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Extrawheel Voyager Trailer (2011) Owner Review

Extrawheel Flag

I recently sold my BOB Ibex Trailer and replaced it with a 2011 Extrawheel Voyager, a different style of trailer for sure but one that I hope will prove to be more suitable for my forthcoming Dreaming Tour and for my mix of on and off-road touring in general. Also I am expecting the Voyager to be easier to fly with; and add bonus for sure.

This post is about documenting my receipt of the Voyager and its build. Once I have had a chance to play with it some more I will write-up a full owners’ review.

It was nice to be able to purchase the Extrawheel Voyager in Australia for a competitive price. I got my Voyager from the Australian distributor, Buff Australia for a delivered price of $330. This is the version of the Voyager without a wheel. Not a big issue for me with the Surly Long Haul Trucker as I had just replaced the front wheel with a dynamo wheel build anyway. However, to use the trailer with my Giant XTC 2 I will need to build a 26″ wheel. So this is one aspect to keep in mind when considering the Voyager. On the other side of the coin, you do get a spare wheel for touring and you could build it as a single speed wheel which means you have in effect a spare front or rear wheel.

The Delivery

Extrawheel Voyager Package

Extrawheel Voyager Package

Extrawheel Voyager Packaged Up

Extrawheel Voyager Packaged Up

The Voyager arrived wrapped up in a bit of cardboard and packed into a plastic bag. Not quite the way I expected a $330 trailer to come. Thankfully nothing was damaged or missing. In fact I got a bonus, a second quick release skewer.

Extrawheel Voyager Components

Extrawheel Voyager Components

As you can see there are a few parts to the Voyager but nothing to complicated to put together. A set of “instructions” do come with the trailer but I found the videos available at the Extrawheel website helpful for a couple of parts of the assembly process.

Extrawheel Voyager Frame

Extrawheel Voyager Frame

Extrawheel Voyager Dropouts

Extrawheel Voyager Dropouts

Extrawheel Voyager Frame Hitch Point

Extrawheel Voyager Frame Hitch Point

The trailer frame itself comes already built with no additional assembly required other than adding the accessories and of course a wheel. The accessories are the flag and mudguard.

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Hitch

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Hitch

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Hitch

Extrawheel Voyager Trailer Fork

I have included a few photos of the trailer’s fork as I think this is an interesting aspect of the trailer’s design and there is little out on the WWW about it. Whilst I pulled the fork apart for the photos this was not necessary. Depending on your bike you may need to adjust the spread of the fork and this is very easy to do. Again Extrawheel have a video explaining how to do this.

Extrawheel Voyager Quick Release

Extrawheel Voyager Quick Release

The last part of the trailer puzzle is the quick release. The quick release simply replaces the existing quick release on the bike. It functions as a normal quick release as well as acting as the trailer connection point.

So basically at this point, all that is required is to set the spread of the fork to suit your bike and attach it to the frame by spreading open the connection arms. Add a wheel and your Voyager is ready to roll in its naked form.

Extrawheel Voyager Flag

Extrawheel Voyager Flag

The Voyager comes with two accessories so to speak, one is a flag and the other is chromoplastic mudguard. The flag is a single pole (not a two part one like BoBs) and simply slots into a hole at the back of the frame. The flag is not that long so it shouldn’t be an issue flying with for example. There is a spring hook on the flag pole to help secure the flag but at the same time allowing for some movement should it get caught in a tree or the like.

Extrawheel Voyager Mudguard

Extrawheel Voyager Mudguard

The Voyager mudguard is a fairly wide chromoplastic style; something like a SKS Chromoplastic mudguard, except that the one that comes with the Voyager has a better connection method to connect the stays to the guard. I guess as the size/fit is pre-determined there is no need to allow for adjustments. I found the mudguard a snap to install. My only negative with the mudguard is that it is not drilled to take a light or a reflector. Should be easy to fix but.

That is it in terms of the build.

Riding with the Extrawheel Voyager

Extrawheel Voyager with Ortlieb Panniers

Extrawheel Voyager with Ortlieb Panniers

Extrawheel Voyager with Ortlieb Panniers

Extrawheel Voyager with Ortlieb Panniers

I haven’t done any riding with the trailer as yet in anger but I did take it for a quick spin around Herdsman Lake on some sandy track and bitumen bike paths as part of getting out to take a few photos. It was not loaded up but the trailer did pull nicely. One aspect I discovered was that my Deuter Rack Pack panniers (2007 model) would not fit the trailer. The top mount adjustment range on the panniers is insufficient to allow for the small frame of the trailer. Looking at the Extrawheel website they do claim that the “trailer frame can support all pannier models, including those from other manufacturers” which I guess does not include mine; maybe too old? If you want to check yours, the gap between the two hooks on the trailer is approximately 160 mm. BTW the hooks are there for the mounting of Crosso panniers * and I guess other panniers of a similar design. As my Deuter panniers did not fit, I just switched them to the bike and fitted my Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus rear panniers instead. These fit the trailer just fine.

