I’ve been discussing the fusion between bike trailers and tents. In a past post, I looked at the tent shelter bike trailer by Tony of Tony’s Trailers.
This next trailer, the SpeedLobster, seems like it may have been a German Engineering student’s thesis project. It is very impressive in its design and application, but seems to miss the boat a little bit when it comes to real world application.
The details of the trailer, are very impressive being that it is more than likely a prototype. The trailer fork and cargo body appear to be made from carbon fiber or molded plastic. A Waterproof dry bag is integrated into the cargo body that includes a hinged lid with cargo netting on the top. The 20″ trailer wheel is suspended with a nice quality shock.
The Speed Lobster offers up an interesting high tech alternative to a BOB Trailer. Building the tent feature into it as part of its functionality is the part that baffles me. A major part of the trailer’s design appears to be geared towards having it serve as part of the structure of a tent. The rigid top of the cargo area is hinged so that the trailer body becomes a sort of baffle for which to setup the tent around. For camping, the trailer is parked, the fork of the trailer is removed, the cargo area of the trailer is hinged up and the trailer is setup around the trailer. It appears that the tent is simply stored within the trailer. The tent that is shown in the pictures is of quite a large proportion perhaps large enough to sleep 3-4 people.
My main critique of the Speed Lobster’s approach to adding a tent to a bike trailer is that this design positions the trailer right in the middle of the tent taking up space. It doesn’t appear that the trailer as tent baffle offers any great advantages in setting up the tent. From an economical stand point, having a trailer that only works with one style of bike trailer is quite limiting. And though tent size could probably be adjusted as needed, the tent shown in the demonstration is ridiculously large for most bike touring uses.
My suggestion for the Speed Lobster design is to drop the tent function and to focus on the intruiging trailer design. There are plenty of tents that work fine on their own, easily packing away into a bike trailer. What this trailer has to offer is an interesting, likely high-end alternative to the BOB trailer. The hard body design with the built in bag would be well appreciated and Speed Lobster clearly has a nack for designing sleek, stylish trailers. If the Speed Lobster can refine their design and bring it to market, we would add them to our pantheon of great single wheeled bike trailers.