Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Utility Cycling
Reload this Page >

Trailer experimentation - from kid trailer to sectional adjustable length frame

Notices
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.

Trailer experimentation - from kid trailer to sectional adjustable length frame

Old 03-13-22, 09:57 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
First update of the new riding season.

I've been on a few rides so far this year, but not many miles yet. One ride I had the trailer in tow doing a ride/picnic at a park.

Today I embarked on one of my usual between town treks - albeit with a bunch more stuff for a few reasons. With having having a set destination and parking it for a while I wasn't concerned with weight. However, there was a problem with the weight.

If you go back up to the close-up pictures earlier of the metal hitch I fabricated with the rods that attach with clamps/zip ties to the seat stay and chain stay on the non-drive side - the weight I had pushed that hitch bracket down a bit - enough to jam the rear brake. I felt there was significantly more resistance riding than what there should have been and attributed that to the load and low-psi tires (only rated for 35psi). However, I was really crankin' it to stay moving so curiosity set in. The first check was the trailer wheels.

Something to mention here is I replaced the bearings in the trailer wheel hubs last Fall. They initially felt stiffer than I think they should. After the first ride the other day with the trailer one wheel loosened up. The other one still hasn't. However, it isn't terrible. It is just noticeable when moving the wheel freely by hand - it is a bit stiffer than the other side. When spinning the stub axle with my fingers when out of the frame brackets the stiff side feels a lot stiffer then. I am contemplating adding some Fluid Film to the bearings to see if that gets in there and makes things loosen right up. They are sealed cartridge bearings so they "should" be maintenance free...

When I checked the wheels at my stop the resistance I felt with them wasn't anything different - so all good there. Then I rolled the rig forwards and backwards - there was as much resistance going backwards as there was forwards. To add to it - I was on an incline so backwards should have had gravity pulling things. Nada. I checked the back wheel of the bike - it was really stiff. Thats when I checked the hitch and the brake caliper - the head of the bolt that attaches the cable to the actuator arm (mechanical disk brakes) was jammed against the hitch bracket. I was able to pop the bolt head over to the other side of what was catching it, but I decided to just roll on without using my rear brake so I didn't have to mess with fixing the hitch on the side of the road. When I unlatched the brake it rolled a million times easier. However, I had already run about 4 miles with the brake dragging and I was beat. So I ended up getting a ride. It took 2 trips. After the weight reduction of the 1st I made it a few more miles. That doesn't sit too well with me - it cut my miles short this trip. However, being early in the season and not in "riding shape" yet I think backing off on the miles was the right call this round. I'll get more riding in to come so my count this season should go up.

As far as the trailer itself handling the load - it did great. Nothing bent, nothing tweaked, no spokes popped (I did tension them last fall - there is another post above covering that and the "loose spokes"). The only thing I have to complain about (still) is the weak tires - they are only rated to 35psi. I am hoping this season I can build up a new 20" wheel set. Proper rated tires will be easier to come by than the 16" that these wheels are.

One critique I am not sure about is the weight balance of the trailer - there was a significant amount of hitch weight. That is what caused my jammed brake. I do not know if that was the right amount for the overall loaded trailer weight, but I think it was high. I would be curious how it would have worked with more weight in the rear to lighten the hitch weight - though not feather light. Feather light with that load would be bad news fast. I think around 10-15% tongue weight is ideal, but I don't have any numbers to go off with this round. If I was touring I would have my gear organized and the balance figured out up front - just to make things "right" from the start as I would be rolling the same rig day after day. This was just a one off trip today.

Changes:
New bearings in the wheels
Changed the PVC pole out with aluminum
Added SMV sign

Things to improve on - better securing of pole to trailer frame so it doesn't rotate over the road vibration. The wood blocks I mounted the SMV with (quick and dirty) are not holding - the top one's saddle already split. Of course, the low-psi tires need improving. As discussed, I think that is best done with a new wheel set.





KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 04:01 AM
  #27  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
I've been getting back to this project. The past few days I have been making improvements to the hitch. Here are some pictures.

If you recall from the previous post last year - the issue I ran in to with the hitch under load (heavy tongue weight) was the hitch would shift down and jam the back brake. So my idea was to make a saddle clamp set to snug up against the stays instead of any kind of wrap (hose clamps, zip ties) like I was using before.

The process I went through was more rudimentary machining techniques. Aside from the milling, all of the processing I did could be done with more basic tooling - a drill press, angle grinder, welder, etc.

I started with a 1/2" steel plate. To get the end result of the saddle clamps I staged the work on the parts so I could advance to the next step with the tooling I had to use. For example - if I cut the blocks without drilling all the holes first then trying to drill the holes (especially the hitch rod end - the smaller holes in the plate) would have been impossible.





