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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 07-15-07, 07:12 PM   #26
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thanks for sharing..I use a kiddie trailer modifed for grocerices.
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Old 07-16-07, 01:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
I like the way the finished trailer looks so far. Very nice.


You wanted to use the bright green from that green car I like so much didn't you?
You mean this one?
Yeah, but I didn't want my motives to be that transparent to my girlfriend. I'm still considering painting one of my bikes in homage to that car (possibly the next build). Complete with strobe stripes no less.

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great write-up an pics, thank you!

i just realized i missed out on a free trailer today...oh well... lots to be found.
No problem at all. As for finding a trailer I posted a "Wanted" ad on my local Freecycle board and within a day I had a bite.
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thanks for sharing..I use a kiddie trailer modified for groceries.
Glad to do it. We plan on using ours for groceries (we're getting a lighter colored bin for this "clean" task), recycling (we don't have curbside recycling here so we have to haul the stuff down) , taking pets to the vet (a modification I've got figured out, but not actually built yet) and other trips where we'd normally load up the car.
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Old 07-16-07, 09:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
You mean this one?
Yeah, but I didn't want my motives to be that transparent to my girlfriend. I'm still considering painting one of my bikes in homage to that car (possibly the next build). Complete with strobe stripes no less.

That's it. A bike done similar to that paint job would be awesome! Maybe the strobe stripes could be reflective tape?

I won't tell your girlfriend.
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Old 07-17-07, 05:37 PM   #29
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That's it. A bike done similar to that paint job would be awesome! Maybe the strobe stripes could be reflective tape?

I won't tell your girlfriend.
The strobe stripes would be done in reflective tape. You didn't think I'd let an opportunity like that go to waste did you?
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Old 07-17-07, 06:59 PM   #30
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The strobe stripes would be done in reflective tape. You didn't think I'd let an opportunity like that go to waste did you?

I figured you were already thinking about that. I can't imagine you missing that.

I thought it was better to be redundant than have any possiblity of that idea getting away.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:51 PM   #31
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I'm jealous, Raiyn. One of the disadvantages of living in a bike-happy city is that no one gives away kiddie trailers, or even sells them all that cheaply. I could spend months combing Portland freecycle and I'd be lucky if I came across one non-Walmart bike thing in that time.

I swear, some of you guys could come to Portland in an RV with an inventory of rehabbed trailers and bikes, sell them "cheap" (for here) at a swap meet, and still leave having made a killing.
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Old 07-18-07, 03:00 PM   #32
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I figured you were already thinking about that. I can't imagine you missing that.

I thought it was better to be redundant than have any possibility of that idea getting away.
Considering that so many of the original strobe stripes actually were reflective (hence the name) and the fact that I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Mopar muscle there's no reason to think I'd miss that.

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I'm jealous, Raiyn. One of the disadvantages of living in a bike-happy city is that no one gives away kiddie trailers, or even sells them all that cheaply. I could spend months combing Portland freecycle and I'd be lucky if I came across one non-Walmart bike thing in that time.
The one I got had been left outside for a few years and it showed. (Check out the spring in the first pic) Yeah I managed to get it cleaned up nicely, but it's not really worth jelling over due to the amount of work it needed.
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I swear, some of you guys could come to Portland in an RV with an inventory of rehabbed trailers and bikes, sell them "cheap" (for here) at a swap meet, and still leave having made a killing.
With the price of gas and the labor / materials cost involved it's doubtful I'd break even, much less make a killing.
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Old 07-18-07, 05:18 PM   #33
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VERY NICE car! looks like thousands of hours of love have gone into it! one day i want to spend some time on a restore like that.

got pics of the engine bay?
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Old 07-18-07, 07:21 PM   #34
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VERY NICE car! looks like thousands of hours of love have gone into it! one day i want to spend some time on a restore like that.

