Author Topic: trailer pulling and old guys  (Read 34771 times)

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Offline Geezer

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2008, 11:07:00 pm »
Thanks Paul. I have decided to go with panniers. One of the biggest reasons isbecasue they will be easier to get on and off the road for stealth camping. I know it can be done withhe trailer too, but it just seems like it would be easier with out. I'm hoping to be just about finished my tour at about your age and I can see where the trailer would then come in handy for hauling things around the homestead then. (where ever that is)
Wondering how you find touring now at the later age. I'm figuring I ought to be pretty well rode out if I keep on riding all that time on one trip. Ought to at least be ready to take a few days off. What do you think?

Geezer..Ride till you can't no more.
Geezer..Ride till you can't no more.

Offline johnsondasw

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2008, 01:49:57 am »
I have been touring since I was 31 with panniers.  In the summer of 2005 I did the Pacific Coast route from olympia, WA to Santa Monica in 20 days with a Burley Nomad 2 wheeled trailer.   I was 56 years old.  I much preferred it to panniers.  The bike handled much better, packing and finding stuff was much easier, and the trailed tracked without any wobble or other poor effect.  The empty trailer weighs about 15 pounds, but I think the weight is made up for by the fact that it follows in your draft, while front panniers, especially, create considerable more draft. I now intend to keep using it for touring although I may start doing some super light stuff with credit cards. I use it occassionally for grocery shopping and taking stuff to the recycle station. It carries a 60 pound load easily for the 3.5 miles from the store (up hill).  I use it now with the alternate hitch (attached to the rear axle) on my all carbon Specialized Roubaix. I will probably never go back to panniers.  

May the wind be at your back!
May the wind be at your back!

Offline tytrike

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2008, 01:52:47 am »
I'm 67 and trike-camp 2-4000mi a year.
Two years ago I switched to a very low geared recumbent tricycle.
Four years ago I switched to a BOB trailer.
Six years ago I switched to a hybrid bicycle.
These were prudent and practical changes.
In 2025 I'll add a motor.

Rides West Deserts, Mountains
Rides West Deserts, Mountains

Offline Geezer

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2008, 11:29:34 pm »

First, I want to say I hope I'm still at it like you are at 67! Great!

Second, the rest of your post kind of follows abouut what I expect I'll find as I go on. I've picked my bike and it is a Surly LHT with butterfly bars and a low set of gears. I figure I can do a lot of stealth camping along the road for the next couple of years and the panniers will be good for getting off the road easily. I'm also figuring that I'll wear out of rididng everday after two or three years and cut back to living someplace and just touring some here and there, by then, around 63. A Bob trailer would come in handy then for around the homestead (where ever that is) and easier shorter tours. Sooner or later I figure the bent will come, but I don't want to go there just yet. Gotta live that long first.
Last, I'd like to say thanks for chimeing in. You have reinforced my thoughts on how it will likely un fold. As to mkaing it to 67 and still going, I can only hope I do and still like it. Prudent and pratical is what does it. :)

Geezer..Ride till you can't no more.
Geezer..Ride till you can't no more.

Offline MrBent

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2008, 03:40:26 pm »
Hey, Bill:  Here's wishing you many incredible miles.  I'm just 46, but weight is weight.  I ride a fairly heavy recumbent, so I was keen on saving everywhere else that I could--that and cutting down on complexity, Occam's Razor and all that. I was able to use A single set of aerodynamic panniers made by Radical Designs in Holland--fantastic and very light.  I found that I could save over 10 lbs. by going this route as compared to a trailer, which I have toured with.  The stability issues are moot if you go with a two-wheeled trailer like the Burley Nomad.  The main thing I miss was the fantastic simplicity of packing/unpacking/finding stuff.  Can't beat a trailer for that.  Still, once I had my system down, the panniers were the way to go for me.

Have a grand tour!


Offline whittierider

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2008, 11:53:54 pm »
I found that I could save over 10 lbs. by going this route as compared to a trailer

After seeing this kind of thing on this thread a few times, I finally decided to go to Jandd's website and add up some weights for comparing.

Touring Handle Bar Pack II:  2 pounds, 2.6 oz.
Large Mountain Pannier:  5 pounds, 3.5 oz.
Mountain Pannier (for front):  3 pounds, 12.8 oz.
Expedition Rack:  2 pounds, 4 oz.
Extreme Front Rack:  2 pounds, 5 ounces.

