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 Post subject: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:01 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:33 am
Posts: 3529
Location: daaan saaaf
Some friends and I are pondering the possibility of cycling across Europe to Amsterdam via a combination of road, trails and canal paths where they're available.

I have a rear rack and some cheap paniers that I occasionally use for shopping and I'm not mad about the way they make the bicycle handle when loaded, so I was wondering about using a trailer, something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skiiddii-Light ... r+Skiiddii

I realise that this is a cheap copy of a Bob Yak, but as this may well be something of a one off, I don't want to spend that much and may well sell it on after the trip. Has anyone any thoughts or experience?


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:20 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22365
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Not tried a trailer but used panniers last summer and will be again. I liked the fact that I wasn't any bigger/longer than usual and could take a surprising amount of weight. The ride is something you get used to. Once moving it's not too bad.

Nothing as far as your plans, but I was solo, so presuming you can split some weight between you, panniers would be my choice. I had the old karrimors and bought use fronts cheaply off the bay.


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:57 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9147
Location: New Forest, UK
We tow a (genuine) Bob for the family 4-man tent and sleeping bags, otherwise it's panniers. A trailer usually rules out using railways, which could otherwise be handy. Depends on how hilly: those Bob Yak copies are a fair old weight - 8-10kgs (3.5kg more than Bob) and not much fun to pull uphill (neither is Bob!). The rear wheel and hubs are pretty dreadful on the copies and the hitch not as well thought-out. Any trailer is very cumbersome on anything other than the road. If going through tight turns the thing pivots at the hitch and hits the ground.

You do get use to the laden handling of a bike with panniers fairly fast, as THM says.


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:19 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:59 pm
Posts: 416
If it was me I'd probably use planners. Would be much better than dragging a trailer along. Also if you needed to leave your bike outside anywhere the panniers can be taken with you, you'd look a bit silly taking a trailer in a cake shop.
I've never done either but if I were to do something like this it would probably be panniers and a good sized rucksack.


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:35 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9147
Location: New Forest, UK
Definitely not a rucksack! The weight on your back all day is really awful: you get backache and saddle soreness is much more likely.

For me, a camping load is around 13-15kg, so a trailer doesn't make much sense as it adds 50%+ to the load to drag about. B&Bing it means a single pannier or a Carradice saddlebag plus barbag.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:15 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:33 am
Posts: 3529
Location: daaan saaaf
OK, so not much love for the trailer idea. :D

I already have a decent rear rack and one set of paniers, so I guess I'm half way there. Does a front rack and a second set of paniers, with the load more evenly distributed front and rear improve the way the bike feels?


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:48 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22365
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
my 29er above rides like a small motorcycle when fully loaded. Quite pleasant once you trust it.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:52 pm 
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:59 pm
Posts: 3426
Location: Sunny South of France
Trailer. I made some trails with 25kg on the bike. So, very difficult to ride on off road tracks.
The day I discover trailers, it changes my life :D


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:02 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9147
Location: New Forest, UK
xerxes wrote:
OK, so not much love for the trailer idea. :D

I already have a decent rear rack and one set of paniers, so I guess I'm half way there. Does a front rack and a second set of paniers, with the load more evenly distributed front and rear improve the way the bike feels?


Depends a lot on the handling of the bike. I reckon that 15kg or so is fine on the back. Typically it's bulk or extra food that brings out the front panniers.
The biggest problem is that once you add extra panniers you tend to fill them. :shock: If you are sleeping in B&Bs or hotels, there is no way you need front panniers. The part of Europe you plan is no problem for food so again not much needed to carry.

There isn't a single right answer here, it depends on what you consider essential. Personally I like to travel light, it makes the distance easier to cover comfortably and I don't miss the extra stuff. Others feel a need for laptop, SLR camera with several lenses, big tripod, two changes of evening clothes PLUS three changes of cycling clothes etc etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Paniers or trailer?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:38 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3244
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
If you can find a s/h bob yak then buy it, use it, and if you decide to sell it on after the trip you should get most of your money back.


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