got pics of the engine bay?
It's not my car, and no I don't. I haven't owned a car in ten years Google Overhaulin Challenger
I posted the pic to illustrate the color theme I'll be going for on a different project as it was part of another conversation
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Old 07-19-07, 02:00 AM   #35
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Problem w/ this design is that if the screw is very tight, the hitch can start to slide on your chainstay. Mine did a weird thing as I rounded a corner with unpleasant results for my wheel.
I had the same thing happen with my old nordic track trailer. I turned a corner and the clamp went right into the spokes, it made my kids sad and made me angry. I unloaded it and bought a different cheapy with a different style hitch.
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Old 07-19-07, 02:15 PM   #36
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I had the same thing happen with my old nordic track trailer. I turned a corner and the clamp went right into the spokes, it made my kids sad and made me angry. I unloaded it and bought a different cheapy with a different style hitch.
I still fail to understand how (if the bolt is tightened down properly) the clamp would move. Even if the clamp slipped a small amount it would follow the chainstay and the safety strap (properly used) would keep it from entering the spokes.
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Old 07-19-07, 03:48 PM   #37
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UPDATE

I've obtained a lighter colored bin for use on grocery runs and revamped the bin to bed attachment system. I got it to work the way I had originally planned with wingnuts by trying a different approach. Apparently I just needed to take a step back and think about it without being in a 100 deg F garage


This shot also shows the prop stick I made out of a dowel, a commonly available two prong tool hook, and a small rubber foot similar to a cane foot. (I may go to a cane / crutch foot depending on how this goes)


Revamped bin attachment points using a wing nut / stud design. The "stud" is a tee nut from the top with a bolt and fender washer coming up from below. I ended up patching the original holes with JB Weld.




Close up of the wingnut fender washer and the stud.

The reason I really like to use fender washers is due to the fact that they spread the pressure so well. This is of particular interest when using a soft (yet durable) plastic like Rubbermaid
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Old 07-23-07, 11:20 AM   #38
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I too re-habbed a kiddie trailer. Well, actually it was a jogging stroller and, truth be told, I didn't do very much to it... but here's the link:
a little experiment in multi-modality
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Old 07-23-07, 12:03 PM   #39
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I too re-habbed a kiddie trailer. Well, actually it was a jogging stroller and, truth be told, I didn't do very much to it... but here's the link:
a little experiment in multi-modality
Cool. I found a free Gerry two place, 3 wheel stroller in an alley Friday with a sign that said 'this stroller is free'. I don't have canoes or kayaks, so I am going to see if I can use the frame and back wheels to make a cargo trailer. I have been looking for a kiddie trailer to rehab, but only found used ones for $75-$125. I figger I can build one for a whole lot less, and I enjoy kludging things together.
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Old 07-24-07, 02:28 PM   #40
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Cool. I found a free Gerry two place, 3 wheel stroller in an alley Friday with a sign that said 'this stroller is free'. I don't have canoes or kayaks, so I am going to see if I can use the frame and back wheels to make a cargo trailer. I have been looking for a kiddie trailer to rehab, but only found used ones for $75-$125. I figger I can build one for a whole lot less, and I enjoy kludging things together.
I presume you've been checking Craigslist, but have you tried your local Freecycle group? The following link will take you to your local Colorado Springs Chapter
. It's also generally worthwhile to join the groups of other nearby chapters to broaden your base.
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Old 07-24-07, 02:38 PM   #41
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I presume you've been checking Craigslist, but have you tried your local Freecycle group? The following link will take you to your local Colorado Springs Chapter
. It's also generally worthwhile to join the groups of other nearby chapters to broaden your base.
It's just unfortunate that freecycle is hosted by Yahoo Groups. I may be a bit eccentric, but I don't have a Yahoo ID and don't want one. I don't Yahoo.
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Old 07-24-07, 04:04 PM   #42
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It's just unfortunate that freecycle is hosted by Yahoo Groups. I may be a bit eccentric, but I don't have a Yahoo ID and don't want one. I don't Yahoo.
<shrug> I have no idea what you have against Yahoo, I don't often use it myself, but I got my trailer for free that way.
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Old 07-24-07, 07:09 PM   #43
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<shrug> I have no idea what you have against Yahoo, I don't often use it myself, but I got my trailer for free that way.
Have you ever read all the way through the terms of use that they require you to agree to? You are agreeing to be advertized at and your web usage tracked. Yahoo is tantamout to spyware. Hell, it is freaking spyware. When Yahoo first started I loved it. It was my home page. But once it started getting so blatantly commercial, I got turned off.

I've been on the internet since before the world wide web even existed, using text based browsers on 8086 PC's with 256K of RAM. It was free and non-commercial at that time. Sorry, I guess I'm just an aging hippie geek.

