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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 10-01-10, 12:09 PM   #401
Silverexpress
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Now that's an awesome idea cuz it's simple to implement. I think yours is the very first example I've seen.
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Old 10-01-10, 04:02 PM   #402
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Wow, some of you folks seem to have a lot of time and $$ on your hands to make trailers and make more trailers... must be nice. Me, I have to work, no more play time for trailers after I built mine - seriously, must be nice.
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Old 10-01-10, 05:40 PM   #403
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So much useful creativity. Great job everyone!
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Old 10-02-10, 11:10 PM   #404
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Got creative with my free trailer today...

Before...



After... the 100 litre container dropped in perfectly between the axle mounts.





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Old 10-09-10, 11:29 PM   #405
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Here is my last winter's trailer project made mainly from a rigid titanium wheelchair frame flipped upside down, chopped, & with a 250 lb. rated axle tube moved around. It has quick release axles, some aluminum frame extensions, and a small amount of steel at the tip. Empty weight is about 8.5 lbs., and I usually haul my tool case and laptop all totalling about 75 lbs.





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Old 10-09-10, 11:32 PM   #406
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That is awesome !
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Old 10-16-10, 08:57 AM   #407
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I really think it's cool how you guys made some of your trailers. I would be so excited to make my own if I had to equipments to do a "pro" build. Fer now, I'm quite satisfied with my bikes at work trailer.
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Old 10-17-10, 08:14 PM   #408
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Hey Sixty Fiver, thanks for the compliment. I'm not sure this quite qualifies as a trailer, but it is trailered anyway. My girlfriend can't steer and pedal at the same time, so this takes care of the steering. The handcycle has been modified quite a bit for positioning and gearing for higher than normal road speeds for a handcycle. The hitch itself is a little hard to see, but it does pivot up & down on 4 bearings at the foot cages, and I used 1/2" flexible pvc for a universal joint. This hitch is constructed entirely of steel components for safety, and with 15 degree camber on the rear wheels it's quite stable.








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Last edited by Wheeloptions; 10-20-10 at 09:25 PM. Reason: added better pictures
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Old 10-20-10, 01:25 AM   #409
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Here is my last winter's trailer project made mainly from a rigid titanium wheelchair frame flipped upside down, chopped, & with a 250 lb. rated axle tube moved around. It has quick release axles, some aluminum frame extensions, and a small amount of steel at the tip. Empty weight is about 8.5 lbs., and I usually haul my tool case and laptop all totalling about 75 lbs.

....Awesome. I love the design, simple, functional, and highly versatile.
If I ever get deeper into photography and need a equipment trailer (dreaming....let me dream!) This looks looks like on of the best ways to tow a lot of stuff, or something similar to this anyways.
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Old 10-20-10, 09:54 PM   #410
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Hi Oscuro, thanks for the compliment. Used wheelchair parts are great for building things with. I had thought about building a level bed trailer using independent quick release axle assemblies, but decided I didn't need the loading area. I considered the parts shown below that happen to be from Sunrise Medical catalogs, and the axle parts as pairs are usually rated in the 250 pound range. I used a previous version of the ultra lite spoke wheel assembly on my trailer. It was available as used, weighs very little, and runs 24x1" Primo clincher tires @ 110psi. Wheelchair wheels are almost always radially spoked for lateral stiffness. Maybe your local wheelchair shop could source you some cheap or even free used parts?





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Old 10-26-10, 09:33 PM   #411
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Originally Posted by dzrthauler View Post
Wow, some of you folks seem to have a lot of time and $$ on your hands to make trailers and make more trailers... must be nice. Me, I have to work, no more play time for trailers after I built mine - seriously, must be nice.
I wish I had more money I could then afford a car here in the city to haul my tools around
The bike I found in a basement on a job I was doing. The tires needed patching, some cleaning up and a part here and there. The trailer I got from a bike rental place that was selling off old stock for $50. The rest of the materials I got from the scrap heap.
I've managed to haul all kinds of things around on it. I tied an air compressor on wheels behind it without he trailer loaded up. Carried 2 ten foot lengths of 4" PVC on it. I regularly haul around 50-75lb of tools hung in cases and bags off the sides.
The only shortcoming is that I can't move loads like a 5 gallon bucket of paint. The center of gravity is too high. I'm planning on building a two wheeler or a single wheel with a the wheel trailing the payload area.
I haven't been a bike rider much in my life, but I'm now exercising the potential of pedal power.
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Old 10-26-10, 09:47 PM   #412
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This is a whole new level of awesomeness.
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Old 10-27-10, 06:46 PM   #413
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Old 10-29-10, 10:48 AM   #414
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My 25 foot long contraption :)

Hey all, I just joined and thought I'd post a picture of my rig.

