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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 06-22-09, 07:16 AM   #1
ggroth9
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Replacement hitch for Cannondale Bugger

I have in my posession the Bugger my parents bought some 35 years ago to haul around my brother and I, and am looking to use it to haul baseball & football equipment back & forth to the local park for my kids. The original hitch was a piece of plastic that connected to the end of the tongue. Through the years, this piece became brittle, and cracked off. I'm looking for some easy way to replace it with something that will connect easily to two different bicycles with a minimum of fuss. Any ideas? Would the hitch from a tag-along half-bike be made to work? (I can get my hands on one very easily & cheaply)

Here's a URL for a bugger that looks identical to mine (this one is also missing the plastic hitch on the end of the tongue)
http://www.vintagecannondale.com/can...our2005-26.jpg

TIA
GregG
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Old 06-22-09, 08:12 AM   #2
astronomerroyal
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Greg,
I'm sorry I can't help you - just wanted to thank you for bringing this trailer to my attention. Was the hitch some sort of universal joint that attached to the seatpost? Very interesting that it was apparently Cannondale's first product. I must say that they couldn't have marketed it in the UK with that name - I had to suppress a guffaw.

1971
Joe Montgomery starts Cannondale at the Cannondale train station in Wilton, Connecticut. The company's initial product is the Bugger, the world's first bicycle-towed trailer.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:29 AM   #3
ggroth9
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It was a flat piece of rectangular plastic, that was beefed up to handle the torsional loads. One end bolted directly to the tongue of the trailer. The other end had a U shaped notch cut out that the seat post would fit into, and there was a slide bolt that would lock it onto the seat post. I believe I tossed the piece away, but can check if I still have it lying around. The plastic piece would simply rotate around the seat post when you turned your bike, and the plastic was supposed to flex over bumps, and twist if the bike was laid down. My first attempt at using it after it had been stored unused for close to 20 years, and the flex of a sidewalk crossing was enough to shatter the brittle plastic.

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Old 06-22-09, 01:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ggroth9 View Post
It was a flat piece of rectangular plastic, that was beefed up to handle the torsional loads. One end bolted directly to the tongue of the trailer. The other end had a U shaped notch cut out that the seat post would fit into, and there was a slide bolt that would lock it onto the seat post. I believe I tossed the piece away, but can check if I still have it lying around. The plastic piece would simply rotate around the seat post when you turned your bike, and the plastic was supposed to flex over bumps, and twist if the bike was laid down. My first attempt at using it after it had been stored unused for close to 20 years, and the flex of a sidewalk crossing was enough to shatter the brittle plastic.

GregG
Could you make a new one from rubber, like from a piece of a car tyre or something?
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Old 06-22-09, 02:21 PM   #5
astronomerroyal
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Flexible rubber, I see,

http://evc.cocolog-nifty.com/okocham...le_bugger2.jpg

Some bicycle inner tubes would probably be just as good.

I've found that those brackets, used for storing your bicycle U-lock on the bicycle frame, to be quite handy for attaching miscellaneous things to frames. That and some rubber might permit a quick-release type of solution.
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Old 06-25-09, 12:19 PM   #6
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If it's any help, here's a pic of a similar hitch from a later model Bugger...



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Old 06-26-09, 07:29 PM   #7
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I would shoot an email off to C'dale and ask if they have any idea for a source. I had one of the Buggers back in the late 80's that I hauled my two around in.

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Old 06-27-09, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
I must say that they couldn't have marketed it in the UK with that name - I had to suppress a guffaw.
especially not with it attaching behind you like it does......
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Old 06-29-09, 09:45 AM   #9
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As for contacting Cannondale, during my search for a replacement, I stumbled across a Cannondale FAQ forum in which someone was looking for the same part as I. The response was that they didn't stock parts for old buggers. Perhaps I would have had better luck if it would have snapped before they were bought out.

I think I'm going to try a piece of rubber from a car tire, and see if I can't bolt it to a hitch from a tag-along as a quick-connect to the seat post (there's pile of tag-alongs at the local co-op). Bolting the piece of tire to the bugger should be no trouble. I'll have to see if I can make this work, I'll check back in if I can. It's going to be a while, because I have to wait for the end of little league before I can volunteer at the co-op on Saturdays again. Thanks for all the ideas.

