Whether having panniers or a bicycle trailer for bicycle touring is best, is an ongoing source of debate among touring cyclists. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, their lovers and haters. As I have used both set-ups on my long distance cycling expeditions, I thought I would write about my own thoughts and experiences on the subject. You can take it from there!
Are Panniers Or Bicycle Trailers Better For Bicycle Touring?
Firstly, I should begin by saying that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Whether you use one or the other comes down to you and the situation you think you might use them in. Some people even combine the use of both, and tow a full trailer as well as having a further four panniers attached to their bicycles. Personally, this would be a little heavy for me, but each to their own!
By the way, you might want to check out this video on panniers vs trailers for bicycle touring:
Bicycle Touring Panniers
Bicycle Touring With A Bicycle Trailer
One of the much vaunted benefits of using a trailer over panniers, is that it puts a lot less stress on the bicycles rear wheel, reducing the amount of broken spokes and even damage to the rear hub. This is due to the way that the weight is distributed, and is certainly worthy of consideration when deciding which sort of touring set-up to go for. The downside to this, is that as there are one or more extra wheels on the trailer, the chances of punctures increase, spare tubes specific to the trailer may need to be carried, and there are extra hubs to keep in mind. Thankfully, broken spokes are a real rarity on quality bicycles trailers such as a Bob Yak Trailer, so spare spokes normally don't need to be taken for them.
Going downhill is always better!
Dave's Verdict On Using Panniers and Bicycle Trailers On A Bike Tour
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