Author Topic: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?  (Read 4073 times)

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Offline djzack

Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« on: February 11, 2013, 12:40:00 pm »
What are your thoughts about a Yak trailer versus front and rear Panniers for a cross country souther tier trip?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 12:56:34 pm »
It can work.  I personally went really light on the ST and found that for me just a couple stuff sacks on a rear rack, supplemented with a handlebar bag worked better than either panniers or a trailer.  My gear and bags was only about a pound more than the BoB weighs empty though.  Carrying more a bob or panniers start to make more sense.  I'd probably use panniers before I'd use a trailer.

I rode a lot of the way with a guy who used a very heavily loaded BoB and it seemed to mostly work OK for him, but he said if he were to do the trip again he'd go ultralight the next time and skip the trailer.  He had several bent derailleur hangers that he blamed on the trailer, but I am not convinced that the trailer was the cause.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 11:24:08 pm »
If you're going to stick with 23 mm tires, I definitely would not advise panniers. 23 mm tires require higher pressures to avoid pinch flats, especially with a load. The higher pressures will put even more load on your spokes. High pressures combined with heavy loads increases the risk of broken spokes, especially if you have fewer than 32 spokes.

My recommendation: with wide tires, use panniers; with narrow tires, use a trailer and/or pack very light.

Gear decisions should not be made in one at a time. The choice of wheels, tires, spokes, frame material, chainstay length, gearing, load weight, carrying system, etc. all depend on the other choices.

Offline dminden1

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 08:19:42 am »
Just a thought on the BOB. 1/2 the loaded BOB weight goes on the rear axle of the bike. So, 23's are pretty narrow for it. I use a two-wheeled trailer. Undoubtedly a bit more drag from the 2nd wheel, but the tongue weight is almost none - can be negative weight if you load the trailer weight rearward. Mine - a WIKE - is super convenient and weighs the same as a BOB. Burley also makes some good carrying trailers.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 12:18:29 pm »
This is a question gone over and over. There must be threads on this in archives. I have seen tourers with panniers and tourers with trailers, mostly BOB. Saw at least one tourer with both. Remember with trailer you must carry different spare tubes and a spare tire. Trailer tires wear more quickly than bicycle tires. As far as narrow tires with panniers more likely to cause broken spokes, I rode 5000 miles on 36 spoke wheels I built with fully loaded panniers front and rear using tires that measured as narrow as 24mm; no broken spokes.

Offline newfydog

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 11:42:22 am »
I've had several friends join us for a section of the great divide who used a BOB.  It worked, but every one of them switched to panniers (usually just two) for their next tour.

Offline aggie

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 06:20:47 pm »
I did the ST using a BOB.  No problems and would do it again with a BOB.  Check out the other threads for opinions on trailers vs panniers.

Offline mailoto

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 04:45:47 pm »
I took the bob on a 5000km tour this summer nothing but problem's. I had 4 or 5 bent hangers and the hooks where the bob connects to the SQR bent. I'm doing a tour to vancover this summer im switching to panniers. Good luck on your upcoming tour!



Offline Elbrento

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 11:59:08 am »
I use a BOB and am very happy.  The factory tire is not very good and can only air to 35 psi.  I changed it to a very durable 100 psi tire smooth road tread and have no problems.  Also, zip tie the BOB tire on the underside of the trailer.  I like the BOB because I can easily drop the trailer and then tour around town.  I did change out my back rim to a strong touring type, but would have to do this anyway with a pannier set up.  No broken spokes and no problems.  Some say the additional 13 pounds of the trailer is an issue, but the Arkel GT-54 rear panniers weigh 6.6 lbs (Arkel) and the fronts are 4.2 lbs.  The is 10.8 lbs verses 13 lbs for the BOB.  The difference is 2.2 lbs.  Big deal.  I really suggest taking an extra skewer and connection pins.  If you lose the connection pins or break a skewer in the middle of nowhere, you are screwed.  Enjoy your BOB.  I really enjoy mine. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 07:44:45 am »
Some say the additional 13 pounds of the trailer is an issue, but the Arkel GT-54 rear panniers weigh 6.6 lbs (Arkel) and the fronts are 4.2 lbs.  The is 10.8 lbs verses 13 lbs for the BOB.  The difference is 2.2 lbs.  Big deal.
That may be the case, but you are comparing the Bob to a very heavy set of panniers.  It is possible to go a lot lighter than Arkel GT54 panniers. 

