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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 01-11-10, 03:17 PM   #301
astronomerroyal
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Originally Posted by bbllaakke View Post
The original trailer weighed 15 pounds, and I estimate it weighs 35 pounds in its current state.

I just went for a test ride with about 120 pounds. The ride felt very rubber band like at slower speeds. Is this common?
I know what you mean. 120+35lbs is a very large load. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the rubbery feeling is from frame bending and rear tyre deformation. I get lurching with my trailer when fully loaded, and I assume it's just because the transmission of power during cycling is typically uneven, and you have a large passive load behind you, the inertia of which is appreciable. There may a significant lag in the power transmission too, which may give the lurchy feeling.

It's a very nice conversion. You're not in Ann Arbor by any chance?
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Old 01-11-10, 04:34 PM   #302
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I think the pull push feeling is from changes in the road. When the trailer wheels roll though a dip, you feel it pushing you forward, when it's going over a hump, it feels like it's pulling you backwards.
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Old 01-11-10, 07:58 PM   #303
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The rubber band feeling is from the inertia on the draw bar to the bike... I get kicked in my rig when the weight is heavy in the front of the trailer... it has nothing to do with the frame, tires whatever... physical laws are in effect. Although you can reduce your perception of the feeling by starting out slowly and smoothly and slowing down gradually - I am constantly running the Jakes in my truck to keep everything smooth. Just my take on the situation.
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Old 01-11-10, 09:46 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by dzrthauler View Post

The rubber band feeling is from the inertia on the draw bar to the bike... I get kicked in my rig when the weight is heavy in the front of the trailer... it has nothing to do with the frame, tires whatever... physical laws are in effect. Although you can reduce your perception of the feeling by starting out slowly and smoothly and slowing down gradually - I am constantly running the Jakes in my truck to keep everything smooth. Just my take on the situation.
I think all of us trailer nuts have suffered the rubber band feeling at one time or another when hauling heavy loads. I noticed it the other week when I hauled off a busted tv down to the recycle center. When it first happened I thought that there was something wrong with my trailer setup

A somewhat similar effect also happens with mono wheeled trailers when carrying heavy loads. The first time I had a heavy load of shopping on my mono trailer I though ooh! ooh! im going to crash. The feeling can only be discribed as akin to when you used to give your mate a piggyback ride on the back of your bike on the way home from school.... Remember that wobbly feeling? ...or was I just drunk

I think if we carried heavy loads in out trailers at ALL times we would eventually get acustom to the rubber band/wobbly feelings, but as our trailers are never full at all times, its a feeling we will have to put up with.

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-11-10, 10:22 PM   #305
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It's a very nice conversion. You're not in Ann Arbor by any chance?
Nope, Grosse Pointe. I make my way out to Ann Arbor for the Ann Arbor Velo Club spring training races though. Assuming you're from AA- are you a racer?
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Old 01-13-10, 12:23 PM   #306
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Wholly unworthy of this thread, but here she is. A truk kiddie trailer I got at a garage sale for 40 bucks. It was set up in stroller mode and the guy threw away the shaft. Sooo, I used an old weed eater shaft as suggested by someone in this sub forum way back when. As you can see it puts a lot of weight on the hitch. (too much, it seems to me) Still, no probs so far. I just cut out the seat and slapped down a stiff piece of plastic for the floor. As ugly as it is, it keeps the groceries dry and the cars on edge. I've carried a propane tank and countless groceries including a fat watermelon and a bunch of 2 ltr. bottles. I wonder if there's a way to shift some of the weight to the rear.
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Old 01-13-10, 02:01 PM   #307
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I used an old weed eater shaft as suggested by someone in this sub forum way back when. As you can see it puts a lot of weight on the hitch. (too much, it seems to me) Still, no probs so far. I just cut out the seat and slapped down a stiff piece of plastic for the floor. As ugly as it is, it keeps the groceries dry and the cars on edge. I've carried a propane tank and countless groceries including a fat watermelon and a bunch of 2 ltr. bottles. I wonder if there's a way to shift some of the weight to the rear.
I personally think the tow arm is a tad to long? I'd shorten it by maybe a foot or so. With a heavy load onboard, if you hit a bump/pothole in the road the long tow arm is going to flex and maybe eventually snap. As to putting more weight towards the rear of the trailer, you could try extending the loadbed a little further out behind the wheels. The extended loadbed would not be covered by the trailer canopy unless you added some kind of cover? You could just bolt some sort of box/basket onto the extended part and put the heavier items in that, this would balance up the trailer a bit more and take pressure off the tow arm.
A sheet of thinish plywood as a new loadbed - inside the trailer with a little hanging out outback - to carry your tinned goods, dont matter if tins get wet

