I acquired the Extrawheel Bike Trailer out of both apprehension and necessity. I had read conflicting reports about the availability of water on the White Rim Trail, but pretty much everyone agreed that a gallon of water per person per day is a good minimum planning strategy when estimating the water requirements for the Utah desert. Adding in enough water for cooking meant the math was showing we would need to haul around 9 gallons for the two of us on a 3 day bikepacking trip out there.
The Extrawheel Trailer was perfect for that chore. The Extrawheel is just that, an extra wheel with a heavy duty frame for carrying two panniers. The big advantage of the Extrawheel as opposed to frame mounted panniers is that the weight is kept much lower, making the bike easier to handle. I’m not going to claim that the 60 plus pounds of water and gear that I placed on the Extrawheel was not noticeable, but I can assure you that the trailer was easily controllable even on technical sections of the White Rim. Descending the switchbacks of the White Rim would be hair-raising on an unloaded bike, but they would have been near impossible had I loaded the bike with the load the trailer was carrying. The heavily-loaded trailer tracked perfectly, allowing a safe descent down.
The Extrawheel attaches to the bike via a tensioned steel fork that clamps onto the quick release provided with the trailer. This no-tool set-up means the trailer can be easily mounted and unmounted on the trail.
The optional $50 wheel and tire provided by Extrawheel with the trailer are both heavy-duty with an emphasis on heavy. I immediately swapped the tire with a 1.75” gravel tire, though I have kept the supplied wheel. It has proven bullet-proof, but I do plan on building up a nicer and lighter wheel. If you think you would do the same, or you already have a spare front wheel that you would like to use, order the trailer without the wheel.
One accessory that I definitely recommend is the optional upper rack. This small rack adds very little weight to the trailer but provides a nice platform for bags and soft goods such as sleeping pads, tents, dry bags, etc. I used the rack for both water bags and small camp chairs.
Even if you are more of a weekend explorer that doesn’t need the large storage afforded by or the 70+ pound weight capacity of the trailer, I still recommend the Extrawheel to you. The pannier carrying system of the trailer not only keeps the weight much lower than seat bags and handlebar rolls, it also keeps the items much more easily accessible.
Lastly, and importantly, the Extrawheel trailer means you are never without a spare front wheel. A slightly damaged front wheel can be swapped to the trailer as an out-of-round wheel on the trailer will be much less detrimental to the bike’s handling. Should you completely taco your front, the extra wheel on the Extrawheel will allow you to swap out, ditch the trailer, and still be able to ride out.
You can see some images and footage of the Extrawheel in action on the White Rim Trail in my video here.
The Extrawheel trailer and accessories, including branded pannier bags, can be ordered directly from Extrawheel (free worldwide delivery on orders over $405 with the current Euro to dollar conversion) or from their official US dealer BikeTrailerShop.com. The trailer retails for around $270 depending on the configuration.
– Alex (Steak Sauce)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Extrawheel Bike Trailer for free from Extrawheel, in consideration for review publication.