June 2009 we equipped Dylan and Ryan for their bicycle expedition through Indonesia. They had a bicycle trailer that immediatley caught my eye as mechanical engineer. A standard wheel with mudguard and panniers that was connected to the rear wheel with an ingenious linckage.
Their intense search for the perfect bicycle touring trailer had led them to the Extrawheel Voyager.
My internet research returned exactly what they raved about: The lightest and most versatile trailer in the world with almost everybody endorsing it in the forums. Here a few highlights:
- With 3 kg (2.15 kg without wheel) the lightest single wheel trailer in the world
- Packs small. If your bike bags fits a spare wheel it fits the Extrawheel Voyager. No extra hazzles with flying to your destination
- Less Drag than with front panniers (see Russ's comment at the bottom)
- Less rolling resistance by using a large standard wheel
- Reduces the load on the Bicycle and on the front wheel. Easier to steer and added security on soft ground
- Can be used with any pannier, rack or wheel. Your freedom to put your dream setup together.
- Always a spare tyre with you
How can it be that lightweight and small?The secret lies in the ingenious fork. It takes it's stability and durability out of being loaded like a spring. Have a look at the trailer above and you will see how it has been pulled apart to clamp the trailer frame.
This technology is often applied in aeronautics and space engineering. All you do is pull the fork apart and flip it over the quick release lock of the rear weel. The actual trailer frame is then a lightweight tyre, pannier and mudguard holder.
Because of this "spring" design the trailer packs very small and is easily put together. All you take with you is a spare wheel, a little frame, an additional mudguard and your panniers.
Is it durable?The Extrawheel trailer is the choice of a lot of recent extreme cycling expeditions. Look at the blogs of some of these adventures. You will find that 7000 km and more have been clogged up in more than rugged terrain. Terrain that you will most likely never encounter.
Our trailer is now many years old, has been from Brisbane to Canberra and from Perth to Broome with little sign of wear.
Also noteworthy is that we still have the initial set of spare parts lying around. Nobody has ever asked for spare parts.
Is it safe?Definitely safer than having a load on your front tyre or pulling any of the other trailers on the market. Safety in cycling is determined by the forces at work when you roll and most important when you brake.
A load on the front wheel puts more strain on your arms tyring you. When braking these loads ad forces to the wheel that already takes the brunt of the braking load. If you ad a loose surface the risk of your front wheel swaying away increases a lot. Even if you ride on tarmac the extra load puts more strain on the front wheel with a higher risk of breaking spokes or puncturing the tyre.
The Extrawheel frame puts the entire load as close as possible to the centre of the trailer wheel. With the wheel being a standard front wheel you get a setup that minimzes the loads on the bicycle (nearly indepent) and reacts nearly the same as the rest of the bicycle. This is why you have to remind yourself that you are pulling a trailer.
Any Cons?It is manufactured in Europe. Everybody complained about the expensive shipping costs to Australia.
As we believe in making exceptional good products available to Australia we decided to distribute Extrawheel in Australia.
We offer you the Extrawheel Voyager Solo (no wheel) for $274.95 delivered to your door.
Why no wheel?
After consulting with a lot of people it makes more sense for Australia. First a standard wheel costs $50 but doubles the package volume and therefore the freight to you. Instead of spending on freight invest in the wheel. Then it makes sense to get the same wheel you use on your bike. Means you have spares if something ugly happens.
Where can I get it?
From us directlyor from your favourite bicycle retailer. All he needs to do is give us a call (07 5445 0288) and provide us with his credit card and we will ship it to him.
More InfoThe Extrawheel website is a great source of information
Recent Australian Forum postings
Australian Cycling Forums - Extrawheel Pannier Models
Australian Cycling Resource Centre
Blogs and Website of Australian Bicycle Expeditions using Extrawheel
Canning Stock Route
10 Deserts Solo Cycle Epic - Please supprt and donate to the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Banda Aceh to Bali
And to sum it up a testimonial from Russ (10 deserts Solo) on contacting him and asking if we can support him:
...I've also used the conventional extrawheel in another charity fund-raiser ride on road from Perth to the Gold coast. My riding buddy and I were able to average 200km a day on mountain bikes, not using panniers. 4400km in 21 days; no rest days! Soooo much less drag than for panniers!...
Have any more questionsGive us a call on 07 5445 0288 and ask for Edward.
To purchase click here.