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Old 09-02-03, 02:38 AM   #1
NZLcyclist
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Trailer building, anyone?

Hi all,

I am planning on doing a tour of part of the North Island in NZ here during the christmas holidays (summer). I have a road bike, and I want to tow a trailer with all my stuff in it because its impractible (sp?) to have panniers etc.

I need some suggestions.

Frame material

Wheel size/location (single rear middle, or 2 just behind the middle of the trailer) and go for 12" or larger, even 700c?

Width suggestions for trailer

How many Cateye flashing LED lights should I attatch to the back?

Mounting - swivel connection to seat post, I will replace seat post with steel if it is not already so.

Gear selection
Was thinking put a MTB rear deraileur and cassette on the rear, maybe a 32-13?
This would give me a 39x32 low gear. I dont plain carrying a HEAP in the trailer, so I feel this gearing will be OK (currently have 39x25) what grade MTB stuff? i want decent stuff, like 105 is decent road stuff etc. Maybe some SRAM?

There will be mre questions as I think of them.

Regards,
Brendon
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Old 09-02-03, 03:55 AM   #2
NuTz4BiKeZ
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Hey Brendon...

I had a couple of websites about building trailers... Can only find this one.

Trailer

Cheers
Terry
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Old 09-02-03, 07:51 AM   #3
Turbonium
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i was thinking of making myself a trailer too! just too lazy
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Old 09-02-03, 09:16 AM   #4
Michel Gagnon
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Look also at http://www.bikesatwork.com , as they have a good treatease on what makes a good trailer (from their point of view). A lot comes from personal preferences:

Width
The BOB is very narrow. Two-children trailers are typically 32"-33" wide. If you can, try to make is 24-25" wide, which is about the width of a single-child trailer or of the Burley Nomad. Less wind resistance and it's also not wider than you are.

1 or 2 wheels
Single wheel is easier off road. If you design a hitch like the BOB's, the trailer wheel tracks almost in line with others, which is great for tight off-road trails.
Also, single wheel, even à la trail-a-bike tracks perfectly on roads where you don't turn that tightly.

2-wheel trailer is easier to load, easier in stop and go circumstances, as the trailer remains upright. Because wheels are almost in the centre, there is less weight on the rear wheel. It doesn't lean in curves, however, which means that very fast tight turns are out of the question.
A 2-wheel trailer isn't much wider than you are, but while you can squeeze your arms in a tight spot, you can't squeeze the trailer as easily.
If you like to ride exactly on the white line, you need a bit wider of a road. That might make you less comfortable in heavy-traffic situations.

Hitch
I like the ramblings made on the "Bikes at Work" website. That being said, for 50-100 lb max, my preferences go either for a left chainstay and seatstay hitch for a 2-wheel trailer (actually I prefer one through the quick release because I don't hit my feet on it), or for a rear-rack-based hitch (à la Burley Piccolo) for a single-wheel trailer.
From personal experience, I can say that the hitch of the Addams Trail-a-Bike wiggles after 1200-1500 km, while the hitch of the Burley Piccolo doesn't. I suspect the old hitch of the Alleycat trailercycle was steadier (it was using the seatpost but had a larger fixation).

Wheel Size
For off-road riding, the larger the wheel, the more easily it will go over bumps, potholes and the like. That being said, especially for a 2-wheel trailer, there isn't too much weight on each wheel, so I don't think using 16" or 20" wheels really makes a difference in terms of drag. Many recumbrent bikes use a 20" front wheel and nobody complains about the drag...
If you plan to tour, however, get either 20" (fairly easy to find) or the same size as your bike's wheels (less spares to carry around).
Another even more important point: get wheels with good bearings, which might mean one of the better frames with fixations on both sides, so you can use regular front wheels.
Alas, one problem with larger wheels is that you either need to "trick" your frame, or you end up with a much higher... and unstable cargo.


That being said, the trickiest problem is the hitch. One way to get around it would be to look at garage sales and find a used low-mileage trailer and work from that.
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Old 09-02-03, 04:35 PM   #5
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I am thinking of using a system where I can use front wheels that are 700c - making parts etc interchangeable. I am thinking I will HAVE to go for 2 wheels as I will be carrying a decent amount (incl sleeping bag and blanket for staying at friend's places) - Is it possible to slant the wheels so the tops are pointing inwards a little bit for improved cornering ability? I will be putting some nice tyres on them, the same as on the bike so that it all looks good, and I know that they will last longer than the ones on the bike.

Can someone describe how you atatch front wheels to the sides?

I have yet to decide on mounting with seat post vs QR axle mount (seat stays are not an option as I have minimal clearance with my size 47 shoes)

And any comments on gearing?

Brendon
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Old 09-04-03, 07:05 AM   #6
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Hi,

David Luckenbach made one pics are on www.geocities.com/davidluc/trailer.html
http://www.oklahomabicyclingsociety....geez5pic10.htm
Text is found on www.bikelist.org search the "archives" for "homemade one wheel trailer"
Regards
Hans

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Old 09-05-03, 12:49 AM   #7
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Hi,

if http://sunsite.anu.edu.au/community/...ldhpv/trlr.htm and http://www.svsteinach.de/laufundbike...danhaenger.htm are trailers, what would this be: www16.brinkster.com/frankinator/Carbon/carbon.htm

Regards
Hans
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Old 09-05-03, 01:47 AM   #8
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Hi Brendon , did you see Marks (toolfreak) rig when he was here , he had a one wheel trailer & he carried all his gear , including tent & cooking tackle on it . It was a compact unit + it uncoupled easy, allowing you to use the bike for day trips without too much fuss. with one wheel the centre of gravity is low & you don't ride with one wheel in the dirt
PS: I have a lightweight alloy pannier rack (Avanair ?) on my old wet weather bike that has a quick release action that makes it easy to remove/replace even with the loaded bag(s) attached !

Last edited by greywolf; 09-05-03 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 09-05-03, 03:24 AM   #9
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No, i did not get to see Toolfreaks rig while he was here because it was easily removed and he met me with just the bike! anyway.....I'll be visiting your kneck of the woods if I ever get going, as I have an uncle and cousins down your way. (he also cycles, and Im hoping to go for a ride with him as he doesnt get the chance often)

Brendon
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Old 09-05-03, 05:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by NZLcyclist
No, i did not get to see Toolfreaks rig while he was here because it was easily removed and he met me with just the bike! anyway.....I'll be visiting your kneck of the woods if I ever get going, as I have an uncle and cousins down your way. (he also cycles, and Im hoping to go for a ride with him as he doesnt get the chance often)

Brendon
e-mail me when you're coming & we can go for a spin too? but you'de better load that trailer with bricks so I do'nt get left too far behind
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