Author Topic: Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide  (Read 4533 times)

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Offline MrBent

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« on: February 20, 2004, 02:38:44 am »
Hi, my wife are in the long (!) term planning stages for a stint on the Great Divide trail.  I've noticed that most folks take a trailer, and I was wondering what folks think about two-wheeled Burleys over the single-wheeled BOBs.  Also, with a trailer of any sort on such a route, is dual suspension OK?  Or is a hard tail really the only way to go? Your advice on back country touring bikes and trailers much appreciated.

Cheers,

Scott


Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2004, 12:54:00 pm »
If you read Mike McCoy's excellent Cycling the Great Divide (available from Adventure Cycling online. Get it. You need to read this book before you do the Divide!) on page 22 says "...a fully suspended bike pulling a single-wheel trailer designed for off-road use, such as the B.O.B., appears well on it's way to becoming the official rig of choice for the Great Divide rider." I have not done the GDR yet, but do a lot of off-road touring, with both a BOB or panniers, but because of the panniers and rack, I ride a hard-tail Trek 930SHX. The advantage of the BOB over panniers: They don't bounce off on rough descents, you can carry a bit more stuff, and it works with full suspension. Advantages of panniers: Shorter turning radius, you don't always have to get off the bike to pull something out of your pack, and you can do killer "wheelies" really easily! ;-) Essentialy, I use the BOB for anything over a weekend long, and I use the panniers for one or two night trips.

The BoB or Yakima type trailer is much better suited to mountain biking than the two-wheel rigs like the Burley. It is the same width as the bike, and follows where the bike goes. I can see a two-wheeler having problems on single-track. So far I have not had any problems in any terrain with the BOB.

Ride safe,
Hans



This message was edited by Trailpatrol on 2-26-04 @ 8:59 AM
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Offline MrBent

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2004, 01:55:20 pm »
Thanks, Hans.  Actually, I just ordered the Great Divide book and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I've read a couple of horror stories of some pivot points on fully suspended bikes completely blowing out after a couple weeks on the trail.  I guess if the construction is solid enough, full suspension can handle it.  Until your post, I was thinking that a hard tail with susp. seat post would be the best choice.  Now we've got lots to think about. Well, we've got time to sort this out.

The BOB has some strong advantages, as you say, but we are going to try the route with our dog, who will ride at times in a two-wheeled trailer.  I figure there will be some sections we'll have to avoid/ride around, but since the vast majority is dirt road not single track, we shouldn't have to miss too much.  I guess I was wondering if folks had tried long-distance off-pavement touring with a two-wheeler and what their experience was.

Regards,

Scott


Offline voyage

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2004, 11:33:18 am »
I've done half the Great Divide -- Canada to central Colorado -- with a two-wheel trailer and dog and you will have no problem with one exception where you will have to take the pavement. It is a very short piece of very steep single track that tends to destroy all who attempt it, regardless of how they carry their gear.

Write me with any specific questions. I'll be happy to answer . . . I just am in a rush right now and can't go into a lot of detail here. I've also crossed Europe twice including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Dolomites and America with a two-wheel Burley (and dog) and done just fine. So I am experienced with them. I also own three (yeah, count'em three!) B.O.B.s and two sets of Madden panniers (my wife tours with me . . . actually I tour with her; she makes me do it).

I'll try to post a more complete answer later, or better yet, pen an article about the joys of two-wheel trailers to submit to Adventure Cycling. Anyway, go with confidence with the two-wheeler. You'll love it. So will your dog; I just hope he/she is a small one because you can't expect the poor pooch to run 25 to 50 miles a day for weeks on end and live to lick you again.

We don't use suspended bikes. But then we aren't Gonzo's either, just bicycle tourists.

Enjoy and ride safe always!

Wayne Carpenter


Offline LDiskin

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2004, 09:50:44 pm »
I have toured on lots of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I have tested the Burley Nomad for this purpose and do not recommend it for rugged terrain. When you are going 15-20mph and one wheel hits a bump, it has tendancy to tip over onto it's side. A BOB is a much better choice for the Great Divide route. --Larry

--
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
--
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline MrBent

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2004, 01:50:07 pm »
Thanks everyone for your replies.  As so often happens, we've got two contradictory replies: One, two-wheeled trailers are fine; two, one-wheeled is the only way to go.  I'm sure for faster descents and single track, BOB and his brethren are the only way to go.  If we're going to do this ride, however, doggie is going along, so we're kind of stuck with the two-wheeled version.  It was nice to hear from you, Wayne, that this can be done.  I've read a bit in THE BOOK now and found that one ridge in Montana that is a for sure "ride around" for us. In fact, it sounds so bad, I'd probably ride around it even if we weren't taking a dog!

In any event, we've got countless miles of dirt roads around here that will provide workouts and testing for our systems before we set out.  We'll have no trouble duplicating Great Divide conditions in terms of mileage, distance, elevation gain, and road surface.  This adventure is a full year away and already I can't stop thinking about it.  :)

Cheers,

Scott


Offline OmahaNeb

Bike + Trailer advice for Great Divide
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2004, 11:47:14 am »
I have toured the GD with my BOB and my friend used his 2 wheeled Burley.  On single track trails the Burley seemed wide.  On down hills if going fast, the Burley would get air-born and could flip on its side.   I would go for the BOB.