My wife often pulls a child-laden trailer (~65 lbs) behind her ebike. I'm considering adding a hitch to my bike so I can also pull the trailer.


  1. Are there any bike components other than brakes that you would expect to wear faster than other components with this setup? (Obviously brakes will wear faster when required to slow down a heavier load.)
  2. Are there certain bikes or bike components that are more suited for hauling loads like this?

My bike is a steel frame Marin Nicasio. It has a Shimano Claris drivetrain. I use it for riding dirt and gravel.

  • 1
    You're going to ride less "aggressive" with a trailer full of kids, at least because it's significantly harder to accelerate, so I guess your brakes will actually wear slower. ;)
    – Karl
    Commented May 22 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


Some components will wear faster when pulling a trailer, but the key question is "how much faster?"


As you already pointed out, the brake pad and disk wear rate will be the most noticeable change


Everytime your brake pad wear rate goes up you can count on tyres' wear rate going up too. Trailer has no brakes, so all braking forces will go through your brakes and tyre-to-surface contact. Expect to wear through tyres quicker (especially rear)


Depending on how you ride when you pull the trailer, you may be putting more or less strain on your drivetrain and it could increase the wear rate


I would not expect any considerable increase in wear / fatigue to a steel frame as long as trailer hitch is well designed and properly attached.

Wheel and bb bearings

Pulling a trailer should not increase wear of bearings by noticeable amount

  • 2
    The nose weight of the trailer will also add to rear tyre wear. And towing is fairly hard work, which has to go through the drivetrain, even if you can sometimes go slower.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 11 at 18:58
  • 2
    OTOH (and I'm just back from a particularly filthy gravel/road ride) if you tow in nicer conditions you're not riding with a chain covered in mud or dust, and that causes wear
    – Chris H
    Commented May 11 at 19:00
  • 1
    I tow a lot and tend to go much slower and apply less torque through the pedals (for ride comfort of the passengers) so this work either way I guess Commented May 11 at 19:48
  • When I towed I found a spinnier gear better (so lower torque) because it handled better when the trailer wheels got caught on rough bits of road. So that's more chain movement rather than more torque. But there was a limit to how much I could slow down on the uphills while keeping my balance with something tugging me backwards. Our hills aren't high, but they can be steep.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 11 at 20:43
  • 2
    Google gives a lot of false positives on "bike trailer with brakes", but this one seems genuine. 42 kg empty :D carlacargo.de/de/produkte/carla
    – Karl
    Commented May 21 at 18:33

It is most likely the smallest sprocket of the cassette, as they generally wear faster on E-bikes. Here, there is even more load on it while accelerating, on gravel, or uphill. The worn sprocket will start skipping under load.

However, this can be mitigated by selecting the larger sprocket, even if the rider and engine have enough combined force to ride on a small one. It is also often possible to replace it separately without replacing the whole cassette, but the part may be difficult to find.

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