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Hey guys- I am planning on embarking on a long tour in about a year's time, and need some info from you all. I am planning on using a BOB trailer for my hauling needs, and was wondering... how good a product is this? I got one for Christmas, and the quality looks pretty good. But the wheel is small, and I was wondering whether in your opinion it will be necessary to carry a spare wheel for the trailer with me.
I am planning on keeping weight to an absolute minimum, but anticipate I will have around 30lbs of gear back there, and some of the roads I will be on are quite bumpy. I say all this just to give you all an idea of what kind of (ab)use the trailer will face.
Can someone with experience with these kinds of things please advise me?
 

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I have the IBEX and have used it on the Cand O Canal / GOP trails about 335 miles each way, hauling tools on trail workdays, over night camping trips, and even to run to the grocery store. I also am doing the Great Divide Trail in July. The BOB is great and would never go back to panniers. The small wheel is just the right size and had no trouble going over any log that I rode over even loaded as well as any other problems except one flat. The only thing I will say if you are going to tour with it is get extra retaining clips and maybe an extra skewer just in case you lose or bend one. If you ride with 30 lbs. on it you probably will forget it is behind you and will have no problems.
 

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I plan on getting one and the only negative I found on them is at high speeds going down hill they will fish tale. I read that in a few places but you never know how they packed the trailer or how they were riding. I was hoping to have one for my upcoming ride but grainte counter tops got in the way. Oh well always next year but from what I read you won't regret buying one.
 

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I bought the Yak this winter and have been out on a few paved bike trails with it and it's AWESOME. I loaded it up with 35lbs behind my 26er' and going down hill I hit 35MPH with no problems. I know it's not off-road, but that's all my experience with it so far.

Here's a great video with a guy on singletrack pulling a IBEX:

 

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That Unicycle Guy
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a few years ago I did a 300km trip with a friend. I had an Xtracycle extension on my bike and he had a BOB. I carried about 40lbs of gear and he had about 30. We swapped bikes a few time to test out each others setups.

We both agreed that the Xtracycle preformed better on rough roads and trails, especially when they had were soft from rain. On hardtop it was pretty much a wash but being able to quickly drop the trailer and ride back for something you forgot was a nice bonus.
 

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I did the entire Great Divide Mountain bike Route with it and it held up great over 2600 miles. Of the people that we saw on the trail, all but two were using them and no one had any problems to speak of. As for your wheel question- a smaller wheel will be stronger, so no need to worry about carrying an extra, but be aware of tread wear on the tire, as it will happen at roughly twice the pace of your other tires.

My average load was roughly 60lbs. One thing you will want to watch out for- once the weight gets over 75lb (which it can quickly if you have to carry large amounts of water), it has a tendency to steer the bike at downhill speeds over 25mph. It's not terrible, but certainly a creepy feeling the first time it happens.
 

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newfydog
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I have done much of the Great Divide and the BC Transcanada with just an old man mountain rack and rear panniers. Several times a friend with a BOB has joined us.

Everytime, they have gone to panniers and left the BOB home the nest year. They are just not worth the weight and hassle.

The BoB people will disagree, but my wife, a middle aged recreational biker, cleaned Fleecer Ridge on the Great divide, and left a bunch of strapping young men with Bobs in her wake.

Don't even get me starterd on lifting them over gates, fitting them in a rental car, etc.
 

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I did ~900 miles of the GDMBR thru CO and NM with an Ibex last summer. I used a Turner 5-Spot Mine was loaded too heavy for my liking (~55lbs, perhaps) and it did sometimes steer for me on downhill sections. I like how it tracks on DH stuff. I hate how hard it is to park the bike or lean it up when attached, however. I did the jackknife trick to prop it up and still the bike fell over a ton of times. Bad things: my rear fender plastic ripped out of the mounting screws. My BoB drybag wore thru at the points where it contacts the frame -- I rode with two other guys with the same setup and theirs too were wearing away. BoB needs to reinforce those parts of the frame. It is heavy, especially the Ibex. I am not sure that the rear shock is totally necessary for the GDMBR. The Yak might be just fine.

BTW: I strapped two water bottle cages to each side of my fork (Vanilla RLC) and also put on an aero bar with an extra tire jutting out ahead of the bike. I used hair bands to strap the map down to the tire and it worked way better than those flat map cases that strap to your handlebars. The extra weight up front keeps the front from kicking up on the climbs.

Two last things that might help 1. don't overdo it during your first time on the GDMBR. I was in pretty good shape but I tried to really crank out some miles during my first five days; I like to hammer out of the saddle. I ended up straining my ankle muscles and my left leg was in really bad shape for a week or so. The extra weight has to be treated with a lot more patience no matter how fit you are. 2. bring extra spokes and nuts and bolts for your bike. You are putting a lot of stress on the rear of your bike. After we parted ways one guy I rode alongside tacoed his rear wheel (it was on a new hard tail, probably machine laced). He was a rookie and didn't know how to fix much on his bike, but without spokes and nips he had no chance. The closest bike shop was something like 120 miles in the wrong direction -- Albuquerque). He spent a few more days getting his horse working, whereas I never used any of my own spokes and extras. Luck of the draw, I suppose. If you're interested in my setup let me know and I'll send you a picture link from the trip.
Best,
Mal
 

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Has anyone used the Bob Ibex with a full-suspension bike for an extended period of time? I've got my trailer hooked up to a Devinci Magma and am wondering about how the trailer might affect the pivots in the rear suspension. I'm using it for trail building and maintenance on pretty rocky, technical tracks but would probably only be carrying around 20kg.
 
