Author Topic: Using child bike trailer for cargo?  (Read 3699 times)

MoneyCat

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Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:33:55 PM »
I recently came into $300 in Target gift cards, so I was thinking about using some of it to get a free bike trailer.  The only problem is that Target only sells bike trailers for taking children for a ride and I obviously want to use it for cargo.  Anyone out there use a child bike trailer for grocery shopping, etc.?  Would that be a problem to use for cargo?  (The one I am considering has a 100 lb weight limit.)

gooki

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 02:29:45 PM »
No problem. I use mine for kids and cargo.

johnny847

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 03:08:17 PM »
I've used mine exclusively for cargo.

One word of caution - the weight ratings are valid when you put the weight where it is designed to go, ie, the area where the kids are supposed to sit. Anytime you put a significant amount of weight not in that area, you are pushing the cargo trailer out of spec.

Now I don't say that to scare you - I've put probably about 30-40 lbs of stuff in the back area of the trailer, where kids do not sit, and been fine. What I am saying is that if at all possible, put a majority of the weight where the kids are supposed to sit.

littlebird

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 10:09:25 AM »
The kid trailers are significantly heavier than cargo-specific trailers when empty. If you have any major hills on your route that's something you might consider as all that weight adds up fast.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 10:17:38 AM »
Used kid trailers are cheap on craigslist, sometimes free (how I got mine).  Of course, prices on these are going to go way up with the recreational bicycling season on the horizon. 

johnny847

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 10:23:34 AM »
The kid trailers are significantly heavier than cargo-specific trailers when empty. If you have any major hills on your route that's something you might consider as all that weight adds up fast.
Or you could get a kid trailer anyway and become more of a badass =P

For reference my kid trailer weights 26 lbs.

I have nothing to substantiate this claim, but I believe that a kid trailer makes you safer on the road than a cargo trailer, because you give the impression that you are hauling kids around as opposed to cargo.

littlebird

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 10:37:58 AM »
It's true the extra weight makes you more badass, but only if it doesn't keep you from doing it at all. My cargo trailer weighs 14 pounds. 12 pounds might not sound like a lot, but I barely (and sometimes don't) make it up the giant hill leading to my house and I ride frequently, so I'm glad of it.

johnny847

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 11:01:17 AM »
It's true the extra weight makes you more badass, but only if it doesn't keep you from doing it at all. My cargo trailer weighs 14 pounds. 12 pounds might not sound like a lot, but I barely (and sometimes don't) make it up the giant hill leading to my house and I ride frequently, so I'm glad of it.
Haha true. I could apply that logic to my roadbike - my gears are configured in a 3x8, as opposed to a more typical 2x9 or 2x10. I have a slightly wider range of gears, so I have a lower first gear than most. Without that lower first gear, I wouldn't have been able to make it through some hills with my trailer.

And 12 pounds does sound like a lot to me! That's 12 pounds of deadweight, not 12 pounds of extra bodyweight that can do useful work.

darkadams00

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Re: Using child bike trailer for cargo?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 08:00:12 PM »
We bought a 100# rated child trailer off CL last year.  Large wire-spoked wheels, immaculate, new condition, used a couple times apparently--no dirt inside, outside, or on the tires. Paid about 60% of the new-in-the-box price. Added a nifty little wooden base inside for hauling stuff. Had it on the road by the next week. Grocery stores are 1-3 miles away, depending on which ones. We pull it on the road or greenway comfortably. We also use it to pull a cooler and picnic items for group picnics--park is about 1.5 miles away. I have had two people to yell at me to "get that kid out of the street" (my kids are in college so it's just funny). I also had someone say something when they thought I was leaving a kid inside while I went into the store. When I told them it was just for hauling purchases, they thought it was the coolest idea ever (although they would never ditch their Audi SUV to do the same).

So my advice is "Do it." It just becomes another badge of your biking craziness to family and coworkers.