A single wheel trailer on a folding bike Credit: Pollards Hill Cyclists

If you want to do a weekly shop or need to move larger items, you might want to invest in a trailer. Trailers are easy to load, and can carry very heavy loads safely and without affecting balance of the bike. They may not be appropriate for navigating heavy traffic or weaving through tight spaces, but can be ideal for quieter roads and drivers will usually give more space to bikes with trailers attached.

Single wheel trailers

Single wheel trailers tilt with the bike around corners, so they never roll over by themselves. This makes them more stable than two wheeled trailers. However, they have a limited capacity – usually not more than 30kg - and some people do not feel  comfortable with the design.

Two wheeled trailers

Trailers can vary a lot in style, from simple plywood boards or wire cradles to more sophisticated models with lockable lids. They can be expensive, but they can also be shared with family and friends and be a fantastic way of moving possessions around.

An empty or lightly loaded two-wheeled trailer does risk flipping over if corners are taken too sharply, but they have a much greater capacity – usually up to around 100kg. Two wheeled trailers are generally as wide or wider than the bicycle’s handlebars, so it’s important to make sure you have space when going through tight spaces. They are also useful for use as a hand-cart at the end of the journey, unlike single wheeled trailers. If you are intending to use your trailer as a hand-cart it may be worth getting a trailer with a drawbar that attaches to the seatpost as these make better handles than trailers which attach to the rear axle, but bear in mind that with heavy loads, a low hitch is less likely to affect the handling of the bike.

With all trailers, do check the brakes before you set off, and check that the trailer is loaded comfortably before venturing out.