Product Courtesy of SpeedmatrixAvailibility: NowMSRP: SGD$ 480
Extrawheel is Polish company that is dedicated to the production of a single product, the Extrawheel trailer. This is the world’s lightest single wheel trailer and the only one that uses a standard 26” mountain bike wheel. An unloaded Extrawheel weighs only 5kg including all mounting hardwares and can take a load up to 6 times its weight.
In the Extrawheel package, you will find the trailer frame mounted with a generic 26” mountain bike wheel, mudguard with fabric cover, elastic-secured mast with signaling flag, fork and a set of proprietary rear skewer. There is also an extra set of wheel mounting nuts for those bikes that are not on quick release.
Getting it mounted
The Extrawheel uses a quick release system to mount the trailer onto any bikes with rear wheels up to 28”. To mount the trailer, you have to first replace the standard quick release skewers on the rear wheel with the proprietary skewer that comes along with the trailer. Next step is to measure the width of the fork to fit your bike. Once this setup is done, simply expand the fork and attach it to the two end of the quick release and you are ready to go! It took me about 10 minutes to read through the instruction and to do the initial set-up. Subsequent mounting should not take more than 10 seconds. Extrawheel is so confident of their securing system, that they did not even see the need to have a backup system on board.
For touring purpose, there are usually two main ways to load up. First is to fit panniers onto your bike and the other is to pull a trailer along; either method has its pros and cons.
When using panniers, the load is placed directly on your bike. This will put extra stress on the bike and cause the handling of the bike to be compromise. Riding on rugged trails is almost impossible when fully loaded. As for trailers, users tend to face more resistance when dragging it uphill and trailers tends to increase the turning radius of the bike. And since most trailers in the market today uses a different wheel size, it means you will need to carry extra set of spares for it.
Come Extrawheel, a new trailer concept aiming to eliminate the shortcomings of using trailers by adopting a standard 26” mountain bike wheel. This means there is no need to carry different set of spares for the trailer. Using a generic size also means you can purchase spares or get it repaired easily while touring across countries. In addition, the wheelbase is greatly reduced and so is the turning radius of the bike.
I will follow you
During our test, we loaded the trailer with two 5kg loads, one on each side. Always remember to attach an empty trailer to the bike first before loading it up. Two simple hooks at the rear ensure the baggage is tied in properly during transit. Releasing and tightening of the hook is a breeze. The masts are spacious and can easily be expanded to accommodate bulky objects. The masts will have to be shortened when transporting small but heavy objects to prevent the load from coming into contact with the ground, especially during cornering. Heavy load in a loose mast will also cause the trailer to sway when twitching at high velocity.
With the load tightly secured, the Extrawheel trailer is a pleasure to ride with. Its low weight means less resistance when dragging it up the hills. The other amazing trait of the trailer is its ability to maintain the same turning radius after it was hooked onto the bike. The bike remains agile and can dive into corners as if the trailer is not there.
During hard acceleration, the trailer can be felt wiggling from side to side, in sync with the bike. This means more effort during acceleration to overcome the wiggling, but this is inherent for any mono wheel trailer. Use a two wheel trailer if you want to eliminate that, but two wheel trailers come with their own limitation. Riders have to note that braking distance will also be lengthen with a trailer attached.
Offroad is where this trailer really shines. The trailer is able to track the trail well and has no problem going through roots and rugs. Due to its tight turning radius and narrow profile, the Extrawheel is able to go through tight singletrack with no problems. Other than the usual thug and pull by the trailer as it goes over the obstacles, the whole bike felt as agile as without the trailer. Your ability to clear steep climbs and slope with the trailer is only limited to your muscularity and bike handling skills. The Extrawheel will follow with no complaints. The mudguard helps to protect the goods and rider from splashes of mud from the wheel, keeping them as clean as possible. Extrawheel offers waterproof carrier for those who needs their baggage to be dry at all times.
In the event the unfortunate happens, the tube and tires of the trailer can be replaced easily in less than 10 minutes. All you need is a standard cone wrench to remove the axle lock nut. Alternatively, the original trailer wheel can be upgraded to a quick release mountain bike front wheel and be secured with an allen key skewer.
Attaching and detaching of the trailer is simple and fast. The attachment system proved effective and there is no accidental detachment throughout the whole review period, even in offroad condition.
Overall, the handling of the Extrawheel is great and riders will feel at home even when mounting them for the first time. There are no significant handling differences riding with or without the trailer except for the fact that you have a loaded rear. The only time you really feel the resistance is when going up slopes and under hard acceleration effort. Even then, its lightweight means you are maximizing your effort in pulling your load and on not redundant baggage. Last but not least, at $480 a piece, the Extrawheel is also relatively cheap when compared to other trailers in the market, such as Bob Yak and Weber. It is also relatively cheaper when compared to the panniers option.
If you are in the market for a touring carrier, give Extrawheel wheel a serious thought before deciding where to lay your hard earned cash.