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I want to go bike traveling soon. Slow and steady type, so i'm not looking to optimize anything that isn't weight. That said, i still expect to carry some heavy stuff with it from time to time and i want the thing to be capable of handling 80 pounds without issue. Right now i have a solid idea on how to build the thing except for... the wheels. I've looked about, asked for advice, i feel like i'm staring at some kind of jigsaw puzzle.

I've elected to take the same wheel size as my bike for the trailer, so i'm going for a pair of 27" wheels. That much i know.

I literally need someone to hold me by the hand with this. There are too many options, possibilities, hub sizes and types wildly varying price tags online, wheels for different tire sizes... I'm at my wits end.

If anyone can find me a suitable wheel under 100$CAD, you'll have saved me from anxiety and weeks of banging my head against this problem.

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  • 27" is one of those sizes that makes me want to check the ISO (bead seat diameter) size. While there should be only 2 different 27" sizes, and one of those rare, I've seen it misapplied to others
    – Chris H
    Sep 2, 2023 at 8:28
  • Post a photo of the labels on one of your tires, please. 27” can mean a couple sizes, none of them a good idea to invest in new wheels in. Consider 28”/700C wheels instead, unless you are dead set on moving old tires to the trailer or something.
    – oscu0
    Sep 2, 2023 at 9:05
  • could you elaborate why you want to make a trailer, rather than buy something off the shelf? Your weight requirements seem to be in the range of what you can buy pretty much anywhere for a reasonable budget.
    – Burki
    Sep 2, 2023 at 11:44

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To the extent this is a request for product recommendations, it is off-topic because we don't do those here. Any shop can get 27" front repair wheels for that price or under (each), and there are resellers online that have the same kinds of wheels.

There's not a lot of reason to look at anything but standard 100mm-spaced fronts unless, unless you have the notion of making the complete wheels and not just the tubes/tires interchange on to your bike as spares. So if the 27" is a lock, all you really need are 2 27" QR wheels. You could get bolt-on too but then you're carrying a 15mm wrench for no additional benefit. 5/16" axles exist among 27" front wheels; avoid those.

In other words: you want any 27" front (ISO 630) with an axle size of 3/8" or 10mm, and QR or bolt-on (nutted solid spindle) depending on your preference. Resellers are a little all over the place in how they might describe the rim width - you might see "27 x 1-1/4" or you might see something like an outside width in the 22-24mm range, or an inside in the 17-19mm range, all of which indicate the same type of common 27" rim. What you probably want to avoid for this purpose are the narrow 27" rims, which do still exist, that you might see indicated as "27 x 1-1/8" or approximately 20mm outside width, 15mm internal. Presuming you have the 27" size (ISO 630 as found primarily on drop-bar and other road-going bikes sold in the US in the 70s and to a lesser extent the 80s) and not 27.5" (ISO 584), you'll want to make sure to avoid any 27.5" wheels, which is a completely different wheel size.

Most trailer designs that use standard bike wheel take standard 100mm QR/bolt-on axles (10mm dropouts). A typical one would be something like an early Burley, where it's a square frame with 2 other tubes running down the middle, and then some dropouts made of angle aluminum bolted on.

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Giving up the inherent strength and lower center of mass that small wheels offer just to get tube, tire, and possibly spoke interchangeability is very questionable. This is especially true if you're doing a seatpost hitch (easier to fabricate but far more prone to tipping). The weight factor of needing to carry an additional tube more or less pays for itself since 20" wheels would be lighter.

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  • Could you pretty much either spell out the exact kind of search i have to do or list the exact specs I'm looking for? Every site has a dozen different options and i don't want to make a mistake. The goal is indeed to have only the tires be interchangeable, but all the details on the wheel width, the hub and my anxiety have been crippling me in the last two weeks. Sep 1, 2023 at 23:36
  • @GinoSoldier I added a few more details, but if it's all too much I might really recommend getting help from a shop if possible. Remember to get rim strips. Sep 2, 2023 at 1:24
  • If going off road, I'd want bigger wheels. 20" trailer wheels really tug you back when they hit a bump like a small pothole. But I'd set the trailer floor considerably lower than the axle to keep the centre of mass low
    – Chris H
    Sep 2, 2023 at 8:22
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    Now that I think about it, you could have a 100mm left and 130mm or whatever right wheel on a custom trailer if you’re really paranoid.
    – oscu0
    Sep 2, 2023 at 9:07
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    @oscu0 You could, but then when you go to actually use that redundancy, you have a trailer that will somehow need to function with the bad wheel. Sep 2, 2023 at 10:01

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