Packing your travel essentials when you head off on your bike tour can take a lot of space… panniers are great if you can keep the weight down and be selective about what the take (and what to leave at home!). However, for longer trips, family trips or just picking materials from a store, you can’t beat a cargo trailer for your bike.
Choosing a bicycle trailer may pose almost the same challenge as picking a bike. However, to be a smart consumer you really need to take a look at the various features and models available before making a purchase.
What To Consider When Choosing A Bicycle Cargo Trailer
Bike trailers come in a whole range of different styles, some matching a specific bike model, some for special purposes (eg carrying a child or dog). Yet, for a seamless bike touring trip, you should go for a model that will enhance rather than frustrate your tour. Here’s our list of some of the most important features to consider.
There are two classes of weight you should consider when shopping for a bike trailer and these are normally listed separately as the weight of the trailer itself (ie how much weight are you pulling along even when it’s empty) and the weight capacity (ie how much load can the trailer carry).
The weight of empty bike trailers ranges from below 10 pounds to about 40 pounds. However, you should know that you’d be pulling the entire weight with your bike, and the heavier it is, the slower it moves. That wouldn’t be a problem if you’re going on a short trip, but it would pose a major challenge when going on bike touring.
Trailer Weight Capacity
Different bike trailer models come with varying carrying capacities and can weigh up to 150 pounds. This feature should be up on your consideration list as it helps determine things you can bring along on a touring bike trip.
When choosing a bicycle trailer, you should check the weight and number of items you wish to bring. This would help you know which trailer you should choose. Two-wheelers have more carrying capacity than bike cargo trailers single wheel types. The material of the cargo also determines its load capacity.
You should consider going for one wheel if you have a hill or mountainside bike touring on your cards. It comes with a single wheel and would tow excellently on a narrow path as well as turns. The biggest advantage of a bicycle bike single wheel cargo trailer is that it moves well on curved roads.
One of our favorite single wheel cargo trailers is Burley Coho XC. It features a coil spring suspension that helps stabilize the gear and trailer, giving you a smooth ride by also reducing structural stress.
However, using a single wheel means you wouldn’t have to carry a large weight making you pack just a few necessary items.
If your bike touring is in an urban setting with defined sidewalks and bike lanes, you should get a double wheel bike trailer. They have a better weight distribution and allows you to carry more load on your touring trip. This feature makes them better than the single wheel cargo trailer.
They also run smoothly on flat roads, which makes them perfect for city touring. Yet, they are not very flexible in function. A good example of a two-wheeler is the Aosom bike cargo trailer with its 16-inch tire and durable steel frame.
If the single- and double-wheel don’t serve your purpose, maybe because of a larger load, you can get a four-wheel bike trailer. Their bases are lower than the rest, and their frames, stronger. Unlike the smaller trailers, you can move bigger materials with them and travel a longer distance without issues.
Bike Cargo Pricing
One important factor you should consider is the pricing of the bike cargo trailers. While some brands are affordable, some others would weigh so much on your purse. Hence you should know and define your budget before going for a search.
For lightweight and small carrying capacity, brands like Schwinn and Retrospec offer cheap bike cargo trailers under 200. But they only carry small loads and come with a lighter material make.
On the other hand, the Burley Travoy Bike Cargo trailer comes with a sturdy steel frame and a durable 100+ pounds trailer. It comes with an adjustable loop and enhanced suspension rim, making it one of the best bike cargo trailers under 300$.
To get a larger and sturdier trailer, you may want to budget a sizeable sum of 300-500 dollars. These models have improved designs for larger loads and feature better suspensions and stability. They are the go-to trailers for long trips.
A better option with impressive features in the 300-500 category is the Roland Bike trailer features. It offers major upgrades on the other two price categories like the ultra-large carrying capacity and improved steel frame.
Trailer Frame Material
The make-up material which a cargo contains determines its attributes like weight and durability. Bike trailers are usually made from steel and other metallic alloys.
The steel trailer is more popular because it is durable and affordable. The downside to using this trailer type is its weight. Alloy, on the other hand, are lightweight and durable.
Also, check for frame weld solidity before choosing one
Bicycle Cargo Trailer Cover
A trailer cover is an important consideration to check before making a carrier choice. If you must go for a trailer with a cover (as some don’t have), you should choose one like the Aosom Enclosed Bicycle Cargo Trailer with a durable closure material. Some come with a bag, strap, or any other attachment to help secure your load.
Moreover, some trailers are coverable, making them more durable and protecting your items from the rain. Also, consider covers that are resistant to water and is washable with either hand or machines.
