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  1. #1
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    DIY trailer for extended-distance touring

    Hi all,

    Firstly, I'm new here, so I'll be looking over the rules (when I find them, the FAQ link in the header seems broken) and getting to find where things are, I literally just stumbled on this place. I'll apologise in advance for the long-winded post too.

    Essentially I'm thinking about the prospect of doing a few "extended-distance" (i.e. >80km multi-day) trips around the country. I don't have a car, and so generally ride everywhere. The last couple of long distance trips (done with other people, and the bike gets left at home) I've found sitting in a car just does me no good whatsoever, and I think the scenery passes by too quickly at 100km/hr. There isn't the same sense of achievement either.

    One such trip I'm thinking of would take me from Brisbane south through central New South Wales to Jindabyne then down the Barry Way following the Snowy River out to the Great Ocean Road. That's about 3000km, then I got to get back home! Other (more local) trips would be Brisbane to Imbil: I do volunteer emergency communications work for the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network, who often have exercises in the Imbil state forest (e.g. horse endurance rides and the International Rally of Queensland). Imbil's a good 160km from here.

    I've done some "long-distance" trips before. Mainly in the greater Brisbane area. From my home which is about 10km outside the Brisbane CBD through to Logan Central or Rochedale south of Brisbane, this is about a 40km run each way and takes me about 3 hours (the first hour is from my home at The Gap to the Brisbane CBD). So I know under "normal" circumstances, I can do 80km in 6 hours, with an average speed of around 12km/hr.

    I do my own weekly shopping with a Croozer box trailer. This has a 30kg capacity, and fairly lightweight, for shopping it is good as it doubles as a trolley: I take it in with me when I do my shopping. With a trailer full of shopping (so ~8L of milk and a sizeable amount of fruit) I do about 8~10km/hr, or ~6km/hr up hills.

    It's also useful when I put one of my bikes in for service: fold the folding bike up, place in trailer, hitch to bike to be serviced, ride to bike shop, un-hitch, drop-off, then get the fold-up out, unfold it and hitch the empty trailer to it and ride home. I'll be doing this tomorrow in fact.

    I could use this on trips, but I'm concerned about two things:

    - robustness: I've had some of the frame pieces pop apart on me on a few occasions. So I'll have to do some maintenance.
    - wheel size: It uses a somewhat odd size (~16" I think?). In the event of needing new tubes (almost a certainty with >1000km trips) or tyres I fear they'll be difficult to source replacements in a small town.

    So I'm looking at my options, one being I build my own trailer. I've been fiddling with OpenSCAD modelling a prospective trailer. I haven't got to doing the hitch yet: the Croozer trailer uses a small mount that the rear axle skewer passes through. I could build something to work with that but I'm not sure about strength and what's feasable to tow with it.

    The bike I'd be pulling with it is a Giant Talon 29ER 0.

    VK4MSL/BM Mk3 Blogospheric Refraction shows the bike and the radio station on-board. There's a pannier rack with a motorcycle top box on the back where I can stow some clothing, my radio, and some tools. I keep a 10Ah battery in one pannier bag with some room to spare, so I could keep a couple of litres of water on the bike, some food, stove and cooking gear, etc. Presently the other pannier just carries spare tubes and a small first aid kit.

    For the trailer, I'd be carrying the bulk of my water (10-20L), food, remaining clothing, tent chair, and, spare 10Ah battery and a solar panel.

    I've had my fair share of popped spokes in my time. In fact I wound up buying a whole new wheelset for the bike after a spate of spoke breaks, all on the rear wheel. So add to this, the original wheelset with tyres fitted: I figure I have to be VERY unlucky to bust both sets of wheels.

    Therefore I'm looking to build the trailer to use the same 29" wheels that my bike uses. It takes a 15mm thru-axle on the front, which a M8 nut fits neatly through, so I figure I can improvise some axles using a series of M8 spacers and some threadded stock. Using the same wheels as what my bike uses, the tyres, tubes and (front) wheels are interchangeable. I should be able to swap them around to get myself out of and to the nearest town.

