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trailers vs. panniers: what is your experience?

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WS Member WS Member's picture
trailers vs. panniers: what is your experience?


So far, we are travelling with panniers - 2 on the back-rack; each is about 5 kg. Plus a backpack for water and snacks. We do asphalt and xcountry 50-50

I do not like the way the bike behaves with this load: it is wobbly at low speed, it likes to rear in steep places.

Now I do consider to use a trailer instead.

what are your experiences? Do you prefer panniers or a trailer and why?


I am considering a topeak journey tx because it does seem to offer a good price/quality ratio for our shopping. Anybody else using that trailer? any optinions regarding this one?

I have thru-axles , 27.5" tyres and the trailer must cater to that without me fiddling too much.

All opinions welcome. 

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WS Member WS Member's picture

I've toured with both and I'm back to panniers.  My recommendation is to place a rack on the front and a couple more panniers.  This balances the weight and I have never had a wobble.  A trailer on a hill is like throwing out an anchor.

WS Member WS Member's picture
re: trailers vs panniers

what the other fellow said about panniers on the front -- I agree with completely.  

I have toured with a trailer on a tandem.  the entire rig was Very Long!  (we were called "the train" by other cyclists ;-)  it worked.  

WS Member WS Member's picture

Thanks for the insights! 'the train' make me laugh! Must have been quite a sight.

the issue with front-carrier is, that on a fully that is a bit complicated (and costly) to implement. (as is the trailer, I know)

WS Member WS Member's picture
If you plan to get a trailer

If you plan to get a trailer because the bags affect the handling of the bike, you should definitely go for a two wheeled one. We toured with a Bob Yak which is a very nice trailer and I still like it for out weekly shopping. Nevertheless, if you put a lot of load on a single wheeled trailer ( >20kg) it affects the handling of the bike a lot. Additionally it ads 5 - 10 kg to the total weight, so I'd definitely second what has been said about it being an anchor. That's why I went back to panniers after one tour. 


Unregistered anon_user's picture
In france trailer is forbiden

In france trailer is forbiden in train you have to desassemble it  so panniers is easier for me ... 


my tubus rack is  630 g (standard) + visserie 148 g and 2 ortielb panniers are  1680 g  and a seato summit hydrolic bag 437 g

less than 5kg and less than a bob yak 6.1 kg plus 1.20 bag for exemple