18

Many of us pull bike trailers - whether one-wheeled or two-wheeled -- cargo or kids.

What is the best way to lock up trailers - especially when you're commuting? Most trailers come with a quick-release attachment to the bike, which means they're also easy to steal.

  • 4
    Its not just the trailer, sometimes you are carrying a load because that's what trailers are for. – Criggie Dec 2 '16 at 8:01
  • 20
    @Criggie Yeah but locking the kids to the bike stand is frowned upon in most jurisdictions. – David Richerby Dec 2 '16 at 8:52
  • Depending on the shops you want to visit and the quality of your trailer, you may be able to bring it in with you. – Willeke Jun 1 at 18:17
9

I have a Burley pet/cargo trailer and when I take it to the store, I use a long (~ 3 meter) cable with a loop on the ends. I loop the one end around itself on one wheel, loop it around the hitch bar, thread it through the spokes of the other wheel, loop it around the hitch bar again, then lock it through my bike's U-lock.

It's not super secure since the wheels have quick releases (as does the hitch bar), so it wouldn't take long enough to pop them off and untangle the cable from the hitch bar, but it's a mild deterrent against a quick "smash and grab" theft.

Plus they'd have to leave the wheels behind, which would make the trailer pretty useless, especially if the thief is going to try to sell it so he's probably not going to want to have to buy replacement wheels.

On the downside, it's just a 10mm cable, so wouldn't take much work for a thief to cut through it.

I wouldn't want to leave it parked all day like this, but for a shopping trip with bike rack in a high-traffic location near the front of the store, it's worked out fine.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I have left the family dog in the trailer with it all parked outside a supermarket. Worked well, in that we still have a dog and a trailer. – Criggie Dec 2 '16 at 8:00
  • 1
    @Criggie, obviously I've never met your dog, and dogs do get stolen, but even a little fluffy thing could be a deterrent in its own right. But I'm not suggesting you try an experiment without the dog. – Chris H Dec 2 '16 at 8:11
  • 1
    I don't know about your Burley trailer, but mine has a small section of exposed frame near the front, so I make sure to loop my cable through that when I lock it up. – Nick Weinberg Dec 2 '16 at 19:11
4

A bike trailer isn't particularly easy to transport if you haven't planned for it. So opportunists won't take much deterring. Some form of lock on the trailer itself would be a good idea, but this would depend on the trailer design - a cable may be your only realistic option if it's loaded .

The contents may be more of a risk, so simple measures like not putting anything easily portable/valuable obvious on top would be a good idea.

If you're regularly parking a trailer somewhere for long periods (e.g. commuting with it for transporting a child or shopping) you really could do with D-locking the frame to something solid even if it's fiddly. But some trailers don't have a single looped bit of metal - this may even be relevant in choosing your trailer. If this isn't an option, taking a wheel or two in with you would be good. Unlike with bikes, it wouldn't be so easy to steel a wheel off another trailer to complete a stolen one. Alternatively you could remove a wheel from the trailer and lock it in the same D-lock you use for your bike.

3

I have a Croozer Kid Plus 2 for 2 seasons I recently had to leave it outside for some time. I struggled for w while to find a place where I can slip my U lock. Eventually I used a cable I fortunately had with me and wrapped it around the beam that goes underneath the trailer.

enter image description here

There are no gaps between the frame and the trailer body. Bumpers are open on one side – no luck here. Locking the hitch bar with a provided key is pointless as it can be detached on the trailer-side with one hand (with I do every time I use it and love the practicallity of it :))

Update: I've purchased a 2 meter Kryptonite cable, wrapped it around the beam underneath the trailer and it sits there permanently. It's just long enough so I can u-lock my bike and the trailer cable to the same object.

3

I have a Burley Flatbed on an expensive Pedego Interceptor. I bought two Abus 55MB/40HB63 (brass) padlocks from Amazon. They have long, 1/4" shanks (shackles). One for where the trailer tongue fixes to the trailer and one for where the trailer connects to the bike. Fits like a glove! Only need to take the key to where it fixes to the bike with me. Read about this elsewhere but wanted to provide the data on the padlocks and size of shank.

  • 2
    Thanks and welcome to the site! Can you post a photo of your setup? – RoboKaren May 31 at 14:42
2

Consider the trailer its own vehicle and lock it away independently. A trailer should carry its own locks, just like your bike does.

Pulling a long chain lock through both wheels is quite effective (although a bit cumbersome if you have a wide trailer). So is locking both wheels to fixed objects like lanterns. Depending on your threat assessment, you could even go for the overkill and lock everything that has enough room to fit a lock through to something.

Key in all this is to consider the bike trailer its own vehicle. Lock your bike like you'd usually lock it, remove the trailer and park it somewhere safe. Locks will help you with that, just like they do with your bike.

2

Except treating trailer as a single unit with its own lock (capable of locking at least one wheel and the frame to bicycle stand) there is something more you can do as an additional protection.

Inspired by the way some car trailers are secured to the car hook, I recommend finding a way to complicate unauthorized detach.

If your trailer use Thule ezHitch axle mount or similar, you can find a way to make hard to take the cotter out (custom cotter with padlock eye) enter image description here

If not possible, you can consider adding additional flexible secure connection (lock cable /chain), that will not get between spokes.

2

I have a trailer like the others pictured here. However it also has a removable handlebar across the back and a third wheel at the front, and the drawbar can fold underneath, turning it into an odd-looking three-wheel pushchair/pram.

Don't need to lock it outside the supermarket if you're pushing it around inside the supermarket. Only downside is its a fraction wider than a normal shopping trolley/cart so other people tend to clip it.

  • 1
    That's a good point. Having a similar trailer myself I I've definitely found places that I wouldn't take it but would take a normal pushchair - the trailer picks up road grime and looks dirty as well as being big, but supermarkets are fine – Chris H Jul 26 '17 at 6:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.