One of the great thing about bush-biking is that it’s completely flexible depending on where you plan to go on your micro-adventure.
Want lightweight kit then use bikepacking bags. Want the ease of hooking up a loaded trailer with all you camping gear then use the Bob Yak.
Well, it’s not quite that simple, not the first time. After deciding to get a Bob Trailer I checked that my Surly fat bike was compatible. It had a 135mm spaced rear Hub and QR skewer. All should be fine.
Bob arrives, I fit the QR bob skewer, hook the trailer up and head out for a test run. Only to discover that the rear tyre was rubbing on the Bob fork.
Due to the offset lacing of the rear rim, the trailer needs to be moved to the left to stop the tyre rubbing.
Solution for 3.8” Nate and 3.8” Knard
A quick look in the spares box combined with applied engineering and I had a solution. The fist step is to reverse the bob Bobble on the QR so that the fatter part is on the inside nearest the bike. This gives you additional left side spacing. This is best done when the QR is attached to the bike. All you need is an allen key.
The next stage is to add some spacers between the QR lever and the frame. I used two axle spacers I had lying about. This adds enough space on the left-hand side and leaves enough threads for the skewer to work. Job Done.
Solution for tyres 4.0” and above
This worked fine all last year and I’ve hauled some heavy loads on this setup without any issues.
Earlier this summer, I changed tyres on the Pugsley to Jumbo Jim 4.0 Snakeskins . Brilliant tyres. Except they are a fair bit wider at the outer knobs that the surly tyres which leads to rubbing and in my case jamming.
I had no room to add spacers on the standard Bob QR and come up with another solution. I purchased the Santana tandem 160mm Bob skewer and had an engineering friend make up a 15mm long stainless steel spacer. The diameter of the spacer is 20mm. You can also find custom-made steel spacers on eBay for around £7 plus postage.
I dremmeled grooves into the both ends of the spacer to stop the spacer slipping, and cut 12mm from the threaded end of the skewer so that it could be closed tight on the dropout.
Before cutting the skewer, please read the included instructions with the Bob QR as to how much thread needs to be exposed on the outside of the dropout. You need a minimum of 11mm. The old adage of measure twice cut once saves you making an expensive mistake.
Once all that is done you need to open up the forks on the Bob trailer. This is done by pulling them apart with moderate pressure. It’s a case of trial and error.
Oil the QR lever where it enters the QR cap, put it all back together and “Bob’s your uncle” as the Scot’s saying goes.