aevon kit l80

Aevon KIT L80 Review: The Perfect Bicycle Trailer?

My interest in trailers piqued while I was doing some aerodynamic and weight testing with touring bikes. Until then, I’d never really considered using a trailer because I always thought they were for people carrying way too much gear. But when it was suggested that they could be more aerodynamic than four panniers, the idea of a big trailer test really stuck. So I requested a sample Aevon KIT L80 trailer to review and share my experiences.

This article is a combination of why trailers can be great for touring, as well as an in-depth look at the Aevon KIT L80 itself.

Aevon KIT L80 Review

Aevon KIT L80 review

Aevon trailers are pitched at the top-end of the trailer market. While some trailers can be found for a quarter of the price, the KIT L80 offers a few things that most other trailers do not.

Firstly, it’s a seatpost mount design. That is different from the majority of bike trailers that mount from the rear wheel axle. The main advantage to the seatpost mount is that you can achieve tighter turning circles because the pivot is further forward on the bike.

Secondly, it folds. Using some Allen keys and a spanner, the trailer can be separated into small enough pieces so that the entire trailer fits into the supplied 80-litre waterproof bag. I travelled to Japan with my bike in a cardboard box, and my whole trailer and all my gear in the trailer’s bag.

aevon kit l80
The trailer breaks down into smaller parts, and the whole thing fits inside the supplied trailer bag.

Thirdly, it rides on air suspension. For anyone riding off-road, this is a must because it allows all of your gear to be ‘sprung’. The suspension smoothes out rough roads like nothing else. You can adjust the air pressure of the shock to suit your load and the terrain.

Fourthly, it’s pretty darn light. At 7.81kg, it is a true lightweight. We can put that in comparison with four pannier bags and two racks which weigh about 4.8kg and run the same capacity. The thing is that by using a trailer you can use a lighter bike – but more on that later.

Specific weights:
Trailer frame inc. shock and fender – 4406g
Seatpost mount – 215g
16” wheel – 1042g
80-litre bag – 1998g
Carrying strap – 149g

How Did I Test The Trailer?

pedalling cadence
My Curve Belgie Spirit using a Wolf Tooth Road Link to match 50-34t chainrings with an 11-42t cassette.

In order to squeeze the most out of the trailer, I decided to get in contact with a local Australian brand (Curve Cycling) who make some rather nice titanium road bike frames and carbon wheels. Now I know what you’re thinking: a long-distance bike tour with a 9.0kg/20lb titanium road bike which rolls on carbon wheels?

Let me explain.

The trailer supports the majority of the load rather than the bike, permitting you to use something as lightweight as a road bike with 1400 gram carbon wheels.

The Curve Belgie Spirit is an endurance road bike. It’s built super light like a race bike, but employs a taller front end, longer wheelbase and more relaxed frame geometry. The only thing that I changed on the bike was the rear cassette: I needed an 11-42 tooth one to help climb the steep pinches with 20kg+ in tow.

I used a Wolf Tooth Road Link to make the effective cage length of my Ultegra derailleur a bit longer. I added a new chain to the bike to accommodate the huge cassette and was pleasantly surprised that all the gears worked. That said, while in the small front chainring (34t), I avoided the lower cogs (11, 13t) on my cassette because the rear derailleur needed a bit more spring tension than it could offer.

How Does The Trailer Ride?

aevon kit l80
The Aevon KIT L80 can turn on the spot!

When you first load the trailer to your bike, it is very noticeable. But like any loaded bike, you soon forget and learn to adapt your riding style to suit it.

With all the weight in tow, the steering is very quick and that makes the experience of cycling with a load feel unusually agile when compared to panniers. When you’re distracted from how fast you’re travelling it’s very easy to forget you’re even got anything behind you.

Something I quickly learned was that you need to be a little careful around tight corners. This is because, with the forward pivot, the rear wheel rounds the corners when you turn. Like a big articulated truck takes wide turns in the city, you will need to adapt your riding style to take all corners wide.

Riding between bollards was easy, however, as the trailer is narrower than a bike with panniers.

