This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
Trailers are the ultimate load machine. Giving up the car and going
grocery shopping? I guarantee you a trailer is the only way to go.
How else can you carry cases of soda on a bicycle? How about taking that
cooler on the bike club picnic? I've used mine to carry a side of beef
and many cases of soda. Want to go surfing, and ride your bike to the
beach? I remember as a teenager trying to carry a surfboard under my arm
while riding. Whew, talk about stability problems! Every little breeze
blew the board one way or another, and each way was in my way! The first
commercial bike trailer I ever saw was produced to tow a surfboard.
Towing children versus putting them in bike seats is a topic all its
own, with good points on both sides. I won't get into the debate over
attachment points. My trailer uses a seatpost clamp, and I like it
So, when it comes to carrying loads, the trailer is king. It does
increase your riding width profile, and it slows you down, but
trailers are stable when riding, and it matters little how you pack
them. Ease of access is the best, once you've dismounted. Some trailer
designs are a bit problematic in parking stability, but to me, this is
an inconvenience issue, and not a safety item.
C. of G. Very Good
Stability Very Good
Ease of Access Very Good
Comfort Very Good
Load capacity: the only way to go for truly heavy loads. Two kids
could easily weigh 75 - 100 lbs. My trailer is rated up to 125 lbs.
Typical usage: for bringing the kids on a recreational ride! Also suited
to serious grocery shopping or self-contained touring. What else can you
use to carry your surfboard or cases of soda?