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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 06-10-17, 11:00 PM   #1
Chukbacca
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Cargo trailer

Hey all...

I am considering fabricating a cargo trailer for my bike. Something I can use to go to Costco, etc. I'm thinking of utilizing the hitch for our trek mountain train (seat post) as it's convenient.

I'm curious if any of you all have made one and what mistakes or triumphs you had.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-17, 02:00 PM   #2
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The easiest thing to do is convert a kiddie trailer. I stripped off all of the old fadded nylon and bought some aluminium L brackets and a ceder fence post. cut cedar slats on a table saw and attached with stainless hardware. Nice looking flat bed trailer

My points of failure were when I tried to haul a 17 foot wood kayak and extended the tongue. Initial designs had far too much flex. Ended up using 1/2" emt. 1 foot parallel with wood separators.
eventual converted to a centered tongue and now tow it with a 15 speed tricycle.

The hitch is a caster with the wheel removed (from instructables) and a clevis pin.

If you lived near me I would reccomend that you pick up this used cargo trailer for $25:

https://sarasota.craigslist.org/bop/6169732740.html

It has what I consider to be a desirable feature...it can take BMX bike front wheels for replacements . I do not prefer the wheel chair type hubs.

Last edited by zebede; 06-11-17 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-17, 03:50 PM   #3
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The man said he wants to fabricate a trailer, and I take that as make and not modify so I say get the tools and materials out and go for it.

I favour the seat hitch point over the left hand triangle every time, and I also favour 20" wheels for trailers.

I have no idea what capacity of volume or payload you require, and although I build and sell more two wheel trailers than single wheel trailers my personal choice would be a single wheel trailer and if you are going to fabricate one then why not make it a good one and I really do like these single wheel
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Old 06-15-17, 01:03 PM   #4
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I made one, but copied the Carry Freedom, so no surprises there, it works OK.
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Old 06-15-17, 05:24 PM   #5
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my personal choice would be a single wheel trailer and if you are going to fabricate one then why not make it a good one and I really do like these single wheel Oxtail trailers.
Thanks! The video is great, and very similar to what I was considering. I am not opposed to to two wheel trailers, but I don't see them working with the seat post unless a super zany hitch is made.

My immediate goal is to be able to cart a box of diapers, wipes, a couple gallons of milk and random groceries. I figure if they can pull kids on a trailer bike, I can gear down and get groceries. I am actually thinking of enveloping the wheel a bit more, the downside would be road crud on the purchases I suppose.

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Old 06-15-17, 08:35 PM   #6
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Costco? that = big unwieldy boxes, build a 2 wheel, not a 1 wheel trailer..

1st Burly trailers were made with a conduit bender.. that steel tubing, nuts & bolts.

the more mature company used a heavier aluminum tubing, had fittings made for them..






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-15-17 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 06-16-17, 02:32 PM   #7
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Costco? that = big unwieldy boxes, build a 2 wheel, not a 1 wheel trailer.......
Like I said go for a single wheel trailer they often have a lot more advantages and very few of the disadvantages of two wheel trailers.

As for heavy bulky loads........... no problem if you are fabricating the trailer yourself; just fit a two legged spring loaded stand, Kick the legs down to give stability when loading and let the spring pull the legs up (on to a rubber stop) as you pedal off.

Twice, sometimes three times a month this year I have been hauling a load of between 30-40kg (66-88lbs) on my 15lb single wheel (20" X 2.25" slick tyre) seat post hitch trailer behind my urban hybrid 6 miles across (hilly) Norwich with absolutely no problems what-so-ever.

Here you go, 40kg (88lbs) load on a 20"X 1.95" wheel Oxtail trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgf7n6ELOTM

Last edited by Gareth; 06-16-17 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-16-17, 02:57 PM   #8
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For light loads, I just have a used Burley kid's trailer (plus a spare trailer). Good for up to about 100 pounds or so. The first one I stripped the side covers off. My current trailer, I use open-top, but with sides to protect the wheels, and a small amount of material left on the front and back so I don't have to secure the load.

I do have a homebuilt trailer that I use for the heavy stuff. It got pressed into service before being 100% complete. The capacity is about 500 pounds, more or less, or about the max I can pull up my local hills.



My trailer is a direct pull-behind with a straight tongue (which means it only works with my cargo bike). I used a Hiem joint on the trailer and a bolt as a pin hitch on the bike. I suppose I would look for something that had slightly more rotation if I was replacing the hitch.
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Old 06-18-17, 11:05 PM   #9
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Your in the oc? So am I. If your just into a utility trailer there are many on cl. I've grabbed trailers to get parts, like the wheels. If you want to fabricate one great, but if you start keeping your eye out you can get a real good one for around $40. I have. It is so much easier, cheaper, faster to modify than to fabricate.
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Old 06-19-17, 02:28 PM   #10
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Your in the oc? So am I. If your just into a utility trailer there are many on cl. I've grabbed trailers to get parts, like the wheels. If you want to fabricate one great, but if you start keeping your eye out you can get a real good one for around $40. I have. It is so much easier, cheaper, faster to modify than to fabricate.
It's a good thought, and I might do it should the right trailer at the right price come along.

