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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 04-11-10, 10:05 AM   #1
provisional
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Building a trailer that can haul bikes

I work at a bike co-op, and we need a bike trailer that can haul bikes to pick up donations. I was thinking of starting with something like this, this, This or this. There are two ways that I could think of to attach the bicycles. The first would be to make a parking-rack style device to wedge the front tire in (sort of like a small version of this), securing it in with a U-Lock. Or, I could take off the front wheel and mount the bike by the front fork ends. In either design, the back wheel would be on the ground. I'd really like to be able to haul at least 2 bikes, but 3 would be ideal, with the trailer narrow enough to ride on a standard-width sidewalk or bike lane.

Has anyone done this before? Any recommendations?

Last edited by provisional; 04-11-10 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 04-11-10, 12:36 PM   #2
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We find that lots of donated bikes can't be trailed because the wheels are a mess so we started just using a bikes at work trailer that is 8 feet long. Just lay them down. I use my Xtracycle to haul two working bikes at a time by putting the front wheels in the panniers.
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Old 04-11-10, 04:00 PM   #3
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I am in the process of building a custom Snapdeck for my Big Dummy which will have a locking bike transport skewer mounted at the back so that I can attach the front fork of a bike to be hauled into the skewer. Only good for one bike at a time but that should be all that I need.

I agree that donated or garage sale purchased bikes frequently have messed up rear wheels or disintegrated tires and tubes which can make the towing option difficult to impossible though. For a bike co-op the trailer sounds like a better option if terrain allows.
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Old 04-12-10, 01:55 AM   #4
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Hi

Sorry to hijack your thread, but are small wheels better? Large 26" wheels will give more road clearance, but I have some 16" wheels.
Will they be better, a lower center of gravity and more stable?

S
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Old 04-12-10, 02:57 AM   #5
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Hi

Sorry to hijack your thread, but are small wheels better? Large 26" wheels will give more road clearance, but I have some 16" wheels.
Will they be better, a lower center of gravity and more stable?

S
Any size wheels can be used to make a trailer. If you used 26" wheels you trailer would be quite high and may topple over when cornering? To get round the stability problem of using 26" wheels you need to make the trailer Wide. You could also lower the center of gravity on the trailer - The loadbed carried lower than the wheel hub.

See roughrider504 example of lowering the center of gravity .... http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post10265549

Your 16" wheels should fine for making a trailer - but dont make it to narrow.

Regards
Tom
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Old 04-12-10, 07:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the suggestions! I think I'll use crackerdog's idea and just make a really long trailer. Also, in addition to sevenhills' question, which would be more recommendable: 16" or 20" rims? I have an excess of both.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:59 PM   #7
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If you are ever going to put load over the wheels, like I do on the BAW trailer, smaller wheels are better. Put strong fenders over them so they can support a load or make a piece that lays flat on the trailer but can hinge up to protect the wheels so you can load over them.
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Old 04-12-10, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provisional View Post
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I think I'll use crackerdog's idea and just make a really long trailer. Also, in addition to sevenhills' question, which would be more recommendable: 16" or 20" rims? I have an excess of both.
You've probably already looked? but if not have a browse through the The post your trailer thread. this may give you a few ideas.

I think something like this may suit your needs (big and wide enough to carry a load of various size bikes) if you have the materials and tools to build it.



Keep your eyes peeled for anyone throwing out old bed frames, to make your frame, cover with a sheet of thin plywood or mesh bolted on and your done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by provisional View Post
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I think I'll use crackerdog's idea and just make a really long trailer. Also, in addition to sevenhills' question, which would be more recommendable: 16" or 20" rims? I have an excess of both.
Regarding wheel size - 16" or 20". I have used both when making my trailers and I personaly prefer 20's for that little extra ground clearance.

Having said that here is my long/heavy haul trailer. A simple cross construction with cantilevered 22" wheel chair wheels with brakes. I still have a couple of cross members to add, once thats done it should look something like the yellow one pictured.





Peter Eland's Trailer.
http://www.eland.org.uk/trailer3.html

Regards
Tom

Last edited by BossCat; 04-12-10 at 10:04 PM.
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