Bike Trailer Blog:

All hail the bike cargo trailer!

Bike cargo trailers are amazing tools for getting more out of a bicycle -- and keeping you a out of your car. In all their variety, bike cargo trailers are the perfect tools for hauling stuff by bike.

We cover touring, commuting, errands, and generally doing more by bike -- so we don't leave out cargo bikes and conversions.

The topics of bike child trailers and trailer-cycles are covered in our Family Cycling section.

Submit Your Bike Trailer Photos

This blog is about sharing the fun, the utility, and the creativity that bike trailers can inspire. We want photos of how you've used your trailer -- whether it's an off-the-shelf model in a beautiful or interesting setting, or if it's a Franken-trailer customized in a way only you could have conceived.

Photos help to spread ideas, and stimulate discussion. It doesn't matter if you bought from one of our shops or not -- Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop and Bike Kid Shop. Your photos and the stories behind them want to be seen and heard.

Monthly Archives: February 2009

Xtracycle Month of Love Specials 2/26 – 3/1

A quick mention of some great Xtracycle Specials.

The Xtracycle Cargo Van Special for $499 includes the following items:
FreeRadical Kit, 1 WideLoader,1 Longloader, 2 Whatchamacollars, and 2 CamStraps

The Xtracycle Family Van Special for $499 includes the following items:
FreeRadical Kit. Magic Carpet, Footsies, and a Stoker Kit

+ Get an Xtracycle KickBack for only $99.

File Organization

For the past few weeks we’ve been organizing all of our files and file names.

Having worked on my own developing this business for the first two years, it was generally hard to justify the time it would take to develop a uniform method for organizing my files. As a new business, it was also difficult to determine what methods of file organization would be most helpful for the business.

Having grown our business quite significantly over the last year with the strong growth in utility cycling, we now have both the need and the impetus for a solid organization of all of our files.

The main goal has been to organize our product naming structure in with our system of accounting and organizing images and information. The naming structure of our websites is the starting point. We name by shop, then brand, then brand subcategory then product name. As closely as possible we duplicate this in our accounting names and our organization of information relating to the products we sell.

Our basic ambition in setting up our files is to setup an easy to use method of cataloging all of the information and images we deal with to create a great database of Utility Cycling information. In the end, we hope to organize and present as much of this information as possible.

Peter Eland’s Custom-Super-Trailer

I’ve been meaning to post something up about this Heavy-Duty, Custom-Built bike cargo trailer built by Peter Eland of Velo Vision. While this trailer could be categorized under our Do-It-Yourself bike trailer list, the attention to detail and purpose built features, set this trailer apart into deserving a post of its own. That being said, this would be a great design to duplicate for anyone looking to build their own XL sized bike trailer built to last a lifetime.

There are quite a few outstanding and unique features to point out. The industrial-strength hitch offers 3 directions of mechanical rotation. The hitch design required that Peter welded 3 braze-ons to his bike frame to mount the hitch plate to. The hitch arm for the trailer is a unique shape that offers almost 90 degrees of turning the bike in relation to the trailer. While this much turning is not generally necessary while bicycling, it can come in handy when maneuvering a load in tight spaces for doing something delivering like a large load to a doorstep.

Trickle Down Inspiration Flow of a Workaholic

I’m always thinking about what works best to keep myself and my employees focused, energized and motivated to keep Wandertec Bike Cargo Design moving forward in the right direction.

Often, it is about balancing the right load between the “core level” work of day-to-day and infrastructure and the “fringe level” work of experimental marketing and new projects.

Another way I think about balancing the load is simply working off of what stands out strongest in mind. Each day, I’ll start out with core activities like customer relations, shipping and ordering. Once I’m clear of those tasks, I’ll start looking around for inspiration. When I’m staring at a long list of possible projects, I try to let ideas that are popping brightly in my mind bubble to the front of my task list. Projects that are standing out in my mind are generally easier to do and are more relevant to the moment.

This process of choosing projects, really helps when I’m tired or lacking motivation on the weekends in the morning or at the end of the day. If nothing pops and the core tasks are done, I then look to the basics. This may mean that work is done and it is time to focus on the basics of life, like eating, cleaning, exercising and maybe even relaxing….

2009 Predicitions for Utility Cycling

I recently posted a comment in response to a post discussing the current state of utility cycling at Eco Velo. The development of utility cycling in 2009 will have a strong impact on the growth and direction of Wandertec in 2009 so I thought I’d post up my thoughts on these matters.

From Eco Velo:

“After witnessing such heady exuberance within the bike industry during last summer’s ‘bike boom’, it’s no surprise that few could foresee the current industry downturn, probably brought on by lower gas prices and the deepening recession. Those who were prudent should weather the winter, but it’s going to be a tough road for those dealers who were carried away by the promise of a new golden era of cycling and over-bought for the coming season.”
Read the entire post and excellent discussion to follow here: Golden Era or Flash in the Pan

My comment:

“There seems to be a tendency, in the various discussions of the challenges facing utility cycling, to argue that a particular issue is the primary issue, whose resolution would uncork a hurricane force that would shuttle bicycling directly into the mainstream. These issues are, in my general approximation, all of equal importance to the development of utility cycling.