Is It Suitable For Off-Road Touring?

aevon kit l80
Riding off-road with a trailer is the best way to carry a voluminous load.

Off-road is where the trailer really excels.

By letting the trailer take the load, your bike feels light, is smooth over bumps and can change direction really quickly. It’s not ideal for singletrack as the trailer makes the bike really long, but as far as trailers go: the Aevon KIT L80 has got to be the most manoeuvrable.

The rear air shock is a highlight, helping the 16″ wheel to roll over things. While riding you can feel the shock dulling the vibrations and hits coming up from the road. You’ll just need to adjust the air pressure in the shock to suit how much weight you’re carrying.

If I were cycling long distances off-road and needed more capacity than what bikepacking bags could offer, a trailer is certainly my preferred option over four panniers. There will be many sections of my CyclingAbout The Americas trip where I’ll wish I had brought my trailer.

You can watch a video of my trailer in the snow while it’s connected to my fixed gear bicycle HERE.

Living With A Trailer

aevon kit l80
Unsurprisingly, the hardest places to negotiate with a trailer are cities. I like to split traffic, weave between cars, use the footpaths and turn around on the spot. The trailer made all of these things more of a task than if I used panniers.

I found that carrying my bike over logs/obstacles wasn’t too difficult, however. As the seatpost pivot moves side-to-side and up-and-down, you can lift your bike at an angle that suits you. When the rear trailer wheel hits the log/stairs/curb you can give it a quick yank upwards and the trailer will pull over most things. When dropping down from an obstacle the rear shock will take the majority of the hit.

Removing the bag from the trailer is much more laborious than removing panniers. About 15 heavy-duty velcro straps need to be undone to remove the bag. On my bike trip in Japan, I ended up keeping the trailer bag attached at all times.

aevon kit l80
I’m two metres tall and can somehow fit in this trailer.

As the Aevon 80-litre trailer bag is slow to remove and positively ginormous, I created a system to organise my gear using fabric shopping bags. The different coloured bags stored sleeping gear, cooking gear, clothing, food and spares. Whenever I parked my bike, I was able to pull out all four bags and carry them to my accommodation, leaving the trailer bag behind.

I didn’t realise you could get a quick-release seatpost mount to remove the trailer from the bike when I ordered mine. The fact that mine was bolted to the seatpost mount prevented me from taking it on/off unless I really had to. I would highly recommend freeing your bike from time-to-time using the quick-release kit.

Aerodynamic Testing

Sorry to disappoint, but the idea was scrapped.

When I ordered the trailer I expected that I would head straight to the velodrome and get some data. But after using the trailer with a test load, my average speed didn’t appear to have increased at all when compared to my touring bike with four panniers. Even if the frontal area of the trailer is a tad smaller than panniers, the extra resistance of the trailer wheel would undoubtedly counteract the aerodynamic gains.

Problems With The Aevon KIT L80

aevon kit l80

While the trailer generally exceeded my expectation, there were a few niggles.

The up-down pivot on the seatpost mount got creaky the day after riding in the rain. I assume this is due to debris making its way into small gaps between the washers and the trailer frame. I didn’t find a solution to this issue, but it generally disappeared after a few hours of riding in dry conditions.

aevon kit l80

The sealed bearings in the trailer’s hub lasted just 2,500km. Granted I spent a lot of time in wet conditions, I was still expecting 10,000km+ before needing to tap the bearings out and press some new ones in. That’s certainly been my experience with using the same Novatec hub on a road bike wheel.

aevon kit l80

The main arm connecting the seatpost mount with the rest of the frame wasn’t quite straight on my trailer. Not by much, but it was noticeable to the eye. This didn’t seem to affect the ride at all but was a quirk of the product.

aevon kit l80

Even though the bag is technically waterproof, I learned pretty quickly that the supplied rain cover is still 100% necessary when the bag is half full (like in the photo above). This is because water weight on the top of the bag causes it to pool and work its way into the edges of the roll-closure. With a full trailer bag, you have nothing to worry about.

The Price, Is It Too High?

The Aevon Kit L80 is €795 or US $940 – it’s one of the most expensive trailers available.