    What brought me to this this thread: Home built hitch and rack

    On researching the load capacities regarding the skewers (something that I don't seem to be able to find), then looking at alternate hitching methods, I saw that post mentioning the whole DIY rack with the integrated hitch. Presently I use Topeak Explorer 29ER racks (disc version): they seem to work okay for about 1500-2000km, then the rack eventually gives way, breaking down near the front and rear support tubes weld to the centre tube, usually on the side where I have the battery (which weighs about 2kg; the rack is rated for 25kg).

    I've been considering a Tubus rack which apparently can do 40kg, but a DIY option means I should be able to pick up bits from some regional hardware store. I have a socket set on-board and most people in regional areas would have the necessary tools to turn raw aluminium tubes into useful parts.

    I don't know how to weld. I'm "okay-ish" with working with aluminium, wouldn't say metalwork is my strong point but so far I've been able to improvise quite a bit. Cutting, drilling and bolting aluminium tubes is well within my capabilities, even on the road. (I can carry a hacksaw and spare nuts/bolts, maybe a small drill and drill bits, can't carry a welder.)

    So a few queries:

    - What approaches have people found work best for joining metal sections when building trailers, etc? I need the rack to do a minimum of 30kg (clearly 25kg isn't quite enough) and the trailer is looking like I'll need about 40kg minimum capacity.
    - For Charlie_R: I'm greatly inspired by your rack design. You mention the attachment to the bike frame being a weak point, did you find a way to overcome this? Any other gotchas regarding this design?
    Last edited by Redhatter; 02-20-15 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Thunder Whisperer no1mad's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Redhatter
    I'll be looking over the rules (when I find them, the FAQ link in the header seems broken)
    Guidelines and Rules or Site Operation: All Members Read, Please
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  3. #3
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Ahh, ta. :-) Hopefully the link to my site wasn't too much bending the rules.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    You may also want to ask in the Utility Bike forum. They focus more on the mechanics. Alt Bikes might have some opinions as well.

    I wanted to see a picture of the trailer.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Seems like this is a great question for the Touring subforum. Sounds like you have been using equipment you use in everyday transportation...which seems logical. But I notice you are carrying up to 20 liters of water. Is this because you are cycling thru desert? If not, a lot of leg power goes into those extra liters.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    For my cargo bike, I made a straight pull-behind hitch with the same idea as in the post above, and capable of pulling A LOT OF WEIGHT.

    I use a kid's trailer for light cargo, and have pulled it over 100 miles in a day. However, it it is a drag to pull, and I can definitely feel the extra resistance.

    For touring, I would consider something like a Bob Trailer with a single wheel.

    The Bob trailer, of course, needs either a two sided hitch, or something that keeps it oriented vertically with the bike. Otherwise, for a light trailer I would probably go with the standard one-sided hitch mount.

    I can imagine the benefit of standardizing wheel and tire sizes. However, carrying a couple of spare spokes is very easy. You could even integrate a spoke carrier into your trailer or rack design. Extra tires and tubes would be a bit of a pain, but say you use 16" or 20" tires, they are a very common kid's bike size, and the tires can be easily purchased almost anywhere so you'd just need a spare tube.

    The commercial kid's trailers have a lot of bent tubing, and are mostly bolted together.

    I welded my heavy cargo trailer. Aluminum is a big pain to weld, but it would be easy enough to weld a light steel trailer. If built right it shouldn't fail, and you may be able to find mechanics that can do welding in a pinch while on the road.

    As far as hitches, I don't know. I have been a bit reluctant to use an axle hitch. My kids trailers clamp onto the left chainstay. Bike Friday uses a air hose quick release and a short piece of air hose for flex. I haven't tried their trailer, but it looks like a neat idea. I think the mail QR is welded onto some of their bike frames.

    With the kid's trailers, and a spring hitch pivot, it seems fine for light loads, but I dislike the surging that I get with heavy loads.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The Prototype Burly trailers were Made with an electrical conduit tube bender found at Big hardware stores..

    Look like this :IDEAL Conduit Bender, 1/2 EMT, Rigid - G4284436 at Zoro

    perhaps you can find one for larger than 1/2" tubing and use Aluminum, , though the steel conduit Tube is OK.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-22-15 at 02:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Many thanks all for the replies…

    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    You may also want to ask in the Utility Bike forum. They focus more on the mechanics. Alt Bikes might have some opinions as well.

