Compatibility with child bike trailers?

lizzadoodle

New Member
Thanks for the great info on this site! In my ebike search, one must-have for me is compatibility with a bike trailer. I have now contacted several of the companies to ask about this, and it's surprisingly difficult to get this info!! Would be great to gather some shared wisdom about bike trailer compatibility.

I use a Thule bike trailer which uses the Thule EZ-Hitch system; the typical setup on a non-ebike is to just slide the hitch over the quick release rear axle on the left side of the rear wheel (they also have adapters for a variety of 12-mm thru-axles and internal hub systems). I think the Burley hitch system is similar.

The price range I'm looking at is all rear-hub motors. So far I've been told that the Electra Townie and Cannondale Treadwell setups won't work; the Ride1Up would probably work perhaps with a 12 mm adapter; the Electric Bike Company rep felt confident it would work but didn't have details. Aventon says they recommend the Burley trailers so those would probably work.

Any experience with this issue? Surely I'm not the only mom or dad who could use a little extra power to tug my little one up the hills!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I think the issue is Thule uses a skewer or thru axle and hub motors have a solid axle because the right side typically has the power cable coming out the right side axle end. A mid-drive with a Nexus IGH like the Townie Go 8i would work with the axle extender nut you mention, I use this set up to tow an older Chariot trailer (Thule bought the company) using a Breezer Downtown pedal bike I converted with a Bafang kit mid-drive motor.

The Ariel Rider C-Class might be the least expensive pre-built ebike using the Nexus IGH, but there are shops that will convert any pedal bike you like eg BM Ebikes in Los Angeles or Philly Electric Wheels in Philadelphia. I bought my Breezer from a local bike shop and had them remove the bottom bracket so I could mount the kit motor, then had them make sure the gearing worked with the motor, they were happy to help it might be worth asking around if there are ebike friendly shops near you.

Probably the least expensive option would be to get an inexpensive Nexus-8 (wider gear range than a 3-speed for better hill climbing) model like the Windsor Kensington 8 from BikesDirect and convert it with an inexpensive kit front hub motor like a Hill Topper Sprinter, you could do this for not much more than a grand, though that’s a throttle only kit and you may want a kit with a clip-on pedal assist sensor. Or go the Bafang mid-drive route like I did, it is more expensive eg a BBS02 motor and 48v battery is about $1100-1200 from a reputable seller like California Ebike or EM3EV, plus the $500 bike, and any hourly labor you pay the bike shop, plus extra parts as desired: I documented my build here.
 

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harryS

Well-Known Member
Your Thule cup bracket looks problematic. Thule should bring out a model that will fit on a hub motor. I don't think the current design has enough space to allow a 10x12 thru axle using 17mm or 18mm hex nuts.

thule.jpg
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the great info on this site! In my ebike search, one must-have for me is compatibility with a bike trailer. I have now contacted several of the companies to ask about this, and it's surprisingly difficult to get this info!! Would be great to gather some shared wisdom about bike trailer compatibility.

I use a Thule bike trailer which uses the Thule EZ-Hitch system; the typical setup on a non-ebike is to just slide the hitch over the quick release rear axle on the left side of the rear wheel (they also have adapters for a variety of 12-mm thru-axles and internal hub systems). I think the Burley hitch system is similar.

The price range I'm looking at is all rear-hub motors. So far I've been told that the Electra Townie and Cannondale Treadwell setups won't work; the Ride1Up would probably work perhaps with a 12 mm adapter; the Electric Bike Company rep felt confident it would work but didn't have details. Aventon says they recommend the Burley trailers so those would probably work.

Any experience with this issue? Surely I'm not the only mom or dad who could use a little extra power to tug my little one up the hills!
The price range of the hub drive Electra townies is competitive and will pretty much tie you to a hub drive bike with the trailer hookup issues that have been covered in other posts here. The cost effective solution here might be to get a trailer that clamps onto the bike's seat post.

But, if you're OK with the price range of the Cannondale Treadwell Neo EQ ($2,750 list), other options open up. For example, the Specialized Como 3 has some versions on sale for $2,779. Some shops have been known to discount prices as well. The Como has through axles front and rear. Adapters are available to hookup trailers to these axles; https://robertaxleproject.com/family/, et al. In addition, the Como has a higher (longer range) battery at 500Wh vs 250Wh, a 10 speed Deore drive train, a higher torque motor (75Nm vs 40Nm), larger brake rotors, and a fast 4A battery charger. There are other differences, but this is a fair summary.

So, depending on your bike budget, you may be faced with getting a new trailer or getting a more capable bike.
 

lizzadoodle

New Member
Hi, now that we've purchased 2 different ebikes and pulled the Thule Cadence bike trailer with both bikes, I'm back to give feedback in case it helps other families.

I went with a Gazelle Medeo T9 classic. It's a Bosch mid-drive that was just above my ideal price range. I chose it because a) I loved everything about it and b) the rear wheel has a quick-release, so attaching the bike trailer was exactly the same as it works on my non-ebike. Love love my new bike! Pulling the trailer works great. This bike has plenty of torque for me, but not as much torque as the bike my husband went with - that means that when I pull my kid up a hill, even in the highest level of pedal assist I do need to use my muscles a bit, but still very manageable.

My husband went with the less expensive RadRunner 1. We didn't know going in whether we'd be able to attach the Thule Ezhitch . . . BUT it turns out it was pretty easy to attach it to the frame. This bike has several pre-drilled holes in the frame (attachment points for a variety of accessories). We were able to attach the EZhitch to one of those holes, using a machine screw, lock washer and nut. It is very secure and works great. It does not interfere with the passenger seat kit. The trailer does end up being offset about 2 inches left of center, since it's mounted on this wide frame, so we have to be cognizant of the trailer position when riding in a bike lane. This bike has a ton of torque, so that even with the trailer attached, the highest level of pedal assist feels like you're just activating the throttle with your feet! Attaching a photo of our setup with the RadRunner (this is the left side of the rear wheel; you can see how the passenger seat skirt guard fits behind the frame; the machine bolt from our rigged EZHitch goes thru the clear skirt guard).

Good luck!

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