?Tow a 'yak with a bicycle?

With all this talk of do-it-yourself carts, has anyone ever tried to (or done it) tow their kayak with their bicycle?

We’ve got a couple decent put-ins close enough to cycle to and I’m wondering if it could be done…

my brother has been doing it for years. he has rigged a ‘hitch’ onto a bike rack. He uses Mid-wheels by Washburn. He does up to 5 miles from his place at Seaside, OR out to the beach or bay.


Not a DIY but…

Bicycle towing not safe
I have thought this one through pretty carefully and ruled it out for the following reasons:

  1. A bicycle towing a kayak is long, awkward, and slow to be sharing a lane with motor vehicles.
  2. Crossing roads would be particularly difficult to do safely.
  3. The strain on the rear wheel, rear gear train, the chain, the tire, the crank and bottom bracket, and depending on the bicycle, the rear triangle would all exceed design parameters.
  4. Taking all of these factors into consideration: a slow, awkward, unwieldy, and overloaded vehicle in close proximity to much larger and faster moving traffic, the conclusion is obvious that this is not a safe option.

    Living within a 1/4 mile of a suitable lake, in flat Florida no less, made this conclusion particularly hard to swallow.



on the other hand
1. A bicycle not towing a kayak is short and slow vehicle to be sharing a lane with motor vehicles. Many drivers don’t see cyclists any way, but a bike towing a kayak would be a novelty, it would get you noticed. And you could/should put a flag on the end of the kayak.

2. As opposed to with out a kayak? Obey the traffic rules, use common sense, as should be done anyway, and the problem is minimized

3. In a word, no. Most bike trailer hitches attach to the rear axel. And unless you are riding a light weight road machine, the average bike frame could stand the strain. If you are concerned get a frame designed for off-road downhill riding. the extra stress on the drive train would be negligible; a little extra maintenance would be all that is required to keep things running smoothly.

The thing that wasn’t mentioned was the extra braking distance required, make sure those brakes are in good working order, and think ahead.

4.Riding a bike in traffic is dangerous, with or with out a kayak in tow, with some common sense, and following the traffic rules, the danger is not really increased all that much to not do it.

I would also keep in mind: try and ride on roads with a wide shoulder, avoid rush hour, use a flashing red light at all times, wear a bike helmet, yeild, pratice in an empty parking lot first, use lower gears, watch your speed down hill, think.

Tell it to THIS guy!

– Last Updated: Sep-21-05 1:46 PM EST –



then why do they make all kinds of KID carts for bikes, a couple of 50Lb Kids weigh more them my YACK so they would put even more strain on the various bike parts. also most Yack trailers should be Neutral balance wise so no Tongue weight would effect the bike. I used to Tow my Daughter all over the place with my Mountain bike in the woods, she had a Blast and the Bike is non the-worst for wear and I say dragging a cart through the woods is far rougher then rolling it on SMOOTH pavement. Just dont make sharp turns and it should be fine.

bike tow
I don’t think you need to build anything, just use a bike cart.

Go to the article, February 2002 ‘Mark Przedwojewski: Team Kruger Canoes – Okefenokee Challenge’ on www.watertribe.org/Magazine/

There are a couple of photos in the article of Mark and Jonathan bike towing thier Kruger Sea Winds during the 40 mile portage of this race.

They used thier MTBs, and the Heavy Lifter boat cart from PaddleBoy Designs under the canoes. I can’t quite tell how they rigged the bow to the seat post, but that shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

I’ve been playing with this a bit, and this is how I’m planing to tow the Dreamcatcher the 40 miles in the Watertribe Ultimate Challenge Race next March, but I’ll be using a folding bike that will fitside the Dreamcather during the race. http://home.earthlink.net/~dawn_stewart


here’s another guy in Canada



What Bill posted
While I can agree with EVERYTHING he posted I also think that it is up to the person doing it. If he is not comfortable doing which I think he is not by what he posted. Then fine. I think I would be ok but you need to remember it is different than just riding a bike. I think you could relate it to driving your car and then adding a 25 foot trailer to it. You have to adjust how you drive and you would have to adjust how you ride your bike. Have and be safe.

Take a Look

– Last Updated: Sep-25-05 1:25 AM EST –

Have a look at this Swedeish home page, he's got a smart solution.

what page?

There used to be
a woman in the Northampton, MA area that towed her kayak behind a bike on the bike trail there to the Connecticut river to paddle.

I’ve seen here there a number of times when I was rollerblading there.


Kid trailer as starting point
I own a Burley kid trailer, and once my kids outgrow it, it’s tempting to put a longer tongue on it and use it for bike shuttles, especially on runs where there’s a bike path paralleling the river.

Can you weld
If you can weld you can easily make one your self. It would be better to make it out of alluminum if you can get to a TIG welder if not you can use thin walled tube and weld it with a ARG or MIG welder. Good Luck

I know of some that
tow their folding kayak with their folding bicycle. Cycle to the put in, put kayak together, fold up bicycle and store in kayak, and away you go.

seems as if
you could put one together with a little ingenuity and a little help from a local bike shop.


You ar right! No drive train issues

– Last Updated: Sep-22-05 8:53 PM EST –

old english three speeds were regularly loaded with 100 pounds of gear and a biker to top that and ridden in asia.

Now when the chains are extra narrow to accomodate an 8 speed rear cluster and the wheel has radial spokes yeah thats too much for it. I have friends who regularly ride decent bikes hauling quite a bit of weight on super beefy trailers.

read John allen's "effectivre cycling" and assert your rights before you lose them.

just sawe a pic of a slightly oversized cart and the kayak was attached to the bicycle by the grab handle loop…don’t know how safe…


Hills would be a big problem
Just biked 12 miles on very hilly terrain, most of it uphill. From my kayak to my van.

Can’t imagine pulling a kayak behind me…especially on the downhill sections. It was enough to keep braking under control on the few steep downhill sections. I imagine the uphill pedalling would have been fun towing a kayak as well.

I imagine bike trailering is mainly for level ground?