Author Topic: Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer  (Read 10607 times)

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Offline OmahaNeb

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« on: December 09, 2004, 03:28:51 pm »
Has anyone thought of the pros and cons of front/rear panniers to a trailer when thinking about the amount of wind drag.  
Question 1.  Which has a greater wind drag ?  Question 2.  Does the amount of wind drag offsets any weight difference?

Offline Peaks

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2004, 11:44:17 pm »
Your answer depends partly on what type of trailer you have.  The two wheeled Burley trailers have much more wind drag than the one wheel BOB.  

I'd suggest basing you decision on how much, or how little gear you plan to bring along.

Offline RussellSeaton

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2004, 11:42:08 pm »
I can't really speak to your question about the difference in wind drag between panniers and trailers.  But I know panniers have quite a bit.  Riding west over Monarch Pass in Colorado on Highway 50, I was able to keep my touring bike under 40 mph the whole way down.  I sat up with hands on the hoods so that caught quite a bit of wind.  But the front and rear panniers and handlebar bag helped in the drag department.  When riding at more normal speeds on the flat I never noticed an exceptional amount of wind resistance from the panniers.  I'd also suggest not using this as a criteria to choosing between the two.

Offline Gregw

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2005, 01:23:54 pm »
I used a BOB trailer for my cross country this past summer and rode side by side with pannier loaded bikes. We did coasting comparisons to test this wind drag thing. Even though I was a much bigger rider (6'-2" on the biggest cannondale frame made) I easily coasted much farther and faster. This was at regular cycling speeds of about 12-14mph. I think it does make a big difference and would use it as one of the criteria for choosing between the two.
 The only down side to trailers that I can see is that they are a pain to ship, take on planes, trains, busses or just getting in and out of motel rooms.

Offline SKYMAX

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 09:14:24 pm »
Here's a site that I found helpful:-
Frieghting trailers and access to motels is more difficult for sure, but, packing is easier/quicker with trailers without having to balance the load. Strong crosswinds will be easier to handle without panniers. Your suspension will work better and you will have less flats. Think about getting a 2-wheel trailer that does not put half the weight on your rear wheel. The single wheel trailers are primarily designed for narrow trails, so 2 wheels may work better for you. I think drag is a neglible factor at touring speeds but once again I believe the trailer comes out ahead. Your bike will be easier to control without the extra weight in my personal opinion.
Take a look at this trailer which is my choice for many reasons, it is also the only folding, easy to ship trailer I have found:-

Clear skies, Max.

Offline Peaks

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 01:07:37 am »
One wheel or two wheel trailers is subject to much debate.  For our Northern Tier trip, I used the BOB, which is a one wheeler, and my daughter used the Burley Nomad.  

The one wheeler does take some getting used to.  It effects your balance on a bike.  My forearms were sore for the first several days.  

A two wheeler means that you ride further out into traffic on a narrow shoulder.  This happens more than you think.  

Offline BAILEY

Wind Drag of panniers vs trailer
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2005, 03:58:44 pm »
I have toured with pannies an with BOB.
The best thing about BOB is that it changes the way the bike handles it cuts wind drag and you lose the pregnant elephant feel of a loaded bike !

The worst thing about BOB is that it changes the way the bike handles . Because of the slight play in the way BOB attaches to the bike BOB will shift right and left ( yaw ) this condition is worst on fast down hills with cross wind and or big trucks .The normal reaction when a bike suddenly jerks is to stear in the opposite direction , this causes the bike to jerk the opposite . This condition continues until you feel you are loosing control of the bike ! It took about two week into my ride to stop reacting to the first shift and ride down hill comfortably .