The Wandertec Tuba or How to Replace the Minivan
So you’ve got to run some errands on your way home from work, which include a trip to the grocery store, as well as a stop at the pet store to get a bag of food for your furry friends. You normally commute by bike, but there’s no way you can comfortably carry groceries for the week and a big bag of dog food without leaving a trail of oatmeal, apples, and yogurt in your wake as you ride home with an overflowing bike trailer. So you pick up the car keys and head out the door. The car just provides the space and convenience you need, and that’s simply a bummer. That also sums up a situation that I – and many other utility cyclists – have often been faced with.
Clearly, there’s a need for a bike trailer that caters to the middle ground. I currently own a Wandertec Bongo in small, which is perfect for modest loads of 100 lbs or less (or 150 lbs or less if you have the large Bongo). The Bongo is great, but it fills up quickly. I usually pair mine with an Xtracycle, which makes for a rather long, bulky load, but usually does the trick. However, it would be great to have a slightly larger trailer, albeit one that isn’t exactly an intimidating gigantor.
Fortunately, the folks at Bike Shop Hub have developed a bike trailer that is designed for “life-sized loads.” If your current bike trailer isn’t quite cutting it for daily errands, on top of bike commuting, the new Wandertec Tuba is the solution. Hardware store, check. Gardening store, check. Grocery store, definitely! The Tuba’s got the average person in mind.
The idea behind the Wandertec Tuba is to provide the same level of convenience and spaciousness as your car’s trunk or backseat. It appeals to people who are looking to use their cars less or maybe even go car-free. It also appeals to people who aren’t interested in a heavy-duty cargo trailer designed for 300 lb loads, but still need to carry more than 100 lbs or need more space.
The Wandertec Tuba is still in development, but you can help it move forward to production by backing it on Kickstarter. The trailer is currently in the late prototype stage, and it will definitely include a sturdy, flat load bed, a stable aluminum rail system, a protective liner, and a rain cover. It will be offered in two sizes, which include large and extralarge. The Tuba will have the same hitch arm system as the Bongo, which is adjustable to most any bicycle, and can also serve as a kickstand and cart arm for moving it off the bike.
The folks at Bike Shop Hub are offering a wide range of rewards for pledging at different levels, but pledges of $25 and more all come with a t-shirt and various other incentives (ie. the trailer itself when it’s reached production, which is estimated for September 2012).
In the interest of full disclosure, the brainchild behind the Wandertec Tuba is my brother, Josh Lipton, who created the Wandertec line of trailers, including the Bongo. Utility Cycling is published through his company, Bike Shop Hub, so we certainly have a vested interest in the trailer. There will be full reviews of the Tuba from more objective testers coming shortly over at our sister site, Commute by Bike.
In the meantime, if you would like an opportunity to get a Wandertec Tuba at less than the estimated full retail price, as well as a variety of other cool Tuba swag, you can pledge for it on Kickstarter.