You should consider the condition of the roads on your bike touring map before choosing a bicycle cargo trailer. As mentioned earlier, a mountain bike cargo trailer should be one wheel to enable a smooth ride on narrow roads. But for commuter bikes that tow on flat and tarred roads can have a double wheel cargo trailer.
If you intend to hit the mountains any time soon, you may want to go with the BOB Yak Plus 28 bike cargo trailer. It comes with overwhelming features.
Here’s a helpful hint, when you’re touring on a rough mountain or hilly terrains, you should have extra straps or pins for better luggage security. A bigger cover would also come in handy for dust protection.
Another factor to consider when choosing a bicycle cargo trailer is how you want to use it.
There are two main classes of trailers: open and closed. If you are an outdoor person and often need space to take things home, then an open trailer is a better option for you. It gives you room to put more items.
But if you need wagon cargo, then a general-purpose cargo trailer might be ideal for you.
Other Necessary Considerations
Aside from the wheels, materials, and frame, there are other factors you should look out for before buying a bike cargo trailer.
Mounting and Storage
To avoid spending half of your touring time trying to mount or release a trailer, you should check the mounting system before buying. Some come with a quick-release feature to attach and unmount the trailer faster.
The Aosom Folding Bike Cargo Trailer has a quick-release wheel and a seat post hitch for easy attachment. More so, it has a foldable design that allows you to assemble and take it down with much ease. In addition, it has a large 16-inch tire that can hold up to 88 pounds without worries.
Wheel Size And Type
Even though they are not up on the list of considerations, the wheel size is something you should check out. The wheel’s type and size determine how the trailer moves and makes the ride smooth or rough.
Rougher terrains and bumpy roads require big pneumatic wheels and small tires to withstand the turns and curves. The big tires lift the cargo trailer high above the ground, though. Smaller wheels are more adapted to smooth roads and can go with bigger tires.
The trailer tires are mostly about 16-inch big, although they may be bigger or smaller ones. You should ensure to get durable tires that are less prone to leaks. You may also want to add reflectors to improve your safety around cars and other bikers.
This feature helps keep the cargo and bike upright when not in use. While it is not present in all cargo trailers, it is an important feature. It helps ensure the trailer stays in place during loading and offloading.
This is the point of attachment between the trailer and the bicycle. A trailer comes with this hitch, and In some cases, manufacturers include an additional strap that becomes active when the hitch fails.
Take along your gear for the ride with the Schwinn Day Tripper Cargo Trailer. The wide frame provides large towing and storage capacity, while the two-wheel design limits torque placed on your bicycle for unhindered performance.
A unique folding-frame design and quick-release wheels pack up neatly for compact storage and transport.
For added versitility, enjoy the ease of one-time installation with the universal coupler that easily attaches to almost any bicycle.
16-inch air-filled tires with molded rims provide a ride that's always smooth, while interior D-rings allow you to strap down your cargo, providing extra security and improved performance.
This bike trailer ships ready to be assembled, has a 1 year limited , and the wheels measure 16 inches, holds up to 50 lbs of cargo
SAFE DESIGN: Triple safety features help your load stay visible in the darker hours. A red flag, a reflector in back, and reflective strips around the wheels protect you and your stuff.
LIGHTWEIGHT FEEL: Your ride will be quicker and lightweight without the extra heft. Despite having a frame that eliminates a heavy pull, the design is tough and durable with a steel construction a and a strong PE bottom.
LARGE AND FOLDABLE: The large capacity holds tons of storage, but the design collapses into a small package to keep the bike wagon easily out of the way.
SHOCK ABSORPTION: A shock-absorbing design creates a smooth ride even when the road is bumpy, offering a suspension system that keeps you comfortable.
BICYCLE CARGO TRAILER INFORMATION: Overall Dimensions: 49.25" L x 25.25" W x 21" H. Cargo Compartment Dimensions: 27.5" L x 18" W x 9.75" H.
【FOLDABLE & EASY TO INSTALL】- Comes with detailed instructions for easy installation and foldable design makes it easy to store and save space.The front and back of the frame can be easily removed, and the side can be folded down. It provides more space for transporting large objects.
【DURABLE & LARGE CAPACITY】-Steel tube with anti-rust powder coating and reinforced PE bottom build a sturdy and large-capacity transport space.It increased towing and load capacity.
【SAFETY DESIGN & DURABLE TIRE】- Comes with a red and 4 yellow reflectors to increase your safety when riding in the dark. Two 16" extra big air filled wheel for smooth ride.It allows you to haul and load items with ease.
【UNIVERSAL BIKE HITCH】-The trailer includes a universal hitch can be attached to your bike rear wheels and help you quickly attach or detach the bike to the trailer by plugging and unplugging the pin.
