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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-20-06, 02:13 AM   #1
Cyclaholic
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My new homebuilt shopping trailer

Threw it together from scraps, I even rescued the wheels from a dumpster.

My only costs were the welding consumables and the 8mm rod end. I fished the trolley out of my local creek, it had been in there for a while and the bottom half was pretty rotten but the basket cleaned up nicely. The steel is 1" square tube offcuts also rescued from a dumpster.

She tows very nicely, extremely stable at all my riding speeds even with 60 - 70 pounds of groceries onboard.

I'm now working on another trailer to tow the kids and picnic supplies, a bit like a Burley but bigger and sturdier.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hitch1.jpg (47.9 KB, 468 views)
File Type: jpg hitch2.jpg (82.0 KB, 458 views)
File Type: jpg trailer1.jpg (42.4 KB, 497 views)
File Type: jpg trailer2.jpg (63.9 KB, 383 views)
File Type: jpg trailer3.jpg (93.8 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg trailer4.jpg (81.3 KB, 386 views)
File Type: jpg trailer5.jpg (90.5 KB, 182 views)
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Old 09-20-06, 05:04 AM   #2
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- very nice!

- and thank you for nudging me to now know what to do w/the 700c 6spd wheelset i have languishing in the garage!
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Old 09-20-06, 05:07 AM   #3
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Pretty freakin cool!!!!! Oughta market that.

Nice pics too.
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Old 09-20-06, 07:42 AM   #4
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Nice design and execution. I especially like the simple bracket for the rod end.

In my area, plastic trolleys/shopping carts are discarded more often than steel ones. I'll have to find a scheme to use those, perhaps by riveting or bolting through the sides.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatTop
Nice design and execution. I especially like the simple bracket for the rod end.

In my area, plastic trolleys/shopping carts are discarded more often than steel ones. I'll have to find a scheme to use those, perhaps by riveting or bolting through the sides.
A plastic basket would save you a heap of weight, I was surprised at just how heavy the basket was after stripping it down. You could also save some weight by using aluminum tubing, the steel I used is overkill; way stronger than necessary.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by linux_author
- very nice!

- and thank you for nudging me to now know what to do w/the 700c 6spd wheelset i have languishing in the garage!
Probably hard to tell from the pics but the trailer has 26" wheels. 700c would work just as well ofcourse.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:49 AM   #7
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Very well done. All trailers should be capable of transporting 3-4 small children!
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Old 09-20-06, 08:57 AM   #8
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how is the basket attached to the fram of the carrier?
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Old 09-20-06, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aikigreg
how is the basket attached to the fram of the carrier?
It's stitch welded along the front, and the rear corners.
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Old 09-20-06, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
A plastic basket would save you a heap of weight, I was surprised at just how heavy the basket was after stripping it down. You could also save some weight by using aluminum tubing, the steel I used is overkill; way stronger than necessary.
Yes, I agree that the shopping cart basket is WAAAAAAAAAY to heavy for this job!!
Sorry to say that it will lessen the usefulness to the point that this cart will not get used often.
Suggest that a couple of straps be welded to allow a bottom to hold a plastic tub to save weight
to let you use this very well made cart. It'd be a shame to let this cart lay fallow wanting to
get used.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-20-06, 10:49 AM   #11
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Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what stops the rod that attaches to your bike from running into the tire/wheel/spokes on right turns?
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Old 09-20-06, 11:23 AM   #12
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Yes, I agree that the shopping cart basket is WAAAAAAAAAY to heavy for this job!
It all depends on the circumstances. If the maker/owner doesn't mind a bunch of extra exercise or lives in a flat area, then i don't see the problem.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:15 PM   #13
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bravo!
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Old 09-20-06, 08:16 PM   #14
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That is so much cleaner than the home-made job I saw in Craigslist (and posted here not too long ago). Very nicely done!
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Old 09-20-06, 11:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
That is so much cleaner than the home-made job I saw in Craigslist (and posted here not too long ago). Very nicely done!
I recall seeing that one and thinking that the wheels are much too far forward. Any usefull load in that basket would be behind the wheel axels which would creat an upwards force on the bike - not a problem untill you apply a bit of front brake and get pitched over the bars!
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Old 09-20-06, 11:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dirt Hill
Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what stops the rod that attaches to your bike from running into the tire/wheel/spokes on right turns?
Good question. The trailer arm will touch the tire if you turn right sharp enough, but it's such a sharp turn you'd have to walk the bike. Much sharper than anything you'd do under normal riding situations.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Yes, I agree that the shopping cart basket is WAAAAAAAAAY to heavy for this job!!
Sorry to say that it will lessen the usefulness to the point that this cart will not get used often.
Suggest that a couple of straps be welded to allow a bottom to hold a plastic tub to save weight
to let you use this very well made cart. It'd be a shame to let this cart lay fallow wanting to
get used.
I agree with you in that there is room for improvement in that aspect of the design. Unfortunately there are only steel caged trolleys here, alternatively I could buy a plastic container that would do the job.

