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cargo trailer behind bike

Old 01-12-09, 09:07 AM
  #1  
Lawrence08648
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cargo trailer behind bike

I gave up my car 3 years ago and now ride every where but I do have my wife's car if I need take her to work.

I'm looking for a flat bed trailer with sides to tow behind my bike when I go grocery shopping. I do the cooking because my job allows me to work from the house.

Nashbar had one on their website and in their catalog last year but I no longer see it. I need to call them to see if they still carry it.

Are their any other trailers on the market? I don't want a trailer that holds a child.

When towing a trailer, will it jerk the bike forward and backward as I pedal? Will the bike be jerking? I use to drive a truck pulling a trailer and when the truck was not loaded, the truck would jerk forward and backward. When the truck was loaded with weight, it was very smooth.

How well does the bike stop with a fully loaded bike trailer with groceries? Will it be a nightmare? How is the handling?
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Old 01-12-09, 09:48 AM
  #2  
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Well A Burley Flatbad(can hold 100 lbs) should do the trick. I have a Burley Nomad and it works great. i don't have a problem with handling or stopping it. Your bike's brakes and overall condition will affect how the trailer will perform. You might consider an xtracycle as well. I would go with a Burley though, they have good support and they are made in the USA which is vital in times like these.
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Old 01-12-09, 10:13 AM
  #3  
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Yes, you can find anything "ready made" if you throw enough money at it. But why do that?

You ,even if your a clutzy person, can build this trailer , or have it built, for under $100 with
salvaged parts to carry 300# easy. Save your money, mate, it's hard times..remember??

"For those who want a "afforable" trailer consider a DIY trailer like this one. I built this trailer
many years ago using easily salvaged material that were found or I had on hand. I use it still
today when my Worksman PAV trike can't handle the load. If you elect to follow my mods to
the original plan it will have load capaicity of 300 lbs easy.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...e-Trailer.aspx
My mods.....
Frame... from plywood to white oak salvaged from a shipping skid.
Wheels...from 27" to 20" salvaged from a discarded kids bike (carrys more).
Neck.. from plywood to white oak salvaged from a shipping skid.
Bracing for neck (for added twist strength) diagonal from front edge of frame to 6"
behind hitch of 3/4" electrical conduit. Neck dimensions can be adjusted to fit properly.
Paint...what I had on hand in oil based enamel.
Hitch.. a piece of tire side wall or other cord reinforced rubber sheeting.
Safety... seat belt for kids and bike flag for idiot drivers.

This plan is so easy to build I built mine using simple hand tools for everything except
drilling the 4 holes in the metal conduit."

This trailer will track fine loaded or not. I suggest that when towing that you slow down so as
not to over-drive your brakes.
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Old 01-12-09, 10:33 AM
  #4  
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Try here:

http://www.bicycletrailers.com/?sNav=2
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Old 01-12-09, 03:18 PM
  #5  
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I have a Bikes To Work 64AW trailer. It certainly will be big enough for any need. It carries 300 lbs.

Yes, a large trailer like that does surge. It's momentum is its own. The surging is more pronounced when it is loaded. More like a large insistent dog than a jerk though. Mine has only low sides, but you could build tall ones. The bike stops fine. The handling is fine though I do have to be sure to watch my left heel when starting to avoid heel strike. Bikes At Work trailers come in a variety of sizes. Mine is the second largest, and the widest.

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Old 01-12-09, 06:59 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Lawrence08648 View Post

Nashbar had one on their website and in their catalog last year but I no longer see it. I need to call them to see if they still carry it.
They have this listed in the "racks" section.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...cat%3A%20Racks
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Old 01-12-09, 08:45 PM
  #7  
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Yes, a trailer will push/pull behind you. The more weight back there, and more abruptly you change speed, the more you will feel it. I regularly pull 80-100 pounds of trailer and groceries and you never forget it is back there. But, I find that I can manage it.

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Old 01-13-09, 05:23 AM
  #8  
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I've had a Burley Flatbed for years and it's been great, I love it. There are others on the market and there is the DIY. A bike with a trailer won't be jerky like driving the unloaded truck with loaded trailer you describe. It will be more like driving the truck with trailer with a load on the truck. You'll know the trailer is back there because the bike will handle more sluggishly, but it shouldn't be jerky if the load on the trailer properly distributed, and that is to be expected when towing a load.