Once I had the holes drilled then I started separating the blocks on a horizontal band saw.



Not pictured is how I cut the excess metal off the blocks above. I had to block the clamp in the saw on the back side, but I was able to get enough of the parts clamped to cut them down on this machine. Our vertical band saw is out of commission at the moment so it was either this horizontal stock saw or a hand saw (jig saw, reciprocating saw, or cut off wheel on an angle grinder).

Next up were the clamp bolt holes - not pictured.



The end result of the clamp bolt hole processing. I decided to tap the inside saddles so the bolts come in from the outside of the frame. The idea was to make it to where they could be installed/removed without taking the rear wheel off. That didn't quite work out, but it was a good thought.



The smaller parts with the 1/2 hole and small flanges is the saddle that attaches to the hitch arms. I used a mill to make the flanges. The idea was to trim them down so the bolts could drop down further with more meat in the opposite saddles = more thread engagement = better holding power. The flanges were left there with about 1/8" of metal to wrap around the hitch bars. This way there was some meat to weld on to. If it were too thin it would be very difficult to weld.

The top left clamp below had the stay hole elongated with the mill. This goes on the chain stay about 6" up from the rear drop out (about 1/2 way across). The stay goes to an oval shape - about .700" in the short width and .850" or so in the long width. I didn't get a precise oval, I just guessed at it with the mill going off of the center line factoring in the tool width to get a workable radius. The mill has ball screws so there is no backlash to factor in which makes it easy.



Test fitting the clamps on the bike frame. The most important one is the one that attaches to the chain stay at the rear drop out. Note the strips of tape. That is electric tape to protect the stays/paint. The chain stay clamp at the rear drop out has to fit underneath the disk brake mount. That was a bit tricky. With the brake disk there the fitment with the wheel in place won't work unless I thin down the saddle. Since that is the most critical clamp position - I don't want to thin down the clamp. So I'll just deal with the wheel. Once the hitch is on the bike it will pretty much stay on there anyway, so it isn't a big deal.


Last edited by KC8QVO; 08-09-23 at 04:17 AM.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 04:13 AM
  #28  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
When test-fitting the hitch bracket to the saddles on the bike it became apparent I had some clearance issues with accessing the bolts. So before I tack welded things together I went to the mill, in my case, and opened up the hitch bracket to access the bolts.





The down side to opening up the bracket to access the bolts like this is it weakened the bracket. So later on I welded another strip of metal behind the openings to bring strength back in to it.

Another issue I didn't think about before I milled out the frame for the bolt clearance is the bigger bolt hole you see - which is where the smaller "receiver" bracket bolts to - was thinned out a ton in the rear. I was not sure what to do with it. I don't think I can "fix" it by building it up with weld metal. If I try to weld on to that the arc will blow right through it. The only other way I can think of to fix it would be cut it out and weld back in solid metal, then re-drill it. That is more work than I want to do so I may try it for a bit and see what happens. I am thinking the clamping pressure between the brackets from the bolt and the flat washer on it will be enough holding power so that thin wall on the hole may not be very load bearing, so long as the bolt is tight.



The way the angle is with the saddle/structure the saddle is welded to there was clearance interference with the bolt and weld. In this case I was able to get the mill in there to cut it away. I cleaned it up with a thin file to finish it off later on.


Here is pretty much the end result. I did find some issues with the smaller hitch "receiver" piece that bolts to the main frame here. So I shaved it a bit with a grinding wheel then repainted everything last night.


KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-13-23, 09:35 AM
  #29  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
If you look at the last picture in the last post - the back side of the assembled bracket - as well as the picture of tack welding the clamps with things on the bike - the clamp saddle that goes behind the rear brake was protruding in to the area where the brake disk spins. There was so much interference I couldn't get the wheel back on.

After I figured out where the interference was I trimmed the saddle down. I shaved it at an angle with a cut off wheel on an angle grinder at first. I got enough cut away I got the wheel on, however the bolts holding the brake disk on were rubbing the saddle still. So I took it back to the shop on Friday and took another 1/8" off of it on the mill.

This weekend has been busy so I haven't had a chance to get it back on. However, I think it will all work fine now. If the wheel went on before and there is 1/8" more space the bolts should be spinning in the clear now. The only down side is I thinned down the saddle = weakened it. I am pretty sure I still have enough thread engagement on the clamp bolts. That would be a bigger concern to me than the thinning of the saddle - the saddle welded on the other end will take the tongue weight, the back saddle just holds it tight against the stay.




KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-15-23, 05:18 PM
  #30  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Here is the end result of the trimming of the saddle:




It is a bit tough to see, but this is it on the bike around the brake caliper.