But it’s worth thinking about the price a little differently. A trailer replaces four waterproof panniers and two racks. Assuming you’re using high-quality gear, the gear value would be €200 in Ortlieb bags and €200 in Tubus racks.

Ok, so that’s still half the cost of a trailer.

Well, perhaps you can think about the cost-saving of not buying a touring-specific bike. By using the mountain, road or cyclocross bike you already have – you’ve saved some money. There’s also the argument that you’ll break fewer parts on your bike as a result of the reduced stress on your components.

Is The Aevon KIT L80 Bear Proof?

Aevon KIT L80
The scratch marks left by a Ussuri Brown Bear that didn’t want me around.

This wasn’t part of my initial testing strategy, but I found out anyway. I’ve never felt closer to death than when a 500kg bear decided to launch itself at me… the adrenaline rush was something else.

You hear a bit more about the bear attack in The Japan Long Haul film.

Would I Recommend The KIT L80?

The Aevon KIT L80 is a brilliant bit of kit.

It is one of the lighter trailers available, it folds away for travel, it’s air suspended and it offers a really small turning circle.

There are three ways trailers really excel over panniers. Firstly, the trailer takes the load off the bike, allowing you to use any lightweight bike you like. Mountain bike? Road bike? Triathlon bike? No problems. Secondly, you can unhitch a trailer anytime and have a lightweight bike ready to go mountain biking or road riding, And lastly, rough roads are much better on you and your bike with a trailer.

But the best thing about the Aevon KIT L80 is that you can use whatever bike you currently have as your touring bike.

Watch The Trailer In Action In Japan and In The Snow.

  1. When I rode with you I really envied you. The trailer was working perfect and very useful for long ride. It was absolutely perfect BUT! as you said, no quick-release system ruin this smart trailer. No quick-release not buy.

  2. The wolf tooth road link does not lengthen the cage, it moves the derailleur position so it clears the larger cogs. As you found the amount of chain wrap, which is determined by cage length, is the same and cross chaining is still an issue.

    You’ve convinced me that a trailer is a better way to go. I already load the bike too much by myself. ☺️. More tires also means you can run lower pressure for more comfort.

  3. About that bearing life being shorter than you thought, you have to take into account that the 16″ wheel on the trailer is spinning at nearly twice the rpm of the 700c wheels on the bike. Bearing friction is a complicated equation, but rpm is a significant factor.

  4. Hello,
    I use the Aevon Std100 Trailer. Quickrelases are available for these trailers. I also recommend adapters for additional bottle cages.
    Gonna get me a Kit L80 Trailer for my next trip. I found a very light hub and built me a extreme light wheel. Got me also a RockShox Monarch damper with more hub. Looking forward how it will perform on my next tour.
    Over the last 15 years I tried many different trailers till I got my Aevon. For my kind of journeys it works perfect. I use it since 3 years on and offroad, in sunny and muddy conditions and I never had any issues and no noises.

  5. Dear Alee, Love your site and I have learned so much. I am interested in your thoughts about the best bikes to pull a seat post trailer (Tout Terrain Mule?) on a cross county (US) trip. Will be retiring this summer and want to carry “extra” gear such as a light backpacking chair. I still backpack in the mountains, and I understand the value of light gear, but don’t want to sit on the ground every night or use a tiny tent, just to shave off a few pounds. Since I don’t plan to ever use panniers, a steel touring bike seems excessive (and heavy). I would also like a gear ratio that will help climb mountain passes, as well as a bike that can go off the pavement, e.g. fire roads, especially when the trailer is left at the campsite. I am looking at adventure, gravel, and light touring bikes. Any suggestions? Thanks, rob

  6. Hi Rob. There are so many bikes to look at! With a trailer you can go with a nice light build. Most light touring bikes don’t come with low enough gears for touring with a trailer, so you’ll need to modify whatever bike you’re looking at. The best way to find a bike you like is to wander into a few shops and to go on test rides. A good shop will fit you up so you’re comfortable and lend you a few saddles until you get to one that you like. Try and find something that will fit 45-50c tyres. Alee

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