    I wanted to see a picture of the trailer.
    Well, the trailer hasn't been built yet, unless you mean the trailer in the thread I linked to or my existing trailer.

    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Seems like this is a great question for the Touring subforum. Sounds like you have been using equipment you use in everyday transportation...which seems logical. But I notice you are carrying up to 20 liters of water. Is this because you are cycling thru desert? If not, a lot of leg power goes into those extra liters.
    I've basically tried to guestimate a figure based on what my usual drinking habits are, and the fact that I could be passing through areas where I cannot pick up water for a day or so. A minimum I'd feel comfortable with is 10L.

    One option is to use 2L milk bottles or 1.5L PET bottles for the water storage, I can buy those almost anywhere and if one busts, it's only 2L lost not 10L. The exact amount I'll need is something I'll have to fine tune with experience (right now I have none).

    I expect it'll be closer to the 10-12L, but if I plan to be able to carry 20L, then I'm pretty much covered. I don't have to fill a 20L jerry can up completely or fill all my 2L milk bottles.

    On the topic of the forum: I basically posted here as this is where Charlie_R had posted his thread regarding the rack he built. I recognise it could equally go in the utility forum, or touring, or just about anywhere. If moderators feel another forum is more appropriate, I'm happy for this thread to be moved.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    For my cargo bike, I made a straight pull-behind hitch with the same idea as in the post above, and capable of pulling A LOT OF WEIGHT.

    I use a kid's trailer for light cargo, and have pulled it over 100 miles in a day. However, it it is a drag to pull, and I can definitely feel the extra resistance.

    For touring, I would consider something like a Bob Trailer with a single wheel.

    The Bob trailer, of course, needs either a two sided hitch, or something that keeps it oriented vertically with the bike. Otherwise, for a light trailer I would probably go with the standard one-sided hitch mount.
    Well, the Croozer trailer I have uses such a mount, they make kid trailers too using the same hitch arrangement.

    I'm just not confident of its robustness, or more importantly, the robustness of the axle, since it is held in place by the rear axle skewer. (Similar concept to the Burley trailers, the actual attachment for the towing arm is different but it has a hole for the skewer to pass through in the same manner.) It does okay for getting the groceries home, and I'm not sure how much I'm towing in that situation, I know there's about 8L of milk and at least 5kg of fruit and veg when I do so. (Feels like I'm towing the shop home some days!)

    The Bob trailer is an interesting concept, not sure how I'd go fitting an esky and my tent on one though. My tent is one of these 3 second pop-up jobbies, about the same diameter as one of my 29" wheels. There's also a solar panel too, and I'd like that set up somewhere so that it can collect some sun to charge batteries while I move. I hear the one-wheel ones are good off-road since they follow the bike perfectly, just I feel a two-wheel design is probably better for my needs.

    Long distance towing is something I've never tried. The longest distance I've towed my existing trailer was from my home to one of the checkpoints on the Bicycle Queensland Mt. Coot-tha Challenge, about 15km away. I recall just about having a hernia coming back over Mt. Coot-tha with a modest load on the way home. That said, even if I walk and just push the bike that way, either way, I'll get to my destination under my own steam.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    I can imagine the benefit of standardizing wheel and tire sizes. However, carrying a couple of spare spokes is very easy. You could even integrate a spoke carrier into your trailer or rack design. Extra tires and tubes would be a bit of a pain, but say you use 16" or 20" tires, they are a very common kid's bike size, and the tires can be easily purchased almost anywhere so you'd just need a spare tube.
    Ahh okay, hadn't considered kids bikes. Some of the areas I'm thinking of are quite popular mountain bike areas, last time I was down at Mt. Kosziuoszko National Park, noticed just how many mountain bike tracks there were. Thus I figure mountain bike tyres, particularly 26" and 29" will generally be in-stock.