With the wheel in place you can see the tight clearance against the brake disk bolts:




And the finished result:




The hitch is rock solid now. I have some anti-seize paste on the bolts. The bracket and clamps are mild steel so they can rust, even though they are painted. I am hoping the anti-seize paste prevents the bolts from seizing in the blocks, but also isn't going to allow them to back out. I will have to check them routinely just to see. I don't have any immediate treks planned with the trailer in tow so I won't have the hitch loaded all that much for a while. In any case, it is always a good idea to check the bolts.

With the saddle trimmed down I will have to test to see if I can get that on and off with the wheel on. That would be nice if I could, but not a deal breaker if I can't. It will be a lot easier with the wheel off, for sure, even if it is possible, though.

Next up is the new wheel build. It also appears I am going to need to make a new "axle" section for the trailer. I was hoping to get access to a lathe to turn some custom axles for conventional cone/race hubs to work with the existing stub axle set up. However, that is going to be more of a challenge all the way around than just biting the bullet and making a whole new axle section that allows the supporting of the conventional cone/race hubs from both sides. That is OK. At the end of the day, that is the type of set up I was going to go after with a whole new trailer build so this will get me in that direction without some axles that won't be very useful down the road. I can keep the existing set up for my "around town" set. The trailer sits outside so if the current wheel set deteriorates a bit over time that isn't the end of the world, but I would hate to have the new set exposed all the time. Down the road I hope to be able to resolve that predicament.
KC8QVO is offline  
Likes For KC8QVO:
Old 08-21-23, 01:05 PM
  #31  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 66 Posts
Cool project!

Do you ever worry about the tongue fatiguing from cyclical loading caused by the (longer) bending moment? I have a similar (stock) trailer, and I can see the tongue flexing when heavily loaded. Seems like your extra length would make that problem worse. Though your mounting hardware does look more rigid than stock, so perhaps that helps minimize the deflection?

Hmm...
campfire is offline  
Old 08-21-23, 01:45 PM
  #32  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Originally Posted by campfire
Cool project!

Do you ever worry about the tongue fatiguing from cyclical loading caused by the (longer) bending moment? I have a similar (stock) trailer, and I can see the tongue flexing when heavily loaded. Seems like your extra length would make that problem worse. Though your mounting hardware does look more rigid than stock, so perhaps that helps minimize the deflection?

Hmm...
Interesting question.

I have noticed the tongue bar flexing with a lot of weight. That was one of the reasons why I went with the heavy steel parts. The rubber rod/spring hitch on the OEM design was way too weak for my uses. The tongue bar is marginal. I have not had any problem with it yet. However, if it does fatigue I can make a new one easy enough with thicker wall material.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-23-23, 04:08 AM
  #33  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
I gave the set up a test run yesterday. All seems OK so far.

I did load the trailer/hitch a good bit. Not so much from weight, but I ran through a field that has tall overgrown brush. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to stay up on the bike riding through it but I have a really low gear (added a 4th tiny chain ring, don't remember the gear-inches off the top of my head - there is a thread on it here on the forums somewhere from about 2017-2018). When I get a chance I'll take the hitch apart a bit and see if there is any sign of stress in places - namely the thin spot around the bolt hole for the smaller hitch receiver bracket (see post #28, 2nd paragraph under the 2nd picture).

This is the usual set up - 1 frame section length, 1 tote, and the SMV + light combo on the pole. I've stated many times now the height of the pole gets the important markers up in the air. That makes an enormous difference of warning distance when cresting hills. If the indicators were down low a car would have to crest a hill far enough to bring everything in to view on the other side to see it. Up on the pole they can see it before fully cresting the hill. Hence why the flashy light is at the top - its the most "in your face" active indicator. Kinda like a bright red "watch out" middle finger When I am on the open road I use a pool noodle sticking out as a "give me passing space" middle finger also. Works pretty good. For in town I haven't had much trouble just with the indicators you see. Sometimes people don't give me much passing space, but so far no pissed off drivers running me off the road, laying on their horns, or yelling at me. I'm sure it will happen in time.



I think the saddle clamps are definitely the way to go. There isn't any concentration of force on any part of a stay - it is a 4 point distribution, 2 points on 2 stays. The best part is the hitch is completely rigid now - there is no way for it to sag and jam the brake. Even if the bolts loosened up there is no way for it to sag because of how the saddles hug the stays - they are locked by geometry.





