New Take On The Bicycle Cargo Trailer: The Topeak Journey


The guys from Attleboro, MA have a new bicycle trailer coming in 2011: The Journey Trailer. It looks a whole lot like a B.O.B. trailer at first glance, but there is at least one feature that departs drastically from the B.O.B design — the hitch-mechanism. The Topeak Journey uses innovative SlideLock fittings to connect the trailer to the bike, rather than the cotter pins of the earlier B.O.B. trailers or the pin/retaining rivet system of the later models. As an owner and heavy-user of the original, cotter design B.O.B., I’ll say that the system, for lack of motivation to find a better word: sucked. The cotter pins always popped out, sometimes with catastrophic results. It could often be a chore simply getting the mangled pins in to begin with. That issue was probably eliminated with the second-generation B.O.B. trailers, though I can’t speak from experience. (I’m sure someone out there can set us straight on that point.) The SlideLock system definitely looks to be an improvement over what came before it. Extra SlideLock fittings are available in case you want to switch the Journey Trailer between your bikes.

The trailer body features what Topeak calls a “fully enclosed bathtub.” The custom designed drybag with sonically welded seams and roll top closure can be used as standalone luggage when away from its…fully enclosed bathtub.

The trailer journeys on a single 16″ alloy wheel. It also has a carrying handle, a safety flag with pole, and a fender with a clip for a reflector or tail light.

More details and a bunch of photos after the break…

Specs:

  • Trailer features rugged and lightweight TwinSpar frame design
  • 16″ wheel includes fender for weather protection
  • Rear fender features a light clip fitting
  • A safety flag keeps rider visible
  • Waterproof material is sonically welded and seam sealed for durable, waterproof protection
  • DryBag roll top closure provide complete protection from the elements
  • Carrying handle for off trailer use
  • Msrp – $399.95

Compartments: 1 main

Capacity: 65.3 liters/3880 cubic inches

Max weight capacity: 32 kgs/70 lbs

Material: AL 6061/Waterproof Fabric, Sonically Welded Seams

Added Features: 16″ Rear Wheel/Fender Flag/Carrying Handle

Comments

Andrew Priest - 12/30/10 - 7:12am

Thanks for the heads-up. Interesting to see Topeak getting into the trailer market. I guess they see this as a growth area. Also interesting to see that the basic BOB trailer concept is being adapted. It will be interesting to see how the plastic (?) hitch components last on a tourer or three. BTW do you have an idea on pricing? BTW I have a BOB Ibex and I found the hitch works okay … done a bit of off-road touring with it.

Thanks
Andrew

Flecha - 12/30/10 - 7:46am

Attleboro? Really? That’s two towns over. Maybe I’ll drop by to get my pump gasket rather than fight their website.

mkrs - 12/30/10 - 10:46am

That is NOWHERE near the Extrawheel design: http://www.extrawheel.com/. To me there’s no better trailer design – it’s light, it’s simple, it’s practical, it’s short (so it improves maneuvrability) and it utilizes a large wheel that can be used as a spare front wheel for your bike, just in case…

This Topeak think is for sure an improvement if you compare it to BOB, but Extrawheel is hands down the world’s best bicycle trailer design, period. And no, I was NOT paid by Extrawheel to post this comment – just check this thing out for yourself and see how great it is.

zombinate - 12/30/10 - 12:00pm

while the extrawheel is great for carrying touring gear, it is no where near as easy to use at the grocery store, and that is more what I see Topeak going for here.

mkrs - 12/30/10 - 1:13pm

Honestly, zombinate, I don’t really see this Topeak trailer useful in urban environment – it makes the bike twice as long and therefore much less maneuvrable. Extrawheel saves you about half a meter of bike length which makes it easier to park the bike. What’s more, with Extrawheel you can easily remove the drybags from the trailer and because of their shape it’s easy to carry them.

Just my two cents…

Gillis - 12/31/10 - 3:27am

@mkrs: I can’t carry my dog in an extrawheel. Or like zombinate mentioned multiple bags of groceries. Or propane tanks for my grill. Or bags of soil for the garden.

I’m sure the extrawheel has its place for some, but it is not the end-all to cargo trailers like you seem to believe.

Just a couple extra cents for you.

Josh Lipton - 01/03/11 - 11:02am

Topeak’s been showing off a trailer at Interbike for the last few years that I don’t think they had yet made available. http://www.biketrailershop.com/blog/2007/11/bike-trailers-at-interbike/

The limitation of what Topeak was showing previously was that it only worked with their Jango line of bikes. Though it isn’t 100% clear, from the looks of it, the hitch attachment of this trailer will work with any bicycle (at least any bicycle with a standard quick release). Does anyone know for sure?

BTW the Extrawheel is available in the US here: http://www.biketrailershop.com/extrawheel-trailers-c-140.html

Geno Romeo - 04/06/11 - 11:40am

how mutch does this trailer weigh without the bag? With the bag?

forrest kuhn - 10/02/11 - 8:25pm

I have had the trailer for a couple of months now and have about 500 miles on it and have no problems at all. It tracks behind the bike with no problems, also handles well in the wind. I live in Arizona and I have a lot of windy days and so far the wind does not effect the performance of the trailer. It pack well and is very durable. I would recommend this if you are looking into a bike trailer for touring. also compared to the price of the bob this one cost less and is built just as well if not better, also the quick connect feature is great, no carter pins to take in and out or to lose.

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