THE WIKE BLOG

Can I Put a Bike Trailer on My Bike?

May 06, 2022

Find out if you can put a bike trailer on your bike. This guide covers road, mountain, cruiser, fixed gear, folding, electric, and recumbent bikes.

Can I Put a Bike Trailer on My Bike? Guide for Road Bikes, E-Bikes and More


You want to do more with your bike.

Maybe it’s bringing your kids along for the ride. Maybe it’s hauling more than you can fit in your saddle bag. Or, maybe it’s using your bike to make bank as part of a new side-gig.

Whatever the case, a bike trailer is the fastest, easiest way to make your bike more versatile and fun. And we’ve got a lineup of the very best bike trailers to help you do just that!

But let’s not get carried away. First, you need to answer one crucial question:

Can I put a bike trailer on my bike?

After all, it would be a shame to invest in a high-quality bike trailer only to discover your trusty steed isn't up to the task.

This article aims to answer that question as comprehensively as possible, so you are aware of all your options when it comes to towing a bike trailer!

  1. Road Bikes
  2. Cruiser Bikes
  3. Fixed Gear Bikes
  4. Mountain Bikes
  5. Folding Bikes
  6. Recumbent Bikes
  7. Electric Bikes

1. Road Bikes

Road bike

The true classic! A road bike is designed to ride on flat surfaces, such as paved roads and concrete. It’s fast and lightweight, with a high seat that offers great views and helps you handle hills, as well as thinner, narrower wheels that roll smoothly on pavement.

Can a Road Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

Great news: a bike trailer is a perfect fit for a road bike. As a matter of fact, road bikes are even better suited than other bikes to pulling a bike trailer due to their lightweight frame and aerodynamic riding position.

Attaching a Bike Trailer to a Road Bike

If your road bike's rear wheel has a quick-release axle (5mm rod through the center of the wheel that lets you remove the wheel without removing the axle), most trailers fit no problem.

Those considerations aside, if you follow the directions provided by the trailer manufacturer, you should have no trouble hooking up a bike trailer to your road bike!

Using a Bike Trailer with a Road Bike: Tips for Beginners

Biking with a trailer isn't much different than biking without. You'll adapt quickly if you're already a confident cyclist. That said, here are a few beginner tips for using a bike trailer with a road bike.

  • Be sure to secure whatever you're towing before you leave. When you're learning to ride a bike with a trailer, you'd rather not worry about something (or someone) falling out! Double-check that your kids, pets, or cargo are strapped in.
  • Steer clear of bumps in the road. Biking with a full bike trailer does affect your ability to stop quickly, which will affect how you handle bumps and rough terrain. Get used to it on smooth ground first.
  • Be prepared for wider turns. You’re probably used to cutting some pretty sharp turns on your road bike, but with a trailer, it’s a whole other story! You'll want to practice wide turns before you can ride on busier streets.

2. Cruiser Bikes

Cruiser bike

A cruiser is lightweight, accessible, and a breeze to ride. The frame is open and dynamic, with a low center of gravity that lets you glide along. Although cruiser bikes are designed for comfort and enjoyment, they can still be used for training or day-to-day transportation. But can a cruiser bike pull a bike trailer?

Can a Cruiser Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

It is easy to pull a trailer with a cruiser bike! When it comes to pulling child trailers, cargo trailers, and whatever else you might want to haul, cruiser bikes are just as capable as road bikes.

With a lower seat and wider tires, cruisers are designed to keep you upright and comfortable for longer rides. However, that relaxed position isn't ideal for pulling a bike trailer, since it puts your knees higher and limits the leg strength you can exert.

So, towing a bike trailer with a cruiser bike can be tougher than pulling one with a road bike, especially uphill! It's not a deal breaker by any means, but it is something to consider.

Attaching a Bike Trailer to a Cruiser Bike

Most cruiser bikes come with quick-release rear-wheel axles, which is how most bike trailers attach to them. As long as you follow the directions on the trailer, you'll have no trouble connecting a bike trailer to your cruiser bike! If the Cruiser bike has a bolted axle with nuts, that won’t be a problem either.

Using a Bike Trailer with a Cruiser Bike: Tips for Beginners

The low seat and upright posture of cruiser bikes make pulling a trailer more difficult than with a road bike. You will need to adjust to the extra resistance. Practice first and plan your trips accordingly to make the most of your bike trailer and to have a great time using it!

3. Fixed Gear Bike

Fixie bike

There’s no freewheeling a fixed gear bike, so if you want to go fast, you’ve got to pedal fast! If you’re a serious athlete, a speed demon, or you want to build legs of pure steel, a fixie’s the bike for you. Question is, can a fixed gear bike pull a bike trailer?

Can a Fixed Gear Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

But you are going to break a serious sweat starting from a stop and once you are moving it will be really hard to stop! You can do it but we don’t recommend it.

It’s uncommon, since most people who choose fixies are looking for speed and exercise rather than utility, but it can be done!

You should definitely run a brake (if you're not already) if you plan to tow a trailer with your fixed gear bike. Depending on what you're hauling, your trailer could easily be pushing 50 to 80 pounds. That is a LOT of momentum that you need to be able to stop on a dime!

Attaching a Bike Trailer to a Fixed Gear Bike

Chances are you’ll need an adapter in order to attach a bike trailer to your road bike. The design of this adapter can vary by bike trailer manufacturer, so do your research before you order. But provided you follow the directions provided by the trailer manufacturer, you should have no problem hooking up a bike trailer to your fixed gear bike!

