Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

Can I tow someone on a trike with my bike?

Old 10-16-18, 10:53 PM
  #1  
groverdill
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Giant Iguana, Cannondale hybrid, Trek Beach Cruiser, Vintage Sears Cruiser(restored by me!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Can I tow someone on a trike with my bike?

Iím wondering if I can connect my wifeís Schwinn trike to my 2 wheeled bike with some sort of solid bar, similar to those attachments for kids to hook onto their parents bikes essentially creating a tandem bike. My wife walks with a cane and sheís afraid to ride a regular bike in case she has to stop suddenly and put her bad foot down, so I bought her a trike. She has not used the trike since I bought it. Iíd really like to take her out for a ride, so Iím wondering if itís possible for one man (with strong legs) to tow another person whoís on a trike. The trike itself is not light, so does anyone have any experience trying to do what Iím considering? Or will I be blazing a trail for others? Thanks.

Mike
groverdill is offline  
Old 10-16-18, 11:52 PM
  #2  
daoswald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, UT (Formerly Los Angeles, CA)
Posts: 1,023

Bikes: 2008 Cannondale Synapse -- 2014 Cannondale Quick CX

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 175 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 14 Posts
What about, instead, having the trike converted to an electric-assist bike? (I don't know level of her impairment, but it is possible this would be a workable solution, and she may really enjoy it).
daoswald is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 01:47 AM
  #3  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8521 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
The first question is whether your wife really wants to ride, or to ride with you.

Depending on weights, gearing, etc, you should be able to pull her. But, I'd be a lot more worried about your ability to stop her. Or, perhaps steering issues.

You could use a rope to tow her, but eventually the two of you will end up in a very painful HEAP.

I like @daoswald's suggestion of an E-Trike for your wife. But, that would assume she really wanted to ride with you.

I think I saw a Craigslist ad where someone had fixed up two Delta style trikes to tow each other as essentially a coupled tandem. But, I think that would be a lot safer than our 2 wheel bike towing the trike.

But, your other option would be a 2 wheeled tandem, or a tandem trike. Again assuming your wife actually wishes to ride.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 10:53 AM
  #4  
groverdill
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Giant Iguana, Cannondale hybrid, Trek Beach Cruiser, Vintage Sears Cruiser(restored by me!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies. As far as the desire to ride, she gets a little bummed out when she sees pictures from the trails I ride because she canít do it. Thatís why I think if I get her out there, it would motivate her to want to give riding a try. I did look into tandem trikes and electric assist, but theyíre very spendy. Iím trying to do this on a budget since itís experimental and may not have the results Iíd like, which is getting her riding. I was hoping someone else may have tried this already and could share some insight. I would use some sort of solid bar as opposed to a tow rope to prevent slowing/stopping issues. Iím going to give this a try in the next week or 2. Iíll report back here with the results, hopefully not from a hospital bed. Lol.

Mike
groverdill is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 11:30 AM
  #5  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8521 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
You could probably build your own E-Assist kit from parts off the internet. I'd probably go with a simple front wheel motor (traditional trike or delta trike) plus control kit and batteries.

The "Trail Gator" gives some of what you're wanting, but designed for lightweight bikes/passengers. I believe it picks the front wheel off the ground, so no rear steering issues.

It may have problems with a rigid bar connecting between a bike that has side to side movement and a trike that sits straight upright. Although, one can learn to ride without a side to side wobble, but still, one must lean into turns.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 12:08 PM
  #6  
Rootman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 1,032

Bikes: 2015 Giant Roam 2 Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I've never towed but saw a few people do it. There are issues with it.

A HARD tow point makes the bike being towed a little jerky, a trike may be the same, especially since it is going to be lower than the bike. If not mounted low enough or long enough it may actually lift the front tire off the ground when starting making the towed trike or bike wander. A SOFT tow eliminates some of the jerkiness, but of she fails to stop when you do can make her plow right into you, or get the tow strap / rope wrapped up in the wheels.

The person I saw do it did it only on hills, they used a strap and had a system of calling out when it was time to stop, so the towee could also apply their brakes and keep the strap from going slack and wrapping in the wheels. It took a lot of trial and error and still posed risks if it came to an emergency stop. They had to constantly stop and connect / disconnect so it seemed like a hassle to me. But at least it allowed them to get out and ride together. Is she small enough that a trailer would work?

