Bickpacking, on the other hand, is a method of travel in which riders set out to cover longer distances, usually in a self-supported fashion, by carrying all of their gear and supplies with them as they go. To do that, they often outfit their bikes with panniers or a cart that provides ample storage for the journey.
Now, a company called Burley — which specializes in bike trailers and jogging strollers — has brought these two worlds together with its new 16+ Wheel Kit, which allows riders to quickly and easily convert their current cycling trailer into a fat tire beast built for taking on rough terrain.
The kit includes two fat bike tires that are 16 inches in diameter and 3 inches wide. It also comes with aluminum rims and hubs with steel spokes designed to accommodate the bulky tires. You’ll have to supply your own tubes however, and the kit doesn’t come with a trailer frame of any kind, either. That’s because the kit is designed to be compatible with most of Burley’s existing trailer models, including the D’Lite, Solo, Encore, Bee, Honey Bee, Flatbed, and Nomad. Each of those products can be quickly and easily converted over to the larger tires for use off-road, and for greater compatibility for use with a fat bike in general.
Most of the carts that the 16+ Wheel Kit is compatible with are designed to safely pull young children around behind a bike while out on a ride, but two of the models — the Flatbed and Nomad — are specifically built to be cargo haulers instead. That makes them interesting options for bikepackers who need to carry extra gear — such as a tent, sleeping bag, and cook stove — with them when they hit the road.
The Nomad, for instance, is capable of carrying up to 100 pounds of equipment, and comes with a water-resistant cover as well. When outfitted with the 16+ Wheel Kit, this trailer can safely travel off the beaten path, which makes it a great choice for riders who want to explore the backcountry on a fat bike for an extended period of time.
The 16+ Wheel Kit sells for $189, which makes it an affordable option for someone who already owns one of Burley’s carts. If not, you’ll need to spend at least another $229 to purchase the Flatbed for hauling cargo, or $299 for the Bee to haul children around. If you have a cart from a different manufacturer, the kit may not be compatible with your system at all, but considering that this is the first conversion kit of its kind that we’ve seen, it may be worth investigating anyway.
Find out more at Burley.com.