'96 Marin Pine Mountain, converted to an xtracycle a couple of years back. Attached is a 1st generation bikes at work trailer purchased off craigslist from a contractor who used to run his business entirely by bike!

The photo is on the bank of the Charles River outside of Cambridge and the total length with the boat is about 25 feet--much fun to ride through Harvard Square!

Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful trailers and some incredibly inventive designs!

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Old 10-30-10, 05:10 AM   #415
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looks good!
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Old 10-30-10, 10:18 AM   #416
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Like the boat trailer, looks great !
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Old 11-02-10, 03:10 PM   #417
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M-Wave experiment.

I'm new to bicycle camping but have gone several times this past Fall on a local rails to trails system. I purchased the Nashbar trailer but on its second trip the skewer snapped forcing me to push it like a handle-less wheel barrow with one arm and my bike with the other for over 3 miles. Fortunately I was able to return it for a refund (which I'm yet to see but it's only been a few days). So, while shopping for options I came across the M-Wave trailer but could find very little information or reviews.



They sell in the 200 - 220 range and when I saw Meijer had them on sale for $120 with an October free shipping code I decided to give it a try and these are my first observations.

The box arrived pretty beat up, as if it had been shuffled around in a warehouse for a long time.


It had quite a few rub marks and tiny flecks of rust here and there which may explain the price. I'm still pleased enough to not return the trailer, if it hadn't been $80 off I would.


Now to shed some weight. I weighed myself (on old analog bathroom scales) holding the trailer and wheels and concluded it weighed 31 lbs.. Then I took the top rails off to convert it to a flat bed dry bag & fishing tackle hauler and the rails weighed 8lbs.. So, if my scales and math are correct, the trailer weighs about 23lbs topless.


The trailer arm is tucked under it, it doesn't appear to come with any form of quick release hitch. Also, the floor is made from a very stout plastic which seems to be sturdy enough. I'll post a road / trail test when I get the chance.
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Old 11-02-10, 10:17 PM   #418
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This trailer is proving to be very versatile... used it during a food bank drive on Sunday night and was shuttling loads back and forth to the drop point all night.

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Old 11-03-10, 02:10 AM   #419
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This trailer is proving to be very versatile... used it during a food bank drive on Sunday night and was shuttling loads back and forth to the drop point all night.

I just love what you get done with that folder! I know quite a few people who think there only purpose is riding to the office and maybe light errands. Good to see proper examples of what they are really capable of!
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Old 11-03-10, 03:02 PM   #420
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I just love what you get done with that folder! I know quite a few people who think there only purpose is riding to the office and maybe light errands. Good to see proper examples of what they are really capable of!
People are always asking me... "is it fast", "how much can you carry", "won't those wheels break"...

Top speed for the night was 40kmh (it isn't geared to go much faster then this), carried as much as 100 pounds in the trailer, and I have put over 3000 km on those wheels this year... they have never needed any truing.

It is great for towing that trailer... the low COG of the bike really adds to the overall stability and I should have hooked it up to an 8 foot trailer as it would pull those just s easily.
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Old 11-05-10, 05:07 AM   #421
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Just finished modifying my kids old trailer into a cargo trailer. Used kiln dried, pressure treated bench slats (heavy). Hardest part was the hitch. Used this forum for all the ideas. Thanks.
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Old 11-26-10, 10:03 AM   #422
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Hi Everyone,
Happy Thanksgiving.
I would like to know if anyone here has any knowledge of this trailer or it's company seen here
http://www.aosom.com/index.php?main_...products_id=46
I am thinking of buying this trailer for groceries and laundry runs.
Any help and suggestions are much appreciated and thank you for your time.
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Old 12-09-10, 07:20 AM   #423
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As winter has come here in Japan, and the days are getting shorter, I decided that it was time to put some lights on my trailer, people just simply do NOT see the darn thing
I've had some near misses where people see the bike and me, but then step out expecting the space behind the bike to be empty.... SURPRISE..... As it is now dark when I do most of my deliveries, I figured I'd try to stay ahead of the game and put some stupid bright flashing lights on the trailer....


Not that impressive in the still pics, so I took a short video....


I hope that people can see me now
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Old 12-11-10, 10:08 AM   #424
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". . . I figured I'd try to stay ahead of the game and put some stupid bright flashing lights on the trailer...."

Stu:

The lights on your trailer look great. I am just at the point of selecting a lighting system for my newest cargo trailer. While I have quite a few reflectors mounted on the wheels and frame, I have already had a few close encounters with some of our numb and unaware drivers here in the Daytona Beach area of Florida.

