A Guide To Bike Trailer Safety: Keeping Safe On The Road

A Guide To Bike Trailer Safety: Keeping Safe On The Road

A bike trailer does more than simply increase the carrying capacity of your bicycle. Bike trailers can make biking a mutually enjoyable experience for you and your child.

The same goes for your pet, should you choose to bring them with you on your bike ride. Bike trailer safety is one of the most important considerations.

While bike trailers are certainly great products for avid cyclists, some may have reservations about the safety aspect of using a bike trailer.

You will find that, like anything else, as long as you maintain safe practices and you are well aware of the intricacies of riding a bike with an attached trailer, your ride should go smoothly.

Bike Trailer Safety Concerns

There are many possible concerns when it comes to safely riding a bike with an attached trailer. We will be going over as many of these concerns as possible over the course of the next few paragraphs.

Handling

One consideration you have to make before deciding to purchase a bike trailer is how it will affect your handling. A bike trailer adds a decent amount of weight to your bicycle, so this will negatively impact your handling characteristics. It will make your steering a little more sluggish and will slow your acceleration and deceleration.

Bike Trailer Safety Handling

The heavier the trailer gets, the worse your handling will be, so it helps to be a reasonably proficient biker before deciding to purchase a bike trailer. As long as you are good at cycling, you will find that the addition of a bike trailer will not greatly affect your handling characteristics, as you will be able to account for it reasonably well.

Increased Length And Width

Beyond the worsened handling characteristics, you will also have to put more thought into biking with a trailer thanks to the increased size of your bike. This can, surprisingly, be one of the hardest parts to get used to when using a bike trailer because you always have to remind yourself that your bike is larger than it usually is.

Bike Trailer Length And Width

When riding with a bike trailer, you always have to be mindful of just how far back your trailer extends, since you will not always be able to look back over your shoulder. You will also have to keep in mind that you will not be able to fit through gaps which are as narrow since the bike trailer makes you over two times wider, if not more.

Decreased View

One other feature that many cyclists don't consider before purchasing their bike trailer is the decreased amount of vision you have when it is attached. You will not be able to see backward as well as you otherwise would with the trailer attached. Most bikes do not have any rear facing vision obstructions, so this may take a little while to grow accustomed to.

Decreased view on bike trailer

For this reason, it helps to attach aftermarket rear view mirrors if you find that your rearwards vision is obstructed too much by the addition of the trailer. Beyond the addition of rear view mirrors, you must endeavor to be as observant as possible while you are riding with a bike trailer, for both your occupant's safety and your own.

Weather

Another reason that many ask the question, "Is a bike trailer safe," is due to the weather. While most would not consider the weather as a reason that a bike trailer can be safe, you will find that adverse weather conditions can greatly exacerbate the handling issues caused by the trailer.

Bike Trailer On Bad Weather

For example, in the event of rain, you will find that your trailer will have difficulty getting a good deal of grip. This is due to the weight of a bike trailer, which is substantial enough to degrade the handling characteristics of your bike yet not heavy enough to get a good enough grip on wet pavement.

Dealing with snow is even worse as your bike trailer may get stuck while you are riding, potentially even throwing you from your bike. In weather conditions such as these, it helps to slow your speed a little bit while also being more careful.

Difficulty With Ascents

One more issue to consider due to the increased weight of your bike trailer is the difficulty of making ascents and even descents. Some hills will be much harder to climb than usual thanks to this added weight, so you will have to decide on a course of action that will make it an easier ride.

Bike Trailer Ascents

One solution is to adjust your gearing so you can climb the hill as easily as possible. This may not have as much of an effect as desired on certain steeper hills, however. In these cases, you would be better off opting for a detour so that you can still get to your destination.

Bike Trailer Accessories That Help With Safety

Before getting a bike trailer, you must be sure that you get the safety accessories you need.

Kids' Bike Helmets

When using a bicycle trailer for kids or a bike trailer for toddlers, it helps to ensure that your young one is as safe as possible. One of the best ways to ensure this is to get them a bike helmet that they can wear while they are inside of the trailer.

Bike Trailer Accessories

While this may not seem quite so useful thanks to the enclosed nature of certain trailers, it is better to be safe.

You may have to opt for a low profile children's bike helmet to let your child have a greater range of movement within the confines of the bike trailer. Larger bike helmets can cause discomfort due to their restrictive size, especially in smaller bike trailers.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few considerations to make about bike trailer safety before you make your purchase. Bike trailer safety is not as much of an issue as some would make it out to be.

As long as you are an attentive rider who has grown accustomed to your trailer, your ride should be safe. As always, if there are any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

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