KC8QVO is offline  
Old 08-28-23, 08:24 PM
  #34  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
A couple more upgrades -

I am experimenting with a truck/trailer box instead of the tote I was using. I have 3 of these for dry boxes on my big trailer. I'm not sure why I didn't think about using one in this application yet... In any event, it is heavier than the blue tote. However, it is a lot sturdier, the lid hinges (doesn't detatch - won't blow around getting in to the tote in the wind), and it locks. So it has some advantages. We'll see how it does. For in town the weight is fine. I am not sure about on a longer trip though.

I am in process with the wheel upgrade. I got the spokes laced and tires mounted. However, I haven't had a chance to true the wheels yet. I have to wait until I get the frame made up as I don't have a truing stand and no other forks to mount these wheels in.

As you can see from the side-by-side comparison - the new tires are massive compared to what I am using. These tires are also rated to 100 psi so I can crank the pressure way up and keep the rolling resistance down. That is one of the biggest issues with the original wheels - the tires are only rated to 35psi = squishy when loaded up. Around town and not going far it is one thing, trying to cover miles is another issue.

Later this week I am hoping to start on the axle frame section. I am not sure how long it will take to get through it, but I will try to get the majority of it done by Thursday night. We'll see if that happens.

The tires are 20x2.4. There were other sizes available, however when I saw they had the wide ones that were still rated to 100psi that was where I made my decision. Yea, smaller tires would have less rotational resistance, but these I can air down a bit and get much better flotation over soft ground. Then if I am on hard roads/trails I can air up and keep the ground contact minimized so as to reduce the rolling resistance when heavy. A lot of other tires I looked at didn't have the same flexibility there - narrower and not quite as high pressure (70-80psi is where they generally max out at, not the 100 these are). That doesn't mean I have to run that high of pressure, but even 50psi is higher than the 35psi the original tires are rated for. With the new ones rated to 100psi that gives me some good head room.




KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-03-23, 12:07 PM
  #35  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Here is the start of the new axle section.

Based off of a design that the guy I ran in to on the Ohio to Erie Trail run I did a few years ago that used an adjustable "outer rail" for the outside support of his wheel axles, I wanted to incorporate an "outer rail" in to my design also. However, his design used All Thread rod spanning the width of the trailer from outer rail to outer rail. Then he had several nuts that he could screw in and out to adjust for hub/axle width at the wheels. The reason he did this is he was using old 20" kids bike wheels and would make use of both the front and rear wheels. The fronts and rears have different hub/axle widths.

In my design, I am not using old/surplus/scrap bike wheels. I built a new set for this, specifically. However, my concern is replacement parts down the road.

At the moment the hubs I have are 100mm. That is a hair under 4". The widest hubs are about 142mm, or about 5.6". So I made the outer rail spacing 6" to have some range to work with.

The inside axle flanges will be welded to the inside "strut". The outer frame rail flange will be adjustable. That part I haven't figured out just yet. I will have a bit over 2" to need to span. What I do want to do is make it to where the flange bolts on underneath the outer rail. I intend to cut open the tubing in that area and weld in a thicker plate that I can drill and tap. If I drill and tap the tube wall there isn't much meat there to thread in to. So by replacing that with thicker metal there is more thread area. I've done that before on another project, though in that case I welded deformed thread (oval holes) lock nuts to the inside because I wanted better holding power than straight threads. In the case of the trailer here I think I'll be OK with straight threads and drilling/tapping a plate will be easier than trying to weld small nuts on.

I don't have all the dimensions on this drawing for the wheels/hubs/axles etc, but the frame lines should give you an idea what I am going after.

The axles will sit in the middle of the areas where you would think wheels would go. There is 24" between the front and rear frame members, so the axles would be at the 12" point front to back. There is 6" between the struts and the outer rails and the fixed axle point is always inside. So the hubs will be centered closer to the insides. However, with the disk brake hubs the rims are offset from the hubs. I have an 11mm offset figured in right now. However, that may change. That 11mm shift would be where the rim is centered on the hub flanges - towards the outside (I have disk brake hubs and the brake mount is inside, so that pushes the inside flange to the outside - which is where that 11mm shift is).

Also not drawn/in the "put the idea down on paper" phase is the reason for the disk brake hubs. I want to build a dynamo/generator based off of a variant of Hugh Piggot's wind turbine idea. His uses a 3 phase stator. I am not sure what the designing will point me to, however I am wanting at least a 3 phase design with staged coils. That way - with coils of different intensities I can vary the output/drag. For example - if I am pedaling on flat ground or up hill I don't want a whole lot of drag so by using a light set of coils I can get some output. Or if I am cruising down a hill where I have all the weight and gravity getting me down I could switch in heavy coils (or all of them) and make use of that gravity. Or if I am stopping I can have the in-line coils staged based on brake actuation so I can make use of that momentum and the resistance of the electrical generation to slow me down. With one intensity of coil it is more difficult to do that, however you could use the idea of stacking the phases to do the same thing where one phase would be light, 2 phases would be medium, and all 3 phases (in a 3 phase design) would be heavy output/resistance. The down side to that is your bottom end/lightest intensity/lowest drag setting at 1 phase may still be too much for general pedaling on flat ground. Having a lighter option would give you some power where you may not have any otherwise. There again, when cruising down a hill it would make sense to take the most advantage of that as possible. If all the coils were light you're leaving a lot on the table. So being able to have heavy coils (and all of them stacked together) gives you that range. A balanced 3 phase stator isn't going to provide that range very well.





