Selecting a Bicycle to Use with a Bikes At Work Trailer
Our bike trailers work best with a good mountain bike. This style of bike has low gears, strong wheels, and powerful brakes. The bike doesn't have to be fancy; in fact, we recommend using as simple a mountain bike as possible. For the details of why we recommend this, see below.
Our standard trailer hitch attaches to the seatstay and chainstay tubes on the left-hand side of the bike frame, just ahead of the rear wheel axle.
If there is something already mounted in that position (e.g., a kickstand), our hitch will not fit. A disc brake caliper mounted on top of the seatstay will not interfere with our hitch, but one bridging the two tubes will interfere.
The chainstay tube needs to be relatively straight and not at an odd angle. Also, the chainstay and seatstay tubes need to be permanently fixed together; i.e., it can't be a pivot joint as is found on some full-suspension mountain bikes.
If you are unsure our hitch will fit your bike, or if you would like a custom hitch to fit your bike, email us with a link to the picture of the left-hand side of your bike.
If you plan to carry much weight, you will want a bike with low gears. Most bikes with 18 or more gears or "speeds" usually have enough low gears to pull heavy loads.
Your bike will need to have good brakes if you plan to use the trailer to its full capacity. The most powerful types of brakes available are disc brakes and linear pull brakes ("V-brakes"), which are typically used on mountain bikes. Good cantilever brakes are OK, too. If you plan to load your trailer to its capacity, we do not recommend using a road bike equipped with side-pull or center-pull brakes nor a single-speed bike equipped with a coaster brake.
Regardless of the type of brake you have, its cables and pads should be adjusted to provide maximum stopping power. A well-adjusted inexpensive brake will outperform a poorly-adjusted expensive one.
All else being equal, small wheels are stronger and provide a lower overall effective gear ratio than a bike with large wheels. For that reason, we recommend using a bike equipped with 26" wheels over a bike equipped with 27", 700c, or 29" wheels. (If you are unsure what size wheel you have, it should be visible on the side of the tire.)