Because many of our bikes and trikes are used for multi-day cycling expeditions, or practical everyday use, our customers often ask us about the possibility of attaching a trailer to our bikes. Their questions also point to which of the trailer is the best. So here is our analysis and our recommendations based primarily on my experience of many long journeys during which I have used different trailers.
Text and photo: Honza Galla
Note: Read the full article. Its entire length mentions various exceptions for various types of trailers, hinges, and models.
I like trailers!
I have to admit in advance that I am a big fan of bike trailers, mainly because I have taken many long trips on a tandem bike. It is quite difficult to pack two people into one set of front and rear bags especially if you like some comfort. During other trips, I carried a lot of photo equipment, or the trailer was carrying solar panels for charging electric bicycle batteries. On trailers, I especially like the fact that things are stored neatly, it is easier to get to them out, and you do not have to mess around in bags. You also have more space available, so your luggage isn’t so crammed. If we are talking about trailers for children, they are also a better solution for me than a child bike seat. Children have more space in them, there is a safety frame around them, in the event of a cyclist’s fall, the child is not at risk and it is also possible to pack many things into them. The use of bicycle seats on recumbent bicycles is generally quite controversial because of the height of sitting or a significant increase in the center of gravity of trikes, so I would recommend only the trailers for transporting children. For example, those from the American company Burley, which are known for their comfort and top safety.
Trailers for bicycles
If we talk about recumbent bicycles, I usually recommend two-wheel trailers that stand on their own, have a large storage space, they do not need to be packed so carefully, and their permissible load is higher than that of single-wheelers. Two-wheel trailers also put much less stress on the recumbent frame which is an important factor. This is all true if you move mainly along asphalt roads. However, if you intend to go on gravel roads or some jeep tracks, it will be better to use a single wheel trailer. In that case, you have to pay much more attention to the packaging. Heavy loads must be kept as low as possible, overall the load must be as low as possible and balanced so that the trailer is not loaded more on one side. Unlike two-wheelers, which essentially do not affect the stability and riding of the bike, a single-wheeler has specific driving characteristics and you have to get used to it. Especially in fast cornering descents the trailer somehow slows your effort to turn.
All common single-wheelers such as the Burley Coho CX, Bob Yak, Weber Monoporter and Polish Extrawheel are easy to hook up to our recumbent bicycles because we still use the standard quick release rear hubs. This is usually replaced by a special quick-release, which has attachments for the trailer at its ends for fitting a single-wheeled trailer.
Trailers for recumbent trikes
For trikes in general, we recommend using only two-wheelers. The only exception is our T-Tris 20 or 26 without rear suspension. For all other trikes, the single-wheel trailer would overload the rear suspension fork of the trike and could damage the fork or even the frame. For trikes, even without a trolley, it is necessary to look for three tracks while riding, so the two-wheel trailer does not make this worse. On all T-Tris and FAT models, as well as the TRIcon 20 and Ti-FLY 20 models, the trailer is easy to attach under the rear wheel quick release. If you have a TRIcon 26, TRIcon GR, Ti-FLY 26 or Ti-FLY X with a standard rear hub that has a fixed Syntace axle, you need to use a special axle that allows the trailer to be mounted on the left side of the fork. You can obtain it from the trailer supplier (our axle designation is: Syntace X-12 with 1mm pitch for 157mm hub width. Attention: The hub width is not equal to the axis length. This must be much longer!) Or from US specialists Robert Axle Project. The product you need can be found here. For TRIcon 26, TRIcon GR, Ti-FLY 26 or Ti- FLY X with a gear hub like Rohloff or Nexus there is no need to purchase an adapter.
Note for trailers with Weber couplings:
1/ If you want to use a recumbent bicycle with Weber CE mounting in combination with the Rohloff, Shimano Nexus, Shimano Alfine and Enviolo (NuVinci) hubs, this is not possible. The solution does not exist. Applies to bikes and tricycles.
2/ If you want to use a trailer with the Weber E single-sided coupling in combination with the Rohloff, Shimano Nexus, Shimano Alfine and Enviolo (NuVinci) hubs, you need to order an AZUB special adapter (do not confuse with the Robert Axle Project!). Applies to bikes and trikes. and also to our trike transport trailer.
3/ If you want to use a trailer with the Weber E single-sided coupling on our trikes with Syntace X-12 solid through axle, you need to order a special adapter from us (do not confuse with the Robert Axle Project!)
4/ Too complicated? Contact us and we will gladly help you out!
Attention! Burley Travoy trolleys or children’s half-wheels like Burley Piccolo:
The possibility of attaching the trailer to the rack is, of course, possible, but a trailer such as the Burley Travoy is more intended for urban use. It can be quite unstable under heavy loads and uneven roads. It is strongly discouraged to attach any kind of children towing device! Our racks are not designed nor adapted for the transport of children!
LAST AND VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Any type of trailer puts a lot of additional stress to the rear fork and the complete frame so it is very important to check the rear fork axle assembly and the shock regularly and have it adjusted properly so there is no play in there! Small play can quickly become a serious play and serious play damage the parts!
Do you have any questions? Ask us in the comments hereunder.