Author Topic: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway  (Read 332 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rsw241

Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« on: December 08, 2022, 07:17:09 am »
I have been researching trailers and trying to understand why one-wheel trailers suffer a lot more from wobble and sway.  Excellent video, a must watch if you really want to understand.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JeEEC5eVNCk&t=19s

Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Re: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2022, 12:16:34 pm »
Nice video.  I have seen this before and as you say it is a great visual showing the importance of loading the heaviest gear on the center of gravity.  That said, each trailer is a bit different, i.e. a BOB-style trailer has the wheels in the very back versus a 2-wheeled trailer is usually somewhat centered.  This can change the way gear should be properly loaded.  I would suggest you follow the manufacturer's guidance initially and then minimally experiment. 

On a bike trailer, people tend to get a bit lazy because they do not "feel" the weight distribution other than sway.  With panniers, you can somewhat tell if you are loaded too heavy on the right, front, back it.  Also, with panniers, I personally believe that, if possible, most of the gear weight should be on the front end and low to properly distribute the load throughout the bike. 

Tailwinds, John

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2022, 12:56:57 pm »
My ex, who is 5' tall, 105 lbs. soaking wet, toured in hilly/mountainous areas with a B.O.B. Never had any issues with sway.  Neither did the three people who were part of my Norhtern Tier group who pulled B.O.B.s.

Offline canalligators

Re: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2022, 06:44:48 pm »
I am 6’+ tall and 200#.  I did have trouble at higher speeds with my BOB, despite careful loading.  Quick steering motions will induce fishtailing.  I keep under 25 mph when towing with the V-Rex, and under 30 mph towing with the Double Vision tandem.

I have heard of people operating at higher speeds.  You can pull it off if you keep a very straight and steady line, on a smooth road.  But if you were to need an emergency maneuver, you’re going to be in trouble quickly.  The tail will wag the dog.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2022, 06:46:34 pm by canalligators »

Offline Rsw241

Re: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2022, 08:14:26 pm »
Nice video.  I have seen this before and as you say it is a great visual showing the importance of loading the heaviest gear on the center of gravity.  That said, each trailer is a bit different, i.e. a BOB-style trailer has the wheels in the very back versus a 2-wheeled trailer is usually somewhat centered.  This can change the way gear should be properly loaded.  I would suggest you follow the manufacturer's guidance initially and then minimally experiment. 

On a bike trailer, people tend to get a bit lazy because they do not "feel" the weight distribution other than sway.  With panniers, you can somewhat tell if you are loaded too heavy on the right, front, back it.  Also, with panniers, I personally believe that, if possible, most of the gear weight should be on the front end and low to properly distribute the load throughout the bike. 

Tailwinds, John

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have an opportunity to try different types of trailers before my tour.  I would prefer a one-wheel trailer, but was bothered by the amount of people saying they're not safe but without any clear explanation as to WHY they have problems.  I have read so many contradicting opinions.  The B.O.B. isn't made anymore, but I read the safety manual for the Topeak Journey trailer.  The only things it said about loading was to make sure your load wont shift around and make sure to pack heavy items at the bottom.

I know on one-wheel bike trailers the axle is behind the load, but I would assume the science is the same no matter the trailer, and that the ideal load placement is the have the bulk of the weight over (or as close to) the axle as possible.  I have attached a picture with a crudely drawn trailer extension to demonstrate that is essentially the same as a different trailer.

Offline ray b

Re: Excellent Video Explaining Trailer Sway
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2022, 06:50:05 pm »
Agree with those above who are skeptical about the applicability of the model used of a 4-wheel, high speed (90 - 120 km/h) pulling a 2-wheel trailer to those of us on two in-line wheels pulling a 3rd in-line wheel BEHIND the trailer. Leaning through a turn with a trailer that leans with you (like the B.O.B.) just ain't the same thing.

“A good man always knows his limitations.”