Kai and Yen: T2 Bicycle Trailer

Kai and Yen stayed with us over the weekend; they’re about 18 months into a two-year trip around the world. Kai was pulling an interesting single-wheel T2 trailer. Unlike my BOB Yak, the rear wheel has what looks like an active torsion-spring suspension:

T2 trailer suspension

T2 trailer suspension

They’re taking the northern route across the US and Canada on their way back to Taiwan:

Kai and Yen - ready to roll

Kai and Yen - ready to roll

They make our bicycling adventures fade to pale gray… which is OK with us!

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  1. #1 by PeterNL on 2012-04-20 - 07:51

    Interesting. Do you know what the advantages are of a sprung trailer? Do they feel the suspension makes a difference?

    My new trailer (under construction – https://picasaweb.google.com/motorconversion/Hurricane_aanhanger#) is unsprung. Am now beginning to seriously ponder building a velomobile (GFRP shell) along the lines of the Versatile, and even for that I’m doubting whether to add suspension to the front wheels.

    So I’m very interested in their experiences with a suspended trailer.

    • #2 by Ed on 2012-04-20 - 08:26

      the advantages are of a sprung trailer?

      I doubt it buys you much for on-road riding, although dropping one wheel of your trailer into a pothole might torque you right over unless there’s a rotary joint on the yoke. Oh, yeah, I forgot: they don’t install potholes on your roads, right? [grin]

      Kai & Yen were obviously accustomed to off-road / rugged-road riding, but much of their tour seemed to be on the road. Perhaps the T2 was simply the trailer they had, rather than the ideal one for the job.

      I keep lusting after a velomobile, although I think around here it’d be painfully slow on the hills. I have enough trouble with a fully loaded ‘bent and trailer!

      • #3 by PeterNL on 2012-04-20 - 09:02

        Valid point. The ball-end rod I’ve used for the previous trailer had about 20 degrees of freedom in all directions, but that’s it. BTW, my main worry with my particular (Heim) joint was the bike falling over when parked with the trailer attached.

        You’re correct about the potholes, we hardly have them here, but I live only a few kilometer from the Belgian border and do plenty of cycling there – especially when I’m in for a thrill and want to test the suspension of my bike (and whether my dentist did a proper job on my fillings).

        Do your friends have an online journal/blog of their travels? Would be interesting to read, especially their experiences over here (if they’ve visited Europe, that is).

        • #4 by Ed on 2012-04-20 - 09:59

          about 20 degrees of freedom in all directions

          That should take care of most problems, although the really nasty holes would take up all the rotation and still have enough momentum to hurl you into the bushes.

          an online journal/blog of their travels?

          I must feed their notes into a translator, but they probably do that to mine, too.

        • #5 by PeterNL on 2012-04-20 - 10:46

          Just checked it out (just the pictures). Very nice!

          Looks like they passed very nearby, as they’ve been to Roosendaal and Antwerp. Also see they’ve visited Rotterdam where I used to go to college in a previous life.

          http://bicycle-entire-world.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-01-22T07:22:00%2B08:00&max-results=5

          Looks like they’re taking the Little Prince on a tour of the world?

          And I see they’ve also discovered our ‘blikvangers’ (can-catchers; basketball hoops/nets for midgets, mounted vertically, and near bike paths) for cyclists to toss their garbage in. Those silly Dutch…. make a sport even out of throwing away garbage….

          • #6 by Ed on 2012-04-20 - 10:53

            make a sport even out of throwing away garbage

            Better than around here, where cyclists sometimes become targets…

            That is, FWIW, the reason why our bikes have a tall VHF/UHF antenna mounted on the left side of the upper seat rail. [sigh]

            Haven’t had any trouble in a long time, but even once is too often.