The Chainlink

I'm trying to get a bike trailer lending program started. I will soon be organizing a meeting, but thought I'd also seek feedback here. The basic idea is to somehow aquire a trailer and make it available to others to borrow. We are located in a building with 24/7 front desk staffing which would make it great for lending the trailer. Here are some of the things I need feedback on:
Is a program of this type needed?
All-you-can use membership or per-use fees?
We need to charge to cover costs of maintaining/purchasing trailers, what is a reasonable amount?
Types of trailers that would be most useful (heavy duty, grocery, kids?)
Suggestions on where to buy/find a trailer
One hitch that transfers between bikes, or multiple cheaper hitches that we can give out with memberships (if we go that route).
Experiences you've had with different brands/homemade rigs
How do we ensure the trailer comes back (and in one piece)?
Ideas for a reservation system?
Any other advice you have?

Views: 382

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I would not pay more than 35$ for a day (24 hours)

I am looking to borrow or rent a trailer next Sunday for a ride i am organizing. Any ideas?
You could talk to Alex at west town bikes. They rent out trailers from time to time

Dubi Kaufmann said:
I would not pay more than 35$ for a day (24 hours)

I am looking to borrow or rent a trailer next Sunday for a ride i am organizing. Any ideas?
A few thoughts.
I could see an occasional need (1-2 per year) for a trailer like thesewhen I need to haul really big stuff. Currently I would rent a car for these occasions. Given their price point not something I could justify owning.
We already own a Yak trailer so I wouldn't have a need for a grocery trailer, and we don't have any children so need for a kids trailer either. I would guess $20-$25 would be my max per day.
About your location: It needs to be somewhere central. If it is 5 miles from where I live, that means I'd have to add 20 miles just to pick up and return the trailer. That would make it less likely for people to use the service.
To ensure a complete return you could either go with a deposit or a credit card
I think its a good idea for people who can't shell out the $200-$300 it costs for a nice trailer and don't have a drivers license. what about starting smalll and seeing where it goes? I just got a trailer and LOVE it. Great way to easilt haul heavy/bulky items.
Active Trans is working on a similar trailer check out program for our premium members that we hope will be available this fall. Will post updates and announcement when available.

Not a member? and

Ethan, with Active Trans
West Town Bikes does have trailers that we lend out. Tzippy is taking the lead on this and can be contacted at You can check out more at loaded bikes. Right now to become a member you must buy a hitch ($35) and then you can arrange for checkout of a trailer.
This is a great idea, evidenced by the fact that a few organizations in town are already doing it or planning to do it soon.

Dupie makes a good point on the location issue. iGo is an example of a great idea that I'll probably never get to participate in because of my habit of living as far from Lincoln/Wikkker Park as possible. (geographically and spiritually). So even though the service is already sort of available that is no reason not to pursue the idea.

I had a trailer for a while and I loved it. A Bell Double Wide. I only paid like... i fergit... $120 ?for it new - it wasn't the greatest, but it served my purposes well - and when I moved to a smaller place I sold it for $50 to a nice biker whose dog had a bum leg. So the idea of paying very much money to rent one does not sit well with me. I mean, if it cost $25 to rent the thing, I could buy one with the cost of five or eight rentals. So I guess I'm saying that I would probably not pay more than $20 a day to rent a trailer. Personally I would probably not use it enough to justify paying an annual membership, but I would consider paying a one time membership fee.

I don't planning on further wrecking the planet by breeding so if I were in the market to rent a trailer it would probably be for cargo purposes, not hauling kids around.

The model I had a wingnut tightened "universal" hitch thing which was pretty great. Nothing stays on the bike. It was easy for lots of different people with lots of different bikes to use the thing without much fuss or drama.

This discussion is a couple of years old but I'm looking for a trailer to use/rent. Are the options the same? Is probably the best bet? Thanks for any updates...

Post some details (where/when/what for) and one of the readers here may be willing to help.

ambimb said:

This discussion is a couple of years old but I'm looking for a trailer to use/rent. Are the options the same? Is probably the best bet? Thanks for any updates...

West Town rents trailers I do no know the details.

Boulevard has one for rent I think it is 30ish/day

Rapid Transit has a Surly Bill for rent that will work on any bike with a quick release rear wheel as well as a Burly trailer for rent.  I think we get 25/day; or at least you will if you talk to me when you rent it...  Rapid is also in the midst of planning a 'cargo club' system where you buy a membership and get a certain amount of use per month... Anyone interested in that shoot me a message and we can talk about how you would like it to work; if you talk to us now you can help us make a program that works for you the end user!  We are thinking something a little like Zip Car but for bike trailers.

Brilliant! The Surly Bill is exactly what I need for this little task! I think the Cargo Club is a great idea, but I my cargo needs are not regular, so it paying on an as-needed basis would be more cost-effective for me. I just love that any option is available. The more things I can do by bike, the better. 

to anyone interested in sharing, as well as renting, you may want to give a try to

It's a service to connect people locally who might be able to share items they use or need on an irregular basis.  I've seen people sharing and renting bike trailers on there, but it's only as good as the community of participants.  



© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service