Hunting Washington Forum

Equipment & Gear => All Other Gear => Topic started by: Bango skank on June 23, 2019, 02:09:01 AM

Title: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on June 23, 2019, 02:09:01 AM
Im looking to get a mountain bike for hunting and scouting behind locked gates in non motorized areas.  And a small trailer i can pull with it to pack camp in, pack game out.  Maybe a rifle rack on the handle bars.  Havent had a bike since i was a kid, dont know squat about them.  Looking for general info, suggestions, things to know / consider / look for / avoid.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: TommyH on June 23, 2019, 06:56:52 AM
Get a bike with disc brakes if you can. I converted a couple of kid haulers for my trailers. Can pack in alot of gear for camping.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Shaqdiesel on June 23, 2019, 06:58:38 AM
I got a diamondback with front suspension and disc brakes and it didnít break the bank, has served me well for the last 5 years
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: TommyH on June 23, 2019, 07:06:46 AM
Camp gear for 3 days.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: JakeLand on June 23, 2019, 10:38:42 AM
I would say getting the correct size of a bike for your size body is more important then disc brakes ! Go to any bike shop and theyíll size you up to what size bike is best otherwise the wrong size will wear you out quickly!
For bike trailer Iím partial to the burly nomad it can carry a whole buck or bear or a whole boned out elk and theyíre bulletproof!
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190623/0746dbb55243c9a7beb750d5726db02e.jpg)
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Mfowl on June 23, 2019, 11:10:21 AM
Anyone use a single wheel trailer vs the double? Do the trailers ever hang up on rocks/wood/brush and cause problems or knock you over?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bullkllr on June 23, 2019, 11:30:54 AM
All bike trailers  for hunting are a compromise, imo. Small enough to use while hunting, or big enough to haul a whole elk...? Then do you pay for custom, or DIY? Do you then need a brake system...? Does it make sense just to make more trips?

I have for years used a Cabelas "game hauler" 2 wheeled cart hitched to the seat post. Mine is 1" square aluminum, strong and wide. Carries a whole elk easily, but the ride out with that much weight can be hairy to say the least. I've been knocked off the bike a few times on down hills depending only on the bike brakes. Never had a problem with brush- when on roads at least- but you need a really wide path to get it off the road much.

Hardest part was figuring out a reliable swivel/hitch. It's too big and bulky to be desirable while actually hunting. I have typically stashed it 'down low' when not hunting from a bike-in camp.

Day trips for deer I never bother with it. The bike itself makes a nice deer cart. I might bring a small trailer if I had one.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: kselkhunter on June 23, 2019, 11:38:41 AM
I had an old game cart that I converted into a bicycle cart.  Was pretty easy. 

I bought this to attach to it as a tow arm:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D5ZTWME/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And I bought this to attach the tow arm to my bike hub (more stability than a seatpost attach IMO) and swivels and pivots nicely when cornering
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011TLU5J4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So if you already have a sturdy game cart lying around, this is a $60 modification.   (note: I took the photo before I drilled for the bolts, yes that is duct tape holding the arm to the cart, just to test the initial theory...that duct tape held for the multi-mile test ride on my gravel roads in the neighborhood....I was amused).



Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bullkllr on June 23, 2019, 12:37:27 PM
KSelkhunter:
That cart is similar to mine; my partner has the exact same one.

As I said, mine is attached at the seat post. I rigged my own hitch; my partner bought a "tandem" tow arm (designed for attaching kids bike to adult bike).
Guessing your's is indeed more stable. With the cart angled like that, are you able to distribute the weight over the cart axle?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: kselkhunter on June 23, 2019, 01:07:36 PM
KSelkhunter:
That cart is similar to mine; my partner has the exact same one.

As I said, mine is attached at the seat post. I rigged my own hitch; my partner bought a "tandem" tow arm (designed for attaching kids bike to adult bike).
Guessing your's is indeed more stable. With the cart angled like that, are you able to distribute the weight over the cart axle?