These primary issues could be boiled down as such:
The Development of our Cycling Infrastructure (as discussed in David, Erik & Alan’s comments)
The Bicycle Industry’s Focus (as discussed in Kevin, Thom & Alan’s comments)
The Public Perception of Cycling (as discussed in ubray, Beth, David & Randy’s comments)
(and to somewhat less of a degree) The Media’s Portrayal of Cycling

The roller coaster ride that was 2008, at its height gave our utility cycling movement a great sense of optimism as cyclists took to the streets, bike shops thrived and the media took notice. The natural slowdown of the Fall, slowed further by our new found thriftiness and the drop in gas prices, has since dampered this sense of momentum and we are entering 2009 with a mixed bag.

Despite the current and possible continued slow down for the bicycle industry, there are plenty of reasons for optimism for the utility cycling movement. The momentum of last summer will continue to spill into 2009. Last year many people took those tenuous first steps, getting back on a bicycle. It will be much easier to dust off the bike again this spring (for those who aren’t already riding through the winter). Beyond just those new to cycling, the momentum of last summer has undoubtedly built up throughout our cycling communities. With the spring thaw, this momentum will spring back from our bike advocacy groups, online bike communities, bike shops, etc. etc.

While the motivation of high gas prices has diminished, the motivation of finding ways to save money has grown tenfold. Cyclists who took to the streets last year to save on gas will be joined by many more who are looking for every opportunity to reduce daily living expenses.

The fortunes of the bicycle industry are swaying back and forth with the violent tidal flows of the economy. In the current state of affairs, many cyclists are looking for low-priced solutions to their cycling equipment needs. In the immediate future, this will probably not help to grow the revenue of the bicycle industry.

Beyond the more basic persuasion of the bicycling industry’s current revenue, the utility cycling movement is poised to continue welcoming an influx of new cyclists. To seize the moment, we must develop a flexible, all-inclusive approach to the previously mentioned challenges of infrastructure development, industry focus and public perception. We must develop a keen awareness of the joint-reliance and interconnection of these issues. Where possible we should facilitate communal efforts that join the momentum of projects working towards solutions to these various challenges.

2008′s roller coaster ride has demonstrated that opportunities can quickly rise and fall. The utility cycling movement can and will thrive in the year ahead if we can appreciate the full spectrum of issues, while applying solutions tailored to fit the opportunities that are arising.”

An Interview with Nick Lobnitz, Carry Freedom Bike Trailer Inventor

Here at Bike Trailer Blog, we’re very intrigued by the creative process that goes into developing bike cargo trailers. We decided to get in touch with some of the inventors of the various bike trailers that are available.

Nick Lobnitz of Carry Freedom was kind enough to reply to our interview. Nick is the inventor of the Carry Freedom City and the Carry Freedom Y-Frame trailers. Nick’s design work is now extending into bicycles with his new Paper Bicycle which was unveiled at the 2008 Eurobike.

The Interview:

BTBlog: Was there an epiphany moment that got you started developing the Carry Freedom City or rather was it a gradual evolution and accumulation of ideas?
Nick: The epiphany is the easy part, its over in seconds. It then takes years of hard graft and idea evolution to put a physical reality to the first idea.

Bike Trailer Review & Comparison at Adventure Travel

Just a quick update that Adventure Travel Online has posted an excellent comparison review of 5 bike cargo trailers. The review compares and contrasts trailers readily available in the UK including the Weber Monoporter, BOB Ibex, Extrawheel Classic, Carry Freedom Y-Frame Large and the Revolution Cargo 08 Load Trailer.

Many of these trailers are available or will be available soon from the Bike Trailer Shop (free shipping in the US). The BOB Ibex is one of our best selling trailers. The Extrawheel Classic Trailer is on closeout special for $289 as well as the amazing new Extrawheel Voyager Trailer (single wheel pannier trailer) for $329. A shipment of Weber Monoporter’s are enroute to Bike Trailer Shop and should be available sometime in March. And we are currently working out our supply of the Carry Freedom Y-Frames Trailers and should have them available sometime in the Spring.


Grinding

Big Snow today. They say global warming is bringing extremes in weather. Well we’re seeing it here in Flagstaff.

A new resolution today. I’ll blog on one of our 3 blogs, Bike Trailer Wisdon, Extrawheel Single Wheel Trailers or here once a day. Many resolutions like this have fallen flat on their face so don’t hold me to it.

The snowed in sensation is good for getting work done though. The Wandertec crew is grinding through the many tasks for setting up our new all powerful website trio of Bike Bag Shop, Bike Trailer Shop and Bike Kid Shop. These 3 sites sharing a shopping cart will be a big step forward for us.