Total without trailer:  15 pounds, 11.9 oz.
If you go with the Burley Nomad trailer instead, that's only 14.5 pounds, so the trailer saves almost a pound and a half.

Offline staehpj1

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2008, 09:05:05 am »
Those weights are not a reasonable comparison in my mind.  You picked very heavy components to compare and threw in a handlebar pack that shouldn't be counted because it can be used or not in either application.

A while back I worked the numbers and came up with the following:

My count is racks a bit over 2 pounds, panniers a bit less than 5 pounds for 4 bags, for a total of just a shade over 7 pounds. For touring in the US (TA this past Summer) we found this gear to be plenty rugged and expect it to last for many years.

The racks were Blackburn ex-1 rear and a blackburn lowrider clone (Nashbar) front.  The panniers were Nashbar waterproof.  I should note that this stuff wasn't particularly picked for light weight; it is all quite robust.

Trailer about 13 pounds, waterproof bag what maybe 3 pounds? Total maybe 15-16 pounds?

Bottom line... The most commonly used trailer is 8-9 pounds heavier than my normal gear. Plus an extra size of inner tube to carry.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 3-9-08 @ 6:40 AM

Offline scott.laughlin

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2008, 11:24:07 pm »
I turned 70 last year.  I've been pedaling since 1946.  

Joe Friel published a book called "Cycling Past 50" or "Riding Pat 50."  You might want to read it.  In a nut shell he claims that the human body looses 5% of it's strength every decade as compared to age 25.  That seems to be true, but the thing he fails to address is the greater recovery time that's required.  The older you grew the longer it takes to recover.

I would recommend a two-wheel trailer so that you don't have to balance it, and you can keep more weight on the trailer and off the bike.  Bike Friday sells a trailer frame that fits their suit cases.  I own one and I mounted a small Action Packer on it.  It's light.  It tracks within the shadow of the pedals.  It's water tight, and I can bungie my tent and sleeping bag(s) on top of the lid.

My bride and I pedaled from Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon and back on a tandem pulling said trailer.  We also towed it across Missouri on the Katy Trail.  

With gasoline costs such as they are we often tow it to Krogers for groceries.

Scott /

Offline tgpelz

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2008, 12:41:45 am »
GOD, if you are a Geezer, I must be nuts.

I am older than you and love bike touring with fully loaded bikes and spending nights in tents.  

I do like a shower, though.

Do not let age get in your way.

About 12 years ago, I met an old fellow in Michigan.  He was 90 + years.  He averaged 5000 - 10000 miles a year and toured!  


Offline razor

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2008, 07:07:24 pm »
This will not really help you with your trailer decisions but , you might find it amusing . I found an old bicycle trailer beside the road and replaced the tires . and removed the rotted canvas and I am building an aluminium "tiny tear drop trailer " it's about 75% done . It's about 18" high by 60" long .


Offline scott.laughlin

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2008, 06:08:07 pm »
Hi Geezer,

The book "Cycling Past 50" (available from Advernture Cycling) states that the human body looses 5% of it's strength each decade...using age 25 as a standard.  If Friel's theory is correct you should still have about 80% of your initial strength.  The thing he didn't address was recovery time.  I'm sure you've noticed it takes a little longer to rest.  

I'm 70 and Barb and I have been using a trailer (A Bike Friday trailer frame kit) behind a Burley tandem for about 15 years hauling groceries (when we can). In addition, we've pulled the same trailer across Missouri's Katy Trail.  We've towed it through Arizona's Sonoran Desert a number of times.  And we've taken it to Grand Canyon.  During those trips we've learned we certainly didn't need everything that found its way into the trailer.  

This summer I'm planning a solo trip from Dallas to Pie Town, New Mexico.  I won't take anything that isn't an absolute necessity to the success of the journey.  Having to pack for only myself, the trailer will stay at home.


Offline cara2u

trailer pulling and old guys
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2008, 12:06:26 am »
We've toured with both panniers & trailers. We setup a experiment once to try to determine if there was a difference between panniers &  trailers.
The experiment consisted of 30 miles of flat & rolling hills, using equal weight, and identical wind conditions. The weight 60#, was equivalent to a fully loaded tour was distributed into four front & rear panniers for ride #1, and a Burley Nomad two wheel trailer was used for ride #2. Each ride was done on a separate days early in the morning so energy levels would be equal.
   The verdict? Both panniers & trailers had identical times on the bike computers. When it comes to fully loaded touring they're both equal, it's user preference.
James Winner