Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: djzack on February 11, 2013, 12:40:00 pm

 
Title: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: djzack 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?
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: John Nelson 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: dminden1 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: dkoloko 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: newfydog 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: aggie 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: mailoto 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!

(http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/177755_10151015035882418_2146996792_o.jpg)
(http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/472168_10150889912237418_578051684_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Elbrento 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. 
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Cyclesafe 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). 
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Kittery Rider 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
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Cyclesafe 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... 
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Kittery Rider 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...
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Kittery Rider on February 16, 2014, 12:59:06 pm
Sorry, strange way to quote.  What are rackless frame bags?

Thanks
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: RussSeaton on February 16, 2014, 05:28:16 pm
What are rackless frame bags?

http://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/equipment/bikepacking/sp/revelate-designs-tangle-frame-bag/

https://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=type&product_id=33
http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=range&product_id=35
http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FMW3
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: newfydog on February 23, 2014, 10:17:10 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.

Add the weight of the bag in the BOB
Remove the weight of the front panniers and rack. 
 my wife rides the Great Divide with full camping gear  with less weight than an empty BoB and Bag.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Kittery Rider on February 23, 2014, 07:18:09 pm
I'd sure like to see her gear list.  I have been backpacking for years and sure can't imagine a base weight that low.  Even for an Ultralighter.  Please post her gear list. 
thanks

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.

Add the weight of the bag in the BOB
Remove the weight of the front panniers and rack. 
 my wife rides the Great Divide with full camping gear  with less weight than an empty BoB and Bag.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: newfydog on February 23, 2014, 09:30:24 pm
When we first had this conversation on the trail she had just caught and dropped a bunch of young guys on Montana's Fleeser Ridge.   Her load full was lighter than their load empty.

 We're on smooth riding titanium hardtails instead of some full suspension beast, so we have about a  4 lb headstart there,

The ubiquitous yellow BOB bag adds another 2.8 lbs

That trailer contraption is 13 lbs, the one with suspension is 17

So, for her load to be lighter than those guys empty, she needs to keep it down to 16-24 lbs. 

If you don't think that can be done, it is time for you to do some research.  We have gear from Tarptent, Mont bell, sea to summit, golite etc   Here's some lists of of far lighter setups:

http://www.driven2divide.com/2012/06/27/ollie-whalleys-tour-divide-gear-list-setup-tour-divide-2012/

http://yogiing.com/hiker/abela/

Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: staehpj1 on February 24, 2014, 05:32:54 am
I'd sure like to see her gear list.  I have been backpacking for years and sure can't imagine a base weight that low.  Even for an Ultralighter.

That weight sounds very possible, even pretty normal to me.  I have gone with similar weights on a few trips without even going crazy with a lot of super expensive gear.  I posted some notes on some of my experiences with ever lighter packing at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight

I have found that going light is liberating in more ways than just having a lighter load.  There is also the simplified lifestyle and the lack of extra stuff to dig through.It may not be for everyone, but for those who it suits it is a great way to go.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: Kittery Rider on February 24, 2014, 07:46:44 am
[I  re-read your post and I was a bit confused on your numbers.  That is a normal weight.  I will pull a yak with  rigid mtb bike and keep the weight down.quote author=newfydog link=topic=11364.msg63194#msg63194 date=1393209024]
When we first had this conversation on the trail she had just caught and dropped a bunch of young guys on Montana's Fleeser Ridge.   Her load full was lighter than their load empty.

 We're on smooth riding titanium hardtails instead of some full suspension beast, so we have about a  4 lb headstart there,

The ubiquitous yellow BOB bag adds another 2.8 lbs

That trailer contraption is 13 lbs, the one with suspension is 17

So, for her load to be lighter than those guys empty, she needs to keep it down to 16-24 lbs. 

If you don't think that can be done, it is time for you to do some research.  We have gear from Tarptent, Mont bell, sea to summit, golite etc   Here's some lists of of far lighter setups:

http://www.driven2divide.com/2012/06/27/ollie-whalleys-tour-divide-gear-list-setup-tour-divide-2012/

http://yogiing.com/hiker/abela/
[/quote]
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: PeteJack on March 05, 2014, 01:48:51 pm
FWIW I've been told this by a rider who says he saw it happen. If you go fast downhill with a single wheel trailer they can start to bounce and there's a danger, if you don't brake very carefully, of a crash caused by the trailer jacknifing.

I have to say I'm biased I like to go fast downhill and my 520 with four paniers descends like it's on rails. Last summer I started to get the slightest shake going down Going to the Sun. When I got back to my LBS it turns out I had a worn out headset.
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: gpshay on April 07, 2014, 12:38:07 am
I have a BOB .. one of the cons I encountered was I had to be very much aware of keeping the bike vertical when I stopped or dismounted .. if I leaned the bike to much when dismounting the weight of the BOB would also start to fall and it became clumbersome to try and keep it upright .. this just added unnessary stress since the BOB is attached to the rear dropouts of the bike one does not need to bend one for no reason other than carelessness on the part of the rider which was me .. once I dismount successfully I would set my double legged bike kickstand then keeping one hand on the bike at all times I would make my way back to the BOB .. now the BOB is balancing on its rear wheel and is dependant on the bike to keep it upright .. you dont have a lot of wiggle room here .. the BOB needs a kickstand of sorts or you need to stradle the BOB if you are going to try and get anything out of its' dry bag .. while it is still connected to the bike .. and yes you can lean  the bike and the trailer against something solid if it is available buy you know thats not always the case .. so just know there are some inherent issues when stopping and or dismounting when using a trailer .. also I ran into a problem when I used a motel and the room was on the second floor .. either the bike or the trailer goes up first leaving one unattended .. like a lot of us I have a lot of money and time invested in both my gear and bike ... I just added a bit more concerns .. Now when I was moving I didnt even know it was there .. it was easy to pull .. easy to negotiate most tight squeezes .. although there were some that dismounting was necessary.. this next tour I am trying Panniers for those reasons mentioned .. and I probably wont like the added wind resistance that I pick up with the Panniers .. we will see .. One practice I do when riding is I carry a 12" velcro cinch strap that I use to secure the front wheel to the "down tube" this keeps the front wheel straight ...hope this helps a bit .. Glenn in Phx.   
Title: Re: Bob Yak Trailer? XCountry tour, thoughts?
Post by: 100#fury on May 21, 2014, 01:13:16 pm
Regarding jackknifing - see this post about making the BOB ride better. Good tips here.

http://www.robertaxleproject.com/2014/05/18/bike-touring-bob-trailer-better-bob-ride/