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-13-10, 04:29 PM   #308
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^^^ Aaaaah...thanx. It does flex a little when I hit bumps in the road. I'll shorten it a little and see how it goes. I like the basket attached to the rear idea as well. I'll have to look at it and see how I can mount one. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-10, 04:36 PM   #309
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Kiddie trailer V2.5, talk about low center of gravity



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Old 01-13-10, 06:41 PM   #310
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Very low indeed Roughrider, be carfull you dont hit any debris in the road or mount a kirb/sidewalk, you could bash in the bottom front of that lovely big box.
Any reason for the added box holder uprights sticking up? Looks as though that could be a little dangerous! I'd slice them off level with the frame.

All that's left to do now is wash yer wheels - give the frame a lick of black paint, and that'll be one cracking little trailer

Wish I could source out a nice big box like that

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-13-10, 10:10 PM   #311
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Very low indeed Roughrider, be carfull you dont hit any debris in the road or mount a kirb/sidewalk, you could bash in the bottom front of that lovely big box.
Any reason for the added box holder uprights sticking up? Looks as though that could be a little dangerous! I'd slice them off level with the frame.

All that's left to do now is wash yer wheels - give the frame a lick of black paint, and that'll be one cracking little trailer

Wish I could source out a nice big box like that

Regards
Tom
I didn't want to trim the container holders before I knew how low I could get it, but they will be trimmed and thrown on the grinder soon before I road test the trailer. This is somewhat of an experiment to how low I can have the container, as you may know the roads in Nola are horrible and the trailer is always bouncing around. A lower COG could help a little

I got those Skyways off of an old lawnmower, I still haven't gotten them clean! Paint is coming soon too once I think of a cool color.
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Old 01-15-10, 07:12 AM   #312
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New Flatbed...

Last week I raked out some old angle iron and had my mate weld up an axle frame, this way I can bolt whatever I want onto it. The flatbed load area is 10mm marine plywood! I'll have to get something a bit thinner as this makes the trailer a little heavy. I used the new wheels that I got from the recycle center the other day. The tow arm is part of the legs of an old bed frame, and I employed the neat little ball hitch that I got from my mate Gareth. Thanks mate







All knocked up in a couple of days. It gets its first test run today down to the recycle center with a pile of old wood. I wonder what goodies it'll bring home

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-15-10, 11:31 AM   #313
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^^^ Nice!!! Good hunting
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Old 01-16-10, 06:46 AM   #314
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I have decided to do a couple of mods to my two wheeler trailer; the one posted earlier in this thread.

It will entail welding on a bracket and guard to permenently fix a red rear light in the centre of the rear bar, and the addition of an extra tow point so that I can go "two up" with a second trailer; probably my home-made single wheel space frame trailer.

Last edited by Gareth; 01-16-10 at 06:48 AM. Reason: bad spelling
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Old 01-17-10, 08:12 AM   #315
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Just a little update to my flatbed trailer.

MUDGUARDS & REFLECTORS
I have a big sheet of plastic that was used as a shop sign. I cut a couple of strips off of it and screwed them onto two strips of wood. I also added a couple of white reflectors at the front and a couple of red at the back. Im going to add small LED lights inside the reflectors at a later stage.

FRONT



REAR



MUDGUARDS



The next step is to cut and add a couple of mudflaps from an old car mat.
I'll awaiting delivery of a flasher that im having made, so there will be yellow/amber reflectors added to the mudguards front/rear, but till then i'll get some wiring done over the weekend.

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-17-10, 12:32 PM   #316
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Iv'e cut a piece of rubber and made two mudflaps.



Im going to put a small red reflector on the mudflaps. I have a set of reflectors which contain small Hand & Round reflectors...



Which do you think would look best?

Regards
Tom
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Old 01-17-10, 12:40 PM   #317
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The hand is awesome.
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Old 01-18-10, 11:16 AM   #318
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What, no chrome naked lady cutouts for the flaps?
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Old 01-18-10, 01:14 PM   #319
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Oh my lord, he's at it again!

While shopping in my local ASDA I saw they were selling two rung step ladders for 5. While looking at it I didn't see a step ladder? I saw a TRAILER

Asda 5 step ladder looks like this one....



So if your looking to build a small cheap trailer get yourself down to asda before they sell out.

I'll update you all of this little trailers progress

Regards
Tom

PS....

