MONOWALKER hiking/cycling trailer

Utility 11 223

The MONOWALKER, designed by Kai Fuchs, is a great looking wooden and aluminum bike trailer, but as you might guess from the name it is more than that. The product is primarily a single wheeled hiking trailer, but by adding another wheel and a bike drawbar, you can convert it into a cycling trailer. Watch the video on the MONOWALKER site to see it used as both a hiking and biking trailer (as well as a backpack). It looks like a pretty nice product, and the video definitely made me want to try one.

Kai points out that the trailer is ideal for:

•       Hikers – who want to hike without weight on shoulders and who appreciate adventures in nature.
•       Climbers  – who want to bring equipment to the base camp, in order to start the tour from there
•       Photographers that want to carry the equipment for outdoor purposes/ or a tent
•       Parents/ Dads that want to camp with their kids but who would have too much to carry for 2-4 people- even a child carrier  for kids that is usually carried on the back can be connected with the use of the hip belt
•       Women that cannot carry much weight on their back.
•       Youth group leader – who need to carry their personal things plus group equipment
•       Disaster Control which needs to carry heavy equipment on impassable trails, and where vehicles are of no good use
•       Scientists in nature who need to carry equipment on narrow trails
•       Hunters that need to pull animals out of the woods

To that list I would add touring cyclists, who might want to convert the trailer and use it in hiking mode at times (as the video illustrates). It would be nice to have a way to carry all of your stuff (off the bike) on a long cycle tour.

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11 Comments

  1. Name Required April 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    Center of gravity looks high for a bike trailer. 6 kg/ 13.23 lb extra on your back as a backpack? The BOB trailer is used as bike trailer with one wheel, why didn’t the Mono stick with that for biking? http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/. As a hiking trailer it might be fine, but maybe stretching for multipurpose. If you need a backpack, carry along a lightweight backpack and leave the trailer behind (you have to leave your bike behind).

    • James T April 6, 2010 at 9:10 am -  Reply

      BOB trailers are very nice, but personally I prefer 2 wheeled trailers for situations where the extra width is not a big issue. For tight urban riding or smooth singletrack, a mono-wheel trailer like the BOB is ideal, but for a long ride in the open I would rather have the extra wheel.

      Good point about the COG though.

  2. Charlie April 5, 2010 at 8:15 pm -  Reply

    So here’s what I don’t understand: In the wheeled hiking trailer configuration, why not design it to put most of the weight on the wheel?

    The web site says “Due to the smart geometry, you only carry half of the weight of your equipment on your hips, without missing out on comfort and supplies.”

    What’s so smart about that? Why not only 10% instead of 50%?

    • Kai Fuchs June 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

      Hi Charlie, when you put most of the lugguage on / above the wheel, the balance point is over the wheel axle. When it is like this you can`t handle the load. The trailer falls aside. To get clearance to your feet, you need the wheel far away, but near enough to get around corners at serpentines. Having only half the weight on your hipbelt instead of having 100 % on your shoulders is a big advantage. the little more weight of the trailer you don`t feel, because you don`t lift it up. Best regards Kai Fuchs Designer of the MONOWALKER

  3. William O. B’Livion April 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    The Chariot Cougar (http://www.chariotcarriers.com/english/html/cougar.php) is a similar idea, except with a child in mind. Had one for almost 2 years now, and it’s been GREAT. I’ve got the hiking, jogging, stroller and bicycle trailer kits.

  4. Ross Nicholson April 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    When one of these appeared on the AT a few years ago, it created a sensation–and hilarity. Hand trucks are considered unnecessary under most conditions. Heavy wooden parts suggest this puppy is at the prototype stage. The design could benefit troops carrying howitzers or other heavy gear. It seems well thought out, though, aside from its obesity. Seven kilos is six pounds more than my base load. It would be a superior litter for lightly wounded soldiers in tight places, particularly if they could convert over to carbon fiber from wood.

    • Kai Fuchs June 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm -  Reply

      Hi Ross, Wood has been used for sporting articles for decades. Tennis rackets and skis were made of wood for a long time. Despite the use of plastics, you still find wooden cores in skis and snowboards. Hockey sticks, racing toboggans, skateboards, uneven bars, kayak and canoe paddles, bows, baseball bats, snowshoes and even bike frames are made with wood today. For decades now, collapsible boats have been made of birch-layered plywood and ash and until well into the 50s even whitewater slalom boats consisted of a wooden frame enveloped in a sheath of material and a rubber skin. All of these sporting items feature extreme durability because the material wood, when properly handled, boasts high levels of stability and elasticity with a low weight. It was not until recently that wood was recognized as a high-tech material, readily available and having only a very slight impact on the environment in terms of its “production” and further processing.
      The main frame of the Monowalker trailer is made of selected ash, which is also used in the above-mentioned sporting articles. Ash, which is tough and flexible, is among the most stable of hardwoods and is therefore the best choice for equipment that bears heavy loads and has to remain stable under permanent load conditions.
      Ash becomes flexible after only one year of drying. The wood is warmed in steam heated to 100°C and can then be bent into special shapes. A further production step involves optimizing the frame in terms of weight by means of CNC milling. After all this, the bent frame has the same properties as the original wood and is resistant to aging and wear. Last of all, the frame is sealed with spar varnish, making it suitable for use outdoors. With ash we can safe more weight on the frame than by using Aluminum.
      It is our aim to produce the trailer using transport distances between the producers which are as short as possible. We therefore work with suppliers from Southern Germany and Switzerland in order to minimize CO2 emissions caused by the production of the trailer. Not every thing has to be done by carbon fibre. Best regards Kai Fuchs MONOWALKER DESIGN

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