Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Manuman on March 14, 2008, 03:29:24 pm

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: Manuman on March 14, 2008, 03:29:24 pm
I believe this question has been many times before, but as I'm new to the idea of touring I thought I would ask some of the seasoned pros.  I've just purchased a rocky mountain touring bike and I'm headed off to tour the north and south islands of new-zealand and parts of asia (taiwan, thailand, cambodia, japan) in october.  As I understand the terrain will be quite varied depending on where I am.  I've settled on the idea of buying a trailer, mainly to hold a large backpack containing all my gear - I would have opted for the pannier route, but I plan on doing quite a bit of hiking aswell.  The trip will probably be 6-8 months long and I'm trying to do as much pre-planning as possible.  Unfortunately I'm having a lot of difficulty deciding on what trailer to purchase.  There is a local outdoor outfitter that supplies the "Yak", however I've heard mixed reviews on this product.  I'm also looking at the Burley Nomad, and another product called the Extra Wheel.  Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: JimF on March 14, 2008, 03:53:53 pm
I own a Bob Ibex (suspension) and use it routinely for groceries, mtn. trails, and used it to cross the U.S. via the TransAm route. Given your travel in places where roads may not be the best, the Ibex may be the better choice over the Yak. I found the Ibex reliable and convenient, plus being a single wheel unit, easier/safer to travel over limited shoulder roads. Good luck.

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: freightbike on March 14, 2008, 05:12:00 pm
I've toured New Zealand and a bit of Australia. My Aussie touring was mostly urban but in NZ I tried to get off the main roads as much as possible on the north island because the trafic is crazy. Drivers of all types were fast and not very kind to me as far as moving over a bit. Watch out for the "Newmans" tour busses on the south island! The back roads are "metaled" which translates to gravel chunks about an inch and a half in diameter. I was riding a trek 850 antelope with front and back panniers and generally went over the "chunks" making for a bumpy ride. If you're planing to head of the main roads, I would recommend a sturdy trailer with good off road capabilities.
 They drive crazy but generally Kiwi's are the nicest people you're ever going to meet, second only to the Aussies!

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: valygrl on March 18, 2008, 09:08:03 pm
If you actually would prefer the panniers, you can just fold the backpack up and stick it on the rear rack under your tent or whatever else you have on there.  

I think it would be wise to make your carrier decision based on what will make you happy on the bike, since that will be the majority of your traveling.

Also consider your transportation options - when you have to fly what are the baggage restrictions that might affect taking the trailer. I usually take along a big duffel bag, the panniers fit inside with all the other pannier-contents & tent (maybe one pannier becomes a carry-on) and then I just have 2 pieces of checked luggage - the duffel and the bike box.  I'd be interested to see how trailer users do this - I would think you would get dinged for excess baggage, or can you somehow get the trailer and the contents in one box?

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: Manuman on March 20, 2008, 01:25:48 pm
Thanks guys, I appreciate all your advice.  As far as the shipping and transportation issues go, what I've decided to do is purchase a trailer when I land in New Zealand.  There are several that offer the brands I've been looking into, and the prices are quite comparable to the one's here.  That said, I havn't abandoned the idea of rear panniers....and although the idea of rolling up my knapsack and stuffing it into the panniers is an excellent one...the bag I'm purchasing for tramping is quite large and is outfitted with a pretty solid back support that cannot be removed.  I'm choosing this back because one of the many activities I will be partaking in involves a 10+ day tramp around stewart island.   I need the larger bag to carry enough food and gear, that and we plan on doing several other multi-day hikes as-well.

Title: Trailers and Mass Confusion
Post by: JimF on March 20, 2008, 05:46:11 pm
One addition to my earlier message:  If you decide on the Bob, take a look at Wandertec's Cello bike/Bob case. It makes air/other travel with both very convenient. Have a great tour.