping - carry it loose!

Postby chiefsub68 » 5 Jan 2008, 2:23pm

I've been shopping with a trailer for 15 years now - for a family of four. I have a 1950s trailer, made by Everybody's Trailers of Newark, Notts, which I picked up second hand for £10.
At the checkout, I would recommend using panniers for small or fragile stuff, but keeping the rest loose in the trolley (make sure the security guard knows what you are doing!). A plastic pirate chest on the trailer contains two cardboard boxes that lift out. It is amazing how much I can get into two panniers and three boxes, with loo rolls etc piled on top and secured with a bungee. My top shop has been about £145, and my average is around £110 - but you do have to be careful how many lemonade 2 for 1s you succumb to!
I would recommend a seat hitch over a hub hitch for the simple reason that the trailer is more versatile - you can use it round the garden or on shopping expeditions by foot.
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Postby Willpower » 9 Jan 2008, 7:54am

We have a carry freedom ylarge. Can't fault it other than:
You need to find a way of putting your load on (ie a box of some sort) but this only makes it more versatile (eg you can just unclip the box and take it indoors)
Fitting lights to the stock trailer is not the most obvious of operations.

You'll never have to worry about overloading a y frame!

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Postby SP » 9 Jan 2008, 8:16pm

I have used the same type trailer as in the Argos catalogue for a family cycling holiday to and from centreparcs - family came along on the proviso I pulled the luggage! It managed fine but can feel heavy when loaded uphill! Also - it has fabric sides and if loaded these rub on the wheels - diy boards needed along the sides to prevent this.

Apart from all the other good suggestions, there is 'Camcarts' based in Cambridge which have the same size load bay as the above, but larger wheels and a box is included. It also doubles as a hand cart or supermarket trolley!

See for more details.

All the best,


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Re: Trailers - Any advice

Postby Robert » 10 Mar 2009, 10:31pm

I'm intending to buy a trailer for our forthcoming camping trip with the tandem. It's either that or get a front rack, but from everything I've read here the trailer seems the best bet. I like the look of the carry freedom - although it does look a bit like a plank of wood on two wheels. What I can't understand is how do you fix a bag to it. If you fit a box to it you can drill through the box and base and screw it on, but you couldn't do the same with say an ortleib bag. Obviously I'm missing something.

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Re: Trailers - Any advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Mar 2009, 7:30am

My orange suitcase was a problem to us, even though we didn't pay very much for it, we didn't want to drill through it, but it was the best thing.

The CF trailer comes with some rubber "feet" that are designed to be fitted to your bag/box/case/whatever in the right places to engage with the big holes in the CF base. The base is coated in a non-slip surface, and when your chosen container is dropped on, it sits very solidly indeed. All you need to do, is design a strap system to hold it down.

I think the Orlieb bags have feet of some sort that would locate as I described - perhaps someone could confirm this.

We designed a pair of Velcro straps to hold my suitcase down, it seemed better than bungy cord. A tour or two later, I screwed the suitcase down rather than strap it.


I designed a ply-wood box for shopping, and as it was wooden and strong, I removed the CF base, and bolted the box down directly onto the chassis.


Now I have a alu box, and I designed a fitting system for it too directly onto the chassis.


Basically, what I'm saying, is that the CF trailer is a versatile bit of kit that you can customise as you go.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Trailers - Any advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Mar 2009, 7:32am

Take a look further down the forum into the Too Good to Lose section.
Mick F. Cornwall