It might be a good excersice is determining what I really need vs. want.

Thanks
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Old 06-19-17, 02:31 PM   #11
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For light loads, I just have a used Burley kid's trailer (plus a spare trailer). Good for up to about 100 pounds or so. The first one I stripped the side covers off. My current trailer, I use open-top, but with sides to protect the wheels, and a small amount of material left on the front and back so I don't have to secure the load.

I do have a homebuilt trailer that I use for the heavy stuff. It got pressed into service before being 100% complete. The capacity is about 500 pounds, more or less, or about the max I can pull up my local hills.



My trailer is a direct pull-behind with a straight tongue (which means it only works with my cargo bike). I used a Hiem joint on the trailer and a bolt as a pin hitch on the bike. I suppose I would look for something that had slightly more rotation if I was replacing the hitch.
I would be interested in seeing a close up of your bike. I can't say that I have seen anything like it, this setup is very interesting.
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Old 06-19-17, 03:04 PM   #12
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I would be interested in seeing a close up of your bike. I can't say that I have seen anything like it, this setup is very interesting.
I don't think there is anything quite like it

Here are a few more photos. They should also be in Bike Forums, but lost for searching after the photo manager was removed.

Steyr Clubman / Mongoose Massif Custom Hybrid Cargo Bike | Rat Rod Bikes

If I was doing it again (or if I rebuild this bike), I'd probably use a vintage MTB for the front triangle. Somewhere in the bike I just get too much flex. Plus, I hurried a bit too much, and nothing is in perfect alignment.

Oh, also I dislike the wide Q-Factor required for the 20 x 4 1/4 tires, so I'd use an idler if I used wide tires again, but probably limit myself to 3" or so on the rear. I've had troubles with the rear derailleur dragging, and will hopefully get a Suntour triple pulley derailleur installed soon. No front derailleur yet.

I don't use the cargo bike for a lot of hauling, it just isn't as convenient as I had expected, although I never got panniers made yet either. But, I do use it for towing.

There are a number of rear loading cargo bikes available, just different.
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Old 06-20-17, 12:30 PM   #13
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I have a Touring bike I built at C.A.T. , using Van der Tuin's cargo bike frame components..

the parallel [.049, .75"] top tubes made a solid flex free frame..
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Old 08-07-17, 09:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
Hey all...
I am considering fabricating a cargo trailer for my bike. Something I can use to go to Costco, etc. I'm thinking of utilizing the hitch for our trek mountain train (seat post) as it's convenient.

I'm curious if any of you all have made one and what mistakes or triumphs you had.
Thanks!
I made this one 5 years ago and just used it today for a HomeDepot/Target run. The mistake I made was that, the structure, as shown in 2nd photo of the original posting, between the bottom of the box and the hitch, could hit the ground, or break the kickstand on certain turns. Had to change that area and it's a bit of a kludge.

The low CoG is great. Till the road slopes upward, you could forget it's there. But the design did require a well equipped workshop. I'm sure someone with fewer tools but more imagination could achieve a similar result.
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Old 08-07-17, 09:34 PM   #15
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I was looking back at the OP's post. A mention of a seatpost hitch.

That brought up the design by our local co-op.

The Hauler ? Human Powered Machines



Two unique things about their build. First the trailer has a built-in kickstand. I haven't actually pulled one so I don't know how they handle speed bumps or steep driveway transitions, but otherwise, the kickstand typically is just enough above the ground not to cause problems.

The other thing is that it has a very convenient handle at the hitch, so the trailer can be moved around without bending over.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:13 PM   #16
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I LOVE this! Fantastic!
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Old 08-08-17, 10:39 PM   #17
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consider trailer brakes
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Old 08-08-17, 10:48 PM   #18
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consider trailer brakes
I was going to try to build mechanical surge brakes for my heavy trailer (like boat trailer brakes). But never got them connected up. The trailer wheels have the original coaster brakes which should work. Or disc brakes could be built.

But after starting to use the trailer, I concluded that they just aren't that important (for my needs).

When empty, I can stop.
When fully loaded, I don't go too fast on the level.
Descending fully loaded might be one time when they might be helpful, but I don't think I've ever had to do an emergency stop on the two hills that I regularly go over.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:58 AM   #19
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LBS used S-A drum brakes in 2 front wheels, a 2>1 cable splitter, and surge linkage is tow arm seat post attachment.

User a hunter, load ; game carcass, Elk.
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