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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 11-02-12, 07:38 AM   #1
JustsayMo
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Tag-along trailer conversion.

I found one of those tag-along kid trailers at a garage sale and figured I could make into something I could haul gear around in. Here is the first successful iteration.


Stripped down - 8 pounds less..

Frame connections




Early testing version






It has proven surprisingly strong and rigid. I've only done preliminary test riding with it and it has worked well. It will bear my (Clydesdale) weight. I'm refining it to improve the aesthetic though this is functional. I've not seen the need to reinforce it though I plan to add some aluminum angle.

Last edited by JustsayMo; 11-02-12 at 07:45 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 11-02-12, 12:02 PM   #2
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That looks great! I saw one of those for sale cheap but couldn't imagine what I would do with it--guess I just don't have your imagination. Hopefully you won't get too many flats on that rear tire because it looks like removing that wheel could be troublesome.
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Old 11-02-12, 02:45 PM   #3
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Creative and perplexing.
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Old 11-02-12, 03:59 PM   #4
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Thanks MKIV987. In design and fitting I was able to rotate the axel mounts clear and then lift the deck and pull the wheel free. Not sure if that will work on the road fully loaded or not... Might have to research puncture resistant tires and tubes for that wheel to mitigate that issue while in use.
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Old 11-03-12, 12:22 AM   #5
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1- you could support some of the weight by putting a support into the seat tube.

2- I've often thought Adams should make a utility converstion for their trail-a-bikes.

3- a wider tire (ie, 1.75"+), a tire liner and thorn resistant tube should give plenty of puncture resistance.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:01 AM   #6
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this just ain't right- you have a dewalt palm sander and i do not. can't spare the $50 for something i'd only use occasionally. boohoo. i'm a tool junkie.

oh, the trailer. pretty creative!
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Old 11-04-12, 03:55 AM   #7
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Great conversion! It has been done before, I remember one guy wanted to go touring with one.

The woodwork is looking good but also I can not help wondering if you would have been better off (less weight less complicated) wit just adding a bike rack or two. If you could manage to put one where they normally are and one in front of that you would get a great long platform on the top and you could also hang four panniers. You could also keep (maybe detatchable) some sort of "footrests" or platform if you wanted, like on a longtail. I have done this on homemade longtails.
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Old 11-04-12, 04:59 AM   #8
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Great conversion! It has been done before, I remember one guy wanted to go touring with one.

The woodwork is looking good but also I can not help wondering if you would have been better off (less weight less complicated) wit just adding a bike rack or two. If you could manage to put one where they normally are and one in front of that you would get a great long platform on the top and you could also hang four panniers. You could also keep (maybe detatchable) some sort of "footrests" or platform if you wanted, like on a longtail. I have done this on homemade longtails.
You are correct. It would weigh less and work better for items that can fit in panniers or lashed onto the rack.
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Old 11-04-12, 05:43 AM   #9
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still pretty damn cool... great work
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Old 11-04-12, 12:12 PM   #10
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While interesting if I were to build a trailer like this I would use thinner plywood to save weight.

Other than that good job, good job indeed!
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Old 11-05-12, 10:26 AM   #11
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Creative and perplexing.
What he said.... what kinds of items are you intending to haul with it? Just wondering as it isn't practical for my use, but, too each his/her own.
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Old 11-05-12, 11:45 AM   #12
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What he said.... what kinds of items are you intending to haul with it? Just wondering as it isn't practical for my use, but, too each his/her own.
Intentions are for a general purpose utility trailer when pannier won't suffice - like water from the springhouse to my cabin. I have two six gallon "Jerry Can" style containers that fit nicely on it and it bears the weight well. I can also forsee using it to haul gear to camping sites and hunting areas when the gates are closed to motorized traffic and hauling game out of those areas or at least having to make fewer trips. Most of the foot traffic stops in the first mile. This would get me farther in. A human powered alternative to Quads and Horses/Mules when a nearby trail or logging road is available. I can also see using it to haul tree seedling bags (about the size of a jumbo sack of dog food) in on the reforestation projects, though the logged sites typically have good vehicle access, the fire sites don't.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. This project is in its early stages and will hopefully evolve.
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Old 11-05-12, 01:56 PM   #13
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Sounds like it is the right tool for your spesific use!
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Old 05-11-14, 06:05 AM   #14
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Hey JustSayMo:

Yeah I know Iím coming in a little late on your post. This is something I have been contemplating for a while. Searched this subject for some time now, thought I would try searching here on Bike Forums. I have a particular Trail A Bike in mind but before I start I wanted to see others ideas or versions. Trying to narrow it down to just what kind of a build would best suit this type of trailer for my purposes. Your post is the only one I have come across on this particular subject. I havenít come across anything close to this on the net? Do you still have this trailer? Howís it working out? The photos are missing from your post? Any chance you can share or repost the photos of your build? I would really like to check em out. Plus I think it would be good to archive for future builders. Also, I see you are in Western WA. Iím new to the State just South of Seattle, Pierce County.

Thanks Skullman

PS: If anyone has any Links or Photos to Builds like this utilizing a Kids Trail A Bike or even a Scratch Build that is similar to a Trail A Bike I sure would like to see em! Or if you have a similar build Please Share!
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Old 05-11-14, 06:59 AM   #15
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Skullman:
This is the Mark 1 version.


