Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Max Weight??

  1. #1
    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    548
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Max Weight??

    What's the most weight that you can tow with a bike? What are the constraints, just one's ability to pedal & make the chain go round? how much tension can a chain take? the gearring?

  2. #2
    est'd 1966 tfahrner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    portland, oregon
    Posts
    273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok i'll play.

    by "bike" can it not be a trike? with bikes a constraint is that you must be able to reach a certain speed fairly quickly lest you simply can't balance. getting the load moving is the hardest part -- once it's rolling it's not so bad to keep it going. and forget hills up or down -- that's a whole nother area.

    also by "tow" i assume you're thinking trailer, say 3 or more wheels so balance isn't an issue. can the trailer be on rails so the rolling resistance is minimal?

    ok, cherry picking here, i'll wager that with a ridiculously low gear, like maybe 4 gear inches, on a bicycle hitched to a freight car on rails on level ground, one could get the thing rolling loaded up with, o, at least 5,000 lbs. maybe much more.

    if it can be a trike doing the hauling, just gear it down further and weight the drive wheel(s) for traction and i'll haul an aircraft carrier into drydock for you -- very, very, very slowly. couple inches a day at least! think hour hand versus second hand: same energy, different gearing.

    now, using an off-the-shelf bicycle and maybe an automotive trailer hitched to it, where the trailer doesn't have independent brakes and the load is balanced over the trailer axle, i figure about 1000 lbs is the max load you could handle pedaling slowly across town, assuming it's flat. no sudden braking because the trailer will just push the bike with locked-up wheels over the road.

    we own a dutch delivery trike that is rated to 670lbs but can probably handle 1000. on a bicycle, it's hard to design one that can handle loads in the 500lb range gracefully.

  3. #3
    Member bloompedal08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    43
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The amount of weight you can haul is a factor of incline, wind speed, your personal strength, smoothness of the road, etc. On a perfectly flat, well-paved road with no wind resistance, a reasonably fit 100# teenage girl should be able to pull 1000# for a long distance, given appropriate gearing on the bike. Where I live, I don't like to pull more than 300#, because of the hills, wind, crappy streets, etc.
    '07 Cannondale Road Warrior 500

    '82 Schwinn Super Le Tour SS/FG

    '08 Kona Dew Deluxe

  4. #4
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Riding around with my Worksman front-loader trike, I find that the extra weight is surprisingly noticeable on the least little hill. Flat pedaling, no problem. Minor upgrade, and all the sudden you notice every pound on that thing, even if it's not much. So yeah, you can haul 1,000 lbs on the right rig, but there aren't that many places where you would want to.

    If you did have hills, downhill might give you as much trouble as uphill, unless you had exceptionally good brakes.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  5. #5
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atomic batteries to power; turbines to speed
    My Bikes
    Salsa La Raza, Panasonic Electric, Bria, Bamboo touring, Bamboo cargo
    Posts
    4,699
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My largest load on my Xtra-Lite was 400 lbs. of potting soil, and I weigh 150, so I my bike can handle 550 pounds for 12 miles (and I'm cheating here, it has a Panasonic electric assist motor).

    Gearing is an issue, as is the robustness of the equipment. My Xtra-Lite is a hub eating machine, I've cracked a few hubs on it now.
    Currently I'm running a NuVinci. Of all the hubs I've owned I believe the NuVinci to be the most robust and capable of handling grossly large loads. It just doesn't seem to care what it's pulling.
    Last edited by Allen; 05-16-08 at 12:08 PM. Reason: added content

  6. #6
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boise,ID
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  7. #7
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting link.

    "The lowest gear of most mountain bikes is between 16 and 22 gear inches (see our section on gearing and gear inches for an explanation). We've found that a bike equipped with a low gear of 18 gear inches is sufficient to allow most people to pull a trailer carrying 300 lbs up a moderate (4%) grade. While it is possible to pull a load greater than this up such a grade, it takes considerably more effort."

    Note that one of the Mercurio cargo trikes I listed earlier had gearing of 1:1 or 26 gear inches. My Worksman front loader is about 39- I'll have to count teeth when I get home.

    (Later)
    Counted, has 36 teeth in front, gives me 45 gear-inches.

    Per the chart on that website, I could haul 2101 lbs with "maximum exertion" on level ground. This sounds about right, and would be about par with pushing a car, which I can do. On a 2% slope with "significant exertion", I can move the trike, myself, and 128 lbs of cargo.

    One thing I've noticed, too, in a lot of these third-world countries, when you see people moving huge loads by bike or trike, they'll just have the load on the bike while they walk beside it. I guess the moral is, once you get down to walking speeds and below, it's just as efficient to get off and push as it is to ride anything with superlow gears.
    Last edited by StephenH; 05-16-08 at 05:59 PM.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,259
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Max weight you ask? Well......Let me see now.

    "I" weight 300# (down from 380# ) My homemade trailer can haul 300#, my bike
    weight 45#, so I can "haul" 645# easy!

    My Worksman PAV trike is heavy duty machine weighing in at 105#, so with the trunk I installed,
    which can haul 350#, I figure roughly 455# total trike adding 300# for my butt you get a
    whopping 755# that I hual when fully loaded! Holy God! I'm 255# overlimit!

    God! No wonder I ride that trike in low gear all the time.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  9. #9
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A while back at an IHPVA meet a two person recumbent pulled one ton of people crowded onto a 4-wheel trailer. On the flat. On a steeper hill there would be a problem with front end lift-off. Or loss of traction if you have a long enough wheel-base. I've seen a pedal-powered winch/elevator system used to lift people and equipment into and out of a deep cave. In France I believe. It took something like an hour to lift a person some 2300 feet.
    This space open

  10. #10
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,535
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seems like this weighed 3 tons (might have been 3,000 lbs, I forget):
    http://www.publico.clix.pt/imagens.a...=UH&db=IMAGENS
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  11. #11
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    My Bikes
    Masi Speciale Fixed, Surly 1x1, 2 70's Bianchi folders, Swingbike, Columbia Cruiser 3 spd, Specialized Big Hit and P.2, Cove G-Spot, Xtracycled Bianchi San Jose.
    Posts
    668
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    a decent amount.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Novakane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada's Capital
    My Bikes
    Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979
    Posts
    549
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by streetlightpoet View Post

    a decent amount.
    Holy crap... Where is the derailleur? That's either a single speed or an internal hub... Either way, given the airstream no wonder he looks so darned serious!

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,192
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Novakane View Post
    Holy crap... Where is the derailleur? That's either a single speed or an internal hub... Either way, given the airstream no wonder he looks so darned serious!
    Internal hub, 3 or 4 speed Sturmey Archer. He was also a professional racer. The trailer was a shell without the interior cabinets and fittings. But still probably weighed in close to 2,000#. (I am an Airstream owner too)

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit
    Posts
    5,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What happened when he wanted to stop?



    Quote Originally Posted by streetlightpoet View Post

    a decent amount.

  15. #15
    Member bloompedal08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    43
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    What happened when he wanted to stop?

    given the controlled conditions of this experiment, i'll wager he gave himself a good 500 feet to bring it to a halt
    '07 Cannondale Road Warrior 500

    '82 Schwinn Super Le Tour SS/FG

    '08 Kona Dew Deluxe

  16. #16
    Hired geek surfimp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    197
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    I can haul my Wike trailer with both boys and assorted sundries (around 90-100lbs. depending on food & toys in the trunk) on my fixed gear up mild hills. My bike is running 700x37 tires and 42x16 gearing which is about 71" gear inches IIRC. Gets the old heart rate up!

    Steve

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •