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Bike transporting likes and dislikes

Joined
Jun 15, 2007
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#1
I have a couple of questions for you seasoned riders...

What do you prefer trailer wise if you had to choose?

A rail trailer or a flat bed trailer?

What do you think the best security is for locking your bikes to your trailers?
 

Patman

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#2
An enclosed trailer with bike boots and floor rings.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
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#3
It all depends.....

If I had an assortment of trailers available I would pick different ones for different outings.

One or two bikes to the local track for an hour or two I would hitch up the rail trailer. I can move it around by hand so it is fast and easy.

If I was heading out all day and needed to bring chairs, sun shade, ice chests, etc. I would choose a utility trailer with sides.

If I was heading out to camp for the weekend I would choose the enclosed trailer.


I would say that the simplest rail trailer would NOT be the best set up. Trying to get a bike up on the trailer when you can't walk on the trailer (unless you are skilled at tightrope walking) can be a bitch. Now, take that same trailer, pull the rails off, slap a sheet of 3/4" plywood down (paint it so it doesn't deteriorate in the weather) then put the rails back and you have a decent trailer. It is very light and tows easily.

A utility trailer with sides can be handy for many purposes. Load the bikes in, pile all the camping gear into all the nooks and crannys and your all set. A little extra weight but it will still tow easily. You can also use the trailer for trips to the dump, moving, and other uses.

The enclosed cargo trailer has lots of uses. If you are making a long trip it keeps all your gear safe and dry. No worries (well, a lot less worries) about leaving your bikes in the parking lot when you stop for dinner or whatever. The cargo trailer can double as a bedroom if you camp overnight. The downside is that they are considerably heavier and the wind area creates a lot of drag.

For security, I always lock my bikes up with a long steel cable. A serious thief with a good set of bolt cutters could probably make quick work of the cable and/or lock but there really isn't much you can do to protect yourself against a determined thief. The 1/2" vinyl coated cable is enough to thwart the casual thief or convince the determined thief to go find an easier target.

The cable I have is about 20' long. At camp I run it through the frame of all the bikes and just lock them all together. When I stop on the road with the bikes in an open trailer I run the cable through the frame of the bikes, handles of the gas cans, through the frame of the trailer, then through the hitch/frame of the tow vehicle. It only takes a minute to lock them up and then I enjoy my meal much more not worrying about the bikes.

Rod
 
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Jun 15, 2007
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#4
Thanks Rod, lot of good info in your reply! :cool:

I guess the reason I am asking is I'm going to buy a trailer to carry 2 bikes and haven't been able to figure out which way to go.

Those rail trailers seem mightly plentiful, but they sure don't look very user friendly at all, like you said tight rope walking on them.

I like the idea of taking the rails off and putting down some ply, then sticking the rails back on. That might be a good way for us to go.

I was wondering if there was anything quick and dirty to lock your bikes into the trailer, I guess something attached to the front wheel only wouldn't be really a great idea, the through the frame idea sounds like a bit more security.
 

IndyMX

Crash Test Dummy
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#5
I got a 4x7 open trailer from Tractor Supply.. I can get 2 fullsize bikes and a mini on it.

Not bad for under $500..
 
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Dec 18, 2006
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#6
I have a three rail trailer and I can pull it with the two four cylinder vehicles I have. I get 22-27 mpg with this set up. Beats pulling my big trailer with my F250 which gets 11-12 mpg. I save alot of money these days with the small trailer.
 
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May 10, 2007
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#7
i just use the back of our truck. we have ramps that we throw in to get them out. and people dont tend to bother trying to steel 2 bikes that are 3 feet high. but to be safe we put these nifty things through the forks.

but my friends use a flatbed with rails that they made and they can fit 3 full size bikes in it. it works really well cuz they put their stuff in the back when they go camping.
 
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Jun 10, 2007
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#8
Today I just got a 4x8 utility with tires bigger than the ones on are saturn. It is very nice and sturdy and has a built in jack and a nice foldable ramp. got it for $900
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
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#9
rmc_olderthandirt said:
It all depends.....

If I had an assortment of trailers available I would pick different ones for different outings.

One or two bikes to the local track for an hour or two I would hitch up the rail trailer. I can move it around by hand so it is fast and easy.

If I was heading out all day and needed to bring chairs, sun shade, ice chests, etc. I would choose a utility trailer with sides.

If I was heading out to camp for the weekend I would choose the enclosed trailer.


I would say that the simplest rail trailer would NOT be the best set up. Trying to get a bike up on the trailer when you can't walk on the trailer (unless you are skilled at tightrope walking) can be a bitch. Now, take that same trailer, pull the rails off, slap a sheet of 3/4" plywood down (paint it so it doesn't deteriorate in the weather) then put the rails back and you have a decent trailer. It is very light and tows easily.

A utility trailer with sides can be handy for many purposes. Load the bikes in, pile all the camping gear into all the nooks and crannys and your all set. A little extra weight but it will still tow easily. You can also use the trailer for trips to the dump, moving, and other uses.

The enclosed cargo trailer has lots of uses. If you are making a long trip it keeps all your gear safe and dry. No worries (well, a lot less worries) about leaving your bikes in the parking lot when you stop for dinner or whatever. The cargo trailer can double as a bedroom if you camp overnight. The downside is that they are considerably heavier and the wind area creates a lot of drag.

For security, I always lock my bikes up with a long steel cable. A serious thief with a good set of bolt cutters could probably make quick work of the cable and/or lock but there really isn't much you can do to protect yourself against a determined thief. The 1/2" vinyl coated cable is enough to thwart the casual thief or convince the determined thief to go find an easier target.

The cable I have is about 20' long. At camp I run it through the frame of all the bikes and just lock them all together. When I stop on the road with the bikes in an open trailer I run the cable through the frame of the bikes, handles of the gas cans, through the frame of the trailer, then through the hitch/frame of the tow vehicle. It only takes a minute to lock them up and then I enjoy my meal much more not worrying about the bikes.

Rod
I totally agree with this guy.

I sport a 5x8 enclosed trailer, and while it is nice, it's also a bit much for those quick little riding trips. Wind drag is huge too, it kills my Jeep of I try going more than about 65 mph. Get a nice crosswind with gusts and driving becomes pretty uncomfortable.

I've been thinking about picking up a little single rail trailer for most of what I do, and keep the enclosed for longer journeys.
 

motometal

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#10
I've tried a lot of combinations, for 1 to 3 bikes, the best trailer in my opinion is no trailer at all...just pu the bikes in the bed of a truck. Many advantages, but owning a truck is not practical for everyone, understood.