Using a Bike Trailer with a Fixed Gear Bike: Tips for Beginners

Prepare yourself for the workout of your life! With a fixed gear bike, pulling a loaded bike trailer adds a whole new level of challenge. But you'll also discover a world of adventures that you might never have imagined possible for you and your fixie.

  • Be sure to secure whatever you're towing before you leave. You'd rather not worry about anything falling out when you’re getting the hang of this, so make sure your cargo is fully secured.
  • Adapt to wide turns. And we mean WIDE turns. You won’t be cutting any corners with a bike trailer behind you!
  • Get brakes if you haven’t already. They'll help you stop the trailer's momentum in tight situations and could literally be a life saver.

4. Mountain Bike

Mountain bike

Mountain bikes live up to their name! With rugged components and frames, flat handlebars, excellent braking systems, and shock-absorbing features, mountain bikes can handle any terrain. But what about towing a bike trailer?

Can a Mountain Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

Your mountain bike should have no problem towing along a trailer full to the brim with cargo or passengers. It’ll definitely ramp up the challenge, especially over rougher terrain, but it’s a go!

With a mountain bike, it's less about whether or not you can pull a trailer, but rather about whether or not your trailer can handle the width of the trailer on the path. A consideration is the trailer's wheels; cheap, inferior trailers will have 16-inch wheels and plastic rims that bend the minute you hit a bump.

By all means, hook up your bike trailer to a mountain bike and go exploring. Just make sure your bike trailer is up to the task and the trailer is wide enough for passage!

Attaching a Bike Trailer to a Mountain Bike

Some mountain bikes have 12mm though axles, so you’ll need a special axle (Robert Axle Project) in order to attach a bike trailer to your mountain bike. Even so, as long as you follow the instructions provided by the trailer/axle manufacturer, you will have no problem attaching a bike trailer to your mountain bike.

Using a Bike Trailer with a Mountain Bike: Tips for Beginners

Bike trailers provide extra storage space that can be invaluable for off-road adventures! Here are some tips to make your first adventure a success.

  • Choose a bike trailer built for off-road use. Look for features quality 20” rims with good spokes. For kid bike trailers, you’ll want a five-point harness to keep your kids secure over every bump in the road.
  • Practice on easier terrain first. A bike trailer changes your mountain bike's turning radius and handling, so you'll want to get used to it on smoother roads before you take it on rough trails.
  • Take it easy. Pulling a bike trailer with a mountain bike is tougher than a road bike because of the mountain bike’s extra weight, so don’t be surprised if you’re totally bushed! Take it easy until you’re used to the extra work.

5. Folding Bike

Folding bike

The ultimate in convenience, folding bikes are built to fold down and squeeze into trunks, closets, and subway cars with ease. These lightweight, compact bikes aren't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of hauling a bike trailer, but is it possible?

Can a Folding Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

Despite their smaller, collapsible frames, high-quality folding bikes are fully capable of pulling a bike trailer. There are even bike trailers that fold just like your folding bike, so you could stow both of them in the same small space!

Attaching a Bike Trailer to a Folding Bike

Most bike trailer hitches will work with folding bikes. Some trailers come with axle attachments that let you adjust the height of the tow arm; if you’re using a folding bike, you should put it higher up so the trailer is more level.

When in doubt, ring the manufacturer of your folding bike and see what they have to say about towing a bike trailer with your folding bike. So trailer manufacturers have towbars that can be adjusted to 20” wheels

Using a Bike Trailer with a Folding Bike: Tips for Beginners

The learning curve for pulling bike trailers with a folding bike is about the same as any other bike. Take it for a spin on smooth, traffic-free roads first; practice turning with the wider radius; and secure all your cargo before you go out!

6. Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bike

Recumbent bikes and trikes have you sitting in a reclined position rather than sitting upright or leaning forward. Recumbent bikes are awesome for a medium-intensity cardio workout, but how are they when it comes to pulling a bike trailer?

Can a Recumbent Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

It depends!

Here’s the thing: recumbent bikes and trikes come in so many different shapes and sizes that it’s impossible to give a blanket “yes” or “no” answer. Delta trike designs are very difficult to pull a trailer.

We’ve seen plenty of recumbent bikes pull a bike trailer with ease, usually by attaching it to the rear wheel axle; but it really depends on the form and design of your specific machine.

A good place to start would be to talk to your recumbent bike's manufacturer, who should know if other customers have towed trailers with their bikes.

Bikes trailers aren't for everyone riding a recumbent bike. Since you can’t stand up on a recumbent bike while pedaling up an incline, the extra weight of the bike trailer will make hills even more challenging. But if you’re up for a serious cardio workout, you could have a lot of fun hauling a trailer with your recumbent bike!

7. Electric Bike/E-Bike

Electric bike

Any bicycle equipped with a motor so that you can pedal more quickly and with less effort is an e-bike. There are electric versions of nearly every bicycle on the market these days, from road bikes to mountain bikes to recumbents!

Can an E-Bike Bike Pull a Bike Trailer?

YES!

In terms of pulling a bike trailer, the electric motor doesn't really make a difference other than making your job easier! However if you have electric bike with the motor in the rear wheel and the power cord to the motor entering the axle on the left side you will not be able to attach most bike hitches.

Whether an electric bike can tow a trailer depends on the type of bike it is. Do you have an electric road bike, electric mountain bike...and so on. But there is really no type of bicycle that flat-out can’t haul a bike trailer, so you can be confident that your electric bike will do the job.

Simply put, if you’ve got an electric bike, you’ve got an electric bike that can pull a trailer!

Get More Fun Out of Your Bike with a Bike Trailer

No matter what type of bike you have, a bike trailer is the fastest, easiest way to extend its utility. Check out the most comprehensive line up of the very best bike trailers on the market!

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