Living Car Free - Tow a bike with another bike?
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
07-18-05, 10:07 PM
I've heard of people having clever methods for towing a dead bike with another bike. I'm picking up a used bike tommorow, and am temporarily car-free. I don't currently own a trailer (though I'm in the process of building one), but I do have a bike with a standard rear rack, and a bunch of bungees.
Any advice for transporting the dead bike about 5 miles, using only another bike?
Ghost riding is when you just hold the dead bike with one hand on the bars and steer and brake your good bike with the other hand. Usually you go slow on the sidewalk or a side street. I don't think I'd want to do it for 5 miles. Can you take it by bus? Walk it?
I know a local shop owner put a bike rack on his BOB trailer to bring dead bikes in to his shop for customers that were carless. Since your trailer isn't ready, I wonder if mounting a velo vice type bike fork mount on a rear rack would allow the rest of the bike to track behind you as a trailer. Then you just have to bungee the front wheel on the frame of the trailed bike.
07-19-05, 12:43 AM
I think you may be able to come up with a way to attach the front wheel of the dead bike to your rack, maybe to one side, bring lotsa bungees, and then can keep both hands on the bars of your live bike and ride. The combination will probably handle like a pig but will be better than trying to steer with one hand and lead the dead bike with the other.
07-19-05, 06:57 AM
I would take the wheels off, you can put them on your handle bars, brake down the handle bars, brakes, peatles, seat and seat post and put them in a backpack and then put frame on the rack with the bungees. If you nothing else you can make more then one trip.
07-19-05, 08:15 AM
I asked the same question around a while ago, and there doesn't seem to be anything that is made specificaly for that. Here's the link : http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-69048.html
The xtracycle kit has a setup specifically for this (the tray bien) but even with just an xtracycle this is a cinch. I've done both though it is pricey, I think it's worth it by far.
07-19-05, 09:15 AM
oh wow!!!! This is definatly making me want to buy an xtracycle...
07-19-05, 10:50 AM
Maybe you can take the bus/walk/run to the bike? Or does dead bike mean unridable? If its unridable, is it untowable?
07-19-05, 11:59 AM
xtra cycles are definately cool, but out of my price range, and they won't help me on today's project. :) I'll probably attempt to build my own xtracycle-like creation one of these days. I rode on the back of someone's at Tour de Fat recently, and it was really nice.
I think, after combining some ideas I've been reading here, that I've got a solution. I've taken a bare front hub and very securely tied it to my rear rack, nestled up close to the seat. I'll take the front wheel off the dead bike, and attach its fork to the hub on my rack, so the rest of the bike trails behind, rolling on its rear wheel (which does roll). The front wheel I'll bungee to the dead bike's frame.
If it works, I'll post a picture for other people edification. If it doesn't work, I'll figure something else out, or lock it up somewhere on the way back, and then walk back and pick it up by hand. However, its over 90 degrees out right now, so I've got an incentive to spend as little time outside as possible. ;)
Wish me luck.
07-19-05, 04:30 PM
Well, to report back, my method was a failure. :( I had tied a hub to the rack, then devised to attach the fork of the towed bike to that hub, and tow it home. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I couldn't get the system rigid enough, and the bike would flop to the side as I would begin to turn. It was just too big of a lever arm for me to keep stable.
I think the idea would still work, but it would have to be a very beefy system connected directly to the frame of the towing bike, and it would have to be very rigid. Mounting the fork of the towed bike as low as possible will also help.
I ended up ghost riding the thing home. After a few miles, I got pretty good at it. My greatest achievement was when I was cruising down the road at about 15mph with this bike to my left side, and using my right hand to control my right brake (which is my front). I saw a big dead fox in the shoulder, and I didn't have enough shoulder space to move to the left, and the curb was on the right. So my bike went right, and the ghost bike went left, and I rode both bikes, with about 40% of my weight on the ghost bike, straddled out over the fox, and skimmed over it, each bike rolling about an inch away from it on each side, with me precariously dangled overhead. Scary, but fun. If I ever hold a race, a 'ghost race' will be part of it.
Thanks for the advice, folks. When I get this trailer together, I'll work out some provision for easy bike hauling. I may even investigate modifying a more heavy duty rack for true towing abilities.
PS: My prize is below. '77 Raleigh Grand Prix Mixte, in great shape. :D
Sounds like a fun ghost ride! Your story reminded me of the old westerns, when the hero would ride his horse alongside a stagecoach, then stand on his horse's back and straddle over to the stagecoach. Then usually he sould take the reins from the coach driver, who had been shot, and stop the coach just before it went over a cliff.
Well, your ride over the dead fox was a littlebit like that, wasn't it?
07-19-05, 07:24 PM
I had tried to bring a bike home once ghost riding. It sucked. So after a mile I just tied off the front wheel to the down tube and strapped the bike to my back. I just made sure the crank/pedal tward my butt was at 6 o'clock. ;)
cookiepuss is a beast of burden!
it's only been 6 years since anyone replied, but if by chance someone stumbles over this like I did:
Here is a possible solution: http://www.biking.com/buy-bike-accessories/tow-bar.html
It's called a tail-gator. I've been wanting something like this for a while. Connect my son's bicycle to mine, ride mine - towing his to his school. "pick" him up, and the two of us ride back home.
Having another gadget hanging around just to move DOA bikes seems like overkill. You'd probably only use it once every two or three years.
When I have a dead bike, I usually ride somewhere to get a part. On another bike.
If I can't do that, the bus has racks.
04-22-11, 02:44 PM
Accidentally locked 2 bikes together without a key one time. I had to throw one over the handlebars and ride the other.
Full story here:
04-22-11, 03:56 PM
I think that to tow a bike properly, the front axle has to be at approximately the right height. If you try attaching the fork to a rear rack, then this places the headset at a steep angle which will shift the balance of the following bike in an unstable manner when trying to turn.
04-25-11, 02:51 PM
This is, of course, generally only applicable to people with long tails, but we regularly haul bikes to and from the shop with our Kona Ute. Can't carry two kids while hauling, but we can still carry our daughter. We just make sure these runs take place while the older kiddo is at school or both parents are home.
04-26-11, 07:55 AM
Not sure why my image didn't work the first time.
04-26-11, 09:38 AM
Along the xtracycle, long bike towing lines...
On the way to a Sunday Parkway last year. :) So much fun.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.