 I like to load my camp gear into a plastic storage tote. With the tote pushed against the back over the wheels. And I put my rifle into a padded case and strap it to the upper part of the cart. Then my hunting backpack on top the tote or strapped to the top back. . On more elaborate trips I have even strapped a Coleman stove on top the tote. And a small cooler on top that. But that much weight is a leg burner. When in that heavy configured load stability can be challenging if there are large rocks on the trail. So I slow down for those sections.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on June 23, 2019, 01:28:20 PM
Heres what we came up.with the cables 2 wheel cart with custom hillbilly hitch attach thingy to the seat post. Works great! You have the game cart to be able to haul meat to trail or road then hitch up.and pedal away. One important part was to be able to have someone push going up hills at comfortable height with out bending way down. Stuff you think about as you body ages.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Clearcut on June 23, 2019, 03:04:43 PM
Been hunting off a bike most my life. Size is a big deal. Make sure it fits you or like others have said youíll be wore out quick. Disc breaks are a huge plus. Preferably hydraulic of cable. I have home made aluminum carts. Can haul out a whole elk if needed.( I quarter my elk out then bone out the rib cage)  Ideally half is comfortable. If you have good disc breaks going down isnít a issue. Going up hills is a  little less fun
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: ghosthunter on June 23, 2019, 03:23:51 PM
Im looking to get a mountain bike for hunting and scouting behind locked gates in non motorized areas.  And a small trailer i can pull with it to pack camp in, pack game out.  Maybe a rifle rack on the handle bars.  Havent had a bike since i was a kid, dont know squat about them.  Looking for general info, suggestions, things to know / consider / look for / avoid.  Thanks.

Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on June 23, 2019, 04:48:32 PM
This would be a good project to brush up on my gas welding skills, 4130 tubing.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on June 25, 2019, 12:46:28 AM
Any specific brands of bikes i might want to look at? And what about the fat tire thing? Pros / cons to the wide tires ive seen on bikes lately?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: kselkhunter on June 25, 2019, 12:50:36 AM
Fat tire matters most in snow and mud.  If on gravel road, not so much.  Disc brakes are preferred.  If you have a place that allows ebikes, the conversions are cheaper than the "factory e-bikes". 
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on June 25, 2019, 01:11:41 AM
Dont want an e bike.  Would the fat tires suck on dry roads? Id like to be able to use the bike on both dry roads and in a little snow or mud.  Would going for a happy middle ground on tire width be a good idea?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: JakeLand on June 25, 2019, 03:29:40 AM
Wider the tire = more effort to pedal
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on June 25, 2019, 02:06:03 PM
Dont want an e bike.  Would the fat tires suck on dry roads? Id like to be able to use the bike on both dry roads and in a little snow or mud.  Would going for a happy middle ground on tire width be a good idea?

I got a 3.5" hybrid tire and like it,  I've used it in the mud and wished it was a tad wider.  I've used it on hard roads and wished it was a bit narrower.   
Overall I think it's a good compromise, the tire works well in loose gravel roads.


Specialized Fuse with disk brakes and shock on the front, hard tail.  Its been a great bike and joy to ride once I changed the saddle out for a bit fat comfy one for my unconditioned arse. 
It takes a long time to condition your arse, we ain't kids anymore! 

The narrow saddle would cut off blood supply to the boys and put them to sleep, like you slept on your arm you get that horrible and slightly painful tingling??
magnify that times 1000 for when the boys go to sleep  :o


You're welcome to try the bike out, I think we're close to the same height?  My seat post won't go down any further not sure whats up there but its locked in good even when I fully loosen the clamp.