Adiós, Daddo --- Daytona Beach, Florida - USA
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen." ("What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence.")
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Old 12-11-10, 10:34 AM   #425
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I just finished the third iteration of a bicycle cargo trailer. I have been relying almost completely on my bicycles for commuting for the past 11 months, but it annoyed me that I needed to use one of my cars for grocery shopping.

My first two trailers were conversions of aluminum framed child carriers, I sold the last of these two years ago. For this newest version, I wanted to step out of the box a bit and go for a different design concept. I also wanted to prove that almost anyone can build a serviceable cargo trailer almost entirely of scrounged parts and materials. In fact, the only things I purchased for this project were two 10' lengths of 1/2" EMT and 5 "U" bolts in two different sizes.



The wooden frame of the cargo bed was constructed entirely from the boards taken from a discarded queen sized" box spring. I am not counting the several hand-fulls of screws, a few bolts and some paint that was living in my garage.



I built two 26" wheels on reconditioned and painted rims. The wheels are suspended by two matching front forks (obtained from the dumpster of a larger bike shop that sells a lot of suspension forks - and tosses the originals). The forks are connected at three points to the wooden cargo bed.

Uh, yeah. There are a nine reflectors on each of the wheels. If you have ever shared the roads here in Florida with the little blue haired old ladies, you will understand completely. Most of the wooden frame is painted with four coats of a green enamel exterior trim paint. The two natural wood rails a are simply protected by some clear coat polyurethane (no particular reason for this other then I like the way it looks). The forks are protected by three coats of carefully brushed on (and thinned) Rustolium paint.



So why did I use 1/2" EMT instead of the more commonly used 3/4"?? Simple, because of the three tube, truss design, the larger tubing would have been overkill. You will notice that the center tube is bent to contact the trailer at a point that is just about 5-1/2" below the level of the two outside tubes. This design really minimizes any flexing at the point where the tubes contact the cargo bed. The layering of salvaged wood is evident in this shot. Of course, commercially supplied 2"x 3" lumber would have been simpler, but that was not part of the "salvaged materials" plan.

To mate the 1/2" EMT to the larger diameter inner dimension of the fork head tubes, I found that straight sections cut from a set of old beach bars were the perfect solution. The bar sections provided a snug fit into the fork tubes, and the EMT was a great fit into the handle bar sections. All three were pinned in place via a drilled hole and some sheet metal screws on either side.



Not the best of photos, but you can see the chromed motorcycle frame clamp on the inside leg of the fork. It is secured into the third (from the front) wooden cross support via a 5" lag bolt with spacer washers.

Now for the hitch. For any bicycle trailer, a flexible hitch is very important. Not only to allow the bicycle it's full range of ridding attitudes, but also to prevent a trailer upset from taking down the bike and rider.



This hitch is a variation of the version I used for my last trailer. it offers a three axis rotation, and of course it is of the quick release design. It is designed around a compressed air, quick release fitting.

On the bike side of this assembly, the air fitting is mounted to a dolly wheel caster (with the wheel removed and saved for some other project. This method allows about a 270 degree horizontal rotation plane and about a 60 degree vertical rotation when the hitch is mounted in the seat post area of a bike. The air fitting itself provides an additional 360 degree rotational plane. Inserted into the upper tube is the male section of the quick release air fitting. Because of the bended tube design, the "upper tube" shown in this photo, is actually the lower tube where it attaches to the cargo bed.

I wanted a "clean" looking mount so it is inserted inside of the EMT tube.





It should be noted that just using the short "male" fitting portion, would be insufficient for a secure attachment to the trailer. What I did was tap the inside of the male fitting with 5/16" threads. Then I screwed a 5/16"x 4-1/2" bolt into the male fitting. After taking down the "points" of the bolt and air fitting hex heads, I slid (ah . .tapped lightly with a hammer) the bolt and fitting inside the EMT tube. Having carefully measured the dimensions, I drilled down through the tubing and tapped a screw into the flats of the internal bolt. . . it is NOT going to pull out.

Going with my "use what you have concept", I already was using the seat tube carrier rack, so I fabricated a clamp that would secure the dolly wheel assembly to the support frame of the rack, Four stainless bolts, nuts and washers took care of that job with an assist from a piece of 1/4" hard aluminum stock. The trailer design requires a center mount on the bike, although I used essentially the same type of hitch on a sidebar pulled trailer the last time around. All I did then was to fabricate a mount on the left rear wheel stays.



This photo illustrates the trailer with a 48 quart cooler mounted on the deck. This changes depending on what I need to carry, and I have occasionally used a large duffel bag mounted in front of the cooler for dry goods. I also have a super-large Rubbermaid Roughneck storage tote that fills the entire bed of the trailer,

If you have any questions, email me and I'll try to answer them DaddoCFL@Gmail.com
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