Haul Big Stuff on Your Bike
One of the bigger, more valid, reasons why a bicycle cannot replace the car is its inability to handle large loads. Sure, you can load up your bike with panniers, or you can get a special, long wheelbase cargo bike, but the former makes your bike handle weird and puts heavy stress on wheels, and the latter requires a special (expensive) bike. For handling bigger jobs without getting a new bike, you really need a trailer. Burley, known for their excellent kid carriers, is probably the first name in trailers. They offer a couple cargo trailers: one flatbed model based on their kid carrier, and another (the Travoy) that is more upright and suited for tight, urban riding.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, something to really compete with a car or truck’s carrying capacity, you should check out Bikes At Work. The company makes platform trailers that will give your gas-guzzling rig a run for its money.
The length for cargo areas for a Bikes At Work trailer start at 32″ and go to 96.” Cargo widths range from 19.25″ to 27.25″. You can, of course, go longer, wider and higher with your load as the bed is very flexible. Cargo capacity for their smallest unit is an amazing 300 lbs–enough to carry lumber, major appliances and much more. Their larger, heavier duty unit is rated to an even more amazing 600 lbs!
Cargo weight is limited to available horsepower, but if you have a multi-speed bike and don’t live on Lombard St, we imagine that in a low gear the loads are pretty doable for someone of average fitness.
Prices range from $600 to $1025 depending on the size and strength of trailer. We won’t indulge, as we are wont to do, why this is not that much money. Suffice to say, these trailers, without purchasing a new bike, would allow you to haul 90% of the things your car does–all while getting a great workout and cutting your carbon footprint. Okay, it might not be the best thing for carrying stuff cross country or really anything over 15 miles, but for those smaller trips carrying big stuff, Bikes at Work trailers make a lot of sense.