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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 12-16-07, 07:47 AM   #76
astronomerroyal
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Thanks for the pics. If I can find a u-joint like that, I might do it that way.
I bought mine on ebay, it actually turned out to be two u-joints. Total 15 dollars + shipping. I didn't have the parts to make my own, and was concerned about strength. I do wish I could've found more recycled parts.

Good luck with your design. Now my trailer is finished I think I'm going to start on a second, use up all the spare parts. It's turning into an obsession.
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Old 12-16-07, 07:52 AM   #77
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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
I'm curious, but what size wheels to these trailers use? Does anyone know where to get a 14" wheel?
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Old 12-16-07, 08:10 AM   #78
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I'm curious, but what size wheels to these trailers use? Does anyone know where to get a 14" wheel?
Don't know about 14" wheel source. BAW trailers use a 16" wheel. They will sell you just the wheels, plus various and sundry other replacement parts here: http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trailer-parts/
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Old 12-16-07, 11:51 AM   #79
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I love the DIY trailers and here's mine.

People always ask me if the trailer is built of PVC and sometimes think it's fragile but in reality, the PVC tubing was the jig and buried inside is a steel frame (1/2 inch black pipe) that is well braced. I have carried 100 pounds of cargo with relative ease and know I could carry much more.

I'm still looking at doing a few more things like putting a deck under my cargo box and using some angled aluminium to replace my steel cross braces which I always considered to be temporary.

I fabricated the hitch which was semi - permanently fixed to the bike and it uses a u-joint to provide a full range of motion. The threaded pipe joint provides the rotation and allows the bike or trailer to go well off camber without affecting the other. It's my favourite part of the trailer since this and the fact it connects directly behind the back wheel makes it a trailer that handles well at speed.



Right after I got her built... the wheelchair wheels (24 inch) are alloy and pneumatic and I have a few more sets of solid core wheels like this for other trailer projects. They have a capacity of 250 pounds and roll very smoothly.



Working at our summer bike festival... the trailer was carrying enough stuff to set up a complete workstation and I had also carried a Park rack on top.



During last summer's Bikeology festival my trailer got a good workout and at times I felt like a human SUV... it was a good road test of a one off build that I completed in a few evenings.
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Old 12-16-07, 01:56 PM   #80
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The threaded pipe joint provides the rotation and allows the bike or trailer to go well off camber without affecting the other. It's my favourite part of the trailer since this and the fact it connects directly behind the back wheel makes it a trailer that handles well at speed.
As a fellow u-joint proponent I must commend you on your design. It's also may favoured part of my trailer. Anyone who appreciates a good mechanism can't help but love the u-joint. I like the idea of non-bike wheels, I was looking for an oddly sized wheel, 14", and might look to see if that size exists in non-bike wheels. Just took my trailer (12" wheels) through 5" of snow, the trailer became a snow-plough. A complete joke.

The arms of your hitch, are they sufficiently rigid to dstop the hitch flexing side to side? I'm starting to get the feeling I massively over-engineered everything.

Homeless Dave, thanks for the information. Soon I'll come to terms with the idea that 16" wheeels are my only alternative to 12". When my 12" rims came in the mail I almost choked to death on my scoffs. They looked ridiculously, laughably small. In my naivety I thought at the time that 12" was the rim diameter. However, no-one has laughed at me yet, even the gangs of kids I've passed. It's weird, you can buy a children's bicycle with 14" wheels, but you can't buy 14" rims separately.

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Old 12-16-07, 02:09 PM   #81
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astro - I actually added a drive side support (it's there in the second pic) as there was a tiny bit of flex that wasn't problematic but something I thought might lead to some fatigue issues.

I am presently re-working by bike's hitch and fabricating a new mount by using stainless rod which will be stiffer and more elegant and then I can use a single arm mounted to the non drive side.

I like the larger wheels as with bicycles, a larger wheel might tale a little more to get it up to speed but once they are rolling they are more efficient and ride far better.

