THE WIKE BLOG

Child Bike Trailers Materials Guide, Part 1: Bike Trailer Flooring

October 17, 2022

Flooring is one of the most important and often overlooked components of a bike trailer. Find out why you should pay a little more attention.

Child moonlite bike trailer blue baby

Child bike trailers come in all shapes, sizes, and uses. Most bicycle trailers that carry children look and function the same, but there are a few things that can set them apart from others. The materials used in the manufacturing of cycle trailers can have a huge impact on how functional and durable the trailer will be. What would you consider to be the ‘most important’ parts? The wheels? The hitch? Perhaps the seat? There certainly are many to choose from, but in this particular post, we want to draw your attention to a component you have maybe never even thought about: the floor material used to build the footwell or the cargo area of the bike trailer.

Footwells and Flooring in Child Trailers

It is not uncommon to find child trailers or child strollers that have fabric footwells. These footwells are often sewn into the main canopy fabric or separately fastened to the frame of the bike trailer as a place for your kids to put their feet when cycling. These fabric footwells function nicely if you’re just putting your feet there, but we know that child trailer footwells often see more action than just feet and shoes. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that the floor or footwell is the often the only material in between your children and the ground. Kids climbing in and out of the trailer, dropping cargo into the trailer, and general wear and tear can cause the seams in a fabric footwell to come apart, or tear the fabric completely. We wouldn't want your personal belongings falling out of the trailer!

We can’t forget to mention that fabric footwells in child trailers are often more compact than other types of footwells, which means that you also lose out on valuable storage space inside the bike trailer. To their credit, fabric footwells do have the bonus of being very light, as they don’t need additional material for rigidity. This can be desirable if you are concerned about the overall weight of the trailer, but keep in mind: a hole in your trailer’s floor or footwell can tear a seam in your plans too – dangling feet is a recipe for disaster. Plus, what are you going to do if it rains, splashing water up into the trailer from beneath? Holes and seams of this nature are often difficult to repair, as sewing heavy duty materials by hand can be tricky (but not impossible).

You may also notice many child trailers and strollers with fabric-covered plastic footwells. This is often done to offer some better rigidity, spread out the overall weight of resting feet across the width of the trailer, and improve overall appearance, but once the kids get in there… good luck keeping that footwell clean! It is worth your while to look for a child bike trailer with a solid, non-fabric floor if you plan to be using your trailer frequently. At least with a solid floor, it’s a quick wipe then it’s sparkling clean again, and there is no need to worry about seams or torn fabric. A plastic floor, such as HDPE (high density polyethylene) will keep the trailer safe, light, and durable for many years, not to mention keeping the rider safe and sound from the pavement rushing beneath them.

Flooring in Cargo Trailers

Just like child bike trailers, cargo bike trailers are no exception to needing sturdy flooring material. Although many cargo bike trailers are up to the task of heavy-duty loads (like our Heavy Duty Flatbed Cargo Trailer), the materials used to build the bike trailers are not all created equal. Many bike trailer companies use thin plastic sheeting such as acrylic or polycarbonate, which are decent, cost-effective materials but aren’t the best materials to use for the floor of a trailer. Some companies use metal or wood, which absolutely have their place, but are typically too heavy for everyday bike cargo trailer applications.

For cargo trailers specifically, you will want a material that is strong enough to carry a dynamic weight while cycling, but also enough shock resistance so that you can be assured that your bike trailer is rugged enough for all the things you have planned. The last thing you’d want to be worrying about is whether you should toss that last piece of equipment into your trailer, for fear of the floor cracking or becoming unfastened. Not only would this be infuriating, but it would also have you questioning the overall quality of the build (on top of having a trailer in need of repair). Cut-to-size sheeting of any material for consumers can be expensive if you need to repair your trailer. Making the decision to buy a bicycle cargo trailer with tough, well-secured flooring right out of the box will save you money (and headaches) in the long run.

What are WIKE’s floors and footwells made of?

WIKE’s Child Bike Trailers and Cargo Bike Trailers feature HDPE floors, securely riveted to the frame. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) is one of the strongest and most versatile types of plastic you can buy today. It is often used in cutting boards, geothermal piping, and industrial storage containers such as plastic bottles and boxes. These uses all have one thing in common: strength, lightness, and durability. Could you imagine a cutting board cracking on the third time you’ve used it? Or a geothermal pipe bursting in your new home? Not being able to stack storage bins - ever? High Density Polyethylene is chosen in these instances due to its high durability, crack and temperature resistance, and lightweight nature.

In terms of children’s bicycle trailer flooring, we know it’s the ideal material to make our trailer flooring from. We acknowledge that children can be rough and unpredictable, and the HDPE is always up to the job. You can be rest assured that when your toddler is throwing a fit, jumping up and down in the footwell of the child carrier, that they are safe and secure. The flooring in the children’s bicycle trailer footwells are fastened into the frame with rivets and is highly crack- and sag-resistant. HDPE is a breeze when it comes to cleaning and maintenance on top of all that!

One of our most popular bicycle cargo trailer products is the Heavy-Duty Flatbed Bicycle Trailer. This trailer features HDPE flooring, making it a great choice for runs to the hardware store, bringing wood back to your campsite, or taking it for a trip to the grocery store. Fun fact: the floor of this cargo bike trailer has a whopping 38 rivets installed to secure the flooring! Not only does this make it super strong and durable, but it also offers a sleek, clean, no-frills look for your toughest jobs - did we mention that there are no nuts to re-tighten either? Now that’s what we like to call heavy duty.

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