Grilling in the backyard is great, but it can be even better in the scenery of a beautiful park or the company of a pregame tailgate. If you don't plan on driving, however, getting your grill, fuel, food, utensils and other gear there may become so challenging that you call it quits before you ever hear the sizzle of a burger or bratwurst. The Grillrider lets cyclists and walkers roll everything they need for a cookout to the park, tailgate or campground. It's a bike trailer and hand trolley built specifically for grilling, and with its removable modules, it also works as a more general cargo hauler.
Over the years, we've seen various attempts to make grilling more portable. Some of those solutions, like the EZ Grill and GoBQ, have put grilling into smaller, lighter and more portable packages, while others, like the Brouhaha electric bike trailer, have given us new means of hauling traditional grill gear around. Designed by German company 2bellidee, the Grillrider splits the difference, putting a compact set of grill gear in an easy-rolling package.
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The Grillrider has a 150-liter (40-US gal), multi-compartment polypropylene storage box set on a powder-coated stainless steel frame that rides on 16-in pneumatic tires. A two-position drawbar coupling allows for drawbar adjustment for bike trailer and hand trolley use, and a one-click clutch system secures the drawbar to the bicycle.
Inside, the Grillrider's front compartment holds a 2,300-watt butane grill, a pop-up shelf to hold it, and a triple-zone, below-grill storage area. The larger rear compartment holds a removable, 85-liter (22-US gal) double-wall insulated cooler for keeping your burgers, vegetables and other perishables fresh and beverages cold. The cooler also has its own lid to keep things cold when the Grillrider's top lid is open.
The Grillrider includes outer side rails for strapping things like chairs and bags down, letting you roll even more gear to your cookout, while a kickstand on the underside of the body keeps the Grillrider stable when "riding" turns to "grilling". The top rails are actually adjustable table legs, transforming the hinged lid into a four-person dining table that stands at 28 in (71 cm).
Other features include an integrated bottle opener, lock-compatible hardware on the lid and drawbar, an internal LED light bar, a lithium-polymer power pack and USB charger, and a taillight.
A rolling grill box is handy, but its usage is likely to be limited for everyone but the most dedicated grilling nomads, which is why 2bellidee gives the Grillrider removable modules and wheels. If you plan to drive a car to the tailgate, campground or picnic, you can pop the wheels off and turn the trailer into a tote box. In this capacity, the Grillrider serves to combine a couple of things you'd be carrying anyway – grill, table, cooler, accessories –into a more organized package. A set of integrated feet prevent it from sliding around the car.
On the flip side, if you're looking for a bike trailer or hand trolley that isn't loaded down with grilling gear, the modular design lets you slide the stove, shelf and cooler out and have an empty, multi-compartment cargo box on wheels to haul groceries, tools or other cargo.The 2bellidee team is raising money on Kickstarter now, offering the fully featured Grillrider described above at pledge levels starting at €550 (approx. US$625). It's also offering the basic starter version diagramed below starting at the € 299 (US$340) level. It plans to build them in Germany and offer a three-year warranty. If the Kickstarter campaign and subsequent schedule work out, deliveries will begin in April.
We've never seen another product exactly like the Grillrider, but in comparing it to simple enclosed bicycle trailers, which range anywhere from under $100 to north of $500, pricing seems relatively reasonable. Those other trailers vary widely in construction and obviously lack all the bells and whistles included on even the basic Grillrider (e.g. the grill shelf, convertible lid/table top, integrated bottle opener, etc.). The Grillrider's price also compares favorably to the early pricing we saw on the Armadillo EVS trailer, a more general walk/bike trailer design we looked at a few months ago.
The estimated retail pricing is not as pretty of a picture. Grillrider expects the base model to price in at €639 ($730), with the fully featured model running €890 ($1,010). It's a slick design, but unless we decided to start bike-grilling every weekend, those prices would have us looking more closely at cheaper, DIY solutions like a flatbed bike trailer, our existing portable grill ware and a few bungee cords. Hopefully they can pull those retail prices down closer to the Kickstarter model once production is up and running.View gallery - 8 images