I'm in the process of working on a weld-free trailer. It gets better all the time.
Based on a steel frame imitation Big Wheel I found in the trash.
Pics and construction (modification) notes are here. The last two are the most current.
here are a couple I made. they are torsion box rails and a platform to keep them lights. they weight around 33 pounds but can haul at least 200# the biggest problem is hitch. putting it on a recumbent is even harder. I used a burley hitch on this one.
I need help coming up with a simple and cheap solution for a seatpost attachment. Hopefully this is the right thread.
I found a weird bike trailer today while riding over to the girl's house, and now i need some advice on getting it to work. i literally know nothing about trailers and hitches, which is sad because my job is riding around pulling a pedicab trailer all night.
One concern of mine is the axle position: it's right at the rear edge of the trailer. That means the weight of the load will be on the tongue/hitch, correct? I want to balance the weight over the rear axle (slighty forward) 60/40, right?
Any suggestion as far as hitch? I'm not sure how to make a mount for it to clamp onto my seat post. The picture shows what I am working with (those pins were used to mount the weird plastic body to, well, nothing actually. They may be useful yet).
After I pulled the body off and made sure the frame had no cracks, I ghetto rigged a seat post mount and went out in search of some scrap wood to use for a base. No luck though. This set up was SUPER SKETCH. **** just bounced around, like I sort of expected.
*I want a garage/work shop so bad*
My plan for now is to bolt some 1/2" plywood down as a base, extending out past the axle by about a foot. And of course, clean up and repaint the frame and wheels and make it look presentable at least.
So, if you have any suggestions for seat post attachment, please let me know.
The clamps used to hold exhaust pipes together is what I used for a similar trailer (I sold it, so I think I`we got no pix). You need to put something more in there. I used two small L brackets, made for holding wood in place (corners and so on).
Also, depending on the size of your seatpost you could chop an ahead stem and atatch to the seatpost and then DIY from there. I used one to put the twist grip shifter for my detatchable bike.
This setup has got a short piece of bar innside, just enough to put the shifter. You must think f a way to atatch the trailer but it can be done.
For the bed: plywood stickng out sounds good. also if mounts for wheels could be mowed forward, but that is going to cost. Maybe some "new" bolt on atatchment for wheels?
This is my attempt at a single wheel trailer. Those of you that have attempted a d.i.y single wheeler will appreciate the difficulty and complexity compared to a two wheeler.
I have used dumpster rescued materials as much as possible, but for this project I had to buy the tie rod ends. the Action Packer tub is one that I've had for years and have used on a previous 2-wheel trailer project. I enlarged the cargo area of that trailer and sold it, but kept the tub for this project.
Chassis design is in 1" square tube. Rear wheel sits in a road bike fork.
That's a 26" hybrid fork and 1" threaded headtube with the original head bearings acting as the main lateral pivot axis between the trailer and the bike. The steerer tube on the fork was cut off and welded back on at 90 degrees.
The dropouts were cut off the end of each fork leg. A high tensile bolt was welded on each leg, to mount a tie rod end. The length of each leg can be adjusted then locked in with a nut. This allows fine adjustment to allow for assembly inaccuracies and line up the trailer with the bike.
The bits that go on the bike. These parts need to be designed for your specific frame. I used the fender mounting point to secure the plates against lateral torque forces - something that you don't have to deal with in a 2-wheel design. The friction between the plates and the frame is nowhere near enough to resist the lateral torque.
A bad pic of the trailer hitch..
The final product with a very happy little boy that got a (very slow) ride in the trailer.
Performance-wise, I've used it multiple times for groceries.
With no load it tracks perfectly true behind the bike but can get a bit skittish in fast cornering on rough ground. however, you'd already be cornering dangerously fast even if you weren't towing a trailer, and most two wheel trailers would have already rolled over at those speeds.
Anything up to 35 - 40 pounds and it tows rock solid with no handling vices or influence on the bike provided the load is as far forward in the box as practical. The further forward, and low, you can place the load the better it tows. At the sort of speeds a sane person would do, it's unaffected by mid-corner potholes.
