Schwinn Day Tripper Review
Cons: Noisy, wheels out of true, thin fabric top
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Schwinn Day Tripper
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|Pros||Easy to use, good tracking, simple assembly, affordable||Lightweight, large capacity, versatile||Easy to assemble, spring loaded connection on the hitch allows for good tracking behind the bike, durable||Easy of use, smooth rolling||Easy to assemble, large storage capacity, affordable|
|Cons||Noisy, wheels out of true, thin fabric top||No straps or dry sack included||Plastic bottom rattles when using empty, heavy, axle mount for the trailer has a tendency to rotate forward due to the torque from the weight||Plastic wheels, not compatible with thru axle modern bikes||Rattles, cloth sides touch wheels when overloaded|
|Bottom Line||Designed for simplicity and ease of use, this bike trailer will get you to and from the grocery store without any hassle||No matter what you want to haul, this trailer will probably do it||This burly and affordable trailer is too heavy for the long haul, but useful around town||This is an easy to assemble and use bike trailer that will get your picnic to the park without any drama||This is an affordable trailer that boasts a massive cargo payload and is fairly versatile|
|Rating Categories||Schwinn Day Tripper||Burley Design Flatbed||Aosom Wanderer||Retrospec Rover Hauler||Aosom Elite II|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Ease of Towing (20%)|
|Smoothness of Ride (20%)|
|Specs||Schwinn Day Tripper||Burley Design Flatbed||Aosom Wanderer||Retrospec Rover Hauler||Aosom Elite II|
|Capacity||50 lbs||100 lbs||110 lbs||80 lbs||88 lbs|
|Weight||18.5 lbs||14.5 lbs||30 lbs||20.1 lbs||34.6 lbs|
|Number of Wheels||2||2||2||2||2|
|Size (when open, L x W x H)||25" x 16.5" x 10"||33" x 16.1" x 30.9"||57" x 27.6" x 19.2"||27" x 24.5" x 20"||35" x 33" x 25"|
|Access into Trailer||Top||Top||Top||Top||Top|
|Cover Protection||Weatherproof cover||None||None||Weatherproof cover||Weatherproof cover|
|Attachment to Bike||Forged Steel Hitch||Forged Hitch||Aosom Type 'B' Bike Trailer Universal Hitch Coupler||Forged Steel Hitch||Forged Steel Hitch|
Our Analysis and Test Results
You likely know Schwinn for the same reason we do, their bike manufacturing legacy that originated in the late 1800's here in the good old U-S-of-A. While that pedigree might hint at a high degree of research, development, and tight tolerances in manufacturing, the reality is a bit different. Manufacturing has shifted entirely to China and Schwinn's quality has shifted more towards the "McDonalds" end of the quality spectrum rather than the classic designs and quality we're used to. That being said, the Day Tripper feels pretty solid and handled our around-town testing like a champ.
The Day Tripper boasts a 50-pound payload limit and it'll do that with no problem. Our testing bordered on unnecessary punishment but the Day Tripper shrugged it off and asked, "what else you got?". We spent several days riding greenway trails around Salt Lake City doing our civic duty; that is to say, cleaning up everyone else's garbage that has been deposited on the trails. The highlight of this cleanup was finding a dual speaker subwoofer box half-submerged in the Jordan Creek. Easily weighing 60+ pounds, the waterlogged wooden box failed to crush the Day Tripper's spirits. This gross overload also highlighted a nice design feature of the Day Tripper, its wheels being situated near the back which greatly improves handling with a heavy load and keeps the trailer from lifting your bike's rear wheel.
Ease of Use
The Day Tripper is extremely easy to use both in the practice of hauling and in assembling it out of the box. Out of the box, the side rail structures unfurled and popped into place easily. The wheels also snapped into their sockets without any drama. We did have to inflate the wheels as they arrived totally flat, but that wasn't a big deal. After assembly, we found the boxy design easy to hitch, load, and unload. While the fabric topper is quite thin, it was easy to get in place and did a nice job holding our groceries gently in place.
Ease of Towing
There is an inherent friction penalty accepted when using a two-wheel trailer versus a single wheel. The Day Tripper, while quite pleasant to pull, is no different. The towing highlight of this trailer is the clever wheel placement. Having wheels situated near the back of the trailer keeps heavy loads from "helping" you steer your bike and also keeps the rear wheel from lifting off the ground when you step off your bike. Due to this clever wheel placement, we really felt that this trailer did an excellent job under heavy load. Tracking was straight and true throughout our testing even when we grossly overloaded this little fella.
Smoothness of Ride
When rolling around on city streets and the main greenway cycling artery through Salt Lake City, the Day Tripper rolled smoothly, albeit a little noisy — all of the attachment points are horseshoe-style metal clips that rattle incessantly. Lacking any suspension and having relatively small 16-inch wheels, gravel roads, bumps, and obstacles were a bit of an issue. We got the trailer up on one wheel a few times while simultaneously cornering and clipping a curb or other obstacle. Without any shock absorption, the energy had nowhere to go but straight into the trailer lifting one side into the air. Still, this trailer was generally quite pleasant to pull and performed best on smooth paved trails and roads.
Probably the most important note on versatility regarding the Day Tripper is the fact that two-wheel trailers, in general, are significantly less adept for bike touring or bikepacking. The Day Tripper can't really handle singletrack trails and is a little too rough on gravel roads, not to mention the rattling that might drive one to insanity on a long gravel tour. What this trailer really does well is hitch/unhitch easily, get groceries, and haul your goodies to the park for an afternoon.
The bottom line here is that the Day Tripper is downright cheap when compared to other name-brand bike trailers on the market. In many cases, it's half the price of others. The conversation, however, is not so simple as what the price tag might imply. The Day Tripper, while sturdy, is relatively cheaply made. The wheels, while easily detachable, were wildly out of true and connection points were all fastened with pins and horseshoe clips. Yes, these do function well, but they are not subtle or chic — they were in fact, unchic. This aside, the Day Tripper held up to our abuse, both physical and verbal, and kept on ticking throughout our testing. It represents decent durability for the money and a simple solution for anyone wanting to get their picnic supplies to the park without firing up an automobile.
The Schwinn Day Tripper is a reliable friend who always shows up when you need them, even if they are a bit disheveled and rattly. We put this trailer through its paces and even threw in a little extra in the way of a significant weight overload and it just wouldn't die. Riding around our local greenway picking up garbage and trail-stewarding was actually quite fun with this maneuverable mid-sized two-wheeler. If you're looking for something simple and reliable, this is a solid option.
— Brian Martin
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