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  1. #1
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    Instep hitch doesn't fit my bike!

    Hello All,

    I recently picked up a very inexpensive ($60 on sale at Target!) Instep Quick N Easy trailer for my wife and I to use to haul the kiddo around in. So far, it's been less than easy. Setup of the trailer is a breeze, but I can't connect it to the bike.

    I have an Giant OCR 3 (2007), which up until now, has been perfect. However, when I go to mount the hitch/coupler for the trailer, the frame tubes get in the way. It's a little hard to describe, but I attached a picture on what I'm talking about.

    On the left side, the tubes from the frame stop right at the quick release skewer. There is enough room for the quick release skewer to fasten, but there isn't enough space for the large adapter for the trailer to sit and the skewer to tighten back on. I'd say it's about 1/8" of an inch on both tubes that it's not clearing by.

    I've looked for a replacement hitch/coupler, but InStep is no support. Other than the dremel, I can't think or find some other way of mounting this $%#& thing. I'd rather not dremel it (the coupler, NOT the bike!!! ), as I fear that it may weaken the hitch. Last thing I want is for the trailer to take a dive with him in it.

    The trailer also came with a fancy dimpled & tabbed plate that meshes with the coupler (I'm suspecting that it's so the coupler doesn't 'spin' once mounted; the tab on the plate sits tightly against the frame or in the mounting hole for the rear rack). This doesn't fit anywhere on my frame. It meshes in between the skewer nut and the black coupler. See link for a picture.

    http://www.instep.net/Product/Access...pler_25-SA074/

    I'll check out the LBS tomorrow for ideas, but I'd hate to have to get a different trailer just because this thing doesn't mount. I have a strong hunch that anything skewer mounted won't work anyways, which limits my cost options. My son was the reason I didn't get out much last year to ride, (he was too young for seat/backpack) and I'd hate to spend $200-300 on a trailer to find out he hates it. ($60 is a perfect price for this experiment--there's always craigslist/ebay and the losses would be minimal.)

    Wife's bike is the same frame design (also a ocr3). Besides, the trailer is my handicap when we hit the hills.

    Any ideas?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Maybe cause it's Monday morning and I'm a little dense, cause I'm just not connecting the dots. Is the skewer too short? Cause I've seen other companies provide a new skewer to use with there trailer mount. If your looking for a new trailer hitch I've been looking and moding my trailer with one from Chariot, looks something like this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdezur View Post
    I'd hate to spend $200-300 on a trailer to find out he hates it. ($60 is a perfect price for this experiment--there's always craigslist/ebay and the losses would be minimal.)
    Any ideas?
    This is a cheap trailer likely intended for cheap bikes with nutted rear axles. I don't think Target's buyers had a bike like your Giant in mind when they bought these. You are probably on your own modifying the thing to work.

    As to Craig's List, I think you could buy a used but much higher quality trailer like a Burley or Winchester for about what you spent on the Target model. People are always trying to sell them as kids out grow a trailer fast and their useful life is short. I'd return the Target trailer and look for a better one.

  4. #4
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    The perfect solution for you is not a better trailer, BUT, ANOTHER BIKE. Go find a nice used mountain bike that the adapter will fit on. Gearing will be much better suited for trailer pulling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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    The instep trailer is better suited for the pacifics that wallmart sells as its meant to use on a nutted axle. with a road bike you can stick a mtn skewer in there to get the extra length you need, thats if the hitch itself clears everthing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Maybe I am looking at this wrong but it looks like to me that the issue is the quick release lever hits the hitch mount and won't let it close all the way. Just swivel the quick release lever to another position and lock it all the way down. It doesn't have to point down. I point mine between the chain stay and seat stay. It is Monday morning and and I could be looking at this all wrong.

  7. #7
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I think his dropout is so small that the flange on the trailer hitch is hitting the seatstay and chainstay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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    easiest solution might be to get an ATB skewer (longer and often stronger) and then use a spacer, if your LBS will let you go thru his small parts junk drawer you might find exactly what you're looking for, i've seen old seatpost qr's with exactly what you want on them.. otherwise a stack of washers might work temporarily, but i think you want to look for a single spacer as big as the dropout will allow, tight to the QR, and just thick enough.

  9. #9
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    The problem is that the hitch doesn't meet flush with the frame. I'm at work, so I can't snap a photo, but, we've got MSPaint! See attached diagram. This is from the top, looking down. You can see that the bracket doesn't meet flush with the frame, but runs into the tube.

    I tried rotating the bracket around, but it doesn't matter; it's always hitting the frame. A longer skewer wouldn't matter, as I'd need a spacer between the bracket and the frame so the wheel doesn't fall off.

    I agree that they designed it for a wal-mart bike; a $60 trailer on a $600 bike is not what they intended, but what I'm stuck with. Custom fabrication isn't my strong suit. But, it looks like the dremel will be needed. Would ~1/2 the metal on that half of the bracket be strong enough to hold the trailer & kid? He's not heavy--the trailer weighs more than he does.

    As the wife is the one who wanted the trailer, me getting a new bike is fine with me, but she'd say no (she thought $200 for a trailer was too much, let alone the cost of another bike).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jdezur; 04-14-08 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Forgot attachment!