How big of a deal the extra weight is depends on your packing style.  If your alternative is GT54s and front panniers heavily loaded then yeah the trailer is not hugely heavier.  If you pick all of your gear with light weight in mind and pack lightly then the Bob is a big weight penalty.  I have done some long camping and cooking tours with my total gear and bag weight comfortably less than the empty Bob.

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 10:28:32 am »
I have toured extensively with both and overwhelmingly prefer panniers.  But you have to have a bike that will take a rack.

I'd suggest gathering up your gear to then determine how much carrying capacity you'll need.  Don't forget food and water, of course.  If you can get by with less, then frame and saddle bags are the way to go.  If not, then try for a rear rack and panniers.  If you need still more room, get a front rack and panniers.  If that is still not enough, I'd pare down your gear list.   

If your bike won't mount racks, then a trailer is your only choice.  And not a bad one at that.  You will have lower wind resistance and less stress on your bike (assuming you don't try to "park" it in jack-knifed fashion). 
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 11:18:11 am »
It may not be a factor, but one disadvantage to a trailer I didn't mention...  If riding with another rider(s), it is harder to effectively draft behind one.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 01:34:26 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline Kittery Rider

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Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 08:24:13 pm »
I am going to tour with a trailer.  ,  Is the Bob pretty much the trailer to use? I see a few knock off's out there.  I will be on a rigid frame Mtn bike. What are the pro's / cons?  What extra's do I need to bring?  Parts etc..

Thanks
"Too much of everything is just enough"
                 Jerry Garcia

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 09:03:37 pm »
I am going to tour with a trailer.  ,  Is the Bob pretty much the trailer to use? I see a few knock off's out there.  I will be on a rigid frame Mtn bike. What are the pro's / cons?  What extra's do I need to bring?  Parts etc..

Thanks

Opinions differ, but a single wheeled trailer tracks your bike, while a two wheeled trailer, well, doesn't.  This means that with the latter, one wheel may be on pavement, the other may be in the dirt.  Pro's of any trailer are less wind resistance, higher carrying capacity; cons include drag of third wheel, more weight versus most rack / pannier combinations.  The only time a trailer makes sense is when your bike can't fit racks, your bike's chainstay is too short to prevent heel strike on the rear pannier, or when you'll be on single track and panniers would get hung up on brush.

Gather what you plan to bring with, and pare down until you can use rackless framebags.  If you still have to much stuff then... 
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline Kittery Rider

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  • Kittery Maine-Bryson City NC
Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 12:57:49 pm »
I am going to tour with a trailer.  ,  Is the Bob pretty much the trailer to use? I see a few knock off's out there.  I will be on a rigid frame Mtn bike. What are the pro's / cons?  What extra's do I need to bring?  Parts etc..
What are rackless frame bags?  Do you have a link? Thanks
Thanks

Opinions differ, but a single wheeled trailer tracks your bike, while a two wheeled trailer, well, doesn't.  This means that with the latter, one wheel may be on pavement, the other may be in the dirt.  Pro's of any trailer are less wind resistance, higher carrying capacity; cons include drag of third wheel, more weight versus most rack / pannier combinations.  The only time a trailer makes sense is when your bike can't fit racks, your bike's chainstay is too short to prevent heel strike on the rear pannier, or when you'll be on single track and panniers would get hung up on brush.

Gather what you plan to bring with, and pare down until you can use rackless framebags.  If you still have to much stuff then...
"Too much of everything is just enough"
                 Jerry Garcia