Review: Maya Cycle Trailer

Maya Cycle bicycle trailer

There’s the old saying that “good things are worth waiting for”, and the Maya Cycle bicycle trailer was certainly worth the wait. First spotted at Interbike 2009, I was intrigued by this trailer, as it had some features that made it truly stand out from the competition. But I had to be very patient, as production and distribution issues can take a while to sort out for new products.

Maya Cycle bicycle trailer connector detailFast forward to the end of  this June, and a carton containing my review sample arrived. After unpacking the contents and quickly reading over the instructions, I set out to assemble it. With so few parts, this is as simple as mounting the rear fender/mud guard, attaching the wheel, and making sure the velcro for the cargo bag is positioned properly. The fender went on without incident, but I hit a small snag with the wheel. The cones were overtightened at the factory, and the wheel would not spin at all. A couple of minutes with a set of cone wrenches, and it was ready to go. Hopefully, this was just a one-off, but it’s something they should be aware of for QA reasons. In addition to the included reflector for the back, there’s also a Maya flag, for added safety. Once that was all done, the fork that attaches to the back of your bike needs to be set up. For this part, read the instructions. Trust me on this. There’s an extra-long QR skewer with  a clever wing nut arrangement that needs to be configured according to the instructions for safety and proper fit.

Maya Cycle bicycle trailerNow the next step would normally be to hook it up and go for a ride. But with temperatures hovering between 90 and 100 degrees, and the already questionable air quality even further diminished by several fires burning out of control, I took the prudent route, and parked it by the door, at least until it was safe to breathe outdoors. To make matters worse, the seals had failed on my MTB fork. We had a couple of decent storms on July 5th, which helped with the air quality, but didn’t do much for the temperature. That weekend, I hooked it up to my wife’s bike, so we could get some road time. Once everything was connected and double-checked, we took off on our first ride with the trailer behind her, and me riding my 24″ BMX. After a short distance, we traded rides. Although her bike really doesn’t fit me, I made the most of it. Having used a two wheeled trailer before, I was pleasantly surprised how much more smoothly and quietly the Maya Cycle tracks behind the bike. With only one wheel, it also gets upset by small bumps in the road much less often. What really impressed me was that I didn’t have to give up much in the handling department. The single wheel makes for a narrow trailer, and doesn’t limit turning and cornering ability that much, unless we’re talking really tight corners. Of course, that was when empty. Once loaded with some cargo, it’s noticeable, but not terrible. It was still better than a two wheeled trailer, and the lower center of gravity was more stable than loaded panniers would have been. The built in kickstand was also a plus when parking.

Maya Cycle bicycle trailerDisconnecting it is as simple as flipping over the ring that holds the pin in place, pulling the pin out, and lifting the bike/fork so the pivot tube of the fork slides out of the sleeve on the trailer. Attaching is the reverse of that process. Since we didn’t have any shopping to do, we ended up doing some mock drills where we disconnected the trailer, switched the handlebars around into wheelbarrow mode, and had a few people roll it around a bit, unladen and fully loaded. Extremely short or tall users may have issues with the handlebars, but the majority of riders should find them comfortable enough. And the included cargo sack kept everything contained, while also making it easier to transport the trailer contents into a house or office, leaving the trailer outside.

In our opinion, the Maya Cycle trailer was truly worth the wait. Pricing is actually less than projected the first time I saw it (currently $249), and the performance and versatility did not disappoint. Overall, the design and build quality are in line with the price, the only weak point being that the fit of the wheelbarrow handlebars could have been better, as they wobbled a bit when unladen. There is also a definite learning curve when it comes to attaching and detaching the trailer, which should be improved upon with practice. Maya Cycle’s intended customers are commuters as well as touring and leisure cyclists that need more room than panniers offer, or want to supplement their panniers or replace them altogether. In that role, they have more than succeeded.

– Brian

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