Panniers vs. BOB trailer

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4 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I'm interested in doing a loaded touring trip this summer, and I've heard many people sing the praises of trailers over panniers, especially the B.O.B. trailer; you can use them with just about any bike and you can put a lot more on them.

What is it like to use them? How are they up/down hills? I'm assuming it's more labor to drag on up a hill than bike with panniers. Anyone want to toss in their two bits?


Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)

FYI; I have rear rack/panniers which I think certainly makes plenty of sense for urban commutes and a five flight walk up.

OTOH, loading 70 lbs of gear on a rack/pannier requires a pretty stout bike. But you can use most any bike to pull the same weight on a BOB.

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)

I've toured with both panniers and a trailer (though not a BOB). A big drawback of a trailer is that if your riding companion has one, you can't draft. It also can get hard to rummage around in the trailer, since it doesn't have compartments and thus force organization the way panniers do. Advantages are how easy it is to completely unload the bike by just popping of the trailer, say, after you set up your tent and want to take a spin into town; and that you don't have to worry so much about weight distribution when you pack.

Weight-wise, the trailer's going to be heavier than the pannier-rack combo. That said, I got to really like having a big heavy appendage in the back--it helped me feel more stable in the wind, and I could use that third wheel almost as a pivot when weaving through traffic and stuff. I think a bike with trailer is narrower than a bike with panniers.

When I used a trailer I still kept the rear rack on my bike so I had a way to carry things without the trailer.

It's true that you can probably carry more weight in a trailer than in panniers, but either way you want to be as light as possible and you will probably decide to get rid of a bunch of gear after a day or two.

If you go with a trailer, be sure to bring a tube the right size for the wheel, and if it's not a good tire to start with replace it before you start. On the seven-week tour I did with a trailer, the only flats I got were in the trailer wheel!

I could go on and on . . . e-mail me if you have other questions.


Anonymous's picture
Ed (not verified)

Someone once told me that on descents the trailer can swing out and start to pass the bike, obviously a scary thought.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
new product: bike case/BOB hybrid

"""Ship your bike, haul your gear - the Wandertec CELLO is a bicycle case built around a B.O.B. trailer which transports your bicycle and B.O.B. in one case. ... Then the CELLO folds-up onto your B.O.B. ... You reassemble your bicycle, attach your B.O.B. trailer, and ride away"""

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