The 10 Best Bicycle Cargo Trailers
The Usefulness Of A Bike Cargo Trailer
A bicycle cargo trailer attaches securely to your bike with a simple clamp, either installing on the rear wheel bracket or on the seat post.
If you run any kind of errands on your bicycle, you know that your space is often rather limited. Even if you have a nice, big backpack and a bike bag to boot, you’ll still only be able to tote so much around town. And with both of those containers full, you may find that your balance isn’t quite as reliable as it is when it’s just you on the bike. That can make a simple trip to the grocery store suddenly become rather treacherous.
For many people, the answer is to hop in the car, but for anyone keeping an eye on their budget or on the environment, that might not be the most viable option. Gas regularly hits new highs for consistent pricing, even as the price of a barrel of crude oil drops, and using all that fossil fuel is positively obliterating the quality of our ecosystems. To save both a little of your money and a lot of the planet, it’s smarter to hop on the bike. The only problem is storage.
Fortunately, there’s a very simple solution to that problem: the bicycle cargo trailer. These devices add a tremendous amount of storage to your ride, while also having little to no effect on your ability to balance the bike itself.
A bicycle cargo trailer attaches securely to your bike with a simple clamp, either installing on the rear wheel bracket or on the seat post. A swiveling arm allows the trailer to have a little bit of movement, which will keep it from tipping over in the event of a tight turn. The actual cargo carrier itself will be designed to accommodate a variety of items — or even small people — depending on your needs.
How To Choose The Right Bike Cargo Trailer For You
Choosing a cargo trailer for your bicycle will likely have more to do with what you intend to carry along in it than anything else. As you look at the models on our list, some of the differences among them will be immediately obvious to you, and if you know what you want to be able to haul, you can narrow down this selection to a few viable options at little more than a glance.
Choosing a cargo trailer for your bicycle will likely have more to do with what you intend to carry along in it than anything else.
For example, if you know that you’re going to put human beings in the trailer, make sure that it can accommodate them safely. Seats with backs, seatbelts, and even sun shades should be among the features you look for in a given model. Also, take a good look at the wheels. If they seem cheaply made, there’s a good chance they’ll make for an uncomfortable ride. Pneumatic tires on wheels with some kind of suspension system to absorb the shocks of the road would be ideal for carrying cargo as precious as youngsters. These considerations are also important if you intend to pack your pets back there.
If you intend to carry more inanimate cargo, then it’s time to start to consider your environment. If you live in a desert climate that gets little rain, or you just never take your bike out in inclement weather, then you can opt for a cargo carrier that has an open design. Riders who may head out in a downpour would do better to look for a carrier with some kind of upper closure, and to keep an eye out for materials that are water-resistant. This level of consideration can make sure that your groceries or library books stay nice and dry.
Something that will require a little more than a fleeting glance to ascertain is the ease with which a given trailer breaks down. If you consistently tote large objects or small people around, you may not need to disassemble your trailer very often, but if you know that you’ll only need it part of the time, you’ll want something you can break down easily for immediate storage. This is also important if you ride around in a city where theft is a problem, and you aren’t able to loop your carrier in with your bike lock. It’s easier to take a model that breaks down easily into the store with you where it’ll be safe.
Once you’ve taken all these practical considerations into account, you can start to think about style. You bike is an extension of your personality, after all, and your cargo trailer is an extension of your bike, so it should reflect you in some way, as well.
Other Essential Bike Accessories
Once you’ve outfitted your bicycle with an effective cargo trailer, you’ll want to make sure that the rest of your gear is up to snuff before hitting the road. You probably aren’t headed out into the mountains with a cargo trailer in tow, as that would likely spell disaster, but there’s still a whole host of useful materials you can invest in to make your biking trip safer and more efficient.
If you can quickly patch it up on the side of the street, you won’t have to worry about your milk spoiling in the summer heat.
For starters, just because you have a nice cargo trailer, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the benefits of a good bike pouch. With a little storage up front by your handlebars, you can quickly access your phone, keys, or a map by simply pulling over, no need to dismount or go rummaging through the contents of your trailer. And if something should happen to your trailer — say it suddenly comes detached and sends your groceries careening down an alley — you’ll still have your most important items on you.
Next, make sure you’ve got a patch kit with you. Now that you have two wheels on your trailer added to the two on your bike, you’re twice as likely to suffer a flat from road debris. If you can quickly patch it up on the side of the street, you won’t have to worry about your milk spoiling in the summer heat.
Finally, do everything you can to increase your safety and visibility. A good helmet, a reflective vest, and both head and tail lights are vital when on riding on the road, especially when pulling a trailer behind you, and even more so when riding after dark.