    I'm a fair begger for busting spokes and I've never tried replacing one myself, so I figured I'd just make an attachment out the back where I can carry the original Giant SXC-2 wheels that the bike came with. The original rear has had a few busted spokes and the front wound up getting twisted a bit at one point (since been mostly straightened out), which is why I replaced the set, but in an emergency they're good enough to get me out of trouble. The plan is to have a small rack on the back where I can carry them. The original front wheel can fit the bike or the trailer, the rear just fits the bike, but if I need to I can nick the tyre and tube off it. Extra weight for sure, but I'd like the peace of mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    The commercial kid's trailers have a lot of bent tubing, and are mostly bolted together.

    I welded my heavy cargo trailer. Aluminum is a big pain to weld, but it would be easy enough to weld a light steel trailer. If built right it shouldn't fail, and you may be able to find mechanics that can do welding in a pinch while on the road.

    As far as hitches, I don't know. I have been a bit reluctant to use an axle hitch. My kids trailers clamp onto the left chainstay. Bike Friday uses a air hose quick release and a short piece of air hose for flex. I haven't tried their trailer, but it looks like a neat idea. I think the mail QR is welded onto some of their bike frames.

    With the kid's trailers, and a spring hitch pivot, it seems fine for light loads, but I dislike the surging that I get with heavy loads.
    Yeah, welding is pretty much out for me, I don't have a welder, much less the skills for welding aluminium (which requires special treatment I understand). The current trailer is a bolted-together job, just the support rails are a bit on the flimsy side.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The Prototype Burly trailers were Made with an electrical conduit tube bender found at Big hardware stores..

    Look like this :IDEAL Conduit Bender, 1/2 EMT, Rigid - G4284436 at Zoro

    perhaps you can find one for larger than 1/2" tubing and use Aluminum, , though the steel conduit Tube is OK.
    I'll have to look around and see if I can get a similar device here. I'm sure they do sell them, and it'd be handy for more than just trailer building. I'll have a look around.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I assume there are advantages and disadvantages of each type of trailer connection.

    I have a few "issues" with the chainstay clamp on trailer hitch. Nothing bad.

    I generally have to set it as far back as it will go to prevent heal strike. My Colnago has 126mm dropouts, and there is risk of hitting spokes if it twists. My Litespeed has 135mm dropouts, with plenty of spoke clearance (for now).

    An axle mount would be fine for a bolt-on axle. I don't know about a QR. Perhaps it depends on how well it matches the rear dropout. Presumably it could be designed to be essentially a negative image to your dropout to get additional support.

    Touring in Australia may be different than in the USA for water access. Around here there are many places to get water refills, or perhaps a good filter to get water out of most rivers or streams.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Well, I've had a chat to my local bike shop and have found out I can source some 29" wheels for about the AU$150 mark, so it sounds like I'm off to a good start, and I've found a place that will sell the bearings, shafts, etc that I'd need for mounting them.

    I should have a set of mechanical disc brake callipers somewhere which I can set up, actuated by 12V solenoids. Similar techniques are used on caravans, so the concept works, just needs some adaption for my use case. Failing that, it seems mechanical ones are not expensive. Then it's a matter of setting up something to provide the brake signal.

    Hydraulic is another option; I could have a master cylinder set up in the towing arm to detect when the trailer is pushing up against the bike and to automatically apply brakes in that case. That said, I've never tried fitting brakes of any kind, much less hydraulic ones.

    As for the hitch, I'm running a 9mm quick release on the mountain bike (my other two are bolt-on though). Towing using this axle-mounted arrangement hasn't been a problem yet, but I don't want to be stuck >50km from the nearest town with a couple of busted axles.

    The more I think of it, the more I like the hitch-integrated-into-rack solution, since the racks have been a big failure point for me, and this presents the opportunity to kill two birds with the one stone.

    The present set up is pretty much like this:


    That particular bike is at the shop being serviced: I took the rack off so the guys can do the servicing they need to do. The top box mounts onto a metal plate which I fix to the top of the pannier rack:



    So far, so good. The top box stays on fairly solidly. I did have a problem of it sometimes detaching by itself, a problem that was fixed easily: drill a 5mm hole through the bottom of the top box and through the mounting plate, then feed a M5 bolt up from the bottom into the top box, and use a 5mm wing nut to hold it in place. The box itself would be no more than 2kg when empty, it weighs bugger all despite its volume.

