BoB Trailer Upgrade

Many of you know that bicycle touring has been a big part of my life since the early 80’s. I prefer to use panniers for travel but a few years ago I acquired a BoB trailer. The usefulness of it surprised me whether it is taking a bag of trash to the dumpster or just running some errands the ability to just drop stuff in is quite handy. The ability to have the skewers on multiple bikes and use the trailer on any of them is a big plus too.

BoB on my Motobecane

I got my trailer used from a friend who owns a local bike shop, it is in excellent condition but I wanted to give it a “once over” to look for problems that may arise in the future. The BoB is built very well to begin with but some components like screws and nuts were showing their age. The tire was also original so I just went ahead and upgraded that too.

I decided on a Schwalbe Marathon as that is what I run on my primary touring bike. A Mr.Tuffy tire liner is extra protection at a reasonable weight penalty, I build all bikes for reliability and durability first and weight is never a concern, otherwise Id skip a few desserts.

Completed wheel and tire

The fender on the trailer is a simple steel one, my Surly has Honjo hammered aluminium fenders. I wish I could find those in this oddball 16″ size. I replaced all the mounting hardware with 306 Stainless fasteners and added some rubber washers to give the fender some freedom of motion, hopefully this will prevent any stress risers from forming near the mounting points.

Closeup of rubber fender mounts

I never had the original flag for this but the mounting point is a 6mm diameter, this is a standard size for fiberglass rod sections. I ordered a VERY cheap flag kit on Amazon. I am not sure I will use it since the poles are a little rough (nasty fiberglass splinters) and the connector sleeves seem a bit suspect. I guess I could paint and use it and if it breaks or falls off, Oh well….

Super cheap flag kit from Amazon

The standard reflector is very nice and it positions the surface at the proper angle. As I prefer to have a tail light, I am redesigning this mount to accommodate a Planet Bike Super Flash. I have printed some prototypes and just need to model the Super Flash mount before the final version.

There will be an upgrade version 2 coming soon, I have purchased a 32h rim and a generator hub to be built for this trailer. This will power a standard USB power pack and the rear taillight. I have a gen hub on the Surly already so this will boost my generation capacity by 100%. On long trips I use a 7″ tablet for navigation and the single gen hub can be marginal for 8 hour plus days, especially if I am riding slow.

Author: Joe