Schwinn Day Tripper Review
Cons: Noisy, not compatible with thru axle modern bikes
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Schwinn Day Tripper
|Price||$137.65 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|$439 List||$249.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Easy to use, good tracking, simple assembly, affordable||Durable, easy hitch, elastic cargo net, smooth ride, stands on its own, one wheel||Three inches of adjustable suspension improves on and off road handling, tracks well behind rear wheel of bicycle, easy attachment||Solid axle makes the trailer stable for large heavy loads, folds down small for easy storage, open design allows for flexibility when hauling non-traditional cargo||Flexible rubber hitch mount allows bike to lean without trailer leaning so climbing hills is much easier when you get off your seat, lightweight, durable|
|Cons||Noisy, not compatible with thru axle modern bikes||Heavy||If packed uneven it can get wobbly on downhills, doesn't stand up on it's own||No straps or dry sac included||Enclosed structure makes it difficult to lock your trailer up along with your bike, weather resistant but not watertight|
|Bottom Line||Designed for simplicity and ease of use, this bike trailer will get you to and from the grocery store without any hassle||This model combines the heavy duty build quality of some two wheeled trailers with the easy pull of a one wheel design||If you're going to tow, tow this trailer||This is the trailer for hauling the kitchen sink||A versatile model great for touring or just shorter trips to the grocery store|
|Rating Categories||Schwinn Day Tripper||Burley Coho XC||BOB Ibex Plus||Burley Design Flatbed||Burley Nomad|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Ease Of Towing (20%)|
|Smoothness Of Ride (20%)|
|Specs||Schwinn Day Tripper||Burley Coho XC||BOB Ibex Plus||Burley Design...||Burley Nomad|
|Capacity||50 lbs||70 lbs||70 lbs||100 lbs||100 lbs / 105 liters|
|Weight||18.5 lbs||21.5 lbs||17 lbs||14.5 lbs||15 lbs|
|Number of wheels||2||1||1||2||2|
|Size (when open, L x W x H)||25" x 16.5" x 10"||32.5” x 22” x 22.5”||62" x 17" x 16"||33" x 16.1" x 30.9"||32.4" x 26.8" x 22.8"|
|Wheel Size||16"||16”||16" x 2.125"||16"||16"|
|Access into trailer||Top||Top||Top, sides||Top||Top|
|Cover Protection||Weatherproof cover||None||Yellow Dry Sak||None||Weatherproof cover|
|Attachment to Bike||Forged Steel Hitch||Quick release||Quick release||Forged Hitch||Forged aluminum hitch|
Our Analysis and Test Results
You likely know Schwinn for the same reason we do, their bike manufacturing legacy that originated in the late 1800's here in the good old U-S-of-A. While that pedigree might hint at a high degree of research, development, and tight tolerances in manufacturing, the reality is a bit different. Manufacturing has shifted entirely to China and Schwinn's quality has shifted more towards the "McDonalds" end of the quality spectrum rather than the classic designs and quality we're used to. That being said, the Day Tripper feels pretty solid and handled our around-town testing like a champ.
The Day Tripper boasts a 50-pound payload limit and it'll do that with no problem. Our testing bordered on unnecessary punishment but the Day Tripper shrugged it off and asked, "what else you got?". We spent several days riding greenway trails around Salt Lake City doing our civic duty; that is to say, cleaning up everyone else's garbage that has been deposited on the trails. The highlight of this cleanup was finding a dual speaker subwoofer box half-submerged in the Jordan Creek. Easily weighing 60+ pounds, the waterlogged wooden box failed to crush the Day Tripper's spirits. This gross overload also highlighted a nice design feature of the Day Tripper, its wheels being situated near the back which greatly improves handling with a heavy load and keeps the trailer from lifting your bike's rear wheel.
Ease of Use
The Day Tripper is both extremely easy to use on a day-to-day basis and frustratingly incompatible with modern thru-axle bikes (we only had old-school skewers and 12mm axles to test with). This may have been a blessing in disguise for the Day Tripper, had we been able to hitch it to our full suspension trail bike, havoc surely would have ensued. As it was, we were relegated to our old Lemond road bike and Surly Moonlander. Once we had the wheel skewers threaded through the mounting bracket, hitching and unhitching took mere seconds and the mount was subtle enough to live on our bikes without throwing off the feng shui too much.
Out of the box, the Day Tripper side rail structures unfurled and popped into place easily. The wheels also snapped into their sockets without any drama. We did have to inflate the wheels, but that wasn't a big deal.
Ease of Towing
There is an inherent friction penalty accepted when using a two-wheel trailer versus a single wheel. The Day Tripper, while quite pleasant to pull, is no different. The towing highlight of this trailer is the clever wheel placement. Having wheels situated near the back of the trailer keeps heavy loads from "helping" you steer your bike and also keeps the rear wheel from lifting off the ground when you step off your bike. Due to this clever wheel placement, we really felt that this trailer did an excellent job under heavy load. Tracking was straight and true throughout our testing even when we grossly overloaded this little fella.
Smoothness of Ride
When rolling around on city streets and the main greenway cycling artery through Salt Lake City, the Day Tripper rolled smoothly, albeit a little noisy — all of the attachment points are horseshoe-style metal clips that rattle incessantly. Lacking any suspension and having relatively small 16-inch wheels, gravel roads, bumps, and obstacles were a bit of an issue. We got the trailer up on one wheel a few times while simultaneously cornering and clipping a curb or other obstacle. Without any shock absorption, the energy had nowhere to go but straight into the trailer lifting one side into the air. Still, this trailer was generally quite pleasant to pull and performed best on smooth paved trails and roads.
Probably the most important note on versatility regarding the Day Tripper is the fact that two-wheel trailers, in general, are significantly less adept for bike touring or bikepacking. The Day Tripper can't really handle singletrack trails and is a little too rough on gravel roads, not to mention the rattling that might drive one to insanity on a long gravel tour. What this trailer really does well is hitch/unhitch easily, get groceries, and haul your goodies to the park for an afternoon.
The bottom line here is that the Day Tripper is downright cheap when compared to other name-brand bike trailers on the market. In many cases, it's half the price of others. The conversation, however, is not so simple as what the price tag might imply. The Day Tripper, while sturdy, is relatively cheaply made. The wheels, while easily detachable, were wildly out of true and connection points were all fastened with pins and horseshoe clips. Yes, these do function well, but they are not subtle or chic — they were in fact, unchic. This aside, the Day Tripper held up to our abuse, both physical and verbal, and kept on ticking throughout our testing. It represents decent durability for the money and a simple solution for anyone wanting to get their picnic supplies to the park without firing up an automobile.
The Schwinn Day Tripper is a reliable friend who always shows up when you need them, even if they are a bit disheveled and rattly. We put this trailer through its paces and even threw in a little extra in the way of a significant weight overload and it just wouldn't die. Riding around our local greenway picking up garbage and trail-stewarding was actually quite fun with this maneuverable mid-sized two-wheeler. If you're looking for something simple and reliable, this is a solid option.
— Brian Martin