If I were to design this unit for lighter duty work, say upto 50 pounds payload, I would use the same design chassis but in aluminum tubing and with 20" wheels. The basket would be a suitable plastic tub. The weight saving would be in the vicinity of 20 - 25 pounds.

As it is I wanted to recycle discarded materials I already had at hand, and also have a greater payload capacity. Considering your comments on the weight of the basket I started thinking about the option of cutting the welds and devising a system of making the basket removable. Not just because of the weight but to be able to convert the trailer into a 'flatbed'. That will be a future project.

The weight is not too much for me as you said, in fact it's virtually imperceptible when empty. By way of example today I towed home a 60 gallon polyethylene drum I got for free from a shampoo manufacturer, which I'll turn into a compost bin. It's not exactly light and 4 of the 10 miles home were a rolling uphill (see photo). I was in granny ring but only around the middle of the cassette. The bike gears all the way down to about 18 gear inches so I still have plenty in reserve.

It was a fun ride home! you should have seen the looks on motorists' faces - priceless the best thing though was that I got a wave and a thumbs up from 2 out of 3 trucks, and 1 in maybe 10 motorists. Everyone gave me LOTS of room on the road, I rarely feel as safe in traffic like today.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:08 PM   #18
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Cyclaholic- your design looks quite clean and professional- i'm impressed. I don't know how to weld, but if I did I would have made a trailer a bit more like yours. Mine is a bolt-together trailer. (click here, then click on the photo link, "bike").

Out of curiosity, is there a reason you set up the bottom of your trailer to be sloped toward the back?

I had to pay $16 US or so for the 45-gallon plastic tub used in my trailer, but I think it's a good solution. Should I ever buy groceries in a rainstorm and want to keep them dry, my trailer will do the trick. It's also pretty light. The plastic container is fairly strong, and if it were bolted to the frame in about 12 places (mine's bolted-in in 6 places) i would expect it to reliably carry 135 pounds. As it is, it can easily hold my 135 pounds while sitting still, but I don't know how it would do while moving. My trailer wouldn't serve too well for carrying heavy loads of bricks or rocks, but for laundry and groceries size is the limiting factor, not weight.
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Old 09-21-06, 01:01 PM   #19
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A couple of ideas for you to ponder......

check out a Rubbermade "Action Packer" trunk as a way to get a closed way to cart stuff. I used
the medium size packer for my trike finding it to be great way to haul all sorts of stuff. I put 4 bolts
thru the bottom with wing nuts inside so I can whip it off to let me use the trike as a small flat bed.

look to see if you can "find" a "lost" plastic shopping cart basket to replace that sinful heavy
steel basket you have now.

Best of luck, mate.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-21-06, 05:47 PM   #20
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Nice work all around!

Just a comment about the hitch however: the reason why many hitches are some type of rubber elastomer is so that they can bend and twist horizontally and vertically just in case you ever crash - you fall but the trailer stays upright. The other problem is if your cart ever tips, it seems your hitch, in its current iteration, would probably pull you down as well. But I can't imagine you're going that fast anyway.

I get your desire to recycle as many parts as you can though. Maybe you can rig a hitch with old tire rubber?
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Old 09-22-06, 09:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Nice work all around!

Just a comment about the hitch however: the reason why many hitches are some type of rubber elastomer is so that they can bend and twist horizontally and vertically just in case you ever crash.....

I get your desire to recycle as many parts as you can though. Maybe you can rig a hitch with old tire rubber?
If rubber hitches are on the agenda suggest that you try an old ribbon fan belt found at any car
repair shop. These belts are TOUGH !!!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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