I will be towing this bike through the winter and not having the trailer turn into a snowplow was also a consideration in my design.
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Old 12-16-07, 02:28 PM   #82
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A one-sided hitch? I'd like to see how that works out, especially how it handles the lateral forces, and the large torques at the points where it's fixed to the bike. You obviously have it all figured out.

As for snow-ploughs, admittedly my trailer only turned into one when the snow was too deep to actually cyclke through. Still, fine adventuring. I wouldn't discount 12" wheels on 'snow-plough' grounds.
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Old 12-16-07, 02:42 PM   #83
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Most trailers only mount on one side of the bike but have an offset to the trailer arm whereas my design has a permanent arm attached to the bike with an offset which puts the hitch point directly behind the wheel instead of at the side.

Having the load point directly behind the bike really makes the trailer stable under load and at speed and I can turn the bike and trailer around in very small circles as I can turn beyond 90 degrees in either direction.

The extra strength and lateral stiffness of a stainless rod over flat bar stock should make it possible for me to use a single non drive side mount and if not...adding a stabilizer will be rather simple.

I'll update the pics when I get the new attaching arm built and attched to my new tow bike since that lovely Kuwahara has since become a fixed gear.
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Old 12-19-07, 06:09 PM   #84
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Having the load point directly behind the bike really makes the trailer stable under load and at speed and I can turn the bike and trailer around in very small circles as I can turn beyond 90 degrees in either direction.
I do have a question about that hitch point. How does it do stopping? It seems since the mount point is behind the rear wheel instead of next to it, it would want to push your bike to one side or the other, especially when you're turning and stopping. That was the reason I decided to try the basic 'side of bike' hitch instead of what you have.
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Old 12-19-07, 06:25 PM   #85
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I have not had any issues with stopping when I have had the trailer loaded (80-90 pounds) and when it's empty I can hardly tell that it's there.
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Old 01-04-08, 05:25 PM   #86
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Bikipede - an articulated double bicycle trailer.

Bikipede - an articulated double bicycle trailer

I recently finished my second trailer, but this one comes with a twist: it trails behind the first trailer, a little like the 'road trains' they have in Australia. Once again the coupling is the beloved rotating u-joint. It's a very similar design to the first trailer (actually an upside down version), but with more capacity and none of the electronics/gadgetry. I was prompted to do this by the spare u-joint I had lying around after finishing trailer #1. Having gone through the process of building trailer #1, the second trailer only took 3 days to make from scratch. Parts for trailer #2 probably cost no more than 120USD, so the entire bikipede cost about 300USD to make (including considerable shipping costs). Worth every penny, in my distorted opinion.

Performance is generally excellent, I couldn't be happier. Trailer #2 has wheels shifted slightly forwards, more towards the centre of the bed. This establishes a better balance with the load, and thus exerts fewer load-related stresses on the back of trailer #1. Understandably, the 'tri-axial' u-joint inbetween the trailers, and the protuding hitch on #2, means its turning abilities are also very orderly. Both hitches allow turns at almost 90 degrees. One thing it definitely can't do, however, is go backwards.

I've attached some screenshots from a short movie that covers its construction, and so on. The third image (looking backwards from the bicycle) is meant to give an impression of its snake-like articulation.

Because it moves much like a centipede or millipede, my girlfriend (the glamourous model in the images) suggested calling it the Bikipede, but Cyclopede also sounds good to me. Which should it be?

My best regards, as always,
A.R.
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File Type: jpg bike_pose2.jpg (98.2 KB, 681 views)
File Type: jpg bike_pose_2_freeze.jpg (86.7 KB, 633 views)
File Type: jpg bike_pose_3_freeze.jpg (92.7 KB, 492 views)

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Old 01-07-08, 03:13 AM   #87
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Velocipede.
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Old 01-07-08, 10:52 AM   #88
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Velocipede.
Genius. I shall inform the girlfriend of the new old name. Thankyou.

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Old 01-11-08, 09:19 AM   #89
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I'm not sure if this counts because it was built for a bike event and was only used once for actual cargo hauling. The trailer is a metal frame made of hand bent 1/2" conduit with the trailer cargo body being made of plywood and various dimensional lumber. Wheels were taken from a 12.5" kids bike. I almost flipped the trailer coming down a hill during the event so it was dismantled shortly thereafter. I'm working on a new cargo trailer that will be more practical. I did win "Best Decorated Bike" at the event the trailer was built for so it could be argued that the utility of the trailer was not in cargo hauling ability but in award winning (the purpose for which it was built).


Me with the bike and trailer


Real men glue plastic rhinestones to their homemade panniers.


During the building stage


and of course I added a "share the road" sticker (complete with LED spotlights shining on it)

-----------------
This is a prototype of a hitch design, it was scrapped in favor of a better one for the new trailer in the works.





-Ryan
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Old 01-13-08, 12:07 AM   #90
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Ryan, are those ammo box panniers?
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Old 01-15-08, 05:47 AM   #91
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Ryan, are those ammo box panniers?
Marine battery boxes.





more info in the thread about them @ Homemade hard saddle bags
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Old 01-16-08, 02:45 PM   #92
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Bamboo trailer assembly update:

http://bambootrailer.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-20-08, 08:59 PM   #93
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Bamboo trailer assembly update:

http://bambootrailer.blogspot.com/
Saw your technique for adding dropouts using the joist angle. I'm working on the same problem for a trailing I am putting together. My plan was to use a 36"inch steel hanger angle I bought at Lowe's and cut the thing into 4 pieces. The angle I bought already has holes in it, but I have to hacksaw the thing into 4 pieces (It's made of steel too...)

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...286&lpage=none
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Old 01-21-08, 10:08 PM   #94
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How do you plan to mount it?
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Old 01-22-08, 06:48 PM   #95
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How do you plan to mount it?
My trailer is a 2by2 frame with a plywood cover. I just have to bolt the angle to the 2by2. Hopefully that will be strong enough. I'll put up photos if it ever warms up enough to work on it.
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Old 02-14-08, 02:34 PM   #96
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My BAW 64". Best part is having a hitch mount for transporting BIKES! MORE BIKES!!

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Old 02-16-08, 11:43 PM   #97
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Here is the one I pull my grandkids in,,,,,I hope to post my Cargo trailer soon too.
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Old 03-03-08, 01:33 PM   #98
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Where did you get those wheels?

astronomerroyal,
Your trailer looks to handle well, looks exceptionally stable and seems extremely well made and seems hard to fault. It also looks the equal of any professionally manufactured unit.

But where did you get your wheels from?

I too value stability.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:41 PM   #99
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astronomerroyal,
Your trailer looks to handle well, looks exceptionally stable and seems extremely well made and seems hard to fault. It also looks the equal of any professionally manufactured unit.

But where did you get your wheels from?

I too value stability.
You Devil. Those compliments have me all undone. I am ashamed to say that I bought my wheels on Amazon.com, more specifically from an Amazon marketplace seller. I believe the name was Niagara Bicycles. The first time I got some sort of special deal, the second set of wheels however cost me a fair bit (when I made the rear end of Velocipede I felt that I had to be consistent with my hardware.) They don't seem to combine the shipping costs. I also looked on ebay, but came up short.

The building of both trailers really was a labour of love. Already I'm reminiscing. The metal shavings in the carpet. The furtive drilling of holes at 11pm. Wonderful memories.
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Old 03-08-08, 02:19 PM   #100
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Thanks for the info about the wheels.

astronomerroyal,
Thanks for the info about the wheels.

Have you posted the dimensions of you trailer anywhere, i.e.:
The track width
The load platform width.

If so, could you post a link?

It's just that your trailer is so stable, the load platform can be deduced from the wheel diameter, but the oblique views make it difficult to estimate the widths of the track and load platform.

It would be useful from the point of reference.
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