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I pulled a BOB Yak for 1.5yrs almost daily
the best thing is that it comes off

I also had an Ibex... didn't use it that much, and sold it.

sold both trailers

but kept the Dry Saks

Dry Saks are better than the trailers.

in that I mean to say... its 17lbs!
and for what?
to carry cargo?

as I discovered racks and panniers
I discovered if I actually was hauling items that necessitated the BOB trailer
what I found was that typically I everything fit into panniers...

it really depends on what you are carrying

from one extreme you can whittle things down to a minimum and use frame bags in the BikePacking method

to using a cargo bike to haul crazy big loads
 

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I have to chime in here. I'm a fan. The single wheel lets me hug the curb, if I'm riding on the street, or it tracks so direct, that I can maneuver singletrack just fine.

I used my (rigid) BOB to carry six sealed lead acid batteries for a 72 volt / 40 amp Crystalyte hub motor for a while. This was about eighty pounds. It was all loaded toward the back of the BOB, strapped down, closest to the little 16" wheel. This rig would go high speeds most of the time around 33 mph on the smooth tarmac streets. (Max speed was about 41, but you really had to crank it to get there) - anyway, I did not have a problem with fishtailing.

Similar to fishtailing, it gets "shaky" at slow speeds and just moving the bike around. Like the weight almost vibrates back and forth, it's hard to explain, but the bike is "jittery" with a load at walkign speeds - once you get moving, it smooths out.

The problem with the "jacknifing" (while walking the bike backwards or loading) was annoying, but once I put the sidestand and the center stand on the trailer - I never had that problem again. Also, you learn to get better at backing up with a trailer and so forth. It's all about both - have racks and baskets, then attache the trailer when you need to haul more.

Yes, there were times when I experienced the fishtailing phenomenon, but it was rare, and I would just slow down. It was not often, and I don't know what caused it. In my opinion, single wheel trailers are HIGH SPEED trailers. I would FLY around with that thing, but I wouldn't feel as confident with more wheels sticking out back there. I could LEAN into curves - these tests were done at electric motor speeds, normal people don't pedal that fast - and I can seriously attest to the BOB's high speed handling, and it's superb.

What I find to be more annoying, that I haven't seen mentioned yet, is that it would bounce. The lighter the load, the more it would bounce - it doesn't really seem to hinder your control of the bike, but it's disconcerting. At one stage in it's life, I had a hub motor in the BOB's wheel, driving the bike with the trailer - I got the idea from something called the "MotoBOB" - when the trailer bounced it would lose traction to propel me, and then when it touched ground again, it would spin out - so the trailer driven thing didn't really work out with the bob - unless you only ride on smoooooth roads. (Keep in mind, I have the rigid version, I bet the IBEX solves most of these issues, but I don't know)

If you drop off a curb, the trailer could get hung up, but I guess that's will any trailer.

I don't know why they never came with a kickstand, but I added both a regular Greenfield sidestand to the BOB, as well as a center stand - on the BOB only. Both of these stands hold the entire rig up very securely, it's actually really cool.

In it's current configuration, my bob became a limousine trailer - about twice the length of a regular bob, with huge motorcycle saddlebags over the trailer's wheel. There's a beefy steel rack welded on there to support it.

The way it attaches at the axle, makes it handle so well. Surly's new trailers attach in a similar way, but they're dualies, and I'm not interested in anything that has more than one wheel. It keeps the leans proper.

The fact that it is detachable, as someone said above, is why I prefer it over a cargo bike. I wouldn't be able to put a big dummy in my bedroom, or on a trunk car bike rack (sideways, on my little Honda - I guess I could, but - no), so if you don't have a garage, a big dummy is going to be really hard to home.

I like racks on bikes, maximizing your cargo capabilities on your main frame first - and only when you need the extra capacity, then you can attach the trailer. This is because when all the racks and baskets and bags are on your two wheels, you can maneuver the entire scenario into elevators, up stairwells, into apartments, etc - much easier than a "big rig" - This is important if you live in limited space and don't want to leave it locked outside.

Oh yeah, and plus one on the dry sack - it's worth at least half the cost. I use it on my motorcycle for long trips too - it's like a huge ortlieb dry duffle or something. I also had it on a 29'er with Schwalbe Big Apples 2.5's, not much clearance, but works just fine - never had a problem - never tried it with knobby 29'ers but the Schwalbes weren't skinny.

I'll try to take a picture of mine later, but until then - here's one that's a million times cooler than mine, which was also partially the inspiration for me to customize my rigid BOB. All credits go to the original photographer/builder - I found this on an image search. He's even got a Chris King Headset for the Headtube of the Trailer's Fork! Here is the LINK to his blog

 

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Bob's great...TW Bents nearly as good...cheap chinese copy of Bents...average

I've done 3 trips with cargo trailers

1st over 3 days and mainly unmade roads with a borrowed bob...no problems but tried to fishtail a bit at speeds over 50 kmh....about 120km

2nd trip was 4 days over part of Mawson Trail in South Australia and used a TW Bents...only problem was that spring pin that holds axle lock in place rattled free...temporary fix with zip tie...about 220km over mostly unmade roads and some single track

3rd trip this last easter 4.5 days on unmade roads and some single track from Quorn to Blinman on Mawson Trail in South Australia...lots of creek crossings...sandy and rocky and some seriously rocky passes...plus some bad corrugations on one 30km stretch. This was 320 km and carried around 20kg (metric)...we had a BOB(best), 2 TW Bents(good) and 2 Chinese copies of TW Bents(ok...skewer biggest weakness)...but all made it without problems.

Just take spare tyre and tube and plenty of zip ties...this is best and cheapest way to go touring without setting up a bike specially for touring...trailers never prevented riding on rough stuff or single track...
 

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