Likewise, expect braking distance to increase, especially if it's wet out with rim brakes, but that's nothing that can't compensated for. Groceries won't be a heavy enough load for this to be of any particular concern unless you're buying months worth at a time.

Really, the hardest thing about towing a trailer is getting it moving, and that's not difficult on a geared bike.
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Old 02-01-09, 06:27 PM
  #9  
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The design of the hitch has a large impact on the tendency to 'surge' forwards/backwards. The more common hitch design which uses a spring or rubber tube to provide the necessary flexibility between the bike & trailer is the worst for surging.

The problem comes about because when we pedal we don't create torque evenly around the pedal stroke. There's a distinct cyclical (no pun intended) pattern which tends to set up a back and forth oscillation between the bike and trailer. If you hit the sweet spot combination of the right trailer mass and pedal cadence it can get real bad.... or at the right combination is can completely cancel out. Either way it's a nuisance.

I've found that using uni joints, rod ends, and other similar components that eliminate forwards/backwards movement of the trailer relative to the bike will virtually eliminate surging. The trick is to create a solid connection between the bike and trailer while still allowing smooth roll and pivot at the hitch. The tie rod end design is probably the easiest DIY design.
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Last edited by Cyclaholic; 02-01-09 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 02-01-09, 07:34 PM
  #10  
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This Bikes at Work hitch seems pretty good to me. Doing a DIY version would require some welding know-how. Or you can buy this one for $50

http://www.bikesatwork.com/bicycle-t...ler-hitch.html

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Old 02-01-09, 07:56 PM
  #11  
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Cyclaholic's got it right: I've used a homemade cargo trailer with a rattly hitch and some play in various places in the design, and I had to load it keeping in mind to put more weight on the front of the trailer to preload the whole setup. Otherwise it would start lunging around.
Now I've got a 24" by 48" trailer, with a solid seatpost clamp and a spherical rod end bearing hitch. Everything's welded. No play at all in this setup. No surging, no unexpected handling weirdness, just more weight to start and stop.

I've met several Burleys and Bikes At Work trailers. They've all performed great. That Burley flatbed would be perfect for groceries!
The reason I made my own, with the seatpost hitch, is because I end up using it for really heavy things sometimes. The first load it hauled was a load of lumber generated by the removal of a wheelchair ramp. I know the last thing my overloaded trailer will bend is the seatpost, so it hitches up there.
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Old 02-02-09, 11:14 AM
  #12  
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I use a homemade one, which consists of a electrical pipe metal conduit frame, recycled 16" bike wheels, a large rubbermaid tote, and a recycled chariot trailer hitch arm. The tote has the advantage that I can easily close a lid on top of whatever I am picking up, or leave the lid at home if I'm towing something bigger (such as buying a bike repair stand)

My friend has plans for this on his website:
http://www.drumbent.com/trailer.html

I would love to also buy a kayak, and want to make a kayak trailer to tow it to the lake. Hopefully I can use the same hitch on it so I don't have to switch the attachment on the bike.
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Old 02-02-09, 03:00 PM
  #13  
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The Croozer cargo trailer should work for you. I was going to buy one (they're around $200), but decided to modify a child trailer (I am picking it up in an hour, in fact) because the one I was offered has never been used and it's only $50. I am going to remove the nylon shell, bolt on a thin diamond metal sheet to the floor and add wide meshing around the frame. I might even extend it out the back.

I used to take my son to school with a similar trailer and did not find too much of the push or pull. You notice the weight difference, but it's very manageable.
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Old 02-02-09, 06:49 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by crazybikerchick View Post
I use a homemade one, which consists of a electrical pipe metal conduit frame, recycled 16" bike wheels, a large rubbermaid tote, and a recycled chariot trailer hitch arm. The tote has the advantage that I can easily close a lid on top of whatever I am picking up, or leave the lid at home if I'm towing something bigger (such as buying a bike repair stand)

My friend has plans for this on his website:
http://www.drumbent.com/trailer.html
I tried that one a few years ago. I have to say, conduit bending is a fine art and I'm useless at it. It would probably be a much stronger trailer if you could get it welded rather than using bolts.

Still, the design is very lightweight and be very easy to pull.

I never quite figured out what the author used for a hitch. You can now buy reasonable hitches for about $30. I tried a number of DIY designs and wasn't too happy.