This is the raw layout of the cut and angled parts. The angled ones (all but the 2 inside struts) have angles. The bottom frame to side frames are 45deg's and the 45deg parts joining up with the side and front frames all have 22.5deg angles. Those parts I cut at a 1/8" longer dimension than what I measured off my drawing. That way I could tune the fit of the angles.


The first angles I tuned were the longer pieces. Then I went to the short 45deg pieces. This is the starting point. The goal is to get the parts to mesh with very little gap between them. If I cut them too big there would be a larger gap needing to be filled when welding. With the process I am running (stick), filler (stick electrode type/size), and base metal (relatively thin tubing) it is very difficult to span gaps - the arc will blow the edge away pretty quick. By having a tight fit there is less chance of the arc blowing through the edges.



Getting closer...
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-03-23, 12:16 PM
  #36  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
And its in.




This is the "dry fit" of everything for the framing. Next up is tack welding.




The welding table was a bit cluttered and wasn't big enough to hold the width of the assembly so instead of welding on the floor I decided to put a plate on the forlift and use that as my table. However, I found the plate is warped (why it was sitting where it was). So I have to be careful with the clamping. So far so good.

The bottom right corner - between the rear frame and right side outer rail - was giving me some trouble. After the 6th attempt at getting a tack weld on the inside of the corner I ground it back out and left the outside tacks, then put the rest of the parts in on the top (not pictured) to hold the geometry of the shape. As the tack welds cool the parts were moving and it was too hard to gauge the amount of movement and keep the angle right. So with all the parts in there holding the shape fixed I can get back in there without them moving as much.


I'm hoping to get the rest of this welded up today. I am not sure if I'll get to the axle flanges, but we'll see.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-04-23, 12:07 PM
  #37  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Well I made it to a rolling chassis. However, it still needs some work.

Getting the wheels mounted to the frame is tripping me up a bit. I didn't have a solid plan for how to do it and just took a few swings at it. So the design evolved a bit as I went based on material. I had a rough idea of what to do - and the inside (fixed) flange is what that idea evolved in to, basically. However, I had to make a change to it even. The basis of the flanges was some scrap 1-1/2" x 1/8" thick angle. The 1/8" material was a bit too thin for my liking for the axle to sit in. So I welded another 1/8" thick plate to the side of the angle that the axle hole was going in - before I drilled the hole. This gave me a 1/4" thick seat for the axle. I like that a lot better.

The above "working through the problem" skewed the idea I had for the outside adjustable flange. My original idea was to use the same 1-1/2" x 1/8" thick angle for it. However, working through the dimensions that became awkward. What is more is the QR skewer cam wouldn't fit in the original "idea". I had to widen it quite a bit. By that time I was about 2-1/2" wide on the outside and if I kept the angles whole (reducing some fabrication effort) and went 3" that wasn't that much more material and was less cutting time. So I left the angles whole. The other issue was the flange itself - since I bumped the axle seat up to 1/4" on the inside I thought I could reduce some fabrication effort by using 1/4" material from the get-go. So I did. That reduced the cutting, fitting, and welding time quite a bit. But it did add material which adds weight. At this point I am not going to worry about it too much. If I try to nit-pick the parts to shave a couple lbs it is going to take me another 2 months to work through the nit-picks.

On to some pictures.

Here is what the welds should look like.




This is what I was fighting in places. The dark coating on the weld is the slag - that is the remnant of the welding rod burning. The rods are coated with a flux, depending on the type of rod. These are 7018. They have a lot of slag over top of the weld, but produce a pretty good bead. The more important aspect is the quality of the weld. There are other rods to use, but this type is very common for structural applications and resists cracking better. It is also said to be a more ductile weld - that is, it can be flexed without cracking as easy. Not that I have to really worry about anything bending much here, but still.

The rods I used were 3/32" diameter. I had to run them at about 90-95 amps to get them going adequately. That was barely enough heat to get them to go, but too much heat for the thin tubing at times. Hence the hole.