GregG

Last edited by ggroth9; 06-29-09 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 06-29-09, 12:02 PM   #10
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DIY sounds like the way to go.

We had a Bugger when I was little. Bad design putting the kids weight over the axle.
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Old 07-03-09, 07:38 AM   #11
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I used to own one of these trailers. 'twas fab, used it for years. When my second child was born, we used a baby car seat and fastened it in the trailer. Nice and secure, and we could just lift them out in the seat when they fell asleep.

I think that the rubber would work, you only need a notch in it. The metal strap for my trailer broke; I replaced it with the tubular webbing used by climbers. very strong, abrasion-resistant and easy to fasten (I just tied it).

One of the great virtues of the 'bugger' trailer is that you can't tip the trailer over unless the bike also falls over. A friend using a burley trailer caught one wheel on a kerb and flipped the trailer; with two kids inside.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:09 PM   #12
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One more idea. BTW, I bought a Bugger new when my oldest was about 1 - he's 35 now. The original hitch was replaced by C-dale under warranty/recall and it lasted a long time but is now toast.

You might try drilling a longitudinal 1/4 inch hole in your seatpost and installing an eyebolt facing to the rear. You could then attach a latching type hook to the bugger frame using a piece of aluminum angle bolted to the original hitch mounting holes to attach the hook to. Or forget the hook and bungee/tie the trailer to the eyebolt.

FWIW I have to disagree with hairytoes on flippability. I hit a curb with one wheel of the bugger with my 2 year old daughter in it and it flipped about 150 degrees which really twisted the plastic hitch and had her hanging from the seatbelt. Talk about feeling like an idiot.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:47 PM   #13
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I many good memories from riding in a Bugger. My parents bought a two seater so I would have more room. I used it when I got older to haul fishing gear to the local lake.

I have to agree with John. My dad tried weaving in and out of some cones in a parking lot one day and managed to dump the bugger on it's left side. At the time they couldn't find a bicycle helmet small enough to fit me, luckily they found a skateboard helmet that fit, the entire right side was destroyed.
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Old 04-06-10, 01:35 PM   #14
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I do not have what you are looking for, but I found your post because I am looking for a Bugger. I hauled my kids around in one 35 years ago, sold it when they were 4 and 7, and now my daughter is expecting my first grandchild and I'd like to get another Bugger. I actually duct taped a broom handle to my Bugger and pulled them while running, and that would be my plan if I could find another one and fix it up. The "newer" kind with horiz. curved tongue set lower is harder to adapt to a puller jogger. If you or other bike forums readers know of one, let me know. rosedalerocket@mac.com (Portland, OR)
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Old 04-18-10, 12:20 AM   #15
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I actually purchased one off of ebay for mine. I have since sold the bugger,but I suggest ( should you have an ebay account) to save a search for an bugger hitch with an "email me" option checked. it might take a while, but one is sure to show up. the one I bought was from an old shops inventory that came up for sale.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:03 AM   #16
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Thanks jgadamski. I will do that. Hadn't known about that possibility.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:36 PM   #17
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Better than inner tube

I've been building my own trailers and of course the hitch is the trickiest part. There's a lot going on in that connection. Some things I tried earlier before I settled on the parts I did, (you can see all that in the trailer construction tips thread) was either thick cable or reinforced rubber heating hose. They both both wouldn't deflect much under compression and they're certainly strong enough in tension and can bend a lot. I abandoned them for my own reasons but they may be just the trick for your need.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ggroth9 View Post
...Would the hitch from a tag-along half-bike be made to work? (I can get my hands on one very easily & cheaply)...
If it was mine, I would probably get the Adams Trail A Bike hitch and 1st knuckle. You can see them at Sheldon's website.

Sheldon's site didn't mention there's a solid block between the 1st knuckle and the Trail-A-Bike. The block is about 20mm square and 35mm long. Without that block, your trailer wouldn't articulate in that direction (depending on how the hitch is oriented, probably up and down). So, you'd need to fabricate the block as well (or see if Adams will send you one).