Extrawheel Voyager hitched to Surly Long Haul Trucker

Extrawheel Voyager with Ortlieb Panniers

The Voyager fits behind my Surly Long Haul Trucker nicely as you can see from the photos. The first quick ride suggests that it tracks along behind nicely. Still need to test it out loaded and down a steep hill on a gravel road but!

Extrawheel Voyager Hitched to the Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Hitched to the Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Hitched to the Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Hitched to the Fork

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

IMG 2766

Extrawheel Voyager Fork Connection

This last series of photos shows the connection between the trailer frame and the fork and the fork to the bike. I must admit I am curious as to the security of the connection to the bike as there is no locking pins or the like which is in contrast to the set-up of the BoB. The key here is to get the spread of the fork correct so that it ensures there is adequate tension to spring the fork to the bike whilst allowing for its easy removal and fitment. On the subject of fitment I quickly learnt that the trailer goes on first and then the rear panniers and trailer panniers. The reverse needs to occur before disconnecting the trailer. This is because the panniers on the bike just get in the way and having panniers on the trailer means the balance is not so good.

Also I have a Hebie Bipod kickstand on the Surly and the trailer, at least on this unloaded ride had no impact on its performance. Hopefully this will prove to be the case fully loaded as well.

So there you go, one built up Extrawheel Voyager single wheeled trailer ready for it is first loaded tour.

Road Test

I have had a chance to put the trailer to the test. I loaded it up (along with the bike and myself) for a four day ride through the Darling Range east of Perth, Western Australia. This ride allowed to get a feel for the trailer on bitumen (roads and shared paths), pea-gravel roads and single track. Other than a little niggle with the mudguard fittings the trailer came through this test with flying colours. I am very impressed with the trailer.

Extrawheel Voyager in a Tight Spot

Extrawheel Voyager in a Tight Spot

My first test of the trailer early into the ride was how it would handle u-bars installed on shared paths to discourage scooters and the like. I was able to get the bike and trailer through, but it did take a little bit of wiggling. That really was the only time I had issues with a tight situation.

Munda Biddi

Single Track Munda Biddi Style

On the short sections of Munda Biddi single track I rode it tracked very well. In fact on the whole ride it tracked very well. This included a downhill section where I hit 60 km/h and on other sections where I was fighting to stay upright due to the pea gravel.

Looking back down Whittakers Road from Wandarrah Springs

Looking back down Whittakers Road from Wandarrah Springs

Even when having to push the bike such as I did on Whittakers Road (and lots of other times due to the pea gravel) I noticed the weight of the bike overall, but the trailer did not add to the burden in any noticeable way.

"GraniteIn respect to loading the trailer, I honestly didn’t give it much thought. I loaded the panniers in terms of what I wanted to carry, not with the trailer in mind. As it turns out, I had one pannier loaded with my camping gear etc and the other with food. So over the ride the pannier with food in it got lighter. I didn’t notice any impact on the pulling of the trailer. That said I did learn very quickly that it is best to attach the trailer and then load the panniers. That worked out well for me.

The only negative experience that I had was with the mudguard fasteners. Where the stays are attached to the mudguard, the bolt went missing in action and the where the guard is attached to the frame, that bolt kept working loose. So now need to either use some Loctite or remove the mudguard all together.

Other than that I am very happy with the trailer and look forward to use it more often.

Quick Specifications

  • The Voyager will take 700c and 26″ wheels comfortably;
  • The frame’s internal width ranges from approximately 65 mm at the front to 76 mm at the rear;
  • The portion of the frame between the two hooks (where a pannier other than the Crosso panniers are mounted) is 160 mm;
  • The frame length is approximately 480 mm and with the fork included, 870 mm;
  • The flag is approximately 980 mm;
  • The trailer fully assembled and with a Alex Adventurer 700C 36h rim with a Continental Travel Contacts 700C x 37 fitted weighs in at 4.10 kilograms
  • The instructions for building/using the Voyager can be found here.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Good

  • Easy to assemble;
  • Simple to connect and disconnect;
  • Tracks nicely behind my Surly Long Haul Trucker’
  • All the welds look good and all the components fitted together as expected.

Bad

  • No holes drilled in the mudguard to take a light or reflector;
  • Wouldn’t take my 2007 Deuter Rack Pack panniers.
  • Mudguard fasteners work loose.

Ugly

  • Nothing ugly.

Resources and other websites related to the Extrawheel Voyager

* As a footnote I did look into purchasing a set of Crosso panniers for the trailer because the trailer is in part designed to take them and they are also 40 l panniers. However Crosso has an Australian distributor which thinks it is smart to charge $AU260 for a set of panniers which can be brought from Crosso for approximately $AU115 + delivery and secondly whilst their webpages are in English, Crosso checkout pages are not and Google Translate wouldn’t pay nice. So I gave up on their panniers and instead will use Ortlieb panniers.

