Best Bike Trailer:
The most popular type of bicycle trailer is the one with wheels. These are called “wheel trailers” or simply “trailers.” They’re designed to hold your bike, but they don’t have any other features like brakes or lights. There’s no reason why you couldn’t use a regular bike trailer if you wanted to carry it on your back. But there are some advantages to using a wheeled bike trailer over just carrying your bike on your back.
Wheeled bikes tend to weigh less than their flat-bottomed cousins, so you’ll save money. Wheel trailers also offer better maneuverability. You can steer the bike into position on the trailer without having to worry about tipping it over. And because these trailers are designed for bicycles, they’re easier to repair and maintain too!
There are two types of wheeled bike trailers available today: those made from steel and aluminum and those made from wood. Steel and aluminum trailers are both used for their strength and light weight. Wood trailers come in different sizes, shapes, and colors.
What makes a good bike trailer?
Well, it all depends on what kind of riding you do. If you ride trails regularly, then a sturdy steel or aluminum wheeled trailer will work well for you. A wooden trailer might be fine for weekend rides where you want to keep your bike relatively stable while still being able to move quickly through the woods. Not all trailer are designed to haul your bike over long distances.
Features To Look For In A Good Bike Trailer:
Riding bikes with a trailer offers a lot of advantages that can make transporting your bikes easier than ever. Whether you’re riding up the side of mountains or simply trying to keep your bikes from getting scratched while you carry them up to your cabin, a trailer is the way to go. Here are some of the most important features to look for in a good trailer.
Suspension: The trick to comfortable bike traveling is having your load as close to the ground as possible. A trailer with springs will help absorb some of the bumps along the road making your trip a lot more laid back. Look for a trailer with coils or leaf springs rather than a solid plate. Also, keep in mind that a wood trailer won’t have much if any suspension at all.
Tires: Like a regular bike tires are made from either hard rubber or an inflated fabric. Tires with a solid core will give you a smoother ride but will weigh much, much more. Fabric or inner-tube tires are great too because they weigh much less but they do tend to be a little bumpier.
Brake: A trailer that doesn’t have a good, functional brake will be hard to control on steeper hills. It’s also just generally unsafe. Make sure your brakes work well and are accessible from your hand grips. Some people like to use their back brake which requires reaching around to the back of the trailer but this is a little more dangerous as you could accidentally let go of the back tire and send the whole thing flying backwards!
Sealed Bearings: One of the most important features any trailer should have is sealed bearings. These bearings keep the wheels turning smoothly and quietly regardless of the terrain. If you plan on taking your trailer off road, make sure you get bearings with a rubber or neoprene seal to keep out dirt and rocks. If you don’t you could end up spending more time stopping to clean your bearings than you do biking!
Weight Limit: Before you buy a trailer, find out its weight limit. This is especially important if you have a lot of gear to carry or you are hauling multiple bikes. You don’t want the weight to be so much that it puts extra strain on your bikes and you don’t want it too be so little that the trailer becomes useless. The average weight limit for a two-bike trailer is around 350 pounds and many three and four-bike trailers go up to around 500 pounds.
Price: Last but not least, you’ll need to think about how much all of this is going to set you back. Bike trailers range in price from the low end, which is around $100 or so, to the high end, which is over $800. The more expensive models are usually made with lightweight aluminum and the cheapest ones are made with heavier steel. There are pros and cons to each so it just depends what you need for your situation.
Now that you know what to look for in a trailer, let’s take a look at some of the best trailers on the market. We’ll start with single bike trailers and go from there.
Featured Bike Trailers
Swagman Trailhead DX 2-Bike Carrier Mounted: Swagman is a company that has been making a name for itself lately with its line of affordable bike racks designed primarily for mountain and hybrid bikes. The Trailhead is a prime example of this. It’s a 2-bike carrier that is made from steel but it weighs in at only 20 pounds, which is pretty impressive. It has an easy on and off design that makes it simple to load and unload your bikes and it also folds up nicely…
Continue reading: Swagman Trailhead DX 2-Bike Carrier Mounted Review
Thule Apex 4-Bike Hitch Rack: If you have more than one bike and don’t want to shell out the money for a 4-bike rack, then maybe the Apex is for you. It holds 4 bikes with an easy fit design and is built with Thule’s patented fit system that can accommodate any bike. It also folds up for easy storage and has a built-in wheel holder so that you can securely transport your bikes. The only complaint is that once the bikes are loaded on it, it can be a little difficult to handle so you might need someone…
Continue reading: Thule Apex 4-Bike Hitch Rack Review
Thule Chasm XT 4-Bike Rack: If you need to take your bike on a plane and want to save money, then the Chasm is the rack for you. It folds up small enough to fit in a suitcase and can be checked as regular luggage. Just remove the wheels, pack it up, drop it off at check-in and then get it out at your destination and reassemble it. It can carry 4 bikes and features a frame holder that keeps your bike from hitting the other ones. It even comes with a rain cover to protect your bikes from the elements.
Of course it’s not as secure as… Continue reading: Thule Chasm XT 4-Bike Rack Review
Swagman XC-4 Bike Rack: Swagman is a company that has been in the bike rack game for a long time and the XC-4 is one of their top selling models. It’s a hitch mounted carrier that can carry up to 4 bikes and it folds up for easy storage when not in use. It’s also made from steel for durability and has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, which should accommodate most bikes. It has a wheel tray that becomes a handy carry handle when you need to move it around and the whole unit tilts down so you can get your bikes in and out with ease. It also includes anti-sway cradles that…
Continue reading: Swagman XC-4 Bike Rack Review
Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack: The Deluxe 4-bike rack can carry up to 4 bikes and has a fold down frame that makes it easier to load and unload your bikes. It mounts to the receiver hitch on your car or truck and tilts down for easy loading and unloading. It also folds up for easy storage when not in use. It holds your bikes by the wheels and includes 4 wheel trays that have anti-sway cradles that hold the frames secure. The whole unit tilts down for easy access and the arms fold down for easy storage.
This rack is made from steel and is very durable. It can hold up to 4 bikes with a total weight of up to… Continue reading: Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack Review
Allen Sports Fort worth 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack: If you only need to carry up to 4 bikes and want a simple, durable and affordable hitch rack, then the Fort Worth is for you. It can carry up to 4 bikes by holding them by their frames and features anti-sway cradles that hold the tires secure. It also tilts down for easy access into your rear hatch or trunk.
Sources & references used in this article:
Incentivizing the use of bike trailers for dynamic repositioning in bike sharing systems by S Ghosh, P Varakantham – 2017 – ink.library.smu.edu.sg
Repositioning Bikes with Carrier Vehicles and Bike Trailers in Bike Sharing Systems by X Zheng, M Tang, HH Zhuo, KX Wen – arXiv preprint arXiv:1909.09616, 2019 – arxiv.org
Trailer for motor bikes by LL Mcclellan – US Patent 3,387,859, 1968 – Google Patents
Bicycle trailer assembly by S Lennon, B Sherman – US Patent 6,431,570, 2002 – Google Patents
Designing a Bike Trailer as an Alternative for Transportation and Distribution of Goods by CA Hastings, GM Port, KT Sundberg, RJ Coffin – 2016 – digitalcommons.wpi.edu
Data analysis and optimization for (citi) bike sharing by E O’Mahony, DB Shmoys – Twenty-ninth AAAI conference on artificial …, 2015 – Citeseer
Getting people out of cars and onto bikes with electric bike pusher trailers by A Lawlor – Ploughshares, 2017 – JSTOR
Upcycled Bike Trailer by MS Dunn II – 2009 – maxdunn.com