I have an Adams with this hitch set-up. It is very stout, and, if you can attach it to the trailer frame, you'd have an excellent set-up. It's probably a complicated fix, but could probably be made to work.
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Old 10-30-11, 08:00 PM   #19
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Greg, did you come up with a way to recreate the hitch? I have the old bugger that also has a broken hitch? Actually I would like to find someone who would like to have the bugger and they could work on the hitch. I don't need the bugger any longer and would like to find someone with a use for it.
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Old 11-12-11, 05:08 PM   #20
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dfitzger

I would be interested in any bugger cargo trailer in really good condition that is available in the Chicago area. As far as the hitch goes, I made, not a hitch, but a handle for pulling by hand, out of Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is tough stuff. You can bend it over against itself and it will not break. I can make a bicycle hitch for a cargo trailer. No way would I ever offer to make a hitch or handle to pull children due to fear of being sued.

I love buggers. Buggers were very well designed and built. They may be disassembled for relatively compact storage or shipment. Take a look at the cloth on a cargo trailer--very labor intensive. Buggers must have been relatively expensive when new. Does anyone know what a Bugger cargo trailer sold for in the 1970s?

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Greg, did you come up with a way to recreate the hitch? I have the old bugger that also has a broken hitch? Actually I would like to find someone who would like to have the bugger and they could work on the hitch. I don't need the bugger any longer and would like to find someone with a use for it.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:40 PM   #21
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buggger available

Please contact me directly RE: the bugger at david-fitzgerald@uiowa.edu

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dfitzger

I would be interested in any bugger cargo trailer in really good condition that is available in the Chicago area. As far as the hitch goes, I made, not a hitch, but a handle for pulling by hand, out of Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is tough stuff. You can bend it over against itself and it will not break. I can make a bicycle hitch for a cargo trailer. No way would I ever offer to make a hitch or handle to pull children due to fear of being sued.

I love buggers. Buggers were very well designed and built. They may be disassembled for relatively compact storage or shipment. Take a look at the cloth on a cargo trailer--very labor intensive. Buggers must have been relatively expensive when new. Does anyone know what a Bugger cargo trailer sold for in the 1970s?
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Old 12-05-11, 02:49 PM   #22
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I bought a bugger in 1978 for $180. We bought new Viscounts about the same time for $200 each. It was a lot of money for a young family. But well worth it.
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Old 05-12-14, 07:52 AM   #23
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I realize that this thread is quite old by now but I just wanted to add my Bugger experience. I grew up riding in one in the 80's and loved it. Now that we have a child of our own, I wanted him to experience it too. My parents sold theirs years ago but my aunt and uncle still had theirs! He said I could have it as well! The only problem was the hitch was broken (of course). My dad and I decided we could recreate it.

First we thought about wood. Then we decided on hard rubber. So he ordered a 12"x12" block of rubber and we made a template from what was left of the old hitch. Then we cut out the rubber to match. Then we drilled the seat post hole and cut a slit in the end so it would slip around it. Next we had to cut the loop of the hitch pole off so we could have two separate straight poles going into the rubber. It would have been a lot harder to keep the pole intact because we would have had to try to dig out a U-shaped hole in solid rubber. Anyway, then we attached the original locking mechanism and attached the new hitch to the poles with two strong bolts. If anyone wants more detailed info let me know.

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Old 05-12-14, 10:46 AM   #24
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I realize that this thread is quite old by now but I just wanted to add my Bugger experience. I grew up riding in one in the 80's and loved it. Now that we have a child of our own, I wanted him to experience it too. My parents sold theirs years ago but my aunt and uncle still had theirs! He said I could have it as well! The only problem was the hitch was broken (of course). My dad and I decided we could recreate it.

First we thought about wood. Then we decided on hard rubber. So he ordered a 12"x12" block of rubber and we made a template from what was left of the old hitch. Then we cut out the rubber to match. Then we drilled the seat post hole and cut a slit in the end so it would slip around it. Next we had to cut the loop of the hitch pole off so we could have two separate straight poles going into the rubber. It would have been a lot harder to keep the pole intact because we would have had to try to dig out a U-shaped hole in solid rubber. Anyway, then we attached the original locking mechanism and attached the new hitch to the poles with two strong bolts. If anyone wants more detailed info let me know.

Nice job! Where did you order the rubber block from? That looks like a better solution than many of the diy seatpost attachments I've seen.
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Old 05-13-14, 02:51 PM   #25
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Thanks! We ordered it from McMaster Carr. So it's working great! Just like new! I am going to try to keep it out of the sun when we aren't using it and keep a coat of ArmorAll on it so it doesn't dry out. Probably not necessary but better safe than sorry.
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