Here is that same joint with some time, effort, and care with stacking welds to patch the hole. They can be repaired - but it is obviously best to not get the holes in the first place. I am sure the end result isn't going to be as strong, but it will be stronger than having an open hole.


And another example.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-04-23, 12:31 PM
  #38  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
These are the inside flanges going together. One welded and the other getting ready to weld so you can see the layering process.

Before I finish this up I'll grind down the welds. The welded layer is on the outside, with the hub on the inside, of the flange. The QR nut has to be opened quite a bit to clear the weld bumps. If I grind it down that will help smooth out the wheel install/removal.



These are the flanges with the axle holes drilled and chamfered. I used a letter T bit. It had about .010" clearance for the axle. The next smallest was an S and the axle wouldn't go through. I did a couple test holes to see how the fit was. I felt the T was a bit sloppy, but that was the best I could do. It will still work.

Not pictured is I cut the flange to the bottom with a band saw to make a slot. I was debating on using a mill, but the set up time to do it was prohibitive. So I just went old school with the band saw to carefully open it up and a cut off disk on an angle grinder to finish the saw cut in to the hole and finesse it a bit manually. They came out pretty good in my opinion - the axles sit in there just perfect.


I tack welded the flanges on to experiment with the fitting. When I set them I took a straight measurement across to the outer rail with the edge of the flange flush against the outside of the inside frame rail. Then I marked 1/16" up. While the flange was clamped in place I tapped it to rotate it so the alignment mark lined up with the one 1/16" forward.

What this accomplishes is it cambers the wheels in slightly. That will add stability especially if I get cruising down a hill. I don't intend to get going that fast, but that is the physics of how it works - the wheels pushing in slightly stabilizes the direction. And since I was in the fabrication phase where that would be possible to do without much effort I did it.


I did not take any pictures of building the outside adjustable flanges. You can see the one here pretty well so that should be clear enough how the parts went together. I did the holes and slots the same way. I had .770" from the top of the flange (where the flange seats against the frame) to the center of the holes on the inside flanges so I did some math on the different material thicknesses and got to the same measurement before I marked the hole locations.

For the time being I tack welded the outside flanges in place. To set them I clamped the QR skewers so the axle held the flanges in perfect alignment. That gets back to the camber angle I set in there on the inside fixed flanges. The tacks are heavy enough I can roll it around now. However, as discussed earlier (a couple posts up I think) the idea with the outside flange is to have it bolt on so it is adjustable depending on the width of hub. How to do the holes is the next item of consideration. What I am thinking of doing is using something like a 3/32" or 1/4" end mill to make the slots in the flanges. I am wanting to stick with metric hardware so I will find what size bolts to use - maybe a 7 or 8mm. Then go with a standard end mill a bit smaller and widen the slot to what I need for the bolt clearance. That will take some time to set up and accomplish.

The square tubing under (in the case of it being upside down here, or the top when it is right side up in use) the outside flanges is where I am going to cut open and weld in thicker thread plate metal. I have 1/4" easy to use, however I don't think the thread plates need to be quite that thick. If I can find some 3/16" that would work. If not - the 1/4" will be fine. Again, the thinner plate is a part nit-pick to save weight. At the end of the day the 1/4" will work.



And the rolling chassis. Now its starting to look like something!

KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-06-23, 04:23 AM
  #39  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
I'm taking a bit of a pause on the rolling chassis.

I got the spokes tuned OK. They aren't perfect, but will get me going. I need to get some load on the wheels and roll around for a bit to let the spoke tension settle more then re-tune.

However, I am questioning my camber setting when I tack welded the flanges on. What I am concerned with is that the wheels are lined up so the trailer pulls straight. I can't tell that very easy until the whole set up is together and I test it. Since I need to know that before I finish permanently welding the inside flanges and doing the rest of the bolt work for the outside flanges (drilled, tapped thread plate and slots in the flange mounts) I will try to get a test run in (unloaded) to see how the tracking looks. I don't want it crabbing 6" to one side. Hopefully it is OK, but if it needs tweaked now is the time to do it.

I haven't settled on a bolt size for the outside flanges. I have 5, 6, and 8mm allen wrenches in my set on the bike. I just replaced the seat bolt clamp bolt - it is a 6mm (bolt, uses a 5mm wrench). I think that is the smallest size that might suit. Though, my thoughts now are to go as big as I can considering the critical duty of them - holding the wheels in place. Though, the load is going to be pushing down on the flanges - the bolts aren't "taking the load" (holding the load in tension), they are "holding in position" (clamping pressure and side load/shear pressure). I'll give this one some more thought.

