We were impressed by Extrawheel’s Classic trailer when it ﬁrst came out, questioning only certain aspects of its durability. The new Voyager is a lighter, shorter and tougher version that uses panniers rather than canoe bags for stowage, with the same easy-to-ﬁt hitch system.
Rated to carry 35kg, it also shares the Classic’s big wheel concept (26in or 700C), effectively providing a spare hoop should disaster strike – a cheap replacement wheel should be easy to ﬁnd wherever you are in the world.
There’s a range of buying options (including just the pared down, wheel-free frame), so you can build your own wheel with the same rim as your bike, making for easier repairs on the road.
The big wheel also has rolling beneﬁts over a BOB Yak trailer, hooking up noticeably less frequently on kerbs and rolling better off-road. However, it’s worth noting that the panniers sit at the same height as low-riders and the proﬁle is wider than a BOB, so they can catch on rocks in technical terrain.
Like all trailers, moving the load away from the bike saves wear and tear, though on the ﬂipside it’s less compact around town and there’s more kit to ship around. That said, the Voyager is both short and light – just 2.1kg for the frame and around 1.95kg for the wheel.
Single-wheelers have a habit of steering you when heavily loaded, but the short wheelbase helps reduce this. If you really wiggle the bars, you can feel the ﬂex in the trailer’s fork and get it to kick around behind you, but otherwise it’s remarkably stable.
Capacity is limited to a couple of panniers and you can choose from Extrawheel’s sturdy, waterproof 60-litre models or other brand’s efforts (typically around 40l). As such, carrying longer items – tent poles, for example – could be a problem, since you can’t strap a roll-top bag across them as you would with a rack.
We can see the Voyager appealing to rough stuff adventure tourers (there’s clearance for fat tyres), providing extra capacity when doubled up with a rear rack, or for mountain bikes that don’t have rack eyelets. It will also be of particular beneﬁt to tandem riders, because it provides more stowage space without adding too much length.