Danny at Clarks All Sports treated me pretty good and knocked some money off and set it up.  He's pretty knowledgeable and I've known him since he was in diapers  :chuckle:

this is the newer version of mine, same thing, wish i coulda got that sage green!
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/fuse-27-5/p/171070?color=263341-171070
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: boneaddict on June 25, 2019, 02:08:34 PM
I converted a kid trailer.  I hauled out an elk on it.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on June 25, 2019, 02:09:27 PM
Ill definitely take you up on that offer of trying the bike out.  When i get home from alaska im going to be very busy checking cams, hanging a few more stands, scouting the blues with a friend, hopefully killing a couple bears in august etc, but ill sure try to squeeze in time for a bike ride, thanks.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on June 25, 2019, 02:18:22 PM
Ill definitely take you up on that offer of trying the bike out.  When i get home from alaska im going to be very busy checking cams, hanging a few more stands, scouting the blues with a friend, hopefully killing a couple bears in august etc, but ill sure try to squeeze in time for a bike ride, thanks.


 :tup:

Just be aware that the newer higher end bikes use a special air pump, no idea why, but I had to freaking buy a special pump for a special valve  :rolleyes:

Also, if you want to run a rack some of the bikes are harder to find mounting options depending on the frame, I'm not really interested in putting on panniers or a rack.
I think I'll just run a trailer eventually.



Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: MHWASH on June 26, 2019, 08:29:32 PM
I ride a Trek Marlin 5 with 2.20Ē tires and disk brakes. I m real happy with the bike, but donít have much experience other than a few Walmart type bikes. For a trailer I use a kid carrier that I added a hard bottom. Iíve carried about 75# on the trailer.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Jellymon on June 26, 2019, 08:44:47 PM
My  :twocents:. Make sure to get a hardtail (no rear suspension). Theyíre lighter, less to go wrong, and the big one, way easier to pedal up hills. I have hunted on my duel suspension 35lb trail bike for years and always found myself pushing more then everyone else. One trip I used one of thier hardtails and what a world of difference! I was pedaling hills I usually pushed. And that was with worse gearing than my duel suspension bike.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on June 26, 2019, 08:54:08 PM
There was a couple companies making killer hunting bike trailers a while back but itís such a niche market, they stopped. If youíre gonna pull any kind of cart, behind a bike downhill, loaded, disc brakes are almost a must or you may be wearing the meat.  And, put slime tubes in your bike tires unless you enjoy fixing flat tires.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: ridgefire on June 26, 2019, 10:17:23 PM
I have used a Burley brand kid hauler for years with great success. Wheels are getting pretty bent up now from bouncing off rocks but everything else has held up great. The trailer will collapse flat so great for storing and takes up minimal space when in the back of truck. I have seen them at Goodwill for under $10.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on June 27, 2019, 12:32:15 AM
Heres what we came up.with the cables 2 wheel cart with custom hillbilly hitch attach thingy to the seat post. Works great! You have the game cart to be able to haul meat to trail or road then hitch up.and pedal away. One important part was to be able to have someone push going up hills at comfortable height with out bending way down. Stuff you think about as you body ages.

I like how you set that up.  I have one of the big cabelas game carts, i might go that route rather than buying a separate trailer
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Skyvalhunter on June 27, 2019, 05:02:04 AM
Wow you guys have a lot of stuff to haul
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Jason on June 27, 2019, 06:42:11 AM
Ill definitely take you up on that offer of trying the bike out.  When i get home from alaska im going to be very busy checking cams, hanging a few more stands, scouting the blues with a friend, hopefully killing a couple bears in august etc, but ill sure try to squeeze in time for a bike ride, thanks.


 :tup:

Just be aware that the newer higher end bikes use a special air pump, no idea why, but I had to freaking buy a special pump for a special valve  :rolleyes:

Also, if you want to run a rack some of the bikes are harder to find mounting options depending on the frame, I'm not really interested in putting on panniers or a rack.
I think I'll just run a trailer eventually.
Your referring to a Presta Valve and theyíve been around for a long time, usually found on higher end bikes or Tires requiring higher pressures. I have them on my Felt mountain bike and I have a pump that works with both style valves. Also you can buy little screw on adapters for the Presto valves to use a regular pump designed for the Schrader valve.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: outdooraddict on June 27, 2019, 12:08:19 PM
are bikes a good method compared to hiking, where i hunt in idaho it is a lot of logging roads that are passable in a vehile, however they are gated, is peddling uphill as easy or harder than walking? or what have the actual benifits been that you have personally noticed, spead, ability to haul more, etc?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: ridgefire on June 27, 2019, 10:19:35 PM
Where we have our wall tent stashed in Idaho is a 4 mile ride that is pretty much an incline the whole way in. It's a fairly grueling ride but we can get everything in for 12 days in one trip. You hardly have to pedal coming out so ends up saving a bunch of time. We use our bikes and trailers to get in and back out so we'll worth it for us.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: ridgefire on June 27, 2019, 10:25:13 PM
It's nice to be able to have a camp like this when the weather's not the best. Every year we bring something for the camp with the bike trailer.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: MHWASH on June 28, 2019, 07:04:46 AM
are bikes a good method compared to hiking, where i hunt in idaho it is a lot of logging roads that are passable in a vehile, however they are gated, is peddling uphill as easy or harder than walking? or what have the actual benifits been that you have personally noticed, spead, ability to haul more, etc?

I have found that it makes a huge difference. Obviously with a trailer you can haul more gear. Even riding uphill is faster than walking. Itís a little awkward if you hunting your way in, or out though.

One thing I found out this spring is if you have to push a bike and trailer up hill, itís much easier to put you pack on, then push up the hill. This may be not be the issue with a seat post mounted trailer though. With the set up Iím running the weight in the trailer causes the rear bike tire to want to come off the ground.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: theleo on June 28, 2019, 08:01:24 AM
are bikes a good method compared to hiking, where i hunt in idaho it is a lot of logging roads that are passable in a vehile, however they are gated, is peddling uphill as easy or harder than walking?
That's going to have a lot to do with the groupset on the bike and if/how the suspension is setup. Being able to lock the suspension out and being able to get a gear ratio close to 1:1 will make going uphill easier. Having taller gears and transferring energy into the suspension with each pedal stroke makes it harder. 
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on June 28, 2019, 08:39:38 AM
  IMO a lot depends on how much seat time you have whether it is easier or not. Most folks get off the bike once they feel walking will be less fatiguing regardless of how quick they are moving.  The better your conditioning on the bike the more it will pay off for you. Its a new set of muscles, so while the cardio conditioning will transfer, I have found the only way to get "bike fit" is to ride it. Also, you will know whether the bike is setup for your needs.  Personally, hauling weight uphill I am much more efficient with a bike than on foot.

As far as bike "types". Skip anything from a box store Including costco. Skip anything with dual suspension unless you know exactly what your looking at. Lots of older bikes will work great but educate yourself prior so you know what your looking at. Kind of like bows a pro shop can be a huge help. You will pay a bit more but you will likely learn what your looking for, and buy with confidence that you have something that you wont be fighting with. Call different shops and give them a lowdown of what kind of bike you are looking for and what your intended use and you will get a really good idea of whether or not they understand your needs. In general the increased cost is offset by much improved setup and usually free or reduced tune ups.

I started hunting off an older schwinn (pre box store) solid frame and it worked just fine. Upgraded to a dual suspension cannondale it also worked well for nearly a decade. Both had Standard tires, and wheel brakes. I have always used a beefy kid trailer and have loaded it up with loads I truly thought would break it. Never an issue stopping on anything. A couple years ago went and upgraded and got a solid rear 3.5 tire with decent components including hydraulic disc brakes.  This particular bike has resolved a couple issues I used to have to work around with the other bikes and for me is pretty close to perfect, but like anything always room for improvement.



Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on July 08, 2019, 04:43:18 PM
Nice bike, wish flat black was an option when I got mine


(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190708/f2b3197c600e81baf8280df285f50511.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190708/011e16b929b20a1b27ac2291989acc49.jpg)

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on July 08, 2019, 11:19:17 PM
Nice bike, wish flat black was an option when I got mine


(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190708/f2b3197c600e81baf8280df285f50511.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190708/011e16b929b20a1b27ac2291989acc49.jpg)

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

Is that how wide the tires on your bike are?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on July 08, 2019, 11:20:44 PM
yup, same bike pretty much
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on July 08, 2019, 11:23:01 PM
Im going to hit you up in about a week to see about stealing your bike for a day.  i have a few cams to check that a mtn bike would greatly expedite the proccess.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: KFhunter on July 08, 2019, 11:23:39 PM
Im going to hit you up in about a week to see about stealing your bike for a day.  i have a few cams to check that a mtn bike would greatly expedite the proccess.