I've not seen a modern one but I saw a plan for a sidecar for a bicycle here before on the forum. I'm not sure how well it would work. I know they also make utility bikes with a large front end or large back end for hauling stuff, many have converted them to carry multiple children or pets. Or even a REAL tandem bike.

I too would look into the ebike conversion, it's probably the most practical and eliminates the issues with the towing.

Last edited by Rootman; 10-23-18 at 05:51 AM.
Rootman is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 01:22 PM
  #7  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8521 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
As far as the trailers. I helped distribute bike share bikes around town for the initial rollout. I brought a "kid's trailer" with me to tow the bikes with (rear wheel in the trailer, front rolling).

Anyway, on one return trip I had a young woman riding in the trailer. Not very heavy of a person.

It towed just fine. A little funky, yes... but towing was good. Mostly flat, and some small rises.

Only issue was the one place where someone had been power washing... and I didn't realize the issue until a little late when I yelled MUD!!!!
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 11:25 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8521 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
This popped up on our local Craigslist today.




https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/...726164660.html

Actually, it is in Portland. I'm not up there, but I'll be there shortly.

Caboose Trailer Bike

According to the specs, max of 180 lbs, and riders with inseams of 25 to 31 inches.

Single speed on rear, and no brakes.

Personally, I'd outfit it with multi-speed and either coaster brakes, or some type of hub brakes (disc or drum).

I'd be pretty terrified of taking the thing around high speed corners, but it would probably be fine along things like MUP riding.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 12:41 AM
  #9  
KraneXL
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: La-la Land, CA
Posts: 3,174

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2811 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 54 Posts
I'm pretty sure ropes or bars would be illegal, but this looks custom made for OPs purposes. Provide he had a tow bike that is sturdy enough to support the added weight.
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
This popped up on our local Craigslist today.




https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/...726164660.html

Actually, it is in Portland. I'm not up there, but I'll be there shortly.

Caboose Trailer Bike

According to the specs, max of 180 lbs, and riders with inseams of 25 to 31 inches.

Single speed on rear, and no brakes.

Personally, I'd outfit it with multi-speed and either coaster brakes, or some type of hub brakes (disc or drum).

I'd be pretty terrified of taking the thing around high speed corners, but it would probably be fine along things like MUP riding.
KraneXL is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 08:13 PM
  #10  
groverdill
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Giant Iguana, Cannondale hybrid, Trek Beach Cruiser, Vintage Sears Cruiser(restored by me!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
THAT is exactly what I need! Of course, seeing that makes me wonder if I remove the trikes front wheel and fork assembly, could I fabricate something similar to the way that thing hooks up to the front bike? Hmmm.......
groverdill is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 08:56 PM
  #11  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8521 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
A tandem bike, of course, would allow you to hold the bike upright while your wife gets on and off, and might be overall safer to ride.

There are cheap "Pacific Cycles" tandems for around $200, I think. Or, they periodically pop up on Craigslist.

I think there are a few Step-Through tandems. I have a Gitane tandem which is a "Mixte".

Bike Friday tandems, of course, have low top tubes.

Originally Posted by groverdill View Post
THAT is exactly what I need! Of course, seeing that makes me wonder if I remove the trikes front wheel and fork assembly, could I fabricate something similar to the way that thing hooks up to the front bike? Hmmm.......
If you want that Portland trike, I assume it can be disassembled for shipping. Of course, that would also mean reassembling. But, it would be cheaper than buying new.

I'm not in Portland, but I may be able to facilitate. Or there are other Portland members.

Many adult trikes have an idler pulley system that allows a simple exchange of idler hubs to change gearing. I can't tell if that Morgan trike has that option. So, outfitting it to be really comfortable (and safe) to ride might be a bit of work.