As the weight of the load increases over 40lb the handling starts deteriorating. The most I've had on board was 65 pounds which was just dangerous at anything over fast walking pace. The further forward you keep the load the better it handles.
The lower resistance (part aero part rolling resistance) advantage over a typical two wheel trailer is readily apparent if, like me, you like to move fast when towing a light load. The hitch system is absolutely solid with no slop and no binding around the pivot points. I'm very happy with the results, it turned out even better than I expected.
If anyone would like details beyond these pictures just ask, I'm always happy to share. Feel free to duplicate any/all aspects of the design.... Now I just have to get around to cleaning it up and putting a coat of paint on it.
Cyclaholic - Nice trailer. I really like the design, that is a great reuse of resources..
Another Hitch/joint assembly
I've posted some of this over at the the "post your trailer" thread, But since the hitch/joint assembly seems to be one of the trickiest parts of any trailer project I thought I'd post this over here with more details of the hitch. What I have here is a simple hitch that has been performing pretty well for the trailer I've been developing. It's made with 1" x 1/8" mild steel strap, scrap wood and plastic and some nuts and bolts. There's on 8" length that's bent at a 20 degree angle to clamp it to both parts of the bike frame. There's a piece of hardwood with a notch cut into it to orient the clamp to the bottom part of the bike frame. It's also soft enough that it won't mare the surface of the bike frame. There's another piece of strap that's 6" long with a bolt welded to it's center (you don't need to weld it I just happen to have a welder handy) It's got some scrap plastic on it to protect the finish of the bike frame. At the far end of the first piece is a 1/4" hole. With that hole it bolts to a 3" length of twisted strap and that in turn bolts to the frame of the trailer which at that point is a flatten piece of 3/4" conduit. The bolt joint at the hitch allows side to side movement. The bolt joint joint at trailer end allows up and down movement. In normal use I've had no problems with it. It is vulnerable to twist. I'll be solving that by replacing the twisted piece of strap with two pieces of angle iron bolted together. I've also attached a picture of the trailer for reference.
I posted a cruder version of this hitch earlier - here it is in it's production state. It's been performing very well so far. Another picture of the trailer it goes with for reference
Just came into possesion of a very nice little towball type hitch.
The Hitch comes with -
A Safety pin Quick release with a 10mm diametre Female thread one end, and a 10mm diametre Male thread the other, a spare spring loaded "R" clip and trace tether. £10+ £2.50 P&P each.
Looks like I'll be doing away with my Universal Joint and applying this to my trailer asap :thumb:
Update of better pictures....
I still have several left, so if you wpould like to buy one please send me a message.
10 mm ball hitches as in the photo above £10 + £2.50 P&P each
8 mm ball hitches (not shown; but similar to above) £8 + £2 P&P each.
I just noticed I never posted these pics of welding a super-hardcore trailer axle.
cut the heads off some bolts...
shove the bolt into some square tubing with holes drilled for weld adhesion...
and grind smooth...
Please post pics of the finished trailer once it's done.
Toy rubber balls make excellent elastomer suspension. The superballs are too hard, but with the right amount of squish they actually damp chatter very well and have a built in rising spring rate so large bumps are resisted with appropriate force.
For more advanced damping, the gas-charged struts used for hatchbacks work very well on the rebound and can be had with almost the right gas pressure.
I know of a man that built onew out of a ladder and BMX wheels, tube threw the rung and a bit of milling to make every thing fit.
I should get some photos on my blog.
I just use a BOB trailer on my trike.
A lot of people have asked me about the hitch that I use on my now 11 year old home-built bicycle trailer. So I have recently taken a few photos of it for you all.
