Great for multiday trips on MTB
I used this trailer with my Speshy 2011 StumpJumper Comp 29er on a 135-mile trip across the Denali Highway in Alaska in late July, carrying just under 60lbs.
Assembling the trailer was easy, but I did have to purchase the larger fork for the trailer to fit the 29" wheel, which may have cost about $40 in addition to the price of the trailer.
Attaching it to the bike requires the replacement of your stock rear axle with one specially built for the BOB trailers. The axle has bevels extending out on either side of the frame, upon which the trailer fork rests. The trailer fork is secured to this new axle by sliding special cotter pins in to keep the fork from rising up off of the axle.
It helps that the pins are attached to the fork by some elastic lanyards to keep them from getting lost. However, if you're buying the additional fork for the 29" tire, keep the extra pins from the original fork on hand during your trip as spares. It's still possible to lose them, and some have reported bending them, though they seemed quite stout to me.
The trailer has one tire in the rear, which helps it track and keeps the profile narrow. However, when the bike is not moving this adds to the instability of the whole setup. With a 29" tire, it's nearly impossible to find a jackknifed angle that will support the bike and the trailer in an upright position as some have reported with 26" tires. Therefore, a kickstand on your bike will really help. Alternately, just commit to unhooking the trailer when you're stopped for more than a minute or have to walk away from the bike.
Attaching and detaching the trailer is quite easy, but you have to be careful about the cotter pin on the right side of the bike getting tangled in the derailer lines. Since it's also connected to the trailer by that rubber lanyard, it will cause some cursing as you essentially will have to remount the heavy trailer, untangle and try again. Luckily, someone at BOB also got frustrated with this experience - one difference between the Yak and the IBEX is that the IBEX has two eyelets on the fork arms from which you can hang the pins to keep them out of the way while moving the fork onto or off of the axle bevels. Use them and save yourself some trouble!
The most noticeable difference relative to the Yak is the addition of suspension on the trailer tire. I've not ridden with a Yak, but my friend on this recent trip was using one. While he didn't complain about his trailer on the bumps, I can tell you that the Ibex nearly disappears behind you. You don't even feel it bouncing over the bumps in the road, and you can see the suspension actively working in your favor as it muffles the impact.
Finally, another difference from the Yak is the addition of braze-ons for holding two water bottles at the back of the trailer. These may seem superfluous, but on a hot day traveling 30-40 miles up rough hills, I consumed about 3 bottles of water, making this aspect of the trailer a key part of your water supply strategy.
Overall the trailer seems very well built. It rides smooth, keeping your cargo weight low to the ground. It may take a while to readjust your balance with it, as it will amplify side-to-side instability. Riding no-handed with it takes not only some practice but also careful planning on balancing your load on the trailer. The trailer continued to perform fine when coasting at speeds up to 36MPH, but pedaling at speeds over 25MPH can cause some fishtailing, again because of how it amplifies any side-to-side motion you make on the bike. This can be dangerous so feel it out gradually.
Great for Commuting!
I've had this trailer for 2 months now and use it daily for an 8 mile commute (each way) to work. LOVE IT! Have attached it to my Trek 6700 mountain bike. It was a breeze to set up and attach (and un-attaches with ease). Took 20 minutes to put together; you just need a 10mm wrench. The trailer is well made and the bag is nice.
I hall a backpack with a laptop and books, a lunch bag, and a change of clothes for work. The included dry-bag fits everything with ease. My stuff all adds up to approx 30-40 lbs. This weight is no problem for the trailer. It tracks perfectly behind my bike and the shock (on Ibex) is excellent for absorbing curbs or potholes. The "set-up" is so much better than a backpack (on back) or panniers, in my opinion.
You can get it with a "fork" (the part that connects trailer to bike) that fits 28" or 700c wheels, provided the 700c wheels has no fender. If you have 29" wheels or 700c wheels with fenders, get the "larger" fork model. You can also purchase a second fork and change them out, in 10 minutes.
I'm not sure the trailer would be ideal for single track or serious mountain biking in the woods. But what would? This trailer would be better than a heavy backpack, I think.
BOB Ibex Plus FS Trailer by BOB
I think this trailer is a great product, and does everything the advertisements claim. I carefully researched this and similar trailers before I bought the BOB. It was fairly easy to assemble, despite the instructions, which were confusing. The instructions seem to have been translated into English by a non-English speaker, and parts are even missing, though they are there in the other languages.
Once assembled, the trailer attaches easily. The dry bag is a great addition. It rained the morning we decamped, so it was needed.
Heed the instruction about the speed limit. The trailer does increase the tendency to wobble at higher speeds and in loose gravel. Slow down before riding in loose gravel (a wise thing even without the trailer). On pavement, the wobble starts slowly enough to slow down safely, but it will increase wobble. I was hauling a heavy load on the trailer and on my bike.
Parking the bike with trailer attached is a problem. The parking mode in the instructions did not work for me. I have ordered a kick stand to attach to the BOB.
I think the problems I mentioned are common to most single-wheeled trailers. Despite these limitations, the trailer worked great. It hauled all our (two people) camping gear with no problems.
This thing is so cool. I love that I can just detach it from my bike so quickly and re-attach it just as easily. It's really easy to forget it's there unless you're doing some serious towing but even then it's no biggie. The only thing is that attaching it can be a little awkward because you have to hold the bike up and align the trailer hitch at the same time which can get a little tricky especially if your trailer is heavily laden. But I don't think it gets any better than this. The single-wheel design is brilliant because it is more conducive to mountain biking and much less bulky than a two-wheel trailer when riding. I weigh 230 lbs and I sat in it with my friend pulling (not recommended) and it did not even hint at any failure.
The BOB Ibex is built tough!!!
Nothing compares to this trailer. I use it to haul grocieries and it has saved me ten times its cost in gas money over the years. It also makes a great camping trailer. Why drive to the camp site? My girlfriend has a YAK and we pull in with our trailers. It makes the trip feel more adventurous. I have a car now, but this trailer is also the only reason I was able to survive without a car for four years. Once my girlfriend moves down here with me, she will take the car and I will take the BOB. Josh p.s. - Forgot to mention that this trailer is perfect for geocaching expeditions. Pack all your gear and go! I just ordered the Wandertec liner. Can't wait until it comes!
Fantastic Ride but Not Easy to Fly with
I used one of these trailers on a tour from AZ to FL - it worked wonderfully. The BOB is so much more flexible than panniers, can easily add weight and gear, and with the rafting bag that comes with the trailer you don't ever have to worry about it leaking. The downsides: I has some spoke issue along the way and had to purchase a new back rim. If you are considering using one definitely be sure you have a quality back rim that can support the weight - a testimonial - not just a "yeah it should be fine." The biggest downside is that it does not collapse which makes taking it on a plane expensive - right now $100 one way!!
I used the trailer for various mtn bike expeditions with three children. It follows every line you choose. It is an execellent trailer for hauling gear and can carry quite a bit without overloading it. The waterproof drybag is an awesome piece of gear when it is pouring, or muddy and works well later hauling gear around when off the bike. The suspension keeps the trailer smooth and never jerky behind you. It takes a beating and just keeps on hauling. If you have to carry gear (obviously I do with a 2, 6 and 8 year old)- this is the way to do it! I just need to talk BOB into a conversion kit for using it as a hiker!
Pretty awesome trailer.
I use the Ibex trailer for trail maintenance and it's awesome! I can easily carry a chain saw, fuel, and some dirt tools like picks, Mclowds, Pulaskis, shovels etc. You've got to be creative when it comes to strapping down the shovels and other dirt tools but I found that with a half a dozen bungi cords I can hold down quite a bit of stuff. It handles roots and rocks way better than I expected. I've taken it on some easy single track without any problems. I've only used my trailer in the dirt so far, but I can imagine that it handles the asphalt quite well.
2,400 mile Continental Divide Route
Used on 2,400 mile off-road Continental Divide Route.
Never broke down.
Upside down works as a great campsite table.
Suspension works and really flattens rough trails.
Never ran out of storage room.
Tends to "push" on downhills and curves.
Really for off-road use only - drags on pavement.
Cheap shock, tire, and rim.
Hard to ship/fly with - doesn't break down well.
Clumsy attaching to bike with skewer.
Camp with "ultralight" in mind or can overstack.
After 3 months of continual use it still doesn't need maintenance, has no rust, and works great.
Finally a 12mm thru-axle is available.
The Robert Axle Project we a true fans of the BOB trailers including the Ibex. Great proven design. We've been on some amazing adventures with them.
Now we make a 12mm thru-axle so you can run a BOB trailer on the new 142x12 axle standard which is common on most mountain bikes now.
Our BOB Ibex was thoroughly tested on multi-night tours and heavily loaded trail work days. Great product.