    Inside there's my radio (Yaesu FT-857D) which weighs about 2.5kg, a toolkit (about 2.5kg) and whatever luggage I might be carrying. I'd be surprised if there was more than 12kg. In the pannier bags, I carry a 10Ah 12V battery (2kg), spare tubes and a first aid kit.

    In spite of this, after a while, this is what happens:



    Interestingly, before I bought the pannier bags everything used to be in the top box, including a laptop weighing 2kg. I no longer carry the laptop, so my weight has gone down in the top box, yet I started getting the racks failing, go figure.

    So I've already got a robustness problem with the rack. My present hitch was designed for a trailer that was rated at 30kg, I'm not sure what it'd do under an additional 20kg either to the hitch itself or to the axle skewer passing through it.

    Right now the trailer I'm designing looks like this:



    You'll note there the complete absence of a towing arm. I was initially thinking of re-using the towing arm on my existing trailer, but there in I have a quandry regarding the capacity it and the hitch may be rated to. It was looking around that this inspired me:



    Now this not only potentially solves my rack problem, but it does so using similar techniques to what I've been thinking of using for the trailer itself. Bonus points for not needing bolt holes down near the rear axle, this being dual-suspension compatible.

    The question is, how well does this kind of construction stand up to mobile use on a bicycle? The above photo was posted about 2 years ago. I'm interested to know how well it has survived over that time and what the weak points were. This would influence how the trailer is built as well as how I might try to build my own rack.
    Last edited by Redhatter; 02-25-15 at 01:41 AM. Reason: Auto-logout lost the latter half of my post.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about brakes.
    My initial design was to design mechanical surge brakes for my big trailer. Somewhat like boat trailers often have, but mechanical. Unfortunately I never got them finished.

    At this point, I don't go too fast when fully loaded, and I haven't ever needed an emergency stop on any bike on any of the hills I regularly descend.

    So I'm not entirely sure that trailer brakes would add much. But, I still have considered them.

    You should be able to get some kind of a moped brake lever for cheap that would have an electronic brake sensor in it. And, connecting the wires to the trailer could just about any type of plug.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    I'm not sure about brakes.
    My initial design was to design mechanical surge brakes for my big trailer. Somewhat like boat trailers often have, but mechanical. Unfortunately I never got them finished.

    At this point, I don't go too fast when fully loaded, and I haven't ever needed an emergency stop on any bike on any of the hills I regularly descend.

    So I'm not entirely sure that trailer brakes would add much. But, I still have considered them.

    You should be able to get some kind of a moped brake lever for cheap that would have an electronic brake sensor in it. And, connecting the wires to the trailer could just about any type of plug.
    Interesting, I was thinking of something to take the load off my main brakes, particularly on big downhill runs. There's one I do regularly that's steep enough for me to be doing 71km/hr (if I don't watch my speed) when I hit the bottom -- in fact it was that morning I broke the above pannier rack: it didn't like the sudden change in direction (down then up).
    Last edited by Redhatter; 02-25-15 at 02:24 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Sounds like a steep hill.

    I have no doubt that I could hit high speeds on my driveway, but it is short enough that it hasn't been a problem. Otherwise most of the normal hills I hit aren't a problem. I suppose a touring setup would require one to be prepared for different and unique situations.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Well, I'm now starting to accumulate bits.

    The local bike shop informed me that they've got the new wheels (Shimano MT-35) in and have fitted the tyres on for me. For brakes, there was the option of going either hydraulic or mechanical. I've opted for mechanical (Avid BB5) since I figured that'd give me a few different interfacing options, including electric using solenoids. They were also half the price.

    Looking around, I think I've figured out a way to actuate the brakes: Braking System

  15. #15
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    I bought a $50 Adams trail-a-bike off Craigslist and converted it into a trailer.
    Ground the handlebar stem off the frame.
    Front of the rear rack attaches to the seatless seat post.
    Replaced the wheel with a 48 spoke BMX wheel, amd put a high pressure Kenda recumbant tire on it.
    Complete drive train gone, of course.
    Only problem I encountered was the excessive wobble back and forth when I loaded the rear panniers with bricks, on the 1st test rides.
    The fix was to tightly wrap the U-joint with strips of inner tubing, finished with electrical tape, which entirely eliminated any slop in the joint.
    Almost gave up on the project before I tried that trick.
    Can't take a tight turn anymore, but the thing works..!!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Well, I have the wheels and the brake callipers now. They're 9mm QR wheels rather than the 10mm thru-axle ones I was hoping for so the mountings for those will need a re-think.

