Bike trailers are a great way to add a lot of cargo capacity to your bike. There are a bunch of good trailers out there that are designed for carrying kids, pets or just about anything you can fit on them. Companies like Burley and BoB are the leaders in quality compact trailers that make any bike into a cargo-hauling machine.
Of course, there’s always a certain element who wants more than the usual, people who want to haul bigger, heavier loads without the use of a car. Fortunately there’s a company called Bikes at Work that makes a great line of big sturdy trailers that can carry some huge loads, like a refrigerator!
Here in Philadelphia, there’s a group called the Pedal Co-op who use Bikes at Work trailers to haul compost, recyclables, and conduct house moves within the city. They have a bunch of pictures at their site that are worth checking out.
Here at Philly Electric Wheels, we wanted to find a way to pick up bikes and deliver them to customers so we ordered up one of the Bikes at Work 64 inch trailers. We also got a hold of a two-bike rack and mounted it up. We attached the trailer hitch to an Ecobike Elegance and gave it a try.
I had to transport a bike from the shop in Mt. Airy to my home in South Philly so I got to test the trailer setup for about ten miles. Aside from the obvious weight of the load, riding with the trailer is not difficult to get used to. The hitch features a ball joint, which allows the bike to lean and turn just as it would normally as you ride and makes the long trailer surprisingly maneuverable. I was able to negotiate rush hour traffic in Center City with no troubles- I often got the sense that drivers gave me a lot more space on the road when they saw what I was towing. The trailer also got a lot of attention from people on the street who pointed, shouted or just gawked as I went trucking by.
The bike also performed just fine, and its electric assist really helped me get a move on when taking off from traffic lights and going up hills in East Falls and Mt. Airy.
If you want to start using your bike for tractor-trailer duty, check out Bikes at Work and see what you can haul!