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.

The Latest From Long Tail Bicycles

Charley’s Giant Xtracycle

According to Charley:

This was an unfinished project using a Giant cruiser frame and Xtracycle.  A little challenging to mount a stop and cable slot under the crank for front derailer, but otherwise routine.  This bike is really Giant!

Charley also added Xtracycle Freeloader Saddlebags and SnapDeck for extra cargo carrying capabilities.

Ross’s Pollution-Reducing Pyramid Ride

Tomorrow is Halloween and there will be plenty of little ghosts and goblins out hunting for candy.  Others will hole away indoors watching spooktastic movies about monsters and mad scientists and their wild inventions.  Which brings us to Ross’s invention: the Purviance Pyramid — shown strapped to his Xtracycle bike trailer, deck, and racks.  Here’s the story and science behind it:

If you know anybody in Los Angeles ask them how the chemtrails are in LA. They will probably tell you, “There aren’t any chemtrails in Los Angeles.”  They would be correct.  There are chem tails in Los Angeles instead of the long chemtrails. You can see the chem tails and the S Curves. With the purviance pyramid moved before 7:00 am 5 miles (It may have to be around 5:30 a.m. during summer) you will no longer see the long streaks of poison chemtrails. You will be free. You don’t have to project any intention or anything any mental or spiritual projections other than your natural heightened spiritual beingness. All you have to do is move your purviance pyramid 5 miles before 7:00 a.m. every day.

Commuting by bike is a good way to keep the air clear of pollutants…..  or purchase your own purviance pyramid if you must.  We’re all doing our part.

Learn about chemtrails, spiritual projections and more on Ross’s website.  Happy Haunting! OooOOooo!!

Greg’s Xtracycle Dog Rig

Greg, sent in this clever setup for using his Xtracycle to commute with this his dog. A good use of the WideLoaders.

The customer innovation never stops! Keep on sending in those photos

My new commuter that gets me and my "child" to work every day

Masahiro’s Xtracycle in a Japanese Park

A customer from Japan sent us in this photo of his Xtracycle out for its first test ride, outfitted with the Flight Deck and Pannier Racks. We’ve heard and seen with increased sales that Xtracycle’s are becoming quite a hit in Japan in recent years.

In Masahiro’s words:

When doing a test ride to the big park around here just after a bicycle was made up, this picture is the one of which I took a picture. A so nice forest is still also left in Tokyo. I don’t match your national grand nature.

New Xtracycle Products for 2010

Xtracycle is a name that has long been associated with utility cycling. With the introduction of the FreeRadical, the longtail movement was born. Now, Xtracycle is a household name, associated with putting your car keys down and putting your bike helmet on. The longtail revolution has become a not-so-uncommon scene on city streets with specialty bikes, such as the Big Dummy, now being produced specifically for long tail utility use. Xtracycle has continued to develop products and accessories to complement their original FreeRadical design and make it easier to integrate cycling into daily life. Keeping with that philosophy, Xtracycle has introduced some new products and refined some current ones for 2010, and the Bike Trailer Shop is proud to offer them to you.

With that said we should mention that some of the remaining 2009 Xtracycle product is on closeout at the BikeTrailerShop.com. Individually, we have the Xtracycle SnapDeck for only $39 or a pair of 2009 FreeLoaders for $120. Add them to an Xtracycle FreeRadical kit and get the whole package with SnapDeck, FreeLoaders and V-racks (the original longtail kit) for only $429.

Custom Xtracycle Decks & Xtracycle Kits on Sale

Brand Name Boards Custom Xtracycle Deck

Brand Name Boards, which is based out of Durango, Colorado, makes custom snap decks to use on an Xtracycle. They make a beautiful assortment of boards from the surfboard version (shown on our Radish below) to a cushioned board for comfortable sitting. Check out the video below to watch the construction of one of these boards in action.

Here at Bike Trailer Shop, we have the one and only surfboard Xtracycle deck. The deck is complete with the proper surfboard parts, including the pointed tip, tail, and bottom fin.

Xtracycle or Bike Trailer or Both?

A frequent question we get at the Bike Trailer Shop is comparing the advantages to owning an Xtracycle to a bike trailer. The main topics to consider in comparing these two methods for carrying cargo and passenger on bikes are versatility; carrying cargo, passengers and specialty uses; and handling characteristics.

