Carry Freedom Y Frame Trailer

Description:

Lightweight load-carrying flatbed trailer with velcro straps for easy attachment of goods/bags/boxes etc. The aluminium frame with a maple varnished base makes for a light vehicle (7kg) and easily removable wheels mean it can be stored flat. Payload is estimated at 70kg – 90kg.

Opinion:

Pros

I instinctively took to this trailer the first time I saw it. Simple but elegant design, nicely rounded off with a maple top. And  extremely light, such a contrast to the steel Pashley Euro which we’d used exclusively until the Carry Freedom arrived. We added a lockable plastic box to the flatbed and hey presto, we had a load carrier weighing around 10 kilos. The wheels are alloy, spokes stainless and fit for purpose with sealed cartridge bearings. The clever little quick release button means they can be detached in seconds and the whole package is compact and discreet. A very well designed trailer….

Cons:

… A very well designed trailer, apart from the hitch that is. In fairness, I have to say that if you’re thinking of buying one of these and it comes with a standard hitch, I think it’s worth paying the extra and getting the ‘Post Office’ hitch instead (Carry Freedom can supply you with one of these) . Our standard hitch  snapped twice within a few weeks  of buying it, once fully laden on a hill where it rolled back towards traffic. I have two friends in Brighton, both of whom have Carry Freedom trailers and they also had the same hitch problems, either snapping or bending.

Fortunately, (as mentioned above) Carry Freedom do offer the ‘Post Office’ hitch and it’s infinitely stronger. Not sure if it alters the payload – you’d have to check that out with the company. The plastic ‘ball’ part of Post Office hitch does wear through eventually where it meets the trailer arm, but if you do maintanence checks, you’ll see it happening and be able to change it before anything drastic happens. We’ve just changed our first one after about 2 years of daily use (around 20 miles per day) which I don’t think is bad. Additionally, Carry Freedom have developed a new prototype hitch which may replace the old standard one.

The only other negative I’ve found with this trailer is that the quick release on the wheels seems to seize if the wheels are not removed periodically. The bearings on one of our wheels has recently developed some play, but when we tried to take the wheel off, it wouldn’t budge. I’ll post the solution to this problem when I find it…!

Conclusion:

Now, the ‘cons’ section of this review is very long, but don’t let that put you off. The hitch problem is being addressed and in the meanwhile there’s the ‘post office’ hitch option. The rest of the trailer, from my experience is very reliable indeed. Ours must have clocked up at least a couple of thousand miles from new and is still functioning really well. We’ve swapped the stock Kenda tyres for Schwalbe Big Apples and it rolls perfectly. The big bonus of the Carry Freedom is the weight, unladen you really don’t know it’s there. The flatbed setup is a great starting point and you can add any number of options – Carry Freedom can help you out with this here. Like I said earlier, I took to the Carry Freedom instinctively and overall, I’d say my instincts were correct.

Another Carry Freedom innovation worth checking out is the Bamboo Trailer designed for DIY manufacture… Altruistic in motivation, this is another reason why I like this company. Have a look at it here.

Manufacturer’s website: www.carryfreedom.com

UK suppliers:

Quite a few out there, so here’s just a small sample

Wiggle

Rutland Cycling

Chain Reaction


8 responses to “Carry Freedom Y Frame Trailer

  • Rog

    When was this article written? I ask because I am wondering if the new hitches are now standard.

    • b1ke

      Hi,
      I wrote this towards the end of 2009. I don’t know if the new hitch (the ‘lollipop’) is supplied as standard on all new Carry Freedom trailers, but I do know that they’re available direct from Carry Freedom itself. You can contact Nick via his website, http://www.carryfreedom.com. A friend of mine has one of the lollipop hitches on his trailer and is very impressed with it. Cheers, Chris

  • Martin

    I wanted to like the Carry Freedom Y frame, but after 1000 km in France last summer I’m not so happy. I don’t care for the plastic hitch because the fixed part projects so far from the bike, putting more load on the axle and possibly savaging one’s ankle. I used the steel hitch and, early on, my bike fell over, closing the hitch so that I couldn’t remove the trailer from the bike without undoing the securing bolt. (Foolishly, I hadn’t brought a spare hitch.) I also found that the trailer tow arm often gets in the way when manoevering – e.g. when walking the bike through a crowd etc. A high-mounted central hitch looks a better idea. It was very wet at the start of our trip, and water got into one of the wheel bearings – there are no seals on the inside faces. The rubber caps on the outside soon disappeared also. And finally I think it’s much heavier than it need be… I think it’s a pity there seems to be no development – these snags have been pointed out long ago.

    • Amoeba

      Martin December 7, 2010 at 11:07 am,
      I probably haven’t covered 1000 km with my Carry Freedom Y-frame large, but I’m a huge fan, despite minor problems. This is the best cycle trailer I’ve had. I’ve had three. My other trailers are the Bellelli Eco and the Der Roland.

      I keep the Y-frame hub caps retained by means of cable ties threaded behind the spokes in a figure of eight that cross over the hub caps. This means I can remove the caps when I need to but they don’t get plucked-out by brushing past posts etc.

      So far, I haven’t had any problems with the standard metal hitch. And I’ve used the trailer for hauling concrete (crates so heavy that I couldn’t lift them); bags of compost; general junk from the garden; and using the 1.9 m extension arm fence posts 2.4 metres (8 feet) long; hand rails 3.6 metres (11.8 feet) long and bicycles on a cycle carrier I bolt to the load-bed. The 1.9 m extension arm came with the Commercial hitch. I like that too.

      I disagree about the trailer’s weight. It’s lighter than others with a lower maximum payload.

      “A high-mounted central hitch looks a better idea.”
      I disagree. I have two trailers with these.
      a) A high-mounted central hitch is prone to pull-over the bike when hitched to the trailer with a load.
      b) A high-mounted central hitch causes strange ‘surging’ behaviour in the towing bike when cornering and the trailer is loaded heavily.
      c) While I have rolled my Der Roland trailer (fitted with a high-mounted central hitch) many times. I have only rolled the Y-frame once, and that was entirely my fault when I misjudged its path and one of the wheels jumped a high kerb, causing the capsize.

      The stub axles are rather fiddly to remove, but now I’ve greased them carefully with molybdenum grease home-loaded with graphite powder (from a locksmith / hardware / DIY store) got the hang of removing them for storage.
      I think it’s essential to remove the wheels when not in use, or there is a risk that the axles could become ‘frozen’ and difficult to remove.

  • Ray

    Being a bit paranoid and living in a less salubrious part of the country (Oxford) – can the hitch be locked? What about the wheels?

  • trikewight

    I bought a Tri-cargo trailer for my Mission trike 18 months ago. This has a towing bar that fixes to under the saddle. The towbar I found has a weak connection to the front of the trailer, which caused the bar to snap.
    I see from the website that Mission no longer stocks nor imports this trailer. Is there any way of getting replacement parts for this model?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: