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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 09-09-07, 08:08 PM   #51
Chicagoan
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This old Western FLyer Cruiser Frame from the 50's



A shop-Vac


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Old 10-04-07, 09:23 PM   #52
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I can haul a second bike at last.

Been thinking about this for a while. Sometimes I want to bring a bike to work (I work at a bike shop) and do some serious work to it, but have to bike home. This new setup allows me to get the repair bike to work and tackle the job over a few days if necessary.

I ride fast and make sharp turns and never came close to flipping the trailer. Yet.

The trailer is by Bikes At Work and cost a bunch. But it is awesome! See it loaded with RubberMade tubs filled with pine straw on the first page of this thread.


Last edited by JoeyBike; 10-04-07 at 09:30 PM. Reason: add photo
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Old 10-06-07, 08:09 PM   #53
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Carry Freedom trailer

Here's a photo of my Carry Freedom trailer with my bike. I've got a small tub attached but can easily use a much larger tub if I need to haul more.
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Old 10-06-07, 10:56 PM   #54
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Very nice, mupedalpusher. That's an awesome looking trailer.
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Old 10-08-07, 02:47 PM   #55
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Very nice, mupedalpusher. That's an awesome looking trailer.
I agree with Dana, good looking trailer

Last edited by Chicagoan; 10-20-08 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 10-22-07, 07:15 AM   #56
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I built this from the remains of a kiddie trailer and the bottom of a wooden crate. I figured out 2 things already: use carriage bolts to attach the hitch to the trailer (done), and move the axle to the middle of the flatbed. To do the 2nd, I need another brace, which I'll try to acquire today.

Any other thoughts? Some close-ups of the trailer are on http://www.kemenel.org/melalvai/journal/.

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Old 11-12-07, 02:36 PM   #57
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Homemade bicycle trailer

I posted this originally in the 'Utility bike' thread, but perhaps I should've put it here.

*****

I've attached a photo of my lovingly made bicycle trailer that I built over a few weekends. A few bits are recycled; the wire mesh bed and the golf-cart universal joint. It is used primarily for shopping, although when I'm convinced it's sufficiently durable I may take it on a tour.

I also made a short film to demonstrate to my friends that it works.

_________________________________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaQJIdpVRYc
_________________________________________

Usually my constructions fall a little short of my expectations, but for some reason this worked out perfectly. If you remove the wheelguards it even runs upside down, which, of course, is very useful. The universal joint has three mututally orthogonal rotation axes which allows the trailer to adopt any orientation. As a result you never really feel the trailer since, apart from its inertia, it doesn't apply any stresses on the bicycle. I've carried over 100lbs on it, but I don't think I'd do that again, 60lbs is probably its ideal carrying capacity.

More recently I've added two dynamos, rectified, smoothed and regulated to produce a total of 18volts and 1amp. This drives some surprisingly bright 10mm LED arrays I put together (even at 5mph), or a small bank of electronics which supplies regulated USB power and firewire for charging ipods etc, diode-protected NiMH cells. It also takes power in from a nice 8.1volt solar panel I found on ebay, which may prove useful on a tour.

Well, I think that covers everything.

Since it has been such a boon to my life, I may eventually make a follow-up video more concisely following the trailer's development. I wish there were more homemade bicycle trailer videos on youtube.
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File Type: gif trailer_web.gif (85.1 KB, 558 views)
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Old 11-12-07, 09:39 PM   #58
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vey nice astronomerroyal
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Old 11-24-07, 12:31 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
The trailer with the bike.


I never tire of seeing your bike & trailer, it's just such a pretty looking combo.... it looks girlie (in a good way ) maybe that's also because you take such good photos. Do you have any pics of you riding it?
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Old 11-24-07, 01:03 AM   #60
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Quote:
Since it has been such a boon to my life, I may eventually make a follow-up video more concisely following the trailer's development. I wish there were more homemade bicycle trailer videos on youtube.
[/QUOTE]


Very nice trailer 'astronomeroyal'

I'm like you. I'm having so much fun with my own recently built trailer, I want to build another one, more along the lines like yours, out of square tubing.
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Old 11-25-07, 08:09 AM   #61
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Heres a quick trailer. Took me an hour to build, it works good:

Ingredients:
2x2 piece of 1/4" plywood.
piece of conduit bent in two dimensions by eye.
a conveniently sized chunk of metal with flanges off an exercise machine.
left over adult sized training wheels.
carriage bolt & eye bolt and locking nuts (enough slop to lean).
bunch of self drilling screws.



Though I love the alicestrong trailing cart post Played that one out a few times in my head.

Last edited by dcb; 11-03-08 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 11-25-07, 09:06 AM   #62
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Am I too late to join the party?



That's a Wike flat-bed./
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Old 12-04-07, 05:24 PM   #63
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I built this from an old tandem baby stroller and wheels from some bikes I pulled out of dumpsters.

The main outer frame is the handle from the stroller. The supports are just the supports from the same stroller.

The tow-bar is electrical conduit and attaches to the trailer with a part from a golf bag caddy.

The hitch, (I'll have to get a decent image of it), is the metal portion from a caster, similar to this one:

With the caster mounted sideways and the wheel removed, a hitch-pin fits nicely through the hole where the axle used to be. It gives the trailer a full range of motion.

I attached the hitch to the bike using two U-bolts around the chainstay.

I can also put a larger bin on to this baby. I've hauled over 100 lbs of groceries, cat litter and pet food.
It can also hold an airline kennel for hauling our black lab up to the park and whatnot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Trailer_01.jpg (23.1 KB, 430 views)
File Type: jpg Trailer_02.jpg (20.5 KB, 312 views)
File Type: jpg Trailer_Rear.jpg (19.8 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg Trailer_Flat.jpg (29.2 KB, 329 views)
File Type: jpg Trailer_Top.jpg (25.0 KB, 253 views)
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Old 12-04-07, 06:25 PM   #64
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Coaster wheel, good idea! I might be able to use that instead of a u-joint for my one wheel trailer.
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Old 12-05-07, 11:20 PM   #65
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I dig the caster joint idea. I was thinking of buying a u-joint, but that looks like a great plan!
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Old 12-11-07, 08:32 PM   #66
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I made the Carry Freedom bamboo trailer.

It's pretty cool.
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Last edited by Kimmitt; 12-11-07 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 12-12-07, 11:24 AM   #67
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Nice!
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Old 12-13-07, 06:38 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by astronomerroyal View Post
Usually my constructions fall a little short of my expectations, but for some reason this worked out perfectly. If you remove the wheelguards it even runs upside down, which, of course, is very useful. The universal joint has three mututally orthogonal rotation axes which allows the trailer to adopt any orientation.
I love your trailer. It looks like you didn't weld anything, all bolted together. How did you connect the u-joint? Have any more pictures of the u-joint connections?
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Old 12-14-07, 09:37 PM   #69
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I love your trailer. It looks like you didn't weld anything, all bolted together. How did you connect the u-joint? Have any more pictures of the u-joint connections?
I made this in my 1bedroom apartment, so no welding. Haven't a clue how to do that anyway. Many bolts, the frame is aluminium so it's not as heavy as it might look.

It seems universal joints like this aren't used as often as I had assumed, so I'll take some photos for you tomorrow.

In words, the u-joint I found (apparently from a golf cart) is female on both ends and takes splined 1/2inch shafts. To hook everything up I did the almost same thing on both bike and trailer ends.

1). On the trailer I drilled a hole 1/2 an inch in diameter. From the back I inserted a short 1/2inch bolt.
2). There's also rubber and metal washers in there. The rubber washer sticks to the trailer surface, the metal washer sticks to the rubber washer and provides a hard smooth surface for the 1/2inch bolt head to rest/rotate on.
3). The shaft of the bolt now protrudes out of the front of the trailer. I smothered the threads in 'cold weld' (amazing stuff) and as it hardened I rammed that sucker into the u-joint, thus leaving the perfect imprint of the u-joint's spline on the 'cold welded' shaft.
4). Now the u-joint fits perfectly on this DIY splined shaft; I clamp it tight using the u-joint's own tightening bolt. The coupling now has three orthogonal axes of rotation (u-joint=2, rotatable bolt=1) and the trailer can adopt any orientation.
5). At the bike end the same thing is done, but the analogous bolt is fixed so it doesn't rotate, it doesn't need to. Also, instead of clamping the u-joint to the DIY shaft I drilled a hole through the u-joint+shaft and inserted a pin. This is a quick release way of disengaging the trailer from the bike. Pull the pin, slide the trailer off. Literally takes 3 seconds.

I highly recommend the u-joint method, the trailer doesn't resist any manoeuvres and tracks like an loyal and obedient beast of burden. It's a little complicated to implement compared to the 'strips of rubber' or 'hosepipe' methods.
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Old 12-14-07, 11:58 PM   #70
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Great idea, I love it. You have given me some ideas to work with. Time for me to start thinking about size and shape.
The trailer is aluminum? I would never had guessed. What type of aluminum tubing are you using? It's kind of difficult to see from the picture, but I think it is just L-shaped pieces?
I like your design, since I can't weld either.
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Old 12-15-07, 05:52 PM   #71
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Here's an image of the underside of the trailer-hitch coupling using the universal joint.

The green thing on the left is the trailer, the green thing on the right is the bicycle hitch. I've shown the cold weld stuff, and an example of the bolt I used. The quick-release pins can be seen in the u-joint. The washers on the left side of the u-joint are there because here the bolt rotates relative to the trailer. The washers offer a surface for the bolt head and u-joint to rotate against. The bolt on the hitch end is held in place by the white plastic strip.

The second picture shows how the bolt has been made into a splined shaft.
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File Type: jpg ujoint2.jpg (44.1 KB, 312 views)
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Old 12-15-07, 08:40 PM   #72
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astronomerroyal, does that bolt on the left rotate when you lean the bike?
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Old 12-15-07, 08:55 PM   #73
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Does the bolt on the left rotate when the bike is leaned? Aye, it does.

If you look at the first part of the movie I posted (see 11-12-07 post above) I am testing the joint, leaning the bike on tight turns etc. Actually, now I watch the video, it's not that clear.

Due to the narrowness of the hitch construction, the trailer can achieve a very tight turning circle (trailer can be ~90 degrees to bike), something surrendipitous and completely overlooked in the design process.

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Old 12-15-07, 08:59 PM   #74
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Thanks for the pics. If I can find a u-joint like that, I might do it that way. But most likely, I will just build me own. After my previous post, I started thinking about it and realized that making my own out of u-tubing and square tubing should be pretty easy.

Now I just have to decide on my plans for the trailer itself. I can't decide if I should have the platform even with the wheel axels or drop the platform down about 6" or so. I think having it even would be easier and probably less material, but drop it down might make it more stable.

I also have to think about how to attach the hitch to the bike.
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Old 12-15-07, 10:24 PM   #75
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This is a also a Bikes At Work Trailer, which among other things I use to haul around a teeter totter, as depicted here:
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