I have my mind set on a Bikes-At-work trailer.
Does anyone in Chicago use on of those? I am interested to hear your experiences about riding in traffic with that trailer.
A friend has used one for years. I gave him a heads up on your question, so hopefully he'll weigh in soon.
I think Boulevard Bikes has one for rent that they use all the time...I've got a Carry Freedom that I purchased about four years ago... My main decision for it was the weight support and compact breakdown size. I've carried 170lbs on it without issue, though with any trailer and that much weight, when you slow, you get pushed a little bit.
My experience with a smaller trailer fully loaded (perhaps 60-80 lbs combined weight) is that momentum is significant - part of the learning curve of riding with a trailer, so you need to learn to modulate speed and braking accordingly.
I use my trailer for shopping runs and my neighborhood has hills, so loaded trailer weight is a factor in choosing my route.
My friend with the Bikes at Work trailer has used it for building materials, paint, etc. and carried some fairly heavy loads. Towing with a mountain bike helps, so that you have low enough gearing to be able to accelerate the load from a stop. I rode with his trailer once and found that the length of the trailer (he has the extra long one) requires wider turns, kinda like a big truck.
Totally agree with the momentum mention. Within the first mile, you should be able to determine how fast you're comfortable at. Make sure to stick to it and slow down when nearing intersections, because you may not be able to come to a complete stop safely if you're going faster and the light changes.
With the shorter trailers, weight distribution is another factor...especially with larger items. Too much weight hanging off the rear of my trailer, and the rear of my bicycle wants to leave the ground. My tree this past Christmas was fun. It's only tied down with some straps for the first five inches or so. It's mostly balanced on the stand I purchased. Turning with that took a little bit to get used to...had my light hanging on the end of the tree for warning though. For reference, it's a 7' Tree.
Well done! That's similar in size to my trailer. I agree that weight distribution can be a tricky thing, especially if you have to make a sudden stop - when the load may do awkward things.
Wild! If I had seen you carrying the tree over to your bike and trailer I would've thought, "What laws of physics does this clown think apply to him??" Well done! :)
Nice pictures, Jaik. I do have a cargobike and a bob trailer, and have my own share of cargo war-stories. The looks that drivers give you are worth it though.
I am looking at Bikes-At-Work trailer to carry even larger loads.
I am mainly thinking of a 9-ft regular trailer or the wider trailer in a 6ft length. I am a little concerned about the width of the wide trailer
Anne, what width bike trailer does your friend have?
I'm pretty sure it's the 9 foot regular width trailer. That requires extra space for cornering.
I was curious about the specs on the wider trailer, so I looked it up. Yeah, I can understand being a little concerned about the extra width. Seems like additional reflectors and lights would be a good idea. I don't have significant experience towing anything wider than my trailer, which is about 28'wide.