【MULTI-PURPOSE TRAILER】- The trailer can be used for shopping, camping, grocery shopping, setting up stalls, moving houses, etc. The large capacity and 90kg super-heavy load allow you to transport many items you need at one time.It is a good helper for out-of-home shipment.
【Sturdy Material】: This small bicycle trailer is made of a sturdy iron frame. The cargo compartment uses cloth cover, which is more waterproof and durable.
【Removable and Foldable】: This bicycle trailer has a foldable tow bar and a quick release tire function, which can be quickly folded to save more space for you. The detachable cargo compartment design has a good protective effect.
【Multifunctional Design】: This bicycle trolley is ideal for daily commuting or long-distance travel. You can use it for shopping, transporting goods, and other errands. You can also use it to bring your pet to play.
【Easy to Assemble】: This small trailer is easy to assemble and disassemble, just follow the steps in the manual to get a practical and beautiful small trailer.
【Guarantee】: We provide a 60-day free return or exchange, and a 2-year warranty. Most areas will receive our products delivered by UPS/FedEx within 1-5 working days.
HEAVY DUTY CAPACITY: At 88lbs., the Aosom Wanderer has the highest carrying capacity in its class, allowing it to handle most any load.
DETACHABLE FRONT AND BACK: The front and back detaches easily allowing for more space and for larger items to be placed onto the trailer.
DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Made of sturdy steel frame and a strengthened PE bottom provide sturdy construction. In addition to the front and back, the side walls fold down making it easy to transport large objects.
FOLDABLE DESIGN: This trailer is assembly requires, easy to set up and fold down which is easy to transport and stroage can save your space.
BICYCLE HITCH INCLUDED: Includes a simple to use universal hitch that fastens onto your back wheel to allow for quick and easy attaching and removing.
2-IN-1 DESIGN: The storage cargo is convenient to push or pull by bikes, versatile coupler attaches to most bicycles for convenient use, the red button enables easy installment and disassembly of the connector to bicycles
LARGE TIRES: It will be easy for you to haul and load things up to move, thanks to the two rubber-covered wheels and easy-to-push handle.
LARGE CARGO: You'll fill the big removable cargo compartment with quite a bit before it's complete. Provide yourself with a handy storage option that lets you conveniently organize your gear, groceries, and supplies.
SAFETY DESIGN: You'll be able to keep your inventory protected with the outdoor storage trailer thanks to the 600 oxford cloth with coating. You'll save yourself in the dark with the included red, yellow, and white reflectors.
BIKE TRAILER PRODUCT INFORMATION: Overall Dimensions: 56.7" L x 23.23" W x 31.5" H. Weight Capacity: 88 lbs.
【Detachable & Foldable】The front and rear baffles can be removed, both sides can be folded, making this trailer for bike cargo easy to transport large objects. Both wheels are equipped with reflectors to ensure your safety at night or in the rain
【Strong & Durable Trailer Base】 This bicycle trailer is made of high quality iron plates and steel pipes, And the convenient Oxford cloth basket of this bike trailer is set atop a solid metal base, So can hold up to 130 lbs. In addition, the Oxford cloth cover is durable and can be used to store various goods and tools,and be more waterproof and durable.
【Strong Load Bearing】This cargo bike trailer utility can carry objects up to 130+ pounds, suitable for transporting luggage, backpacks, cargo, plants, tools, sundries or any other bulky items (PS: This bike cargo trailer Not suitable for children or pets, please pay attention to safety when using)
【Versatile Coupler】This bicycle trailer comes with a hook, The universal coupler is suitable for most bicycles , it can be quickly and easily connected to most bicycles, which is convenient and practical.
【Easy to Assemble & Disassemble】This bicycle trailer is easy to assemble and disassemble without other tools, just follow the steps in the manual, Velcro simplifies the installation process and is very sticky.
STEEL BASE: A solid platform which keeps this cargo bike trailer steady and balanced when in motion. Holds the carrier securely so nothing falls off when properly packed.
SPACIOUS BAG: Offers plenty of safe holding room for your shopping essentials. Made from oxford cloth, this bicycle cargo trailer it is tough and durable, with a top cover to protect from light rain and wind.
TWO WHEELS: Allows bike cart smooth movement on the ground when you're on the go. Reflectors on both sides of this bicycle sidecar for visibility and safety. Releases from frame for easy storage.
HITCH CONNECTION: Attaches to your bike easily and keeps in place securely.
DIMENSIONS: 55" L x 34.75" W x 23.5" H. Inside storage: 33.25" L x 24" W x 15" H. MAXIMUM LOAD 88lbs. EASY TO ASSEMBLE.