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To BOB or Not to BOB

by Josh Lipton

There are a lot of bicycle cargo trailers in the world, some follow the single wheeled premise others subscribe to two wheels. When it comes to off road riding I think it is well accepted that single wheeled bike trailers are the ticket. They track well behind your bike and can still carry a significant load. One of the most well recognized names in single wheeled cargo trailers is BOB Cargo Trailers. BOB has been making single wheeled cargo trailers since the early 1990′s, and have established themselves as the leaders in bicycle cargo trailers.

We’ve got BOB Trailers on the brain as we currently have the BOB Trailer Spring Sale running at BikeTrailerShop.com. BOB Yak Trailers are currently on sale for $259 while BOB Ibex Trailers are only $319!

There have been a lot of bicycle cargo trailer knock offs of BOB, many coming out of Taiwan, not a big surprise as much of the manufacturing in the cycling industry takes place in Taiwan, so leaks are to be expected. But are these as good as the originals?

We received a couple of pictures from Redbike, touring on his Edinburgh Cycles, Revolution Cargo Trailer. From the photos it looks like Redbike is having a great time touring with his trailer. Interestingly enough the Revolution Cargo Trailer looks surprisingly similar to our favorite BOB Yak. There are a few noticeable differences in construction between the two. The Revolution Cargo Trailer also touts the ability to break down as compared to the static BOB YAK.

I found a striking resemblance between the Revolution Cargo trailer and the TW-Bents, a company in Taiwan, Convenience-Icargo trailer. Coincidence? Possibly. There are some marked differences between the BOB and the Revolution/Convenience. The BOB has round steel tubing and welded joints and the Revolution/Convenience has square tubing with some welds but also has many bolted parts as well, undoubtedly needed to collpase and dissemble the trailer.

Edinburgh Cycles pitches the Revolution/Convenience as “It’s less than half the price of the BOB” and the initial review was a positive one, but further in the product listening they say, ” Though it looks like the popular BOB Yak this trailer costs a lot less and folds flat for shipping. It’s not quite as suited to expedition use, but for shopping or lite touring it’s a bargain”, interesting.

The Revolution/Convenience-I looks like a great buy if you are looking for something that is great for your daily cargo needs or some easy weekend touring, but if you want the best settle for nothing but the original bicycle cargo trailer, BOB. Ya it might be more expensive, but this is a perfect example in life where you get what you pay for.

 
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2 Responses to “To BOB or Not to BOB”

  1. Colin Wells says:

    Having extensively used both a BOB Yak and an Edinburgh Co-op Revolution/Convenience trailer I can vouch that in my experience the cheaper Taiwanese knock-off is actually more than adequate for expedition use – in fact I am afraid to say it has easily outperformed and outlasted my dear old Yak in that department.
    I use cargo trailers on a regular basis for both work and pleasure (I’m a field ecologist working primarily in the Highlands of Scotland) and all my trips are off-road, normally quite long and usually across pretty rough and rocky trails, quite often with heavy loads. As such, I probably use trailers more often and in tougher environments than most. After several years’ sterling service my Yak literally disintegrated while flying down a Cairngorm glen. The welds on the forks finally gave up the ghost and they simply snapped off. Looking for a stop-gap replacement I got a cheap ‘Revolution’ from EBC thinking it’d be OK if it lasted for a year or two at that price. Three years and some very rough use later it’s still going strong with no sign of it looking like it’s going to give in anytime soon. What’s more, some aspects of the design are actually better than the BOB. As well as the ability to pack flat for transport or storage, the spring release attachments are much easier and less fiddly than BOB’s skewer system. It is very difficult to attach a fully loaded BOB to a bike – but with the Revolution’s spring release catches it’s easy. Overall, I would say that, surprisingly, Taiwan’s cheap knock off is both tougher and better designed than the BOB. Drawbacks? It’s a couple of pounds heavier than the BOB (altho’ to be honest I haven’t really noticed the difference when hauling) and after three years of extreme use one of the spring release catches has worn and become prone to coming loose. This is easily remedied by attaching a a small cable tie to make sure it stays in place – which is actually less fiddly than inserting BOB’s skewers.
    I like BOB trailers, and would definitely invest in one again if I felt I could afford one, especially an Ibex. But, unfortunately for BOB, there doesn’t seem any contest when you can get one of these for as little as 75 new – including a decent dry bag (ca. $122 as of March ’11).
    Cheers,
    Col

  2. thomas hanauer says:

    Thanks for this review! I cant afford a bob either but I am ordering the other one. I doing a tour from Minnesota to Colorado and back of course. I think the whole thing depends on how much weight you put in a trailer. I am still going with 4 panniers and the revolution trailer. I like to spread the weight around. I also weight 250 pounds . I should lose 40 pounds on the trip!! Bob should really knock the price down because they would sell more! Go Revolution!!

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