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  1. #1
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Custom-built trailers..who's got one?

    I'm in the process of buying a small town diner and wanted to put together a bike trailer to get supplies (mainly groceries) with. I've been car free since early May. I do my weekly grocery shopping by bicycle obviously but until now never had the need for a trailer as everything I needed for the week fit on my rear rack and in a backpack. Shopping for a business means buying everything in bulk, something I wasn't keen on doing for myself and obviously my rack and backpack won't be large enough.

    I was thinking of a custom built wagon of sorts, big enough to hold at least 60 pounds worth for up to 30 miles on a relatively flat path. How are trailers usually attached to the bike, via the seat post or the frame ? Any advice is appreciated.
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  2. #2
    Fixed Kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    You might want to check in the Utility subforum...people have some really nice DIY builds.

    I've seen trailers that attach to the seatpost, though they're generally for smaller loads. Many trailers attach to the axle of the rear wheel with a hitch mounted outside the dropout. This makes it very easy to attach and detach the trailer, since you can leave the hitch in place even when the trailer isn't attached.

    I bought a trailer already assembled from Wike, and I've had success hauling loads up to 100 pounds (though nowhere near 30 miles). They also sell parts that you can use on a DIY build (though the parts alone might be a bit on the expensive side).
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  3. #3
    Senior Member duckbill's Avatar
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    I do not have a custom trailer but do pick-up 80 to 100 pounds of groceries every week with my Burley Nomad. The trailer has also hauled about 80lbs. of camping equipment over 100 kilometers each way on a long weekend. I do not have a car so the trailer is used all year even in the snow months. People are amazed when they witness how much the little trailer can hold. Bought it on Amazon over a year ago and it still looks like new.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckbill View Post
    I do not have a custom trailer but do pick-up 80 to 100 pounds of groceries every week with my Burley Nomad. The trailer has also hauled about 80lbs. of camping equipment over 100 kilometers each way on a long weekend. I do not have a car so the trailer is used all year even in the snow months. People are amazed when they witness how much the little trailer can hold. Bought it on Amazon over a year ago and it still looks like new.
    My bikes at work trailer is semi custom. I did all the assembly and added a plywood deck to it. It will carry 300 lbs. BaW makes a rugged trailer hitch for the bike that lets you attach or detach the trailer right at the rear wheel.

    Last edited by Artkansas; 07-22-14 at 01:53 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member duckbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    My bikes at work trailer is semi custom. I did all the assembly and added a plywood deck to it. It will carry 300 lbs. BaW makes a rugged trailer hitch for the bike that lets you attach or detach the trailer right at the rear wheel.

    The Burley Nomad has hooks up to the rear axel as well but is much narrower then your trailer. Your trailer looks like it could deliver major appliances. Refrigerator delivery perhaps? Grand piano?

  6. #6
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. That Bikes at Work trailer looks almost perfect, I'd have to heighten the sides a little so I don't have to worry about losing loose contents. I'll check out the utility forum now
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  7. #7
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Yes that Bikes at Work trailer is the bomb. But make sure you have lots of gearing if you are loading it up.

  8. #8
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    I picked up (literally) a Kidarooz bike trailer FREE that someone had put out by their trash can for pickup (I knocked on their door and asked first). It attaches easily to the chain stay, though I understand their is an alternative hitch arrangement as well. Since it's rated for two kids and the accompanying stuff, I suspect it could handle 80 pounds. It's a lot like the Schwinn trailer I hauled my two kids around in back in the day.

    The point is that these kiddie bike trailers are very easy to find cheap or free. They have sturdy frames and you could easily retrofit a platform or box--you could quite probably just zip the front open and drop all your gear inside! I suggest you try this route to see if a trailer even works for you conceptually before spending money on a bespoke rig.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    Thanks everyone. That Bikes at Work trailer looks almost perfect, I'd have to heighten the sides a little so I don't have to worry about losing loose contents. I'll check out the utility forum now
    That trailer should serve you well. And, it might be overkill. Look at the Wike link that wipekitty posted. They have a DIY kit that is reasonably priced.

    I bought a cheapo factory built trailer because it cost less than what I could get the individual parts for. Kinda like building a whole bike vs. parts one at a time. Anyway, all I have to do is fix a few problems with it. I don't have to start from scratch.
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