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Touring Equipment

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Touring Equipment

Hello, I'm looking to do a 1 1/2 week bike tour touring 40- 80 miles per day. I'm seriously considering a trailer instead of panniers, and trying to decide between a BobGear Yak vs Ibex. Does anyone have experience with either of these or another trailer I should consider. Thanks much!

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bob vs panniers

Hi there
we have a lot of experience with both panniers and bob ibex.
We have ridden the same rough 2 week off road trip in australia, once with panniers, once with Bob.
And we are now on a 3 year trip from alaska to argentina. Ali started with Bob Ibex, I with panniers.
We find there is no real difference in what you can or cannot ride with either, that depends much more on your bike and the weight distribution.
There is no right or wrong. I think Ali still likes the Bob better, but we had a mechanical with it (broken wheel bearings) which would be a big hassle to repair here in Central America. Therefore he swapped to panniers. I think he would swap back if we were to do a shorter trip.
Advantage of the Bob:
- it is faster uphill, and with headwinds (less wind resistence)
- it's nice to take off quickly, then you just have your good old bike without all the racks.
Disadvantage of Bob:
- difficult to take in plane/ back of small car etc
- one more item that can break
- unstable with strong sidewinds
Advantage of panniers:
- stronger (if you invest money in good panniers and racks)
- easier to travel with on public transport
- easier to pack, cause you have multiple compartments, and not everything together in one big bag
Disadvantage of panniers:
- heavier
- more resistence with headwind

Bob ibex is better on rough terrain then bob yak, we've heard of 2 cases where the rear axel broke.
hope this ll help,

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You don't say you're going

You don't say you're going off-road -- I would reommend you consider the Burley Nomad trailer if you're on roads. I have found it is much more convenient than a BOB, doesn't stress the bike at all. I'm not convinced that I want to use a trailer rather than panniers for my next trip, but I do know that if I use a trailer it will be the Nomad, not BOB (I own both, absurdly enough).

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In my experience the less equipment the better. It's terrificly liberating to do with less. Whatever you may need for say 4 days will probaly do for several weeks. that was my experience. |However, I'm not sure whether you're cooking (I wasn't - lots of picnics, and cafes most days once) or what season you're in. so I'd go for panniers. Either way, kep it simple. Have fun! I found 2 small panniers enough for 6 weeks in the European summer.

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Burley Nomad

I've used the Burley Nomad for a 1500 mile and 250 mile road tour. I like the ease of loading and unloading, two-wheel stability, plus you can add an extra top rack on the trailer if you'd like. Weight distribution in your packing is a bit more forgiving than with panniers, plus you may find carting bulkier items such as tents or extra water bottles / jugs much more easy to pack / stow. I never noticed any problems with controlling the bicycle or the trailer while pedalling along.

My purpose in going with a trailer versus panniers was at the time of the 1500 mile trip, I was still in a recovery phase of a severely broken arm. I figured there would be less strain riding my bicycle pulling a trailer. Since I never toured with panniers, I can't say if one is better than the other, but I'm more than happy with my decision and have no plans to switch to panniers in the future.

In the 'for what it's worth' department, one of my touring partners decided to go the trailer route himself after our 1500 mile ride. He went with a Bob and seems happy with that choice.

You can check out some photos and commentary about the rides on my web site at The relevant rides are the Tour de COhio and my Milford-Mansfield ride.

If it's possible to borrow a trailer before your trip, load it up and take it for a spin and see what you think.

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