IMHO, Nightshade's design for a wooden trailer is probably easiest to put together... although not the lightest.
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Old 02-03-09, 02:12 AM
  #15  
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I am not sure why everyone has gone the super large trailer route in their suggestions.

I have a TW Bents trailer that I am finding very useful for shopping and other load-carrying requirements. It's a single-wheel trailer similar to the uniquitous BoB trailer, but is somewhat cheapr than the BoB base model.

The TW Bents hitch is dead simple, even simpler, I suspect, than the BoB one. It tows fine because of the hitch configuration. The trailer has an upper weight limit of 35kg (which is a very decent shopping load). The trailer comes complete with large "waterproof" bag (as does the BoB trailer).

One of the issues that influenced my decision between this trailer and the two-wheel ones was the weight. The TW Bents one comes in around 7.5kg, and two-wheel ones a lot more than that. I don't want to be pulling any more trailer weight than I have to.

Also, be wary of the 100lb capacity claims. It might seem great to lug around that sort of capacity, but you *still* have to pedal it; 100lbs on any sort incline will really find you out... and getting off to push won't be that easy, either.

Single-wheel does have an advantage over two-wheeled trailers in that it is easier to ride in confined spaces. However, stability at rest is a different issue when loaded compared with a two-wheeled trailer.

Last edited by Rowan; 02-03-09 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 02-22-09, 04:00 PM
  #16  
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The Nashbar trailer ( there does now appear a HD version; about that, I don't know ) has an awkward and dangerous, in my experience, attachment. I bought one about two years ago and within 5 uses the little balls in the pin worked their way out. The cheap chinese manufacturer apparently peened the pins to hold in the little, captive, balls. One side failed at very slow speed, if it was any faster it would have been catastrophic! Replacement thru. customer service at Nashbar was was practically as painful as the crash from their product would have been. The moral is, " you do get what you pay for." It was a fairly inexpensive trailer, I gave it to my neighbor who lets his dog crap on my lawn!!!
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Old 02-22-09, 09:30 PM
  #17  
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FWIW -

I am a car free bike commuter and until a couple of weeks ago I had a human powered - zero emissions lawn service. I also moved car free a couple of years ago.

I have two burley flatbeds, a bikesatwork 8 footer and I have pulled a bob but do not own one.

#1. The bikes at work trailer is awesome but is heavy and really large. I did have 520 pounds on it once and it did not break despite its 300 pound limit. If you get one put 3 hose clamps on the bottom of the hitch. I had two, one broke, and the other chewed about half the diameter of my chain stay by the time I noticed it.

#2. My old burley flatbed is great but the new one ate its tires up in about 1000 miles. My old trailer has at least 4 times that many miles on it and the tire still look great. I took it to the bike shop and the alignment was off......REALLY off. I googled around and found someone else on crazyguyonabike with the same problem. Burleys quality seems to be going downhill so be aware of that.

#3. The bob I pulled was awful. I honestly do not get why people like these things. They do not hold much and if you load something that is taller than the rails it wobbles to the point it can nearly make you crash. Even with a small load it was wobbly on fast decents whereas the flatbed is rock solid even at 40 mph...even though the owners manual says not to go over 15 mph.

The cool thing about the flatbed is that you can buy a 55 gallon rubber maid tub for about 15 dollars and fit an entire cart of groceries on it.
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Old 02-22-09, 09:43 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Lawrence08648 View Post
I gave up my car 3 years ago and now ride every where but I do have my wife's car if I need take her to work.

I'm looking for a flat bed trailer with sides to tow behind my bike when I go grocery shopping. I do the cooking because my job allows me to work from the house.

Nashbar had one on their website and in their catalog last year but I no longer see it. I need to call them to see if they still carry it.

Are their any other trailers on the market? I don't want a trailer that holds a child.

When towing a trailer, will it jerk the bike forward and backward as I pedal? Will the bike be jerking? I use to drive a truck pulling a trailer and when the truck was not loaded, the truck would jerk forward and backward. When the truck was loaded with weight, it was very smooth.

How well does the bike stop with a fully loaded bike trailer with groceries? Will it be a nightmare? How is the handling?
I've used the Burley Flatbed to haul an 8hp outboard motor 10 miles, and it worked great:

http://greatadventuresports.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=7538
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