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    Quote Originally Posted by smiller View Post
    easiest solution might be to get an ATB skewer (longer and often stronger) and then use a spacer, if your LBS will let you go thru his small parts junk drawer you might find exactly what you're looking for, i've seen old seatpost qr's with exactly what you want on them.. otherwise a stack of washers might work temporarily, but i think you want to look for a single spacer as big as the dropout will allow, tight to the QR, and just thick enough.
    I'll be making a stop there afterwork. As I don't expect that we'll be using the trailer much, that stack of washers may be enough to at least try it out before modding the bracket.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    The perfect solution for you is not a better trailer, BUT, ANOTHER BIKE. Go find a nice used mountain bike that the adapter will fit on. Gearing will be much better suited for trailer pulling.
    This won't work either unless you get a Walmart bike. I have a Giant XTC NRS (mountain bike) and this trailer doesn't fit in the dropout either. The hitch mount is too big for the dropouts, not for the skewer. I'm thinking a stack of washers too. Remember the lips on the dropout are known as lawyer lips. If you keep your QR tight with the spacers, the wheel will not fall off. Bikes did not use to have lawyer lips.

    BTW, the main company who owns Instep, Pacific and such, also owns Cannondale now...

    http://www.cyclelicio.us/2008/02/can...ale-sugoi.html
    Last edited by jdmm72; 05-28-08 at 08:23 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I'd probably make a bracket for it. Making it use the axle and that hole in the frame to help keeping it stable from twisting shaped to fit the drop out area. A longer skewer may be needed to accommodate the thickness of the bracket. Something along this line that I made for out tandem but a different design.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

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    I thought of the idea of making a different bracket that could mount the trailer. I didn't think of making an adapter plate though. Good idea!

    However, since the original post, I've attacked it with the dremel and it fits nicely. Surprisingly, that thing is made out of a good chunk of metal (once you start cutting it, it's thicker than it looks!). I ended up carving out the areas where the frame hit the bracket, and then covered the bare edge with a little rustoleum and a slice of innertube that died.

    The inntertube just keeps the hitch from chewing through the paint on the bike incase the hitch decides to rotate a little around the skewer. That's all. If the bracket does rotate, it'll run into the frame of the bike and just put the squeeze on the rubber and not my paint.

    For testing, I stood on the bracket and bounced. It supported my 180lbs, so it'll hold the 30lbs of kid/trailer without an issue.

  14. #14
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    Had the same problem with my bike (Scott racing frame)
    here is my solution.....works great!!!

    WP_20130305_001-s.jpgWP_20130305_002-s.jpgWP_20130305_003-s.jpg

  15. #15
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    Zombie thread.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Things attached to other things ..

    Or a Tandem rear hub skewer (145) + a 10 ~ 15mm Spacer under the trailer hitch.


    STFU! Re: 'Zombie' threads

    At least if people pick up a pre existing thread title. it demonstrates
    they bothered to see if the topic was taken up before ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-25-13 at 12:58 PM.

  17. #17
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    Hi Gal_vee,
    I am a Newbie on the forum and own a Giant OCR3 too. Just bought the Instep trailer and coupler and found this issue. I want to avoid cutting into the coupler if possible. My question to you is whether you fabricated that piece of metal, or is it a piece of something that you were just able to use? If you fabricated it yourself, some tips on what kind of metal you used, and how you did it would be great. If you re-purposed something, what was it?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by mm17; 04-25-13 at 12:15 AM. Reason: More detail added.

  19. #19
    Senior Member matimeo's Avatar
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    I have the same trailer and the same problem with my modern aluminum bike. I just use my old steel road bike and it seems to work fine.
    El secreto, por lo demás, no vale lo que valen los caminos que me condujeron a él. Esos caminos hay que andarlos. Jorge Luis Borges, El Etnógrafo

  20. #20
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm17 View Post
    Hi Gal_vee,
    I am a Newbie on the forum and own a Giant OCR3 too. Just bought the Instep trailer and coupler and found this issue. I want to avoid cutting into the coupler if possible. My question to you is whether you fabricated that piece of metal, or is it a piece of something that you were just able to use? If you fabricated it yourself, some tips on what kind of metal you used, and how you did it would be great. If you re-purposed something, what was it?

    Thanks!
    I would head to any metal shop / welding shop in town and show them that photo. Some steel bar stock, a bit of shaping and two drilled holes should not cost you much at all. My quess would be $20 at most. You could probably but the raw material at Home Depot or Lowes , cut it with a hack saw and drill the holes with a hand held drill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  21. #21
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    I went to the Home Depot nearby and initially picked up some steel bar stock. But then figured I could just buy an angle bracket which is used for shelving. It has at least one hole available for use already. So I bought one of those, cut off about a 2.5 inch section with one hole available which the skewer could go through. Shaped that corner a little bit to fit into the corner of the dropout, and then drilled a 7/16" hole for the coupling. Used a 3/8" nut, bolt and locking washer to mount the coupling to this new adapter. Woohoo!
    See the pictures attached.
    1-photo 2.JPG1-photo 3.JPG1-photo 5.jpg1-photo 1.jpg

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