I am considering making or buying a bike trailer.

It seems to me that the most important desision I need to make is whether to have a one wheeled bike trailer like the Bob or a two wheeled bike trailer. It seems to me that both have their advantages. Does anyone have any reason why one is preferable to the other?

One wheeled bike trailer (Bob trailer):

alt text

Two wheeled bike trailer:

alt text

  • 2
    There's also the consideration, for casual, around-town use, that you must lash stuff into the 1-wheel trailer a bit better, whereas with the 2-wheel trailer (especially the kiddie style) you can plop a couple of bags of groceries in there and not worry about spilling stuff out if you fall or must lay the bike down. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 11:49
  • 1
    I find it interesting that the other answers recommend two wheel trailers for heavier loads, but it looks like they have no accommodation for a trailer brake. I have pulled loads too heavy to stop without a trailer brake with a single wheel trailer (and broke my shoulder) Single wheel trailers pull just fine with a heavy load, but whatever you do, get brakes!!!
    – hildred
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 2:20
  • 2
    Don't overbuild your trailer - I did a hill trip with an empty trailer yesterday. and it was horrible. Build it strong enough but not so heavy that its a load by itself.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 0:27

8 Answers 8


One-wheeled trailers are more agile and don't increase the width of your bike. They lean with the bike. If you're going to go really narrow places, you need one-wheel.

Two-wheeled trailers can generally carry more weight and are less prone to making the bike fall over when you stop.

So, what are you going to do with the trailer? Going up and down mountains with narrow trails: get a one-wheeled trailer. Carrying 50kg of equipment from the hardware store home using streets and wide paths: get a two-wheeled trailer.

  • 4
    Switching this to the accepted answer but wanted to add one note. After having tried both kinds of trailers I might add that dodging pot holes is almost impossible with a two wheeled trailer but is simple with a single wheel trailer. Single wheel trailers follow your bike wheels so if you miss a bump then so does the trailer. With a two wheeled bike trailer, you have to miss the bump with 3 wheels at different widths. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:17

Advantages of a one wheel bike trailer

  • Easier to add suspension
  • Less wide (less likely to be hit by a motorist)

Advantages of a two wheel bike trailer

  • More stable at low speeds
  • Climbs better (since it does not need momentum to remain up right)
  • Probably has more cargo capacity
  • Easier to make

I just built a trailer based on the Wike DIY kit.

I decided to make it after seeing this great looking trailer.

I don't have experience with single wheel trailers. I am happy so far, but my experience has been very limited. The intent was to use it for local cargo runs - not long-hauling/touring

I'll report more here as the months go by

Here is a shot of mine with its first load alt text

  • Wow, that looks like a great trailer! Thanks for the link. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 22:42

My personal experience is go with the one-wheel trailer... you won't even know its behind you if you pack it balanced. My trailer is just like the first picture and while I was training for a 100+ mile ride - I loaded it down with gallon water jugs... and if I got really tired pulling it I just poured the water out(usually some on me - it gets really hot in SC). Once I got use to it behind me - taking corners and such was really easy. Friends of mine with two wheel trailers always have to take corners wider (increasing their turning distance) and the trailer would just tip over to one wheel when they had to take a tight corner risking stuff falling out.


I have used both styles. I would recommend a single-wheeled trailer for touring or fast riding, because they corner with you, and fewer wheels should mean less rolling resistance, and less wheels to get flat tires.

For around-town hauling, I recommend buying a Bikes-At-Work trailer. They have a modular system that allows the trailer to be about 3', 6' or 8', and you can vary where the axle is.

For example, if you need to haul a 32' extension ladder, you can set it up like this.

But if you fit your goods in a some large bins, you might choose the 3 foot length.

The photo linked above is of my own Bikes-at-Work trailer. I have lots more on Flickr.


I only have a one-wheel trailer (Bob Yak), but after cycling over 4000km with the heavy loaded trailer on several tandem tours I would not change. We even had no problems at low speed (climbing up hills).

I really like a narrow trailer which is following the bike on the same track. With a two-wheel trailer you have to pay much more attention, especially when the road surface is bad and covered with pot-holes.

But if you have a heavy load with a high balance point and a light bicycle, you probably better use a two-wheel trailer.


I'm adding this many years after the original question because it's even more relevant now. Here's my experience for anyone who is interested.

First of all it depends what you want the trailer for. No bike trailer will do 100% everything you will want it to do. You will always have to compromise. I bought a large sized Trixie dog trailer for carrying a large weekly family shopping and any other large and heavy cargo. It's fully enclosed and secure so nothing will fall out of it. Fill your large reusable shopping bags at the checkout and then just load them into the trailer just like into the boot of a car, throw in anything else anywhere, zip it up and go. I've carried slightly over 70kg but my average load is around 50kg. The trailer itself weighs 13kg. It's been very stable with no problems at up to 50km/h on a downhill stretch on the way home. It hasn't got suspension. For me it's been very versatile and turned my bike into a real world alternative to a car.

But....It's definitely not for touring. Although I suppose you could if you wanted to for a relatively short tour. I use it at least once a week and sometimes several times a week. But I wanted a large covered "cargo" trailer as a utilitarian car replacement and with about 1,000km on the road with it so far, it's been a great choice for me. I am currently thinking about getting a flat bodied trailer large enough to carry a lawnmower and other things too. I'm just riding an ordinary pedal power only hybrid bike for pulling power.


If you ever consider having a more than two-wheeled bicycle, e.g. a recumbent trike, you can no longer use one-wheeled, a.k.a. inline trailers because they will add a lot of lateral torque while cornering, making the whole train fall over to the outside of the corner far easier.

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