 

11 Responses to Extrawheel Voyager Trailer (2011) Owner Review

  1. jet December 7, 2011 at 9:32 AM #

    Looks great – and only 4.1 kgs!!

  2. JB December 15, 2011 at 5:06 PM #

    Be interested what you think Andrew.

    I’m doing NZ north island with my extra wheel bought in haste before this trip, that I previously did with my BOB Yak 15 years ago and have an Ibex. Invested in the extra wheel to pack lighter/tighter in an additional bike box together with panniers and rear wheel for my Thorn-Rohloff touring bike than my Ibex would allow (although in hindsight and I guess curiousity and some spare cash allowed.

    A bit dubious at first with connection method compared to BOBs and then very uncomfortable on first rides down hills when I didn’t have my front rack and panniers on. Now settled into it’s handling – with fully loaded bike (total about 75kg with trailer included) – so far so good, like the BOB I notice the additonal uphill resistance and down hill, while tracking nicely I tend to be very cautious on the twisting descents. Straight line down , the bike and trailer (and rider) happily coped with 65km/ plus speeds; and the unsealed gravel/stoney roads. A similar feel to the BOB – although you will have to pay more attention to evenly balancing the panniers – where as on the BOB I just loaded heavy items lower.

    Trailer has my axiom front panniers, only ones I have which fitted – since my travelling companions scored the use of the ortliebs I ordered, and my Tioga stormfront panniers wouldn’t fit the fittings for the panniers on the extrawheel.

    Hope all goes well with your trip Andrew and will re-visit your ‘musings’ to see what your thoughts were and in case mine change in the near future. JB

    • Aushiker December 20, 2011 at 12:16 AM #

      Hi JB

      Blog posting now updated with my thoughts following four days of play with the Extrawheel.

      Regards
      Andrew

      • JB December 30, 2011 at 10:05 AM #

        Glad you liked the extra wheel Andrew 🙂

        Been out of internet access, but no changes in my own thoughts after further gravel travels and sealed grinding and fast descents. I DO think the trailer is noticeable drag on climbs but not in the handling, same as down hills where there is a noticeable additional inetria that needs to be catered for when braking.

        Will reply again , all best

  3. Tom May 31, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

    Fascinating. It looks very interesting. The only thing it is missing is the rack over the wheel for top mounted gear. Other than that, it looks clever.

    • Aushiker June 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM #

      It seems from a quick visit to the Extrawheel website that a rack is now available. Looking at BikeTrailerShop.com it is suitable for use with an Ortlieb Dry Bag PS 490 with valve or Rack-Top Bags up to 19 inches long without a rigid bottom, or a rack pack such as the Ortlieb Rack Pack Small.

      What do you think of this idea?

      • Mike C August 22, 2012 at 3:51 AM #

        I am considering an Extrawheel. About the top rack: I’m in a situation where I cannot mount a rear rack to my Salsa Mamasita 29er because it has carbon seat stays. So, I guess my question is will a typical tent w/poles fit and remain stationary on the top rear rack? Anybody know? I called BikeTrailerShop today and the person answering had no knowledge of anyone using the top rack for this purpose. BTW, when you used the Extrawheel on your bikes without a rear rack, where did you put your tent?

  4. Eddie November 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    Andrew,

    Ever thought of using a dynamo hub for your ‘Extra Wheel’ wheel?

    I was pondering and still am, about buying an Extra Wheel and then using a dynamo to charge my smaller electrical gear. I have a dynamo on the front but I’m happy for that to run the lights.

    Cheers,
    Eddie

    Keep up the writing.

    • Andrew Priest November 4, 2013 at 8:29 PM #

      Yes I have Eddie; one of those things that goes through my mind riding along. I cannot see a reason why it would not work as long as there is an easy disconnect method in place; one that would work in an emergency if you dislodged the trailer for example.

      I haven’t bothered as I find I can get along okay with my front wheel dynamo and PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable but if I want to run lights as well as charge during the day then it does become a more variable option.

      If you go down this path do let us know how it works out for you.

      • Eddie November 5, 2013 at 1:49 PM #

        Andrew,

        Thanks for the quick reply. It would make for the ideal replacement front wheel if it was ever needed during a tour. Would definitely need a quick connector in there somewhere.

        cheers
        Eddie

  5. Luis Simoes March 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM #

    Extrawheel Voyage Expert bike trailer with 80L panniers

    I really enjoyed it’s low gravity center of mass… hardly noticed it tagging along!
    The way it attaches, together with the low center of weight and drive-ability, makes it one of the best trailers/pannier system I ever tried.

    I’m selling mine here:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181350661534?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

    It was used only once during the PT Camino Santiago (Lisbon-Santiago Compostela).

Please share your thoughts ...

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