Another somewhat of a conundrum is the frame poles I've been using. With the elaborate H pattern of the new axle section - having both a front and rear cross bar, as opposed to one in the middle - that eats up a significant amount of space of the poles I've been using. The front frame section that holds the hitch bar takes up a significant portion of the poles also. Between the 2 I don't have the pole length with 1 set of poles. If I add the new axle frame to 1 set the rear axle frame cross bar will hang out about 8-10" to the rear of the poles.

For around town use I don't need 2 pole sets, but for loading up on a trek that extra length would be good. So there will be some fitment/experimentation to come. One thought is to extend the front frame/hitch segment. However, if you recall from my earlier assembly of it at the start of this "project" I fabricated that front frame section with an intentional "twist" in it to handle a load without the non-hitch bar side sagging. If I extend it forward past the poles I am not sure that twist is going to work the same way, there would certainly be less surface area to distribute the load of the poles over the front twisted frame.

We'll see how this all turns out. Interesting stuff.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-07-23, 04:13 AM
  #40  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Tracking testing is done. I did some measuring also. The way the hitch is on the bike, namely, has the trailer center line 2" to the left of the bike. Aside from that, the tracking is not crabbing to either side that I can tell. It is a bit hard to tell with the lack of rock solid stability in the bike tracking/leaning while I am riding it. I had someone get a couple videos from the back while I tried to keep the set up as straight as I could for a short distance. All seems well enough there. The only tracking issue that bothers me is the 2" to the left - which I've known since I made the rigid hitch (in place of the OEM rubber spring rod hitch doohicky thingamajigger).

I am not sure how to dial in the tracking. Without changing the hitch on the bike, the change would have to be in the tongue bar on the bike. If I try to take out 2" of "width" without changing the geometry much that would bring the front of the trailer closer to the bike. I suppose I may be able to offset the bar, though. That would also require a rather significant change to get the parts to do that (new bar, but as discussed before - the OEM one is pretty thin anyway so it has been in the back of my mind to replace it - this might give me a reason to do that).
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-07-23, 06:23 PM
  #41  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
I went to work today attempting to dial in the tilting of the wheels. I triple checked the seating of the axle in the flanges and found that the axles were not fully seated. When I got them to seat fully they came out pretty darn square. I don't think I could have got that any closer if I tried. And that is from carefully laying out the holes in the flanges and drilling them carefully. The outer adjustable flanges were a different measurement to the height location of the holes because of how I layered the metal (1/4" metal inside the 2x angles). By getting those laid out correctly and center punched accurately the end result speaks for itself.

I used 2 aluminum plates to set my planes. One is on the frame and the other is flush against the tire. Ignore the bubble level. I was only checking the angle between the wheels and frame.



Here is a close up of how the flanges are on one side. I welded in the fixed flanges this evening.




Next up is the thread plates for the adjustable outer flanges. I am hoping to get to some of that tomorrow or over the weekend.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-14-23, 05:34 PM
  #42  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
More pictures.

The thread plates didn't quite come out very well, but I think they will work. I used an M8 thread and the spec I found for it showed a 7.4mm drill (form tap, not a traditional cut tap). The threads didn't quite form fully. The wider part of the thread where the bolt thread screws in to is OK, but the valleys didn't fill in all the way. So I assume the holding power of the threads won't be what they could be. At the point I was when I tapped the first hole and realized that I couldn't go back and drill smaller holes so I was pretty well committed. I could cut out the thread plates and remake them from the get go. If the thread plates have a problem in short order then I may go that route. We'll see.




I pilot drilled the thread plates with the flange brackets. In fact, I tack welded them together before I drilled them to ensure the holes lined up. The bit I used was pretty small - maybe 5/64" or so. That way when I used the bigger bits they wouldn't bite in to the hole walls and break the bits. If you have a lot more meat for the bit to get through that will prevent that risk. A small hole still allows a pretty precise starting point in the bottom layers. I can't lay out and center punch a hole on the 2nd layer nearly as accurately and expect the holes to line up very well.




Fitting the thread plates to the frame;





Milling slots in the flange brackets:

KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-14-23, 05:39 PM
  #43  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Finished result of the slots:





Here is the bottom of the frame section with the flanges bolted on and wheels fit. To line up the flanges I lock the QR skewer axles and the axle automatically aligns the bracket. Then I can snug the bolts down.

I do need to get some washers so the bolts have a better seat than the 2 sides of the slots.





If you look close you can see a slight toe-in alignment in the tire against the frame. That was mentioned in an earlier post when I got up to that step in the frame fabrication.



KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-14-23, 05:52 PM
  #44  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Once I got the frame situated with the bolts I gave it a test run. It rolls exceptionally well. The tires were aired up to 70psi. Those are the hardest tires I've had with a trailer to date and still have room to get to the 100psi they're rated to. Cool beans.

