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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 05-24-10, 06:19 PM   #1
mrhedges
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build your own cycle truck ?

has anyone done this? it seems like a cool idea, thinking of turning my trek 830 MTB into one...
any advice?
any plans?
is this possible without welding?
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Old 05-24-10, 06:43 PM   #2
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like this?

if so, you can do some searches under 'bakfiets'

Last edited by Metzinger; 05-24-10 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-24-10, 06:55 PM   #3
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more like this :

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Old 05-24-10, 07:09 PM   #4
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Here's a real DIY job.
Or Google 'porteur racks' for something prettier.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:12 PM   #5
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i guess I should be more specific, I want to build a utility cycle that i could use to vend food on the streets of NOLA. 3 wheeled designs seem a little unwieldy. the food i'm carrying is fairly light. I found this desgin in my searching, i guess its based of a schwinn from the 30s called the cycle truck. they are still produced now by many diffrent outfits including.
here is something i found about it :

http://bikehugger.com/2008/06/1964-s...cle-truck.html

any advice would be great!
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Old 05-24-10, 08:15 PM   #6
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I've see a courier in Boston running what looks like a normal road or mountain bike with a small 16" or 20" front wheel. He has a rack mounted just above it. I have only seen him a couple times out my 2nd floor office window, so I don't even know it has front brakes. It's definitely the cheap way to go about it.
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Old 05-24-10, 08:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
Here's a real DIY job.
Or Google 'porteur racks' for something prettier.
what would happen if i clamped the rack to the frame instead of the handle bars? I have a front rack right now I don't like how the ride is effected by the weight
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Old 05-25-10, 01:26 AM   #8
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This is probably overkill, but the guy I built this for sells local organic produce. At the local market, he uses it for a table 4 days a week and delivers with it 2 nights a week. With all 12 tubs in place, the top surface is 40" x 72" and relatively flat.

You could do something similar using two coolers for the much higher ambient temps where you are.

:)ensen.

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Old 05-25-10, 01:42 AM   #9
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what would happen if i clamped the rack to the frame instead of the handle bars? I have a front rack right now I don't like how the ride is effected by the weight
Well, then you're moving in the direction of Ahearne's beautiful example above or the Fietsfabriek bikes.
The load needs to be cantilevered off the front of the bike. I'd run two rigid members (square steel tubing?) from the seat tube to the headtube and figure a way of clamping them in place. Then it's a matter of affixing your container/platform to the top of the members.
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Old 05-25-10, 05:23 AM   #10
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Another possibility:

http://www.jacobsgreen.com/
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Old 05-25-10, 09:46 AM   #11
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Fietsfabriek....what a beautiful bicycle, who thought a cargo bike could be a thing of beauty? the dutch i guess...

the jacobs green solution looks like a great idea, I could fabricate a wooden box on top paint it (along with the bicycle) and walla! vending machine! But all the weight on this design fall to the fork affecting the ride?

I have a front rack already, its a simple wald one and it works ok for small stuff but the more you load it up the harder the bike gets to ride and the more it wants to fall over when parked.

i guess either way i do need a install a center stand.

purple people, that bike is awsome! but way to much, that thing could be a mobile kitchen where you sell tacos off the back of it, which would be cool but a bit much.

i'm about to go on a road trip with a friend who is a blacksmith in his free time perhaps i'll ask him what he thinks.

thanks everyone keep the suggestions coming...i have to remember to come and hang out in the utility forum more!
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Old 05-25-10, 11:29 AM   #12
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The one thing most people don't realize when they load up a bike is how the weight rides. It's not just front and rear weight distribution that matter, but also the height at which the load is placed. The ideal position for carrying load on a bike is between the two wheels and as low as possible. IOW, the further you get from the 6 o'clock pedal position, the worse the bike will handle. Everyone that has loaded the top of a rear rack on has experience with this, especially if the load hangs off the back. Now, if the load is light or small it is possible to get away with these more extreme, but more visually appealing placements, but if you are going to sell food off the thing, your load weight will go up more dramatically that you probably think at this point.

Thanks about the bike. As I said it is extreme. But I think you mis-understood me. I was saying that a shorter bike, like any basic longtail can be used to carry a couple of typical plastic beer coolers... in a manner similar to the big bike. The food can be stored at fridge temperatures with ice packs and the seal ensures that weather and dirt do not get in. Easy to do and the handling will be much improved over any over the wheel load placement.

:)ensen.
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Old 05-25-10, 12:43 PM   #13
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I will def, take this into consideration, i guess maybe i am thinking this way because all the vending bikes i have seen are front loading, it just seems easier, BTW I am selling sushi, I plan to roll it myself at the house and package it in the same plastic thingies they sell them in at grocery stores. i will probably take about 20 out at a time, most of my selling well occur durning winter here (thats tourist season). consequently it doesn't have to be super cold (i don't plan to be out for more the a couple hours and i'm not making raw fish sushi)

I would love to see some plans for the bicycle you posted maybe it would easier to rig something like that up then i think, then i could sell more then just sushi off it (beer, mixed drinks, etc)

the more i think about it, my friend built a similar bicycle. this halloween he took out a bunch of oysters to share at the halloween. he had the whole rack filled with several pounds of oysters it was cool as hell, but the welds failed twice and the last time he ditched the bike cuz he was so pissed at it.
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Old 05-25-10, 02:05 PM   #14
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check out the workman low gravity might be cheaper to buy than build

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../indbikes.html

as to your overall plan......somehow I think that unless you have the proper permits, health inspections, etc selling homemade sushi is probably going to attract a little attention from the various authorities who care about such things.
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Old 05-25-10, 03:18 PM   #15
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I think that unless you have the proper permits, health inspections, etc selling homemade sushi is probably going to attract a little attention from the various authorities who care about such things.
I agree. But never mind the health department, I wouldn't buy prepared food from a street vendor that didn't come straight off a grill or out of a cooler with ice packs.

:)ensen.
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Old 05-25-10, 04:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mrhedges View Post
has anyone done this? it seems like a cool idea, thinking of turning my trek 830 MTB into one...
any advice?
any plans?
is this possible without welding?
You can find bikes built to haul & work at this old line American bike builders site. http://www.worksman.com/
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Old 05-26-10, 02:58 AM   #17
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I've looked at the worksman cycles, they are cool but i'd rather build something myself, doesn't seem to hard...but thats a sorta plan b...i really like my trek 830 and think i could make a great bike for this.

as far as legal requirements you'd be surprised with what one can get away with, it really depends where you are and what time of day it is, i do eventually want to get them since it could mean much more money.
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Old 05-27-10, 12:21 AM   #18
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Owning & riding several workbike / trailer combinations, I can definitely say that the load rack should be attached to the frame & not to the forks.
Fork mounted racks have a very limited weight capacity or handling deteriates.
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Old 05-10-14, 11:16 AM   #19
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Lightbulb

there is tons of info on my blog: Utility Cycling Technology



Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhedges View Post
has anyone done this? it seems like a cool idea, thinking of turning my trek 830 MTB into one...
any advice?
any plans?
is this possible without welding?
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