    Trailer wheel mounts for 9mm QR wheels

  17. #17
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Well, consensus seems to be that the mounting I've come up with will be okay and that the 3mm thickness won't be a serious problem.

    My slot for the quick-release wasn't very long, so I thought about extending it. For now I've just drilled a 9mm hole into a guessed position.

    I started to look into how I can align the brake callipers with the rotor. The most sensible way would be to have the wheel mounting bracket also act as a mounting point for the disc brake calliper too. The bracket itself sits too close to the wheel to mount the calliper directly to the bracket, it was out by 3mm, which is a good thing: it's the very thickness of the metal sheets I'm using.

    I took one of the callipers and mounted it to a length of scrap 3mm aluminium strap then tried to position it. So far, things look good:



    Looking at that, it puts the calliper 3mm back from the wheel, so better aligned with the rotor. The wheel could be better positioned, if the hole were to move down about 15mm it would make mounting that strap the calliper is on to the wheel bracket a lot easier. The bolts holding the calliper on are too long for 3mm of aluminium, and so they stick out and foul with the rotor:



    I need to get another 4mm between the head of the bolts and the calliper. Another two layers of strap or a strap and a washer would do it. The second layer in fact, needn't be a strap at all, it could be constructed from aluminium angle as well which would re-enforce the wheel mounting and make the whole bracket stronger. I fired up The Gimp and did some rough sketches to test the theory:



    If I move the bracket up relative to the axle, I get a bit more clearance on the axle nut and some more aluminium to mount the calliper to. Since the calliper is essentially below the wheel, it will foul with the wheel's quick release if I used the traditional vertical slot for the drop-out, so I've turned that 90 so it faces backward. In fact, I could probably move it closer to the edge so the slot isn't so long. The brake calliper bolts can be spaced out with spring-washers to keep that under tension.

    The extra thickness due to the brake bracket will expand the total thickness for the drop-out to 6mm, closer to that of a traditional bicycle fork.

    The whole assembly then can bolt to the trailer frame by means of the mounting tab at the top.
    Last edited by Redhatter; 04-11-15 at 03:57 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Redhatter's Avatar
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    Well, an update on the project, I've done some tweaking of the design and some time back I bought some aluminium to build the frame out of.

    I've spent the past few weeks contemplating exactly what size to make it. Laws about dimensions are hard to find, nothing seemed to dictate any specific maximum length, however width was in some areas restricted to around 800mm. My existing Croozer trailer is 750mm, so I aimed for about that width.

    But what length? 1.2m, 1.5m, 1.8m? The sections I bought were 1.8m long, seemed like a good idea in the shop, then I realised, it'd be as long as the bike!

    Today I finally pulled my finger out and settled on ~1.2m. With this in mind, I set to work building the frame base.



    The overall dimensions of this are 757mm wide (okay, overshot it by a smidge) and 1253mm. Weight is presently 3kg.

    I used two angle brackets and a straight joiner to reinforce the corners. The bolts are M5 zinc-plated bolts; 35mm long.


    Next step is to make the wheel mounts, finalise how the disc brakes are going to be mounted, and figure out a draw bar arrangement. One thing though, it seems where hitch mechanisms are concerned, I am spoilt for choice, in addition to one other prospective mount, these two turned up.

    One is basically a miniature version of the typical ball mount arrangement seen on cars, and looks like it'll provide good side-to-side rotation. The other will allow the trailer to turn, but not the bike to lean, so it'll need to be combined with some other mechanism, but is also promising.



    One possibility for storage would be to place boxes in the gap in between (~450mm wide). This is what it looks like if I sit a box in the gap between the wheels and hold a wheel in-situ. There's a decent amount (~200mm) of clearance for the rough roads.

    Last edited by Redhatter; 06-08-15 at 12:02 AM.

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