How to Attach a Bike Trailer to a Mountain Bike

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Michael Rogers

How to Attach a Bike Trailer to a Mountain Bike

Are you looking for info on How to Attach a Bike Trailer to a Mountain Bike? In this article, we’ll go over the details on this, discuss different parts that may be needed, and include a how-to video for those who’d rather watch & learn.

Mountain Bike Trailer Attachment

Where Do I Attach My Bike Trailer Hitch?

There are two main methods to attach a Bike Trailer to your bike. We’ll cover these in detail below.

  1. Attach at the rear wheel’s axle.
  2. Attach to the bike seat post.

The design and angle of the arm sticking from the front of the bike trailer should make it easy for you to identify the location where your bike trailer will attach.

Attach Bike Trailer to Thru Axle

  • Remove the rear axle.
  • Attach axle to the receiver.
  • Connect the receiver to the trailer hitch.
  • Make sure to secure safety strap.

Attachment to Rear Axle

The first method attaches the bike trailer to the bike’s rear tire axle.

Attach Bike Trailer To Seat Post

  • Set the receiver in place on the seat post.
  • Change the bike seat.
  • Connect the receiver to the trailer hitch.
  • Make sure to Attach the safety strap.

Attachment to a Seat Post

The second method attaches the bike trailer to the bike seat post.

The design and angle of the arm sticking from the front of the bike trailer should make it easy for you to identify the location where your trailer will attach.

There are 3 main categories of bike trailers.

  • Bike Cargo Trailer
  • Kid’s Bike trailer
  • Dog Bike Trailer

The setup of the bike trailer will often depend on the kind of trailer you have. Each brand and model will have slightly different directions for attaching the trailer to your bike.

Here are some simple steps to attach a bike trailer to a mountain bike:

Bike Trailer Thru Axle Adapter

You most likely have a rear wheel with a 12mm thru-axle style if your disc brake bike is incompatible with your trailer.

Occasionally, through-axles with a minimum diameter of 12mm will not pass through the coupler hitch attachment hole on the bike trailer.

Fortunately, Mountain Bike Trailer producers are keeping up with the disc brake craze by offering solutions to users of disc brakes.

Because there are so many different sizes of thru-axles, it is very challenging for bike trailer manufacturers to keep up with them, which is the problem with thru-axle disc brakes.

Before buying any adapters, you must read this guide on disc brakes.

Pros of Using a Mountain Bike to Tow a Bike Trailer

Relaxed Riding Position

Most people find the upright riding position, suspension, and wide tires on a mountain bike to be very comfortable. You’ll likely feel most at ease towing a bike trailer with a mountain bike if you’re used to riding one.

Mountain Bikes are Ideal for Offroad Riding

It goes without saying that you should use a mountain bike if you intend to use the bike trailer for gravel or mountainous terrain.

However, it’s only really advantageous if you use the bike trailer primarily for mountain biking. If not, the mountain bike might only slow you down.

Some bike trailers are ideal for hunting. These are known as Mountain Bike Trailer for Hunting. These are especially well-suited for off-road riding.

Cons of using a mountain bike to tow a bike trailer

Before we begin discussing the disadvantages of riding a mountain bike, I just want to stress that you should buy the adapter you need to hitch your bike to your trailer if needed.

Adapters are covered in detail here. Just a few significant factors are listed below.

Riding on Pavement is More Difficult

Since mountain bikes are made for the mountains, riding them on paved roads is not recommended. Mountain bikes have wider tires with less air pressure than road bikes.

As a result, mountain bikes’ rolling resistance is less effective on paved roads. This makes riding more difficult and ineffective when towing a bike trailer.

Bike Trailer May Not Attach to Bikes With Disc Brakes

In order to attach a bike trailer to a disc brake bike with a thru-axle, you will probably need to purchase a special adapter. But not all bicycles with thru-axles need an adapter. To check if your bike and bike trailer are compatible, be sure to refer to this guide.

Burley, Thule, and Hamax bike trailers in particular probably need an additional attachment to make the bike trailer hitch compatible with a 12mm thru-axle.

Mountain Bike Trailer Attachment

Here are some simple steps to attach a bike trailer to a mountain bike:

Although they may have a fairly similar appearance, bike trailers frequently have diverse functions.

The setup will change based on the kind of trailer you have. Every brand and model will have a different attaching technique.

Bike Trailer Hitch Kit

Every major brand of bike trailers can be mounted on a variety of bikes, including cruisers, hybrids, road bikes, mountain bikes, and disc brake bikes.

Any type of bike can be quickly and easily attached to a bike trailer using a hitch arm and coupler attachment.

To do so, the steps are very easy…

When the trailer is empty, align the holes on the hitch and the end of the trailer arm before inserting it into the bike’s hitch.

How Does a Bike Trailer Hitch Work?

A trailer hitch performs numerous tasks. You can see that the component at the end of the hitch that is attached to the trailer arm should fit onto the receiver on the seat post by taking a look at it.

Once the trailer hitch has been fitted into the receiver, you should note that there are holes on the trailer hitches and the receiver’s top and bottom.

The holes should all line up when the hitch is attached to the receiver, establishing a direct line of sight between the two.

For use with the quick release pin, these two are intended. The trailer may be simply removed and reattached, thanks to the release pin.

Can You Attach a Trailer to a Mountain Bike?

Yes, all traditional mountain bikes can be attached to a trailer. This includes bikes with disc brakes and thru-axles but excludes many models of eBikes, which are generally configured differently.

There are a few potential issues to be aware of when using a trailer on your mountain bike:

  1. The extra weight of many mountain bikes can make it a bit more challenging to pull a Bike Trailer.
  2. Not all bike trailers are well-suited for offroad use, so choose a heavy-duty trailer that’s designed for rough terrain.

Conclusion

Any type of mountain bike, including disc brake bikes with a thru-axle, Fat Bike Trailers, can pull a bike trailer. You just need to know the proper steps. Feel free to return here if you ever need a refresher.

What’s Next?

If you enjoyed this article, go check out my article Choosing The Right Mountain Bike Trailer For You!

Happy Cycling!

About Informed Cyclist
Michael Rogers
I’m Michael, a cycling fanatic and the founder of Informed Cyclist. I started this site to give back to the sport I love! My mission is to bring the very best cycling advice & know-how to my readers. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I love working on it. I put a lot of heart & effort into it!