Sometimes we get interesting customer questions that inspire us to figure out new uses and configurations of bike trailers.
Our latest inspiration is a customer who works at campus where they have technicians who need to travel around and calibrate machines all over the campus. The campus does not allow automobiles, and bicycle travel offers convenience for the distances traveled between machines. The customer asked us for a recommendation on a trailer that went from being on the bicycle into being a handcart with the greatest ease and convenience. I referred the customer to our original post on Converting Bike Trailers to Hand Trolleys, however I realized that his situation merited a little deeper look.
In assessing the situation, we narrowed down the best choices to either the Croozer Cargo or the Carry Freedom City.
Hitch Arm Positions:
The Croozer Cargo is the only trailer that we offer, that has a hitch arm that adjusts from a position used for bicycling into a position used for pushing it as a hand cart. This ability to switch positions is useful but with frequent starting and stopping may not be the most efficient system. Additionally, the Croozer Cargo hitch arm does not provide that comfortable of a handle. However, this could be easily customized with some minor modifications.
The Carry Freedom City offers a hitch arm that doubles vary nicely as a handle. It even has a foam grip on it. The concern witht the City is that the container in the trailer will be tipped back. This was a concern with our customer in mind as the bike trailer was being used to carry sensitive calibration equipment which should not be tipped back too much. A very nice feature of the City is that the hitch arm height is adjustable to make the trailer level in combination with a variety of bicycle wheel sizes. I utilized this feature to find a balance position for the hitch arm where the City was fairly level in both trailer and hand-cart mode (though not perfectly level in either postion) Have a look at the photos of it on the bike and as a hand cart.
The Croozer Cargo is a heavy trailer at 25lbs. As our “economy” trailer it is understandable that it is not made from lighter weight materials. That being said the extra weight of the trailer will likely not be much of a hinderance for short rides and use as a handcart. It does manuever well though it’s size and handle do not make it as manueverable as it could be in tight places. With its width of 25″ it can make it through doors without problems.
The Carry Freedom City is a much lighter at 12lbs, though with the 9lb RubberMaid ActionPacker it is almost the same as the Cargo at 21lbs. The City is very easy to manuever as the position of its wheels and the handle balance it in a way similair to suitcases with wheels and extended handles. It feels very easy to manuever it tight places and it is even possible to roll it up an down stairs in some instances.
The Croozer Cargo has a rating for 66lbs though it could likely handle quite a bit more for the slow speed, out of traffic, level ground application that our customer was interested in. The Croozer Cargo does offer a nice built in cargo area.
The Carry Freedom City offers the ability to be used with a 24 Gallon RubberMaid ActionPacker as shown in the photos. This size RubberMaid (26.5 by 19.3 by 17.4 inches) sits perfectly within the frame of the City. The bag that comes with the City works very nicely as a hammock bottom to hold it in place. We do not offer the RubberMaid ActionPacker however it is fairly easy to find locally or online. Not only is this a great container for the Carry Freedom City, it also works very nicely with the Burley Flatbed. The Carry Freedom City offers a larger load rating at 100lbs and also offered our customer the unique ability to mount a platform to the top of the frame for wide items.
By far the Carry Freedom City offers the best of both worlds for uses as a bike trailer and hand cart. With the hitch arm properly positioned, there is a good balance between on bike and on trailer position. With the quick removal of the Chariot Trailer style hitch, it is very quickly ready to be used as a hand cart. The manuevarabilty is also very nice and the very comfertable built-in handle grip is a huge plus. That all being said, the Croozer Cargo is still a viable option to consider when cost is a consideration and if it being used in this capacity on a more occasional basis.