A brief recap:
The trailer just after I had refurbished it about 18 months ago:
and recently ready for action on a charity shop run:
The components laid out before final fitting on to my bicycle's frame. I use a spring loaded quick attach 10 mm industrial ball joint assembly for the actual hitch; these are often found on the connecting rods of process machinery. I made up a suitable fixing arm for the ball joint from a length of 16 mm diameter steel bar, mitred it, welded it to a piece of 4 mm thick mild steel plate, and for the fitting I utilised 3 of 8 mm X 40 mm diameter stainless steel socket head bolts, 5 Stainless Steel flat washers, and 2 stainless steel nylock nuts; the lower bolt is threaded into the bottom of the 16 mm steel bar:
Fitted into position:
Note; that it has left sufficient room to accommodate my bike lock under the saddle:
and finally with the trailer hitched up and ready for a utility run:
Note; the piece of chain and the padlock that I have included. This gives me some additional security when the bike and trailer are left outside of a shop, or parked up at the city cycle stands, and also as an extra safety device for if the trailer should ever jump the hitch when I am towing a load, etc.
new hitch to bike connection
That's a nice looking hitch there Gareth. I've always like the side mounted hitches but I still admire it's rugged fabrication and strong connection to the bike. I've recently been tinkering with mine. I'm working up to the next generation of the Little Red Trailer that I've been developing one of a host of thing i'm planning to improve is the trailer to bike connection. The old one - posted here for reference - worked well except that the whole joint ended up pretty close to the radius of the foot travel. One buyer really stood on his toes and his heel would catch on the joint. Since it's made out of simple cut angle iron, it's kinda sharp. That aspect of the connection had always bugged me so I whipped up a custom connection for him and I'll be having a laser cut piece inspired by it on the next generation.
Anybody ever strip the cranks, chain, saddle and bars off one of these and affix baskets?
#50 [fenderbender] that's a 'Bikes at Work' trailer, their early design Iowa City .. bent trusses are bolted to straight tubes ,
dimensions of trailer is built around the standard plastic storage container with the hinged covers , multiples of them .
ladder like cross pieces between each ..
Here is something for you all to consider; Stauff hydraulic pipe clamps.
I have used the green plastic ones in a lot more applications than just securing hydraulic pipe runs. As a testament to their toughness: they are the specified choice for pipe runs in the very harsh North Sea marine environment on the folding arm type hydraulic cranes used on Oil and Gas field rigs and support vessels
The trailer that I haul behind my car and pick-up has the tailgate hinged on three of the single clamps bolted to it's chassis, I use them as the stand pivot bearing on the cargo bikes I have made. I have used the double clamps to bolt the prototype single wheel trailer sub frame to the chainstays of a mountain bike and a hybrid.
These clamps cost pennies, and are extremely durable. They come with a threaded base plate for welding to frames etc, two part plastic clamp sections, a top plate and hi-tensile fixing bolts in BZP or stainless steel, and are avialable from size 6mm (1/4") though to 75m (3") diameters , and if you have an odd size to accomodate, the clamp holes can be opened up with a pistol drill and HSS bit.
that's a good tip
I am thinking of using a trailer for my next touring holiday. The problem I wish to overcome is the weight limit set by the airlines.
At the moment my suitcase containing bike and a few bits and pieces is 20kg ( the limit before charges start).
If I could add some wheels to utilise the suitcase as a trailer it would then contain my carry on luggage and the spares, a combined weight of about 10kg.
The lightest solution I can think off is to bolt on some kids trainer wheels and use one of the ingenious methods for a hitch from this thread.
The suitcase is a nice, solid number. Considering the light weight it will carry and the slow speed I trundle at, is it feasible or should I pack the bike in a cardboard box?
Look forward to any ideas and as somebody who has learned a lot from the regulars on these forums can I say 'Thanks.'
As a concept, the Crosstown bike trailer has it's merits. However, the design and the engineering requires a little evolution. I very much like the idea of a folding touring trailer that can live on the bike for shipment; whether it be by air, or sea, and then in just a matter of moments and without tools is ready for the cycle tour to commence.
Other considerations are the extra wheel:
an the Oxtail trailer:
Bicycle trailer Sketchup 3D design
I don't think I ever posted this here, but a couple of years ago I made a fairly faithful SketchUp 3D model of my bicycle trailer. This trailer is the 3rd and final version, which I've been enjoying ever since.
In the `trailer train' configuration,
The trailer at the back is the original v1, linked to v3 with a spare universal joint.
The SketchUp design is in layers, so you can hide/expose structures. Unfortunately, the complexity of the wheels increased the size of the file to 15MB.
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