How to Tow a Kayak With a Bicycle

Updated November 21, 2016

Bicycle transport is the perfect way to get some physical activity while reducing your carbon footprint. Bicycles are not only capable of carrying small loads in baskets, but they can tow large objects such as kayaks. There are two methods for transforming your bicycle from recreational machine into transport vehicle: bicycle carts or tow-bar attachment. Either way, you'll be rigging your kayak atop a set of wheels that will be hooked up to the rear of your bicycle.

Purchase a custom built kayak-towing cart designed specifically for bicycles. The designs vary by style and materials, ranging from wood to PVC piping and large to small wheels. Carts like this can be built at home and designed to fit the user's needs. To get some building and design ideas for these types of carts, visit the Resources section.

Purchase a tow bar as an alternative towing method. Tow bars connect to the rear of the bicycle, generally on the seat stem. You will also need a small, wheeled platform to rest the base of the kayak on. The kayak is secured to a wheeled platform and the tow bar separately; this method is best if you have limited storage space that cannot accommodate a large bicycle cart.

Secure the kayak to the cart or small, wheeled platform with bungee cords, rope or nylon cord with attached tensioners.

Check the bicycle function. It will cause more damage if you crash your bike while towing a load not only to your person, but also to surrounding people and to the kayak itself. You should check your tires for leaks and make sure that there is adequate air pressure.

Attach the cart or the nose of the kayak to the bicycle or tow bar. Try to wiggle the kayak. It should remain in place. If it doesn't, tighten the cords.

Be extra mindful of your surroundings when towing a kayak (or anything else). Kayaks are generally lightweight, and it will not feel as though you are pulling a load behind you. Manoeuvre the bicycle conservatively, taking wider corners and not trying to beat traffic. Never take the bicycle off any jumps while towing, and try to avoid potholes.


Make sure there are reflectors on the back of your cart or kayak and your bicycle. If you are riding when it is nearing or after dark, wear a headlamp and reflective clothing.

Things You'll Need

  • Cart
  • Building materials and tools (optional)
  • Tow bar
  • Wheeled platform
  • Bungee cords, rope or nylon cords
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