Well I survived another Vegas Interbike. Something about trade shows in Las Vegas are not only hard on the feet, but mind, body and soul as well. That being said, it certainly was an interesting show with some cool new bike trailers hitting the market. As usual, the show was abuzz with exciting new bike products, even though some of the major players in the bike industry chose to not attend this years show (Trek, Kona, and Giant), but who cares? They don’t make bike trailers anyway.
Some of the first things that struck my attention were the amount of electric bikes that were at the show. We have all been excited about the growing popularity of electric bikes and the impact that they will have in converting the non-cyclists of the world. It seems that the electric bike movement has made its way to bike trailers as well, and why not? Bike trailers have just as much to benefit from electric assist as do normal bikes. Enter the Ridekick: the first production electric assist cargo trailer to hit U.S. markets. I personally really like this idea. It provides a good separation between using electric assist when you need it, such as when hauling cargo, and being able to unhitch the trailer for normal unassisted riding.
The Ridekick user can select the amount of boost provided by the electric assist motor. The electric motor assists forward motion up to 19 mph, and one charge lasts up to 15 miles. One of the great things about having an electric assist trailer is the simplicity of attaching and removing the trailer. Unlike electric assist kits and integrated electric bikes, the Ridekick has a un-hitch and forget about it quality. Once the trailer is un-hitched your bike never new the difference. I mean who wouldn’t want a lockable, weather proof, easily detachable, electric powered cargo trailer, I know I would.
Another item of note that caught my eye came from the folks at Surly. Most of the heavy duty cargo trailers that I have come across have been DIY trailers. These trailers are characterized by their massive overbuilt frames and large weight capacity paired with a large trailer weight. Well the boys at Surly have tried to produce the end-all heavy duty cargo trailer: The Trailer. The Trailer is going to be produced in two different sizes of load beds a 32″ and a 63″.
The Trailer has an large appetite for cargo with a 300 lb load capacity. I’m not sure if I would even want to try and pedal that much weight around. The load bed design is fairly straightforward with a rectangular outer frame and circular support beams
running across the frame. Although the load bed of the Trailer is fairly straightforward, Surly really put some thought into designing the hitch. Surly designed the hitch to be as universal as possible. They say it will fit wheels sizes 20-29″, axle sizes 120-145mm, work with disc brakes and full suspension, and can be aligned to always maintain center line with the bike and maintain a level load bed. Surly provides a universal skewer or threaded nuts to work with the Trailer. Just to give you idea of what the Trailer is capable of, you could use it to haul five 60-pound bags of concrete mix to your job site. New driveway by bike anyone?
After a couple of days of wandering the show, everything starts to look the same, so it is good to pick out the things you like the most early. Alas this was the final Vegas Interbike, next year Interbike is to be held in Anaheim at Disneyland, with an earlier date. It’s is the end of an era. Interbike has been held in Vegas for the past ten years. It’s odd, for as much as I dislike Las Vegas, it seems appropriate to have a bicycle convention there. It’s kind of entertaining to have the entire bicycle industry descend on Las Vegas and run wild for a couple of days. Oh well. Hopefully next year we see even more cool new bike trailers presented at Interbike.