4 Things to Look for in a Bikepacking or Bike Touring Trailer
So, you’re looking for a bike touring trailer, but you’re asking yourself, “What kind of bike trailer do I need?”
At CycleTote, we’ve been making premium bike touring trailers for over 40 years. Over the years, we’ve received lots of feedback from riders and had lots of time to tweak and hone the trailers that we build.
From our experience, here’s what you should look for in a bikepacking trailer or bike touring trailer.
Overall Bike Trailer Weight:
If you’re putting in miles on the bike and taking your gear with you, pay strict attention to weight. Whatever you add to your bike increases the effort needed to keep pedaling down the road. A lightweight bike trailer will serve your legs and your lungs better in the long run. We craft all of our bike touring trailers out of custom aircraft aluminum tubing. It’s not only lightweight but also super durable.
When you’re out on a gravel road or miles away from civilization, you don’t want a bike trailer that’s going to come apart at the welds or at the bolted joints or anywhere, for that matter. You must get a durable trailer. But be careful, you need to balance between durability and weight. Ideally, you want the lightest, most durable trailer you can find. We hand weld all of our trailers from lightweight, custom tubing. They are designed to roll for thousands of miles without any issues.
When you’re looking at bicycle touring trailers, make sure you check to see how easily it rolls. The larger the wheels, the less rolling resistance, and the better the trailer will handle rough roads, gravel or dirt trails. Trailers with road tires or mountain bike tires offer the best performance and least rolling resistance. Choose your tire size based on the terrain you plan to ride. If you’re sticking to the pavement, go with 700c wheels. If you plan to mix in dirt roads or gravel, go with the 26” wheels that are a bit tougher. An easy decision is to match the type of tire on your bike, mountain bike or road. We often get told, when someone tows a CycleTote trailer that it feels like they’re not towing anything.
You won’t hear a lot of people talking about the hitch for their bike trailer. Most hitches connect to the axle, down low. We do also offer a hitch for the axle. We prefer the seat post hitch. Overall, it performs better. The trailer tracks better behind the bike and has much less effect on how the bike handles. This is huge on long rides when you’re pulling a load. It’s also safer. If the bike goes down or needs to make an emergency stop, the bike trailer, when attached to the seat post, is less prone to tipping and rolling over.