Versatility:

The first thing to consider when choosing to go with an Xtracycle over a bike trailer, is that you are choosing to turn a standard bicycle into a longtail cargo bike. While it is possible to take the Xtracycle on and off the bike, it is not very convenient and I am not aware of very many Xtracycle owners that use their Xtracycle in this capacity on a regular basis.

For cyclist that don’t want to dedicate a bicycle to being used with an Xtracycle, bike cargo trailers offer much more flexibility. Bike cargo trailers can be installed and removed from a bicycle in seconds. This offers versatility for cyclists that prefer using their bicycle in multiple capacities. For bike touring, bike trailers are very nice in that within a few seconds, you can remove your load from your bike for a quick ride in the area you are visiting.

Xtracycle To The Rescue

On a typical day, my Xtracycle provides assistance in relatively obvious ways: bringing home loads of groceries, hauling extra clothing, books, and food into school for a long study session, or even delivering beer to a friend in return for a favor. Indeed, living with the Xtracycle may be a bit challenging at first, but with time, the Xtracycle may have the opportunity to help you solve unforeseen dilemmas, just as it did for me.

Dilemma #1

Last summer, I purchased a new cyclocross frame in anticipation of the upcoming cyclocross season and assembled it at a local bike shop with the help of my boyfriend. Once the bike was completed, we realized that we had no easy way to bring the bike back to our house, as we had ridden to the shop. Fortunately, one of us had ridden there on the Xtracycle. Problem solved!

img_7149

The Xtracycle loaded down with a cyclocross bike

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.

Xtrarecycling

This past few weeks at Wandertec:
1. Watched my shop being built
2. Attended Interbike
3. Picked up some Wandertec woven labels
4. Rode in the Tour de Fat parade.
5. Unsuccessfully attempted to fight a bicycle traffic ticket

The expansion of the Wandertec shop is starting pick up some steam. The framing and roof are complete. Now the utilities are going in and the painters have just showed up. It’s looking great and I’m hoping it will complete perhaps in a month or less.

It was a quick trip to Interbike this year. I spent some time handing out the Wandertec mLite. I was able to get it displayed on BOB Trailers as well as several other bikes and trailers around the show. I was busy gathering information about a variety or bike pannier companies in preparation for expanding into bike rack and pannier sales.

Yesterday, I went to traffic court to try to get out of a traffic ticket for running a red light. The light was turning from yellow to red as I rode through. I didn’t really dispute the charge but was hoping to get a different penalty than is applied to motor vehicles. Unfortunately, the law in AZ gives you the same punishment on a bike as if you were in a motor vehicle. Here are a few thoughts on the matter that I put together before going into court:

I strongly agree that bicyclists need to obey traffic laws, however violations of traffic laws should be punished in a manner that takes into consideration the very different nature of bicycle travel vs. motor vehicle travel. Motor vehicles are inherently much more dangerous to others. A bicyclist violating traffic laws is extremely less likely to injure or kill someone else when compared to a motor vehicle doing the same traffic violation. Given this factor, punishments and fines for bicycle traffic violations should be adjusted to fit their relative impact. Punishments and fines for bicycle traffic violations should not be combined in with the fines of the exponentially more dangerous motorized vehicles.

Additionally, the use of motor vehicles also creates pollution and congestion. The use of bicycles poses less risk to others, does not cause pollution and causes comparably far less congestion. The many benefits to our society of using bicycles instead of motor vehicles deserve some consideration in determining how traffic violations are punished.

On a practical level, riding a bicycle is a very different experience than driving a motor vehicle. When riding a bicycle there is a much greater sense of vulnerability. There is also a much greater sense of awareness of surrounding traffic because you have a completely unobstructed view and are in standing position where it is much easier to swivel around in any direction. While traffic laws are very appropriate for motor vehicles, they do not currently take into consideration the very different nature of riding a bicycle. Bicyclists should be supported with laws adjusted to the different nature of the vehicle. Perhaps, bicyclists should be required to get licensed, registered and insured in a manner that is appropriate for bicycle use. This would lead to safer, more knowledgeable, better equipped, and better supported bicyclists.