Quote:
Marrock
What, no chrome naked lady cutouts for the flaps?
Dont go putting ideas in my head

Last edited by BossCat; 01-19-10 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-18-10, 04:23 PM   #320
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Here is the final version of my all aluminum flat bed. The upgrade to the B@W axle and the Skyway 16's made a huge difference... she is very stable under load and tracks very smooth. I drilled 4 holes in the SmartBin to attach the straps thereby eliminating the need for over the top straps which leaves the lid accessible at all times. I made a stand for it that worked just fine when I loaded the dog bags in with the bike unattached on our dog food run - the stand pivots up out of the way secured by a heavy duty cotter pin set-up.
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Old 01-18-10, 05:02 PM   #321
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Hey dzrthauler,

It looks nice, what I can make out BUT the picture is so tiny we can't see all your handy work

Regards
Tom

PS... Almost fininshed my step ladder trailer. Not bad for 3 hours work. Im going to do a step by step (excuse the pun ) of the Step Ladder Trailer.
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Old 01-18-10, 05:32 PM   #322
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Here is a larger pic of dzrthauler's flatbed trailer.
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Old 01-19-10, 11:49 AM   #323
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STEP LADDER TRAILER

The two rung step ladder converted into a trailer. It still needs a piece of plywood to cover the load area, 900 X 450.

From This....




To This....



The good thing about this little trailer is I can take off the center bracer bar and slip a box inside like Roughrider504 has done with his trailer...

FIG1




The lip of my box sits neatly around the edge of the trailer frame, I would of course add holding straps for the box like in fig1, which I'll do at a later stage. I'd also have to alter my towbar.



Regards
Tom

..... Just remembered I have a big sheet of plastic in the back garden, that'll do nicely for load area

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Old 01-19-10, 12:05 PM   #324
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Nice work on all of your trailers!! It seems you gear them toward more of a lighter duty type of use, correct? The drop out - 2 single axle type set-up wasn't really up to the stress of the heavier loads I pull regularly and the distance of travel to and from - hence the upgrade to the one piece heavy duty one running under the deck, and I see that that's the principle axle set-up you seem to favor. Interesting use of the step ladder, I have to give you credit for engineering a kitchen accessory into a trailer!!
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Old 01-20-10, 04:08 AM   #325
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Nice work on all of your trailers!! It seems you gear them toward more of a lighter duty type of use, correct? The drop out - 2 single axle type set-up wasn't really up to the stress of the heavier loads I pull regularly and the distance of travel to and from - hence the upgrade to the one piece heavy duty one running under the deck, and I see that that's the principle axle set-up you seem to favor. Interesting use of the step ladder, I have to give you credit for engineering a kitchen accessory into a trailer!!
Thanks for the comments dzrthauler,

The trailers that I build are not specificly designed for light use/hauls, although the latest one, the step ladder trailer is - this is very light to haul around and will do fine for shopping trips . I found that the last enclosed trailer I built was a little on the heavy side for towing. This may be due to the stainless steel door/lid I used...



I built my BIG trailer last June...



this was initially designed to be a camping trailer, similar to this one...



Im still working on the big trailer, but the trouble is that our roads are not built to accommodate wide long trailers hauled by bikes
The idea of the big trailer was to have an enclosed plywood box with a removable lid. Once at your camping/fishing site and the trailer was parked up, I would remove the lid/roof and place 4/6 poles in the trailer, then replace the lid/roof atop the poles and unfurl a tent/tarpaulin that sits inside the lid/roof down the sides of the trailer. The end result would look something like a 4 poster bed with wheels
I may have to rethink this design and go along with some type of folding trailer like this...


http://www.midgetcampers.com.au/bushtrekka.htm

As to the 2 single axle type set-up I use, these are easier and simpler to build. 2 pieces of angle iron drilled and bolted to frame and bobs your uncle The only trouble with using angle iron when your having your wheels cantilevered is you have to use thick angle iron, the thicker the better. I ran out of thick stuff when making the step ladder trailer and the wheels flex a little. I'll get thicker angle and redo the dropouts.
Also when using angle iron dropouts - Wheels are easier to come by, any type of bike wheel can be used. I did look into making a solid axle for bike wheels but this was a lot of hassle trying to find the right threaded bar with a metric fine thread that would take a bike wheels cone thread.
The best axle unit I have come up with of late was the other week with this welded up effort that I use on my new flatbed. The wheels dont flex on this unit



Building trailers is a learning curve, im always looking to improve on the last. I think thats why I build so many. One day I'll get it right

Regards
Tom

PS.... I sent cyclepup a PM?
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