Author Topic: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?  (Read 417 times)

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Offline Rsw241

Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« on: November 24, 2022, 08:53:02 pm »
I am planning a cross country tandem bike tour and am leaning towards using a Two-wheeled trailer mainly becauseof the stability, and the fact that I have read several places that divers tend to give you a little extra space when passing. (I will never complain about that)  My only concern though is on highways with smaller shoulders and rumble strips.  Is this going to turn into a nightmare where the left wheel of the trailer is on a rumble strip for hours, OR I have to ride the entire time actually in the lane and not on the shoulder.

Anybody have thoughts or experience with this?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 08:57:09 pm by Rsw241 »

Offline aggie

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2022, 11:20:33 am »
I've toured with a two wheeled trailer and rumble strips, while a nuisance, weren't all that bad.  Drivers tended to give me more room and yes I had to ride a little further into the road.  Of course, I attached a bright pool noodle to the top of the trailer that stuck out from the trailer.  Seemed to work nicely and I don't remember any angry drivers on that trip.   I also had a couple of flashing rear light to make extra sure they saw me. 

Offline canalligators

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2022, 03:45:30 pm »
On the TransAm, especially in the west, I had plenty of intolerant drivers, who expected me to be as far right as possible and they’d pass way too close without slowing.  We flirted with death every day.  Though two wheel trailers are more stable, I definitely would not use one on this route. 

Actually, I wouldn’t even ride that route again, and advise others against it too.

No, taking the lane is not feasible out west.  It works in the east, but not in Missouri through Idaho.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2022, 05:07:23 pm »
On the TransAm, especially in the west, I had plenty of intolerant drivers, who expected me to be as far right as possible and they’d pass way too close without slowing.  We flirted with death every day.  Though two wheel trailers are more stable, I definitely would not use one on this route. 

Actually, I wouldn’t even ride that route again, and advise others against it too.

No, taking the lane is not feasible out west.  It works in the east, but not in Missouri through Idaho.

There were other riders on the TA with us who used two wheeled trailers and managed okay, but yeah the rumble strips were very poorly placed in some places out west.  Enough so that I wouldn't choose a two wheeled trailer myself. 

Offline Rsw241

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2022, 06:21:29 am »
On the TransAm, especially in the west, I had plenty of intolerant drivers, who expected me to be as far right as possible and they’d pass way too close without slowing.  We flirted with death every day.  Though two wheel trailers are more stable, I definitely would not use one on this route. 

Actually, I wouldn’t even ride that route again, and advise others against it too.

No, taking the lane is not feasible out west.  It works in the east, but not in Missouri through Idaho.

There were other riders on the TA with us who used two wheeled trailers and managed okay, but yeah the rumble strips were very poorly placed in some places out west.  Enough so that I wouldn't choose a two wheeled trailer myself.

Thanks for the replies, definitely gives me something to think about.  We are planning to start near Laramie Wyoming and then connect with the TransAm heading west...

I have been living in China the past ten years and got into cycling during that time.  Drivers here are so used to bikes carrying all kinds of things down the road that I actually feel quite safe despite the perceived lack of road rules (there are rules, it's just, different).  I think it's going to be a bit of culture shock cycling on American highways.

One last note, I like that pool noodle idea :)

Offline KF8MO

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2022, 07:57:57 pm »
My wife and I prefer our two-wheel trailer when touring with our tandem, but we've had to switch to a single-wheel trailer because of rumble strips. Many roads are not feasible with our two-wheel trailer, and riding in the traffic lane is not practical either.

Offline Rsw241

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2022, 08:35:28 am »
My wife and I prefer our two-wheel trailer when touring with our tandem, but we've had to switch to a single-wheel trailer because of rumble strips. Many roads are not feasible with our two-wheel trailer, and riding in the traffic lane is not practical either.

@KF8MO.  Perhaps I am deviating from the original topic, but I would love some details?  Why do you prefer the two-wheel trailer with your tandem?  How has the one-wheeled worked out for you in comparison?  Challenges?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2022, 08:37:08 am by Rsw241 »

Offline KF8MO

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2022, 08:59:39 am »
We prefer the two-wheel trailer because it doesn't affect the tandem's balance at all. The single-wheel (a BOB Yak) has to be loaded carefully, with the weight concentrated low and distributed evenly. Otherwise it makes the tandem hard to keep straight at very low speeds, such as on a steep climb. It took a while on our bike tour this summer to really get it sorted out optimally. The BOB does earn its keep on narrow roads though.

Offline ray b

Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2022, 06:42:26 pm »
After a few decades of occasionally pulling trailers - including a period of camping with children, which at its, included one trip with a the long, but reasonably fast train of a Santana tandem (two adults) pulling an Adams Trail-a-bike tandem (two children), and a B.O.B. trailer- I've had experience with various combinations bikes and trailers and have pulled two-wheel trailers (Burley) at times.

I'll challenge the statement that two wheeled trailers are significantly more stable than one-wheeled trailers - especially when one considers downhill turns. In spite of more traction from two contact patches, I found the two-wheeled trailers tended to bounce and skitter around more than the B.O.B., which leans into the turn with the rest of the unit.  I like to tell the story about trying to keep up with a former professional Xterra racer pulling a (single wheel) trailer on a long off-road, dual-track section in the Canadian Rockies. No instability or swinging noted.

That said - everyone's different, and I suspect there are fans of two-wheeled trailers who'll tell me I'm full of it.

In your case, I wouldn't give up the advantages of a single track and narrower profile based on other's assumptions about the physics of two vs. one wheel. If at all possible, try out the trailers before you commit.

In the end, unless I'm touring on a tandem (with extra luggage) or carrying something bulky like a pet or a good chunk of someone else's load, I don't use the trailer, but instead pack a reasonable mass of luggage on the bike. No extra tires, wheels, bearings, and weight to slow me up, and I'm not tempted to overpack. (Plenty of old threads with dicussion of pros and cons of trailers in general.)

Have fun. Throw a lot of flashing lumens off the back with your red blinky light (e.g. Cygolinte Hypershoshot) and don't worry about the traffic. (I carry three and usually run only one or two at at a time, in case I use the battery up with higher lumens and shorter flash times while climbing in the mountains.) Amazing how many folks slow up to comment on the visibility of the lights or occasionally mention it at the store or restaurant, when they recognize me a few towns up the road.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”