The YAK - Beast of Burden "BOB" cycle trailer.
An alternative to panniers for a cycling holiday?
There are few items of touring equipment that are so effective as to change the way you tour, or open up new possibilities, but the BOB trailer is one of them. It's a simple design, a single small wheel supports the low slung spaceframed trailer, which then clips onto a special quick release. The trailer is articulated using nylon bushes just behind the rear wheel, and the kit includes a 80 ltr nylon bag rather like a large quality sports bag, basically the photo shows it all.
The point is that this very light trailer (6 kgs) will carry one person's entire cyclecamping kit: tent, sleeping bag, cooker, clothes - everything. Thus loaded it will obviously slow the bike down up hills, but it has little effect on the bike's handling, certainly less than the equivalent load carried on the bike by more conventional means. Are you getting the point? For the price of a quality pair of racks and full front and rear panniers you can have an instantly detachable trailer that can be fitted to almost any bike... Going to go on a long tour on your mountainbike where you want to spend every other day unladen off road? Just hitch up the BOB, cycle to the campsite and dump the load. Going cycletouring on your carbon fibre racing bike - no problem. Got a baby seat on so you've no room for rear panniers - all babies things will fit too. Can't fit enough luggage on your tandem ... etc etc etc. This thing can widen your horizons without a new bike, or compromising your old one.
Few things in cycling are perfect, but his comes close. I've used it for thousands of miles when I've toured with my son on a babyseat, used it to get shopping, and hired it out - a stern test in itself. It's biggest fault is that you can forget it's there and swipe your fellow cyclists off with it. If touring take a spare BOB QR with you as they have been known to break. It doesn't like 50 kgs of potatoes in it, and has been criticised elsewhere for this, but it will do usual shopping trips, However this isn't its "raison d'être" - it's a cycletouring load carrier "par excellence".
A Small Favour
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