Stanfords still don’t have the final Greece map I need, so i’ll keep things rolling by writing about my thoughts and indecision over trailers.
I have basically narrowed it down to two options. The Burley Nomad, or the Carry Freedom Y-Frame. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, neither is perfect, and I can’t decide which to get. The Nomad is a mass production trailer, designed with sides and top so it has a closed luggage space, however, it is still not waterproof and the hitch to the bike may be a problem, especially for a Brompton. The Y-Frame is a simple flat bed trailer, with nothing but a flat area with no sides for luggage, however it is simple and apparently very tough, and the hitch I know will work with my Brompton. To show how equal they are, here’s a detailed description of how I would use each one, with both strengths and weaknesses of both.
The Nomad attaches to the bike with a hitch I can’t find many details of. From what I’ve heard it isn’t as well designed as the Carry Freedom hitch, is fiddly, and uses rubber to allow full rotational movement, which can be unreliable over time. The luggage space is enclosed, meaning I could just throw bulky items in without packing them in bags first. But even so, the luggage area is not waterproof, and so any items that had to stay dry (clothes, sleeping bag, documents, etc.) would still need to be in a waterproof bag. It has a cargo rack, basically a rack above the cover so it is possible to attach more items on top – maybe a daypack so it’s easily accessible. But from what I’ve read the Nomad isn’t as durable as the Y-Frame, only taking weights up to 40kg, and Nic and Sedef, the Nuts on Bents, managed to buckle the frame of theirs.
The Y-Frame attaches with an ingeniously simple hitch that I know will work very well with the Brompton, and looks to be very durable – there doesn’t appear to be much that can go wrong with it. The luggage space is unenclosed, as it is just a flat piece of plywood with grip material on. This means that everything would need packing into bags, but the Ortlieb Rack-Packs are perfect for this. It also allows for modifications, for example I could add a frame so one bag would go straight on the base, then another above similar to the cargo rack on the Nomad. It allows for more options, but could be less convenient having to store everything in bags. Looking at the construction of the Y-Frame, it seems to be built to be very tough. The large version can carry 90kg, and the small apparently 45kg, although the large is simply a scaled up small using the same grade of materials, so one would presume it is able carry the same weight. Indeed there are numerous photo’s of heavy loads on the small, including people.
So that is the choice – more convenient but maybe less durable, or less convenient but maybe more durable. I just can’t decide. Dilemma.