The Chainlink

I am currently unable to drive due to recent medical concerns, and I'd like to start using my bike to gain some independence back. I would LOVE some suggestions on hauling. I currently take guitar lessons and have to tote both an amp and my guitar at least once a week. The combined total weight is probably somewhere in the 40 pound zone. I was thinking about getting a child trailer to hook up to my bike, but was wondering if I should investigate other options. I like the child trailer option because it would have enough room and still be somewhat weatherproof. Anything that would allow me to take my things and myself anywhere I'd like to go without having to rely on the kindness of others and my poor BF would be amazing!!! Figured the Chainlink would be the best place to get advice on all things bike related.

Thanks!
Amanda

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You can totally do it w/ a kiddie hauler. Get some good bungie cords, always carry some kind of plastic dropcloth, and experiment with your weight distribution for optimum balance.

I have hauled about 75-100 lbs. of bass gear to gigs with little trouble.

Child trailers are great for hauling (and indeed fairly weatherproof)!  I will also add that they are pretty easy to hook/unhook and just light enough to haul up and down stairs if you need to.  The shop I used to work at sold Chariot and Burley brand trailers, and they all seemed to be pretty well-made and fairly robust.  I would probably start there... I found a Chariot online that will do what you need for less than $100 brand new, but I'm sure there are some good lightly used ones on Craigslist for less.  Burleys seemed to be a little better quality, but obviously more expensive too.  Although that was nearly 10 years ago so who knows if they have more affordable options these days.  You may be able to score a nice older Burley used for what a new Chariot costs (maybe even less!).

I have a bigger, older, much heavier, more general purpose trailer, but the hitch is kind of wonky, it takes forever to hook up (with a wrench) and it's totally open.  Plus the way the hitch hooks up, it really throws off the handling of the bike.  I would love to have something a bit easier to use and covered, but sometimes you just have to use what you have.  Good luck with your search!

Child trailers are very good for what you want to do.

Stop in and talk to them about it at West Town bikes or Green Machine Cycles; both places are nuts for the cargo bikes.

"Nuts for the cargo bikes" ! :)

OK, I'll put in my 2¢ that a flat bed trailer is a better fit for your needs. Talk to Ezra at Green Machine. 

I use my dog trailer - for dogs and for stuff, when I need to. The kids trailers I started with had a suspension seat thingie that just got in the way. 

Good luck! 

notoriousDUG said:

Child trailers are very good for what you want to do.

Stop in and talk to them about it at West Town bikes or Green Machine Cycles; both places are nuts for the cargo bikes.

Nice thing about the kiddie hauler is that drivers* give you tons of space when you're pulling one, regardless of what's inside it.

* CTA bus drivers excepted

Sarah, I would agree that a flat bed is more versatile overall. (See my conversion pic)

But David has a good point, and as long as the amp is small enough it'd likely be a good, snug fit with a lone guitar.

Attachments:

OK, OK, OK so 2 years ago I bought an electric (assisted) bike for commuting (etc) and since the battery sat on a seatpost mounted rear rack I lost the carrying capacity of a trunk/pannier. So I began a search and since I was working at the time cost was less of a concern.

What I found was a Burley Travoy. At around $250 at REI (special order but fairly quick) it was pricey but the funtionality is amazing. It is rated for 40lbs, comes with a weatherproof bag that mounts on the trailer and has some other accessories (also pricey) that add to functionality.

Burley's web site is helpful but think of it like this....a two wheeled cart with a fold up handle that can be used as a shopping cart that has a single pivot pin mount to the bike right under the seat (attachment widget mounts to the seat post with a screw clamp) that is secure with a springloaded lock latch. The unit has 16inch wheels that make it ride easy on most terrain (I have ridden the forest preserve dirt baridle paths with a light load and had NO problems. The standard bag will hold a stacked grocery bag with plenty of room and the bag has velcro top closure with straps that scure the load to prevent shifting.

The only possible problem is the wheels make a wide package a problem unless mounted  with the narrow 'width' twixt the wheels and the wider span  running out the back. Tho not cheap you can buy a locking widget and create a flat bed trailer that would mount to the widget making a quick/easy mount for any rasonable size cart/trailer.

Jeff

What's your budget, and do you have any constraints re: storage space for the trailer?

(do you all others think a guitar would be able to lay flat in a kid trailer?)

 I don't have any hauling suggestions to add to the above, but bringing a typical amp for practice every week may be overkill. I've taken some classes at Old Town School and use the amp below. Weighs 1.5 pounds, powered by a 9 volt battery, not much bigger than a couple paperbacks and enough sound to practice with. This one is a Fender at around $40, I'm sure you could other similar options.

http://www.amazon.com/Fender-234810000-Mini-Deluxe-Amp/dp/B0002OP7V...

This is NOT my bike, but it's exactly what I did to my 90s Fuji mountain bike. It can easily cart a guitar and probably the amp too. Depending on where you live and how convenient it is for you, mine's sitting in my apartment or garage and not getting used enough. Message me and we can most likely work out a way to share it for the days when you need to cart your gear. You can also carry your bike on it (especially if your front wheel comes off, that's easy) so you can bring it back and ride yourself home :)

Or, invest in an xtracycle yourself. They're amazing! (I got mine, used from a fellow chainlinker.)

My favorite commercially available trailer by far:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Trailer-Kit-trailer-/280412450302?p...

Here's my cargo run yesterday:

The suggested size is 36" x 24".  I have built several at 48x24", but  the one pictured was built to transport a specific instrument case and is 30" x 24". Stroke of luck that the carton I had to pick up from fedEx fit perfectly within the eye hooks.

Also fortunate-- the roll of carpet went limp after a couple miles but never sagged all the way to the ground...

Good to know! Did u have to reinforce the bottom at all?

Fran Kondorf said:

You can totally do it w/ a kiddie hauler. Get some good bungie cords, always carry some kind of plastic dropcloth, and experiment with your weight distribution for optimum balance.

I have hauled about 75-100 lbs. of bass gear to gigs with little trouble.

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