The Wandertec Tuba: A Bike Trailer for Car-Sized Errands

If my recent screen test video worked as intended, it was like a Hollywood teaser trailer that left you mad with anticipation for the full feature.

The wait is over. Actually, it was over a few days ago when we launched our Kickstarter project for the Wandertec Tuba Bike Trailer:

That was me in the video, loading the trailer with 180 pounds of sandbags.

The idea is to create a trailer for Goldilocks — if she were a utility cyclist and a soccer mom instead a home intruder.

Most bike cargo trailers are too small for many life-size loads, so people tend to fall back on their car, with its spacious trunk and/or back seat.

Burley Nomad Bike Cargo Trailer
Too Small

There are also trailers for the niche market of hard-core haulers, but these are too big for most domesticated cyclists.

Surly Bill Bike Cargo Trailer
Too Big

The Tuba is (hopefully) just right for people who would rather not use their car for loads that tend to go in the car by default.

When I was filming the video, I put together an assortment of items that a soccer mom could identify, and filmed it while circling a playground. That’s right, I’m in marketing.

Wandertec Tuba Bike Trailer - Soccer Mom Mode
Just Right

The Tuba is largely the brainchild of Josh Lipton, who likes to name all of his trailers after musical instruments. (Before the Tuba, there was the Cello, and the Bongo.) Stuart Henderson developed the prototypes, and I’m involved in testing and marketing.

We’ve been using the prototypes, and liking the convenience. When I put together my contrived soccer-mom load, it was a familiar feeling to just throw what I needed into the trailer — it reminded me of throwing things into the trunk of a car, without having a Tetris-like packing problem.

Wandertec Tuba, Extra Large - Kickstand Mode
Kickstand Mode

I see this trailer as an asset to a suburban lifestyle where car-dependence and car-sized loads are the norm (by design). With more bike hauling capacity a suburbanite needn’t be car-dependent. On the Extra Large Tuba with a liner and rail system, you can easily fit six full grocery bags (the reusable kind, with a 10 x 14 inch bottom). On the Large version: four grocery bags.

If you tend to drive a car so you can hit the grocery store on your commute home to a voracious family, this could be your option to leave the car at home — even on grocery day.

Tuba Frame Sizes

For urban use, it depends on the city, and the dwelling. I have not attempted to navigate an elevator with the Tuba in cart mode. I’m imagining the condo where I lived in the DC area; pulling the trailer through the hallways; the look on Mr. Willis’ face when the elevator door opens. I could have made it work.

But this isn’t a review. I’ve already disclosed that I have an interest in the success of this product. I’ll be posting some reviews by unbiased beta testers in days to come.

Let me know what you think of the Tuba. If you’d like one, now is your chance to get one for less than the anticipated retail price by pledging to the project on Kickstarter.

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