I'm upgrading my dog's ride from our old beat-up kid Burley, to a trailer made specifically for pets. I've found one with aluminum frame that looks affordable & comfy for my pooch.... Question: would 16" or 20" wheels be better for a variety of road conditions, including off-road? Don't want it to be so bouncy for him that he gets sea-sick. Thanks in advance!

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    Using the dog''s bedding in the trailer can help it feel better about being in the trailer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 19:46
  • Depending on your dog's temperament, you may need to leash him/her in so they can't jump off at the sight of a cat/squirrel/another-dog etc
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 19:46
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    MTBers went 29" because they roll over stuff better and run lower pressures for the same weight carrying. Fatter tires mean lower pressure and more bump absorbing i.e. more comfort. For comfort, bigger and fatter is best.....
    – mattnz
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 21:48
  • You might consider fabricating a hammock style suspended seat for the dog so he sways rather than bounces.
    – mikes
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


I don't have a dog, but that means my trailer passenger can speak.

Specifically she can complain about the rough ride compared to the child seat on the back of my bike. That's with 16x1.75s pumped up to a pressure intended more for her comfort than my ease of riding (compared to a seat with minimal padding over the top of a 700x28 at 80psi). Trailers are much rougher than bikes, so you want to minimise that. Go for the bigger wheels. The higher centre of gravity isn't nearly as much of an issue as it would be on a bike, because trailers are so much more stable.

In addition to the choice of wheels, remember that it's much harder to avoid bumps when you've got 3 tracks to keep off them, two of which are behind you and not in line with your body. With cars around you often can't keep the nearside trailer wheel out of all the potholes. Your passenger, whether human or canine, is likely to get bumped around more than you.

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    Ride Height is due frame design, not wheel side. - Extreme example cycletote.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mastiff-2.jpg
    – mattnz
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 21:45
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    @mattnz, you are of course right. However very few trailers with small wheels (IME) do anything clever about the ride height - the base of the trailer body is usually just below the horizontal frame which includes the hub mounts, though sometimes the hub mounts are just on top of that frame for an improvement of around 25mm. Exceptions with 20" wheels tend to be expensive, and with 16" wheels ground clearance starts to be an issue.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 7:07

Larger diameter wheels will roll over surface irregularities easier, but bear in mind that they add a bit of mass, and will raise the trailer up which may cause stability problems.

Larger tires at a lower pressure will smooth out the ride also.

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