Author Topic: First Experience with BOB trailer  (Read 3221 times)

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Offline chrisk

First Experience with BOB trailer
« on: May 21, 2012, 02:00:57 am »
I just finished a ~250 mi trip across Western Kansas into Eastern Colorado and used the BOB trailer instead of panniers for the first time. I thought I'd share the pros and cons I discovered. I was pretty heavily loaded, though I didn't bother to weigh it all, generally I just as soon not know, I just take what I think I might need and figure that's what I have to have. If I didn't use something I won't take it next time.

While riding I loved the trailer. I barely knew it was back there other then hearing the flag flap around. Keep in mind this was western Kansas and Eastern Colorado so the terrain was quite flat. The bike handled better then with panniers. I had some pretty strong cross winds and I think the low profile of the trailer helped not get pushed around so much by the wind. Also, there was clearly less weight on the rear wheel and it was the first trip that I didn't get a flat. Even though that may be because it was just 250 mi and also the road in Kansas was very clean, very little debris.

When it cane to walking the bike around or parking it though it was a different story. It was quite a pain trying to maneuver the bike as if you tilt it any little bit while walking it around or trying to park it the trailer would want to pull it over. I have a double kick stand and when I used it I had to be very careful that the trailer was lined up just right or it would tip over easily. In fact it did tip over 3 times, 2 of which could be attributed to a strong wind, but one was strictly due to not balancing things well. Also it was very difficult to get into the bag without the bike tipping over. I have decided that in the future I'll only take with me what can fit in the trailer bag, but I'll also have a rear rack that I'll put things that I might need to get to easily, like my camera or rain gear if the weather looks bad.

Since I spend a lot more time riding the bike then walking it around I have to say I preferred the trailer to panniers. So, when I do longer trips on easy terrain I'll probably use the trailer. But, for shorter trips, day trips or just single overnighters,  I'll probably stick with panniers. I haven't tried the trailer in the mountains yet so how it impacts climbs I can't say. I may just not want the extra weight. We'll see.

Thanks
Chris Kottaridis

Offline BikeFreak

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 04:36:30 pm »
I have read a lot of reviews (elsewhere) on the BOB Yak and so far all people are very happy with the trailer. Except for me.

I have 3000 mi experience with the trailer and 20000 mi experience with panniers.

I don't like the trailer at all. I never got used to it. I feel a dead weight behind me which lives its own life. Of course the trailer stays on track and doesn't jump around, however I don't like the "inertia" in the system. To me, panniers become part of the entire rig and just act as one single heavy bike with no "inertia" problems (I don't feel the weight of the panniers counteracting my movements).

Lucas

PS: I never had a problem with manouvring the trailer. It was never an issue for me - so this was the least "problem" to me :-).

Offline mtnbiktn

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 06:37:08 pm »
When you park, put a rubber band or bungie cord over the brake levers and handle bars which will stabilize the rig.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 06:56:01 pm »
With a Burley Nomad 2-wheeled trailer, the tipping over problem is eliminated.  Also, it allows easier access to your stuff.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline driftlessregion

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 10:57:57 pm »
On page 3 of the BOB manual (found here http://www.bobgear.com/manuals) it shows the proper way to set the bike and trailer. Follow these directions and the bike is stable from my experience.

Offline staehpj1

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 06:55:40 am »
I am not a fan of using trailers for touring myself, but I have toured with folks using them.  They had absolutely no problems with their rigs falling over.  None of them used kick stands though.  They either leaned the rig against something or jack knifed the rig to park it.  They in either case seem to be less rather than more likely to fall over than a bike with racks and panniers.


BTW: My reasons for not likeing trailer are:
  • Weight - An unloaded BoB Yak and the gear bag weighs as much as my loaded racks and panniers.  An Ibex weighs more yet.
  • Shipping/Transport - It seems like a hassle to have to fly with or ship a BoB.

Offline humunuku

Re: First Experience with BOB trailer
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2012, 09:19:00 pm »
i've done one 500+ mile tour with a BOB trailer (most of which was on the blue ridge parkway, so either up or down, zero flat).  I would have to say that i don't like the trailer for hilly touring.  There seemed to be a lag in steering when descending, like your start to lean into a turn, then the trailer leans a half second later...it just doesn't feel as a solid system as panniers.  Part of the problem may have been the bike i was using (steel IF CX bike), so it may have not been as beefy as a bike designed for touring.  Also I found that if you stick a rain coat under the bungies, and it is not 100% totally secured, you will get a scary shimmy at speed (can easily solve this by putting the coat in the bag).

the big storage space is nice though