 :tup:
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: swanny on July 09, 2019, 09:06:59 AM
For anyone buying new, I'd also recommend you look at getting a 1x11 or 1x12 drivetrain. The deletion of the front derailleur is a game changer in the world of bikes, especially mountain bikes. One less mechanical piece to worry about and it has zero effect on the efficiency of the bike
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on July 19, 2019, 03:42:05 AM
Bike acquired.  Now to figure out the trailer thing.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Alchase on July 19, 2019, 06:40:48 AM
Bike acquired.  Now to figure out the trailer thing.

As KFHunter said, a wide body gel seat is your boys best friend.
I started with a Costco Huffy mountain bike with front suspension. That bike was heavy and a killer to peddle up grades! I learned quick that cheap bikes make everything harder.
I traded up for a used Trek 6000 that was about half the weight and so much better to peddle. Disk brakes I believe are a must if you hunt in steep country. I had a partner riding a generic mountain bike with clam style (squeeze the rim) breaks. Heading back down a steep 1 mile grade completely obliterated his brake pads. Two were gone, the other two were down to almost nothing.
A front suspension on a quality bike defiantly helps especially on gravel rutted washboard roads that can make your hand have pins and needles in a short time.
Definitely worth the added weight.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Fl0und3rz on July 19, 2019, 07:06:45 AM
Bike acquired.  Now to figure out the trailer thing.

Nice.  Watch craigslist.  You can find some sweet deals on used/new trailers.  People take their kids out once, decide its not for them, and then get tired of looking at it in the garage and/or their kids are too old to ride.
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: TommyH on July 19, 2019, 09:24:28 AM
Bike acquired.  Now to figure out the trailer thing.

I have 2 (kid hauler) and they work for the ride in/out, but Iíd look to the actual game cart...
hereís a couple other discussions on bike trailers, neither of which were the one I was looking for tho.



https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,95762.msg1234739.html#msg1234739

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,151656.0.html
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on July 21, 2019, 09:51:16 PM
Anybody use this style of bike rack? I see some types have bases where your tires sit.  https://www.amazon.com/XCAR-Bicycle-Carrier-Hatchbacks-Receiver/dp/B07MCXJ21K/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?keywords=tow+hitch+bike+rack&qid=1563770895&s=gateway&sr=8-8
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: Bango skank on July 24, 2019, 04:17:23 AM
Anybody use this style of bike rack? I see some types have bases where your tires sit.  https://www.amazon.com/XCAR-Bicycle-Carrier-Hatchbacks-Receiver/dp/B07MCXJ21K/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?keywords=tow+hitch+bike+rack&qid=1563770895&s=gateway&sr=8-8

Nobody has any input on this style of bike carrier?
Title: Re: Mtn bike / trailer for hunting
Post by: NorseNW on July 24, 2019, 04:46:17 AM
I used one of those style racks for many years (like the first 30 years of riding mountain bikes).  They work just fine.  Two things I was not a big fan of.  1 - you have to strap the bike frame to the frame tube to keep it from swinging and getting beat up on rough roads.  2 - if you are mounting more than one bike it takes a little bit of figuring out which one goes where so the important stuff (chains, shifter levers, brake handles, cables) aren't rubbing or getting crushed by the other bike.

I switched over to one of the ones the tires sit in to a tray and really like it a lot better.  Here is the one I got:
https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-t2-classic-2---2-_-1689772

Much faster and easier to get the bikes in.  You push down on the front locking bar on to the front tire and you are good to go.  Bikes are separated and don't move.  My older rack was pretty old so they may have made improvements to them but this has been my experience.