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Old 08-16-08, 10:15 PM   #1
Daedalus
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Bicycle Sidecar

I found a website that had the plans for a bicycle sidecar. Since I've always liked the look of a sidecar and wanted to be a bit different, I decided to rip down an old road bike and repaint it and replace the gears and cables and such, paint it and then create a sidecar. The sidecar frame is laid out and I'll be welding it tomorrow morning.

My sidecar deviates from the original creators in that his was smaller, but I want to be able to put a bit more in mine. So I was wondering, would it matter if my wheel on the sidecar was in line with my back tire? (as in they would be side by side) or could I put it farther forward so it would be more like - _ - then the way he had it, which was like this - =.

Just asking if you have any suggestions, I think it would look more like a sidecar if it was a bit more center than in line with the rear tire.
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Old 08-16-08, 11:40 PM   #2
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Never thought about it. But in doing an image Google search for "sidecar", it looks like 95% or more are built with the sidecar wheel and the rear wheel aligned.

Ideally, if you have multiple wheels on a vehicle, you want the centerlines of those wheels to all pass through a common point when turning. With a three-wheeler with two wheels on one axle, or aligned that way, it's always the case. However, they make tandem trucks where this is not the case, and they can obviously still steer without any problem, so it may just not be that critical.
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Old 08-17-08, 06:56 AM   #3
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The positioning of a sidecar wheel is a source of much debate and several theories, but if it helps any my old sidecar rickshaw has the sidecar wheel in line with the bicycle rear wheel.
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Old 08-17-08, 12:28 PM   #4
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After googling "motorcycle sidecar" and looking at the various types people had, it seems that most did indeed have the rear tire aligned with the sidecar wheel. So I will follow that design. I'll also take some photos today and maybe write up a post about how it was put together. I figure people might be interested.

As a side note, this will be my first bicycle manufacturing experience, my dad was a toolmaker for 20 years and now installs theatrical rigging. I help him in the summer, so fabricating things is nothing new to me, just haven't gotten around to doing it on a bicycle yet.
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Old 08-17-08, 06:22 PM   #5
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I've always been under trhe impression that the sidecar wheel's axel should be a bit(but not much)ahead of the rear wheel's axel---at least that's the way my old harley was.
Also you will need low gearing to pull the hack.
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Old 08-17-08, 07:59 PM   #6
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None of these are mine, they're pictures I had on my hard drive.



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Old 08-17-08, 08:45 PM   #7
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I like the top one, looks like a fantastic answer for a family of 4, or even a physically handicapped person could possibly ride.
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Old 08-17-08, 09:45 PM   #8
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The top one is my favourite too
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Old 08-17-08, 10:49 PM   #9
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the top one is very cool. too bad the bar on the front seat doesn't row/pedal too.

here's one i saw a few weeks ago down the street:
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Old 08-18-08, 05:13 AM   #10
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Lucky kids
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Old 08-18-08, 05:50 AM   #11
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This one belongs to my buddy;

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Old 08-20-08, 09:35 PM   #12
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I've built both motorcycle and bicycle sidecars. I've never heard of anyone who knew what they were doing having the car wheel in line with the rear wheel. Even the 2WD Russian MC rig I saw last month had the sidecar wheel about 6" further forward. 10" is about average but that would have given the U-Joints fits.

I built this for a friend with a severely handicapped daughter.


The cantilevered pedals are so her mom doesn't have to lift Nikki over anything, to seat her on the bike.
When Nikki gets tired, mom just flips a shift lever to disconnect her pedals from the drivetrain.
The sidecar wheel is adjustable for camber, toe in and height. The height adjustment is used to determine lean-out of the main bike. In order for mom's heels to clear Nikki's crankshaft I had to place the whole car rearward, so the car wheel only leads by about 4".
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Old 08-20-08, 11:11 PM   #13
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See this post if you didn't:
Cool - Indian, SE Asian & Chinese Cargo Bikes?
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Old 08-21-08, 05:19 AM   #14
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Wow, that is an amazing heavy duty rig. I love the steering wheel instead of handlebars.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:06 PM   #15
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coooool.

So what do you think the gearing on something like that is? Are they single speeds or Internal geared? I doubt they'd have derailleurs because of maintenance reasons.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:28 PM   #16
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Not much telling on the gearing. Probably single speed. You'll notice that bike is some old double-barred Raleigh clone, likely 28". I've noticed on various pictures that when they have bikes really loaded down in some of these places, that they're just as likely to be pushing it by hand as trying to ride and pedal. I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the original 42:18 gearing still on there.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:10 PM   #17
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Xtracycle + Burly Flatbed trailer
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Old 08-22-08, 03:37 PM   #18
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I'm not being able to link these...two photos of BMX w/ sidehack that won MiniBikeWinter Chariot Wars this year:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2155634...7603936436262/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2155634...7603936436262/
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Old 08-22-08, 05:30 PM   #19
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The further the side car wheel and the bike wheel are out of fore and aft alignment, the more they will scuff on turns. This is probably not too important, as the tires scuff anyway. Look at the front tire on a side car equipped motorcycle to see what I mean.
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Old 09-16-08, 02:05 PM   #20
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Cool! I actually built a sidecar for my BMX bike when I was about 13 years old....out of 2x4's and scrap plywood. It was heavy, it was nearly impossible to move with a passenger onboard, and it darn uncomfortable for the passenger.

More to the point here, I had the sidecar wheel about midway between the front and back wheels of the bike, and I couldn't turn AT ALL.
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Old 09-24-08, 11:24 AM   #21
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Here's a great site for sidecars. http://bikerodnkustom4.homestead.com/sidecar.html
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Old 09-24-08, 02:15 PM   #22
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These rock. Looks like i will have a new project when my new welder gets here.
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Old 09-24-08, 02:52 PM   #23
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WOW these are awesome!
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Old 05-10-10, 07:05 PM   #24
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super duper awesome, I'm totally going to do this, and/or retro direct. My buddy has been looking at buying a sidehack from walmart just for fun.
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Old 05-13-10, 02:44 PM   #25
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wow I'm glad somebody fished this back up. I just posted up my conversion of an adult trike, but these are amazing!!!
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