Poll

If you had the choose, which one would your tour with?

Bike w/Panniers
18 (75%)
BOB IBEX Trailer
6 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Author Topic: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer  (Read 15142 times)

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Offline BOHICA

Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« on: January 04, 2011, 10:20:45 pm »
I have a Trek 520 with a full set of panniers all the way around. I also have a BOB IBEX Trailer. Which one would you tour with. I would have to guess if it was a really long tour, I would use the trailer. But then again with a shorter tour, having it all in the trailer and not on the bike could be a good thing. Let me know you thoughts?

Thanks

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 10:43:27 pm »
Bohica, most of what you ask, we have covered many times already. This topic in particular has been done just about to death.

Let me suggest a search. Click the HOME tab near the top of this page. Enter

    trailer panniers

into the search box, then browse the results.

If any question remains, or you want more opinions, do write back.

Fred

Offline windrath

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 10:54:32 pm »
Bohica -

I also have a TREK 520 and have toured with the trailer (2000 miles through Canada and Alaska in 2005) and then with panniers (1100 miles of the Lewis and Clark in 2007 and 1200 miles of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2009).  Although the trailer has some advantages, I would use panniers for any touring.  The trailer is about 20 lbs of added weight, another piece of equipment to break/fix which happened to me, turning around is much harder, harder to lock up or stow under a tent flap, and the trailer controls the bike much more than I liked.

Panniers are lighter, can be taken on and off easily, store in the tent just fine, and can be more easily used for grocery bags if necessary.

This topic has been beat to death, but still thought you would like some input.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 10:21:01 am »
Ah, yes, the "big debate".

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/bigdebate.cfm
http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/panniersversustrailer_03.pdf

In my mind, since you already have a full-on touring bike and panniers, this is no contest. The panniers win hands down. But I know that many would disagree. I will note, however, that about 75% of the touring cyclists you meet on the road will be using panniers. There must be some reason for that.

CyclesafeSr

  • Guest
Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 05:49:19 pm »
And the majority of the 25% you meet with trailers have bikes that are unsuitable for use with panniers.  Used both, now only use panniers - even for off road.

Offline BOHICA

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 11:08:38 pm »
Well being that I have really only used my panniers I tend to lean towards them. It would seem to be a lot easier to haul around also. You don't have to worry about something (major at least) to go wrong with your panniers. The one thing that I have to learn is to pack the panniers so that is all works out right.

Offline lonerider

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 05:50:27 am »
Having used a BOB trailer or panniers for traveling, my experience tells me to stick with panniers. The trailer is great if you are hauling a large load beyond pannier capacity which I did several times, but other than that it seemed to complicate matters. My BOB trailer hangs quietly in the garage awaiting the next user. Anyone interested?

Offline cara2u

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 02:20:35 pm »
Bob trailers can be very dangerous if not correctly loaded. I have read and met people who came close to getting killed when there Bob's became uncontrollable going down fast hills. This issue is usually left out of the great pannier vs. trailer debate.

Have toured extensively with Burley two wheel and panniers. If you compare four loaded panniers to a trailer the physics are the same when it comes to getting up a hill. The disadvantage to trailers is the possibility of mechanical problems. The advantages are easier to pack in the morning and quick detachment of the load from the bike.
James

Offline aggie

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2011, 07:35:33 pm »
I have to disagree with the statement about Bob's being dangerous if they aren't properly loaded.  I use a Bob and don't do anything to to "correctly load" it.  I've never had a problem going downhill even though I've been traveling in excess of 45 mph.  It is interesting to note that Bob's have a sticker that advises the speed not to exceed 25 mph.  I suppose it similar to a rental trailer company that has stickers on their trailers stating they shouldn't exceed 50 mph. 

Most of the people I see on a tour have panniers and I believe the use of a trailer is a personal preference.  I do find that when there is a head wind I can go faster than someone with panniers with less effort.  Also the Bob bag is waterproof and more than once I've rinsed it off in the shower to get the crud off.

Offline cara2u

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2011, 06:39:35 pm »
O.K.  Here's a link of someone we met on our last tour who laid unconscious for two hours in a ditch because her BOB trailer whipped her bike out of control. Fortunately a passerby found her. Her Trans Am trip was way-laid for months.
James

Offline windrath

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 12:05:30 pm »
My experience with BOBs supports both Aggie and james2u.  I have descended 15% grades at 45 mph without issues.  I have also almost bit the dust at 25 mph because of the heavy cross winds/gusts which whip the trailer and then the bike very quickly.  The whipping was not due to incorrect packing - it as due to the cross winds.

What I like about the BOB is the low center of gravity.  When I travel with panniers I have tended to go light and pack the tent and sleeping bag on top of the rear rack.  This raises the center of gravity, so there are some handling issues.  I am aware of that and choose to take the risk.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 12:22:48 pm »
O.K.  Here's a link of someone we met on our last tour who laid unconscious for two hours in a ditch because her BOB trailer whipped her bike out of control. Fortunately a passerby found her. Her Trans Am trip was way-laid for months.
James
Link?

Offline steelhead

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 11:03:06 pm »
I have used my BOB trailer often and find it easier to tour with than panniers. I really like off road tours (gravel and dirt roads) and the trailer lends itself to carrying more food and water on tours where supply stops are infrequent. I do put two small panniers on the front. This seems to help stabilize the steering especially on a long uphill climb.
question authority

Offline litespeed

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 10:17:55 pm »
The advantage of a trailer is that you can just throw stuff into it. The disadvantage is that you can easily throw too much stuff into it. Everyone I have met with a trailer complained about hauling too much stuff (not to mention the weight of the trailer). Also there are two more tires to go flat. I met one guy out in Washington state who had been getting flats on his little trailer tires all the way from the east coast.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 08:18:10 am »
I have a Trek 520 with a full set of panniers all the way around. I also have a BOB IBEX Trailer. Which one would you tour with. I would have to guess if it was a really long tour, I would use the trailer. But then again with a shorter tour, having it all in the trailer and not on the bike could be a good thing. Let me know you thoughts?
I really don't see where length of the tour is a major factor.  I know that I tend to carry the same stuff regardless of the length of the tour.  If it is long enough that the season, geography, and climate vary widely I adjust by acquiring and disposing of things (usually by mailing them to and from home).

My preference is for panniers.  The reasons why I still might consider a trailer. 
  • If on an off road tour where I might want to unhitch the trailer to ride some single track for fun.
  • If I wanted to tour on a road bike that didn't easily handle panniers.  The lighter bike would hopefully offset the extra weight of the trailer.
  • If I had access to a trailer but not to panniers

Another thing to think about is that shipping or flying with a trailer probably adds more hassle to the logistics.  Getting a bike to and from the end points of the tour is enough hassle.