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Old 07-25-07, 09:52 AM   #44
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I still fail to understand how (if the bolt is tightened down properly) the clamp would move. Even if the clamp slipped a small amount it would follow the chainstay and the safety strap (properly used) would keep it from entering the spokes.

In my case, the clamp rotated slightly around the chainstay when I went around the corner and this forced part of the clamp into the spokes. The safety strap was secured and the clamp was tight. This happened the first time I tried to use the trailer with a new bike. I used the trailer for quite a while on several other bikes with no problems though, so maybe it was just an issue with the design of this particular bike.
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Old 07-25-07, 04:21 PM   #45
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Have you ever read all the way through the terms of use that they require you to agree to? You are agreeing to be advertized at and your web usage tracked. Yahoo is tantamout to spyware. Hell, it is freaking spyware. When Yahoo first started I loved it. It was my home page. But once it started getting so blatantly commercial, I got turned off.
.
<off-topic>I've got plenty of adblocking and anti-script software and I refuse to download their toolbar.

I run the Firefox browser with the Adbock Plus, Adblock Filterset Updater G, Distrust, NoScript, Remove It Permanently, and Stealther extensions. I only run session cookies and I've never had an issue with them. I rarely see ads anywhere online, and when I do they're easily blocked. </off-topic>

We now once again rejoin our trailer thread.


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In my case, the clamp rotated slightly around the chainstay when I went around the corner and this forced part of the clamp into the spokes. The safety strap was secured and the clamp was tight. This happened the first time I tried to use the trailer with a new bike. I used the trailer for quite a while on several other bikes with no problems though, so maybe it was just an issue with the design of this particular bike.
Interesting. We haven't had that issue, but we've also wrapped the clamped section with a few layers of electrical tape partly to protect the paint, but also to give a little extra bite.
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Old 07-25-07, 06:04 PM   #46
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<off-topic>I've got plenty of adblocking and anti-script software and I refuse to download their toolbar.

I run the Firefox browser with the Adbock Plus, Adblock Filterset Updater G, Distrust, NoScript, Remove It Permanently, and Stealther extensions. I only run session cookies and I've never had an issue with them. I rarely see ads anywhere online, and when I do they're easily blocked. </off-topic>
[still off topic]Isn't it amazing that a person has to go through all that just to get away from being asdvertised at on the internet?[/still off topic]
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Old 07-26-07, 02:26 PM   #47
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Just to further clarify things, (questions from another thread) I've made a pic showing how the spring assembly comes together as I had a spare spring and chain

Obviously you trim the zip ties
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Old 07-26-07, 04:31 PM   #48
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We used the trailer in it's "utility" mode today, and it was my turn to tow. Switched out the tan "food" bin for our brown "utility" bin using the new stud and wingnut system (best change to the original version I've made).

We loaded up about a months worth of recyclable paper and cardboard products and hauled them off to the Louise Graham Regeneration Center. We stuck to secondary routes and kept the speed around 12 mph. There were no issues with traffic other than the occasional double take and having to run in a lower gear range than usual. The trailer wasn't that noticeable in steering maneuvers and other than the drag of towing the extra weight of the trailer the only way I knew it was there was the intermittent "tug". I would liken it to the tug of a small child on a pant leg when he or she wants attention - enough to remind you that they're around, but not enough to have any real impact.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:58 PM   #49
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Rayin, I had an idea that I want to run by you. My trailer project stroller has a horizontal fork in the front. I was thinking I could use it to mount the tongue such that it would be rigid in the horizontal plane but allow movement in the vertical plane. The axle hitch on the bike would be rigid in the verticle plane to preven buckling but allow motion in the horizontal. Then one or the other would provide for latteral motion when the bike leans theough turns. What do you think?
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Old 07-27-07, 01:27 PM   #50
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Rayin, I had an idea that I want to run by you. My trailer project stroller has a horizontal fork in the front. I was thinking I could use it to mount the tongue such that it would be rigid in the horizontal plane but allow movement in the vertical plane. The axle hitch on the bike would be rigid in the verticle plane to preven buckling but allow motion in the horizontal. Then one or the other would provide for latteral motion when the bike leans theough turns. What do you think?
You need to allow for rotational movement as well. Bikes steer more by leaning than actual handlebar input.
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