The Mark 1.2 version is reinforced with some aluminum angle along the top edges, back and front side edges. It was a precautionary measure to improve robustness for the heavy loads this trailer was built for. Holes were added to make securing the loads with rope/bungee cords easier.

It works better than it looks.

The Mark 2 version utilized a coated wire roof rack tray (Yakima) I bought at a garage sale. Snipped and bent it wasn't quite big enough to hold the loads I needed it to and it didn't go as low- which made securing heavier loads more challenging. It was also less rigid than I needed it to be. I haven't given up on the tray idea just yet. It just needs refinement. Your response has got the gears in my head turning again (Mark 2.2 version). I may take another shot at it today and maybe even try cutting them into panels and blend the two versions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skullman View Post
Hey JustSayMo:

Yeah I know Iím coming in a little late on your post. This is something I have been contemplating for a while. Searched this subject for some time now, thought I would try searching here on Bike Forums. I have a particular Trail A Bike in mind but before I start I wanted to see others ideas or versions. Trying to narrow it down to just what kind of a build would best suit this type of trailer for my purposes. Your post is the only one I have come across on this particular subject. I havenít come across anything close to this on the net? Do you still have this trailer? Howís it working out? The photos are missing from your post? Any chance you can share or repost the photos of your build? I would really like to check em out. Plus I think it would be good to archive for future builders. Also, I see you are in Western WA. Iím new to the State just South of Seattle, Pierce County.

Thanks Skullman

PS: If anyone has any Links or Photos to Builds like this utilizing a Kids Trail A Bike or even a Scratch Build that is similar to a Trail A Bike I sure would like to see em! Or if you have a similar build Please Share!
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Old 05-11-14, 01:33 PM   #16
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IDK what the 1st pictures were photobucket must have a Hole in It.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:16 PM   #17
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Thanks for the photo and explanation/description of Your Trail a Bike Cargo Conversion! After reading your posts I see exactly why you designed it this way! Very specific needs very specific design! Very Cool JustSayMo Very Cool! I have a Bell Sports Aluminum Kids 2 Wheel Trailer I partially converted to Cargo. It works great for most of my towing & carrying needs. But I find that Certain Rides, Conditions or being in a Crowd like a Festival, Farmers Market, Street Fair the 2 Wheel Cargo Trailer can get in the way. I need to pay more attention to the Trailer then I really want to. I have clipped folks, stands, other bikes or folks have stumbled into or tripped on the trailer in close quarters.

One day I was checking out a parked Trail a Bike and saw the potential for a inline cargo trailer. I started running designs thru my mind what are my towing/carrying needs then reached out to the net for ideas. Other then the Commercial Single Wheel Trailers available and the Fat Tire Bikes Single Wheel Custom Cargo Trailers yours was the only posting I could find of an actual build!

Iím plan on going with a Long Rack like weíve seen on the Long Cargo Bikes or Tandem Cargo Conversions. I have Panniers for the Front part of the Long Rack and a Larger set of Heavier Duty Water Proof Motorcycle Canvas style Saddle Bags to use on Rear of Rack over the Wheel of trailer to handle Heavier Loads. I want the option of Removable Covered Square Buckets that attach to the Rack on either side of the Wheel for specific loads. The same Buckets you see on some Cargo Bikes. A Foldable Basket to mount on top to toss items in like at Markets and Fairs. In Bag Mode the Trail a Bike Cargo with itís more narrow profile will Work Better in Crowds and on the More Narrow Bike Trails I have been exploring/experiencing here in Pierce County Washington. Iím just waiting to get into my new place so I can get started on the build. Hereís some photos of what has inspired me with my design. The First One is of a Specific Built Trailer that I can find No Info about!? I have tried contacting the owner with no luck. From her posts she acquired it through a LBS but has no info about it at all.

If anyone knows anything about this Purpose Built Cargo Trailer Please Speak up!
[IMG][/IMG]

This is a Very Specific Built Trail a Bike Trailer
[IMG][/IMG]

Someone Really put some Thought into this design!
[IMG][/IMG]

Here she added the Square Buckets for Saddle Bags
[IMG][/IMG]

The Bucket Saddle Bags are Real convienient and keeps items Dry in the Rainy North West
[IMG][/IMG]
Again, if anyone has any information about this Cargo Trailer Please Post or PM me! Skully

I like the Trek Trail a Bike for a Cargo Donor. The seem to be on the lighter side then most, plus Foldable!
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Also, I like Certain Versions of the Adams Trail a Bike for a Donor
[IMG][/IMG]

The Adams Trail a Bike Hitch is a Very Stout Unit!
[IMG][/IMG]

I like the Capacity of this Long Rack but would have to use lighter material to keep weight down. Designed to Fit donor.
[IMG][/IMG]

OK, just found out you can only post 10 photos per post??

I like the idea of a Custom Built Rack on the Trail a Bike Donor. I'm not set up for Welding Aluminum so maybe it's time to Try Brazing using the EMT Conduit? I have seem some good results utilizing that material.

Also, I could see using a Couple of the Commercially available Aluminum Bicycle Racks out there Butted up against each other modified to fit the Trail a Bike.

Any input and suggestions are welcome!

Skullman
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Old 05-14-14, 08:37 PM   #18
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Great find on that first example. Very nicely done example of what is possible.

I wish I had welding skills. It would be fun to play around with some different ideas and test them out. Building and improving these things is half of the fun.
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