Hauling uni by bike: Surf rack review

I have the luxury of living car free in the Boston area, and I’ve been looking into hauling unicycles by bike to get to nearby trails.

I remember seeing a picture of a Trailgator (USD90) here, but you’d need to install a chunky tow kit on each unicycle.

Not happy with that solution, I did some more digging and found the MBB shortboard surf rack quite a bit cheaper (USD60 on Amazon), and after 50 miles of hauling a 29er, it’s exceeded all my expectations.





The rack mounts to the seatpost and comes off via quick release. You have to experiment with uni placement, but once you figure it out, the uni will sit snug against the foam padding (I recommend using a bungee cord anyway) and won’t interfere with pedaling. The whole setup looks extremely lopsided, but it is surprisingly stable on my touring bike. It feels like I’m riding with a single loaded pannier.

My only concern is the load capacity, since my 29er is at least twice the weight of a surfboard. So far, the rack has held up; but I’ll be sure to post if it fails!

Happy riding!

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There has been some other solutions to this, but yours looks to be one of the best.

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Don’t you need one on each side, or you’re out of balance all the time. Also when riding on the road, I would prefer to have it hang on the right, away from bikers/ cars that pass me.
Personally I always take the car when I want to ride somewhere else. Cars are only not allowed in certain city centres, which is nothing near me.

Passing cars give you more room if you hang something on their side which looks threatening to their varnish. I have lots of experience with purposely dangling bike locks, you must believe me :+1:

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Looks painfully awkward. How about a bike trailer, I see people using them for bike trail camping. The Schwinn day tripper on sale on Amazon for $135.00. seems like better solution for a single unicycle.

you also have those bicycle trailers with 1 wheel, basically a unicycle, but attached to the hub of the hind wheel. Can’t you somehow just attach the unicycle to the luggage carrier of the bike, so it just rolls behind?

Totally off topic but I like the fact that you use Carradice bags… :wink:

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Very Nice!

The setup looks very effective.
Having the load on the traffic side allows you to ride close to obstacles without fear of being “bumped” out into traffic by something unseen or misjudged.

I like it when people actually use something when they review it.
Talk is cheap unless it’s backed up with experience.
So thanks for the useful review.

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The problem I always had with doing that kind of thing was worrying about bike theft. It’s bad enough worrying about auto break ins, (which are quite common at some of the trail sites I go to), but bicycle theft is something on another order of magnitude.

I really think that if municipalities were to crack down hard on bike thieves that it would do more than anything else to encourage bicycles as actual modes of transportation.

Oh I’d definitely haul the uni on the car side. Like @1RadAb said, drivers care more about their car paint than cyclists (or at least it seems that way). Cars pass me much further than if I were riding without one. If not for the weight, I’d carry it all day.

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I have a trailer, and that’s how I did it before. But this setup is waaay lighter. Imagine how larger a trailer you need to actually fit a 29er securely!

edit: As I’ve said in the top post, it was surprisingly stable on a touring bike (like a single sided panier), which is why I wanted to share the setup with the forum. Use whatever setup you want–I’m just sharing my experience for the benefit of the community. Feel free to share your actual experience with a trailer.

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No actual experience, I do not own or use a trailer. I just thought it looked more practical.

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Hah! @ccola, this is great!

When you were explaining this to me, I was picturing the unicycle hanging off of the rear of the bike. I’m sure that you must have mentioned that it hung off to the side, but I totally missed that point. This is definitely not what I was picturing. But, it looks great.

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Haha yeah that’s more like the trailgator in one of the links @UniMyra shared above.

I like that it takes the weight off the bike, but besides the price point & additional hardware, I’m not a fan of big moving parts on a bike in general.

For those who hasn’t allready seen it. A very good (but slightly more expensive) solution is this half bike/uni made by @jaco_flans for @makym. I can imagine this being less attractive to thieves than a normal bike, when the unicycle is detached.

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what a magnificent machine. The question is… can you unicycle with the bike attached!?

Wow that is a great why of taking my kids with the mountainbike where they can’t sit on the back. If only the uni was a bit more straight up.

then it becomes kind of a Hoppley bike. The uni rides backwards. Would be fun to carry someone on the front then as well.

This is the most awesome touring bike ever. I’ve considered building a touring trailer from a unicycle to be able to have a uni with me on a bicycle tour. But this setup is even better!

And +1 for the Gates belt and the Rohloff…

To be honest, I don’t ever see myself ride somewhere by bike to then start unicycling. Especially when you have a bike with so much luggage. You don’t want to park it somewhere and expect your stuff to still be there when you return. I would either go on a mountain biking holiday or a holiday where I’d use my unicycle. I’m not much of a bicyclist myself and only use a bike to pick up my kid from school. Ever since I started unicycling, my mountain bike has just collected dust and occasionally I let my dad ride it, while I unicycle.
I can understand if people want to go on a camping trip by bike and at a camping leave the bike with the tent and go unicycling, but it seems like a lot of hassle.
So I’d say great solutions, but I won’t use them myself.