When we sat down to plan our bike trip months ago, we continually ran into one problem. How do we get the surfboards to come with us? Sure, they make bike trailers for gear, for dogs and for small children, but no one out there is making a trailer for surfboards (yet). Finding the bikes, panniers, camping gear, etc, all fell into place, but we were still searching for the best way to transport our two surfboards, both just over 6’ long, all the way down the coast with us.
Then, the guys from Avenir got in touch with me to tell me they had something they thought might work… “Right,” I’m thinking. At that point I was getting discouraged, and also getting ready to construct something myself, made of PVC pipe and duct tape. Thankfully it didn’t come to that. I discovered they made a cargo trailer that was essentially a box on wheels. Nothing fancy, no weird downward slopes that would angle the nose of the boards right into the ground, no seats for small children that we don’t have or want. Just a well constructed, lightweight, aluminum frame that was high enough away from the wheels that the surfboards could sit perfectly on top of. We had found our trailer.
Avenir Cargo Trailer Details
- 30×18 inches of cargo space
- Cargo capacity: 77lbs
- 20 inch wheels
- Weight: 22 lbs (according to the box it came in. According to my bathroom scale it was closer to 18lbs)
Avenir Cargo Trailer Review
So, I understand that the majority of people out there searching for bicycle cargo trailers are not looking for a way to transport surfboards 1100+ miles. However, here’s how I look at it. If the trailer can do all that, with no trouble, imagine how mechanically sound and lightweight it would be for you to pull whatever it is your little heart desires, be it surfboards or just groceries from the farmers market. I definitely plan on using mine around town now that it’s back from the bike/surf epic.
The Avenir Cargo Trailer comes equipped with a nylon “bed liner” of sorts, plus a bright orange nylon cover. While this material is not 100% waterproof in massive downpours, it certainly puts up a good fight. On all but 2 days of our trip, all the contents of our trailer were dry, even after a hard day of biking in the rain. It also comes with a sweet orange flag. Bonus!
The biggest crux we ran into with the trailer was how to attach it to our bikes. The Avenir Cargo Trailer comes standard with an attachment arm that screws down onto the chainstays bike. The tighter you spin the screw, the harder it clamps to your bike. While I am positive that this would work great for around town endeavors (and offer you great flexibility if you want to move the trailer from one bike to another), it wasn’t the setup we wanted for a 1000+ mile journey. Fortunately, Avenir had thought of this already, and makes an adapter that mounts directly to your axle, which you then attach to the trailer with a cotter pin. For us, this eliminated the possibility of the clamp coming unscrewed each day, or worse, coming unscrewed in the midst of some gnarly highway ascent with no shoulder.
For those of you who’d like to use the cargo trailer as an around-town grocery getter, or for bike tours, this should be sufficient enough information. Feel free to skip ahead to my summary of positive and negative features of the trailer. For those of you die hard surf/bike fans who’ve been searching for years for a way to make your bike a surfmobile (of which I am sure there are at least, oh, well, 5 or 6 of you), read on to learn exactly how to convert your Avenir Cargo Trailer into the Surfmobile Extraordinaire.
After assembling the cargo trailer, we took two regular car top surfboard pads (you know, the kind that DaKine makes), and inserted those onto the top rails of the cargo trailer at both the front and back end. This created some padding between the boards and the metal trailer frame. In all the amazing coincidences, the standard sized surfboard car-top pad length also happens to be the exact same width as the width of the Avenir Cargo trailer body, so it fit perfectly. Next, we loaded all the other gear into the trailer. Then, we put the nylon cover on the trailer, also covering the surfboard pads, leaving us a beautiful, level, flat surface to set the boards on. Last step was to cam strap the boards down just as we would have had they been on the roof rack of my Tacoma. 2 straps, each one looped around each side of the trailer and then coming across, held the surfboards on for the entire trip. We had minimal drag, minimal wind problems, and overall, it functioned amazingly well.
- Durable- 1117 miles loaded with gear and surfboards and the only problem we had was a busted spoke 4 miles from our final destination. Zero flats. Zero attachment issues, unlike some other cyclists we met on the road.
- Lightweight, especially for a 2 wheeled trailer of its size.
- The only trailer out there that will work for surfboard transit. Trust me. I’ve looked.
- Collapsible, making storage or travel to and from your actual biking destination easy.
- 2 different attachment methods ensure that you’ll find something that works for your trailer use needs.
- A great bargin at $230
- A 2 wheeled trailer offers more rolling resistance than a single wheel, making it slightly more difficult to pull than its single wheeled counterparts
A bomb-proof cargo trailer at a great price.