Remember how I said I wouldn’t buy a Chariot bike trailer because they were too expensive? I take it back. Well, sort of. My friend who owns one recently got his 2nd child riding solo so I took the opportunity to purchase his in excellent used condition at half the cost.
My friend is right, Chariots are finely built. Even though Chariot was recently purchased by Thule, I believe they are still made in Canada. This probably contributes to both the high cost and quality of construction. If you have some extra disposable income, I highly recommend buying one. If you don’t, find one second hand, you won’t be disappointed.
Affixing the Chariot to my wife’s bike with quick-release skewer on the back wheel was easy. Adding it to my single speed was going to take some research.
Normally, you can just take off one wheel nut, add the hitch, and put the nut back on. I however, didn’t have enough axle threads to simply do this. I was left with two choices:
- Buy a wider axle
- Use an adapter
Getting a wider axle is (mostly) straightforward. I recommend visiting your favorite local bike shop to inquire about one. My Redline 29er’s hubs have sealed bearings and an odd axle, so something like this would have to be special ordered, but it does exist. Chances are your local bike shop will have a suitable axle in stock if your single speed doesn’t use any out-of-the-ordinary bearing system.
Then there’s the adapter route. Chariot sells adapters for adding the hitch to an internally geared hub (IGH), where lengthening the axle isn’t an option. Unfortunately, Chariot doesn’t provide any information on what the thread size and pitch are for these adapters, they just offer two types: Shimano and SRAM.
After some sleuthing I found this post (comment #3) on a bike forum that indicated Shimano internally geared hubs use the old English Sturmey Archer axle size of 3/8″.
Chariot’s SRAM adapter indicated it’s for the InMotion9 hub which apparently has standard 10mm axles while the other SRAM IGHs don’t. I wound up going this route in order to put the thread pitch mystery to bed. The SRAM adapter indeed fits standard 10mm axles, so it worked fine on my normal-guy bike with a solid rear axle.
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Hi Justin, this post helped me a lot! I was trying to set up our Cheetah chariot on my Trek Earl SS, and no bike mechanic I spoke on the phone had the experience of doing that. I guess not that many people ride single speed and even less would consider pulling a child trailer with it. Long story short the SRAM adapter fit my axle too. I’ll give it a test ride as soon as the weather here warms up.
My pleasure! Now that I’m towing 2 kids, I find myself wishing for more gears. Minnesota is pretty flat, but I happen to live at the top of a hill. Leaving is fun, I just sometimes have to walk the rig up on the way home.
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