Just before leaving the UK to settle in Northern Thailand I had an opportunity to try out the new cycle trailer that I will be using to Ride the Great Divide. I’ve previously toured with fully laden front panniers, bar-bag and rear panniers. I’ve also toured with a single wheeled ‘Bob Yak’ trailer, so I was pretty keen to know how the Extra Wheel Trailer would compare.
It was also a test of necessity, to learn as much as I could in the short time available to me before moving abroad. I wouldn’t be taking the trailer with me, I was leaving it in the UK along with the majority of my other cycle touring equipment and would collect it en route to Canada in 7 months time.
My latest trailer is an ‘Extra Wheel’ trailer, a single wheeled design which tracks nicely behind the bike. Now the ‘Bob Yak’ is pretty much bomb proof, but for me the benefits of the ‘Extra Wheel’ are that it is lighter (but still carries 30kg), can act as a spare wheel in an emergency (hence it’s name) and it’s 26″ wheel should be better than the Yak’s 16″ at negotiating extremes of terrain.
As well as testing out the trailer, it was also an opportunity to try out some alternative mounting positions for my Go Pro camera. Unfortunately the plastic Go Pro mount was not strong enough to support both an extension post and the camera itself whilst attached to the frame of the trailer. So I will have to find a stronger camera mounting, possibly made of aluminium or something similar.
The weather over the previous few weeks had been particularly wet and windy, so negotiating fallen trees was a good test of exactly how well the trailer would track.
The wet leaves and mulch in the undergrowth could have proved troublesome, but the weight in the trailer kept the wheel firmly in contact with the ground. Snaking between trees was not only easy, but fun as well.
Steep descents didn’t prove to be any problem and there was never a hint of uncoupling (except when trying to push the bike backwards, then you have to lean the bike inwards towards the articulation point of the trailer; a bit like reversing an HGV).
I was able to ford a stream with no bother. The Extra Wheel dry-bags kept all of my luggage dry.
So all in all I would say that it was a very good work out and that the Extra Wheel Trailer passed with flying colours.
To attach the trailer to your rear wheel you have to replace your own spindle with either a bespoke quick release version or a standard spindle with special Extra Wheel ball-joint nuts. The trailer then attaches to the ball joints on the ends of the spindle and is kept in place by the tension applied through the trailer’s hardened sprung steel forks.
You can view the Extra Wheel Trailer here: http://www.extrawheel.com/ and you will also find YouTube videos of the trailer in action.
I am grateful to Chris Williams from ‘Photography in Herts’ for the photographs. Visit his website here: http://www.photographyinherts.com/