Extra Wheel Trailer

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extrawheeltrailer

Extra Wheel Trailer
Price: £150
From: www.cyclesense.co.uk (01937 530303) www.extrawheel.com
Tested: To Scotland and back.

Reviewed: Singletrack Magazine – Issue 38

If you want to load up a bike there are going to be compromises and handling will be affected. I’ve carried camping gear in a 35L rucksack on previous off-road trips. It was hard on my shoulders, made my bike top-heavy and when descending sometimes hit the back of my helmet. The Extra Wheel was an appealing alternative and for this test I did a 60-mile off-road epic through the Scottish Highlands, my destination being the Single Speed World Championships. Rather than just going by train to party and race, I wanted to make the journey into an adventure and I wanted riding my bike to be fun even with camping gear.

The Extra Wheel is basically one wheel hitched to the rear axle by a clever steel sprung bracket (you get both an adapted QR and 10mm axle nuts which will fit mountain and road bikes). Your kit is carried in two dry bags in cargo nets on either side of the wheel like saddle bags. Each side will hold a whopping 60 litres and a maximum weight is listed as 30kg. I can’t imagine wanting to pull that weight or manoeuvre such volume though. My solo camping gear was fine and it was a joy to ride with nothing on my back. The construction is light and keeps the wheelbase of the whole rig as short as can be. There is a choice of 26in (tested) or 700c wheel. You don’t forget that it’s there because it does affect steering but with a bit of practice you learn to keep the bars weighted. With this technique you can easily hustle the trailer along. Sometimes, especially at high speed, it can get a bit of a wag on, but I was impressed with the overall handling. It did fulfill my need for the ride to be fun. On rough ground the trailer can skip about but I managed to keep the whole thing heading where I wanted it. For the record it didn’t throw me off and I didn’t throw it in a river with frustration.

Climbing is fine both seated and standing, you can lean over, turn in as tight a circle as you would without the trailer and even bunny hop and do endos! Technical terrain can be tackled and it will follow you down sketchy trails surprisingly well. The lightweight materials don’t come out on top when bashed into rocks though.

Even though I made it to my destination I’m afraid I did test the trailer close to destruction. Abrasion against rock caused the cargo netting to sever in a couple of places and the dry bags had some small holes in. I also managed to break a fibre glass pole on one side which is the fixing point for the net. I have spoken to the UK distributor and he was clear that this is a camping trailer designed for use on rough tracks rather than the full-on techno route that I took. It also turns out that changes are being made to this model with stronger nets and metal rods. In addition a new model will be released in the next few months using hard panniers instead of dry bags. This is a modification that would be perfect for the riding I’d like to do. As an expedition trailer on dirt tracks and more open trails it is excellent as it is. Use it to get to base camp, un-hitch and then hit the harder trails. It’s easy to store when not in use, only taking up the space of a pair of wheels and at £150 it’s cheap for a trailer.

Overall: Hitch, ride, camp. Enjoy!
Ed Oxley

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Comments (0)

  1. The pannier version [Voyager] has been available for several months…

    You can also buy it without the garish yellow drybags and use whatever you fancy.I use some Ortlieb Rackpack things with mine.

    Much better handling than the Monoporter that I also tried.For general touring and having the ability to shoot off road should you desire,I think it’s a neat design.

  2. Also looks like the Classic (as reviewed) is obsolete, sounds like a good excuse to get the new one and retest it in Scotland to me 😉

  3. Where do you get it for £150? At cyclesense they range from £200 to £275.

  4. i think im going to get me another of those lidl dry bags (to make a pair), and see what i can rustle up myself.
    quite like the idea of trailer camping, but i reckon it could be improved on….

  5. That price is indeed out of date. The trailer tested is also dead now. Light off road it can do, tracks and such like. It’s not designed for rocky singletrack though and I destroyed the test trailer in the rough stuff.

  6. Would have made more sense to test the Voyager rather than the Classic [which has been used successfully on various ‘expeditions’ over the years] to keep things,erm,up to date.
    Tempted to try the Voyager but I do like the ease of packing and access with the Ortlieb bags I currently have,versus the limitations of panniers.

  7. This review was done for issue 38, which was aaaages ago given they’re on 49 now.

  8. Does anyone know how this compares to the Bob Yak?

  9. Am off in couple of weeks to ride the Grand Traversee du Jura off road route in France – taking an extra wheel and a Bob so will be good to see how they compare. So far Extra Wheel has been fab on local trails and coped well with swoopy singletrack and lumpy descents – I have to keep looking to check it’s still there!

    Nicky
    🙂

  10. My girlfriend and I had two of these trailers in New Zealand for cycle touring and quite frankly they were awful. Extremely difficult to load for a start but the worst part was the build quality. The bracket holding the trailer to the bike snapped clean through on the very first day I rode it – I hadn’t even been cycling for half an hour. Honestly, unless you’re planning on carrying very light gear and not much of it I would plump for a BOB. I had the 60 litre bags and they were not filled or especially heavy. Extremely disappointed.

  11. I’ve had a few little niggly problems with mine. Much like in the test I bust a part of the netting (easily fixed with a zip tie) and the wheel started to rubbed on the inside of the mudguard (fixed by placing a spreader inside the mudguard to push it away fro the wheel.
    The trailer is easy to load once you get the hang of it. If it’s fully loaded and you want to detach form the bike you can remove the trailer from its fork and leave that part on the bike.
    I’ve ridden it over fairly techy ground up and down. If you get your speed up too high >30mph it can start a speed wobble but just make sure you have a good grip on the bars and you’ll be fine.
    It also tracks the rear wheel better than BOB Yak/Ibex and rear-wheel lifts are still do-able as the weight is on the trailer.

  12. I took one of these trailers on a trip around BC which was mostly off road and it didnt stand up to it at all… The mesh fell to bits the tire rubbed constantly despite packing it every way I could think of. Finally the plastic wheel arch broke which incidentially makes the trailer totally useless as it holds the bags away from the wheel. not something you want to find out when youre days away from the nearest town!…
    I pack fairly light but fitting a weeks worth of food in the bags meant that the speed wobble would send the whole thing flying off the back of the bike at anything over 25mph.
    Fine for an overnight but dont expect to carry youre life in it…
    Ill be sticking with my trusty (but heavy) bob next time…

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