Given some time (and expenses), I could probably do some moderate fabrication.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 10:41 PM
  #12  
KraneXL
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: La-la Land, CA
Posts: 3,174

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2811 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 54 Posts
Sounds like the tandem would be a better fit, although the above attachment is more versatile, but not nearly as sturdy, for more random dual riding.
KraneXL is offline  
Old 10-20-18, 01:42 PM
  #13  
Stormy Archer
Senior Member
 
Stormy Archer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 164
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You could use a rope if you also get an extra long brake cable and housing, and use your brake lever for her brake so you'll never get crashed into!
Stormy Archer is offline  
Old 10-21-18, 07:39 AM
  #14  
Juan Foote
LBKA (formerly punkncat)
 
Juan Foote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Jawja
Posts: 3,439

Bikes: Spec Roubaix SL4, GT Traffic 1.0

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 951 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
I would warn that unless the linkage you fab up between your DF and the trike involves some manner of passive steering, you will be pulled down by the trike going off course.
Juan Foote is offline  
Old 10-22-18, 07:58 AM
  #15  
Chriscraft760 
Senior Member
 
Chriscraft760's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Milwaukee, WI.
Posts: 214
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tail gator tow bar

I have the Trail-Gator tow bar used to tow my 6y/o daughter. Itís a really cool tool as it disconnects from her bike once we arrive at the park so she then can ride on her own. Then hook back up for the long tow home.
When she applies her coaster brake by accident, it does slow me down a bit but just enough to notice the drag and not stop us both.
Towing a trike, Iíd be more worried about striking an object or person with the wider width of this set up. You would have to always be aware of your new wider stance and learn just how much space is needed to manover it around trail curves occupied by oncoming bike traffic or others using the trail walking/running.

Iíve gotten pretty close on bike trail curves in wooded areas where one canít see too far ahead, then suddenly you run into traffic. My 6 y/o weighs about 37 lbs. so that addd to our complete stop plus she canít see ahead of me so she is still pedaling away as Iím trying to slow us down.

Iíd too recommend adding brakes to that purpose built trike tow behind if thatís the route you take. Then coming up with a ringing bell Morris code you can use to communicate with your Wife to slow you down by applying her brakes.

If fabricating your own, trail-gator can sell you just the bike attachments as some ppl have different bikes you can use to tow with. I ordered an extra seat post bracket for my wifeís bike and she can tow her without removing the bracket on my bike.
You can order the parts online via trail-gatorís website. Good luck and be safe. This reminds me.... Have you seen that movie about that farmer who wanted to build a rocket to go to the moon? lol

Last edited by Chriscraft760; 10-22-18 at 08:04 AM.
Chriscraft760 is offline  
Old 10-22-18, 05:17 PM
  #16  
groverdill
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Posts: 19

Bikes: Giant Iguana, Cannondale hybrid, Trek Beach Cruiser, Vintage Sears Cruiser(restored by me!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That Trail-Gator looks like something to consider. Is the length of the bar fixed, or adjustable?
groverdill is offline  
Old 10-22-18, 06:53 PM
  #17  
Chriscraft760 
Senior Member
 
Chriscraft760's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Milwaukee, WI.
Posts: 214
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Itís intended for a small kids bike with wheels 16Ē or smaller.
The tow bar has two slots, one is fully extended while towing and the other being fully closed for storage. It has one of those locking clevis pins to secure it in these two positions.
If you are fabricating the trike by removing the front wheel and clipping off the forks, then you could use this trail-gator and just drill a new hole slot at the shorter length you need. I wouldnít extend it any longer than the factory slot but using it in a shorter position shouldnít be an issue.
Keep in mind that the childs handle bars shouldnít turn and should be secured. If the bars turn it can cause the child too loose balance and fall off. The Trail-gator tow bar includes this handle bar stiffener to secure it. Iím not sure it would matter on a trike as youíll have two rear wheels to keep balance.

I assumed you were going to fabricate one from raw steel.
Chriscraft760 is offline  
Old 11-04-18, 04:14 AM
  #18  
bikejunkie
group W bench
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 248

Bikes: Raleigh Prestige, GT ZR.1, Burley Duet, Schwinn Voyagre, Giant ATX 990, a couple single speeds and a fixed gear, plus my bike collection

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I built this for my son out of an old tricycle and a kids trail a bike. Here's the forum link.Trail a Trike
bikejunkie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
StupidlyBrave
Foo
1
08-04-11 09:55 AM
themumz
BMX
0
04-11-11 03:45 PM
coasting
Foo
1
05-11-10 10:00 PM
RiverCityCyclis
Alt Bike Culture
1
10-23-09 08:23 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.