There is a growing selection of bike cargo trailers available to cyclists. However, bike cargo trailers are still a niche/specialty product. Because of this, their price is relatively high as compared to the majority of bicycles sold. A new bicycle trailer will cost between $200 and $400. For someone who is poor, on a budget, or just not interested in spending very much on bicycling equipment, $200+ is cost prohibitive.
Bike cargo trailers are a great enabling force for bicyclists. Many bicyclists discover that they hardly use a car anymore once they have discovered all the loads they can transport by bike trailer. For bicyclists with less money to spend, the advantage of being able to get oneself and all of one’s stuff around by bicycle is even more greatly appreciated.
In order for the bike cargo trailers to really get into the mainstream, the price will need to drop for basic, low-end trailers. This perhaps will eventually happen through the power of high-volume, low-cost manufacturing. One way for this to evolve is for bike cargo trailers to continue to grow in popularity at a steady rate.
It might also be possible for a manufacturer to jump start this process. Imagine a business model which focuses on bringing low-cost but good-quality bike trailers to market. I envision a very simple, 2-wheeled trailer designed for use with 20″ BMX wheels. The trailer would be sold without the wheels to keep costs down. 20″ BMX wheels are easy to find almost anywhere at very low cost. The trailer would use a basic flatbed design similar to the Wandertec BONGO bike cargo trailer design. The customer would bolt their own board, box or crate onto the frame to suit their cargo needs. With only the trailer frame, hitch arm and hitch, shipping costs would be kept at a minimum.
This business would likely start out with a direct sale model. As scales of production took effect, a distribution network would be established. With success, an economical bike trailer would become available costing less than $100. A much larger group of cyclists could afford to use their low-cost bicycles as low-cost utility vehicles.