I do need to make an addition to the frame. The angled corners are nice, and were intentional as a softer impact zone if I snag something like a sign post when riding by. The down side is there is still a sizable flat area between that angle and the side frame rails. So I think a better idea would be to extend that angle to the side frame rails. That won't be hard - just a bit more fabrication work with the square tubing. I certainly hope I don't wrap something that tight, but I can't rule out it happening. A 45deg frame vs a 90deg frame will be a softer hit. The 45 will shove the trailer to the side. A 90 would be a pretty hard impact stop to where things could break easier.




With 1 set of side frame rails there is some overhang with the new axle section. Another issue, though, is how far back it would sit. There would be no room to move the axle up to balance the trailer like I can with the old set up. With the 2 frame rail sections lengthening it I have room to work. We'll see how this pans out as more experimentation takes place.

KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-20-23, 04:29 AM
  #45  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
A couple more updates.

I was commuting Monday with the trailer. There is a portion of my trek where I rode through a field that has overgrown weeds. One of the QR levers on an axle was pulled loose and I didn't catch it. I was riding at a good pace on a busy road and the trailer bounced on a bump in the road and the wheel came out of the flanges and jammed. I didn't wreck, but that was a very hard pull dragging a tire with a good bit of weight as an anchor. Luckily it was a quick fix and nothing was damaged. All I found was a bit of a nick in the hub where it rubbed one of the edges of a flange. That and some excess tire wear where the tire dragged.

On the subject of weight - we have a pallet scale that I can wheel the trailer on to etc. As of right now the bare trailer (with one set of frame poles) is 58lbs. The truck box I am using at the moment is 30lbs. So that is 88lbs for the trailer + box. That is pretty heavy, but looking at what all it is and what I can do with it (enclosed/weatherproof/lockable box in that mix) - that is something I can live with for the time being. It also gives me a good benchmark for my "from the ground up" design later. I am sure going to aluminum I can shave a good bit of weight off of that.

With the gear I had with me the total weight was 134lbs. For a trip that is pretty light - I had no camping/cooking gear, much extra clothes, water supply, etc, etc. So I don't know how to estimate the rest of it. At some point when I gear up for a trek I can weigh everything else just for sake of discussion. It would be interesting to see.

Next up on the axle frame is taking out the flat spot in the frame. I am going to extend the angle up so there isn't any flat to catch a sign post etc. if I cut a corner too close.



KC8QVO is offline  
Likes For KC8QVO:
Old 09-25-23, 04:30 AM
  #46  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Here is where I am now. The frame is just about ready for paint. I have a bit more cleaning up to do one some of the parts. I didn't have my dremel with me so I just used an angle grinder with a wire wheel for as much as I could.

The angle extensions were a pain. The angle matching to get the profile right was tricky. The welding was the most tricky I've done on this whole project.

The main thing I tried to keep was the extension of the 45deg angle. The straight 90 portion isn't exactly 90deg. I don't think that, in practice, is that huge of an issue. It will work.

With the way the angles meet to make the "point" sections and the thin material - it was really tough not blowing through the material. On the first one I did a lot more "spot welding". I think I probably would have been better off trying to do that the whole time. In any event, I got through it.

The aluminum scraps are 1/4" thick. Since the frame had weld beads all over it I needed a way to flatten the parts against the base plate. Using the 1/4" stand off let everything match up OK.




The start of the pain in the butt. The weight was the only way I could hold the parts down. So I started the arc on the main frame and got the weld pool over to the first angle part. Then I tack welded the 2 angles together to set them. Then I cut off the 1st tack and welded up the rest off the frame. Then I reattached the angles together as one "part". If I had a better way to cut the angles and mesh them nicer this would have been a lot easier. But I used a band saw and a bench grinder on a pedestal for most of it.



Ugly stitched welds. But it will do.


Almost ready for paint.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 09-29-23, 12:12 AM
  #47  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 62 Posts
First off, this is a very entertaining thread. I just stumbled across this rabbit hole, and read the entire thing straight through. All the respect in the world for the size of the project you've undertaken and the ground you are breaking. I do find some of your design decisions puzzling, but hey, variety is the spice of life. Like, I can't really figure out why you spent all that time on your adjustable axle flanges when the perimeter shape of the axle assembly appears to prevent wider wheels from fitting, and I was very confused by those early pictures with zip-ties everywhere and a tombstone welder in the background, but, to each his own. On the other hand, several times while reading this I had an idea -- like reinforcing your pool noodle, or making your next frame from aluminum -- and then bang, in the next page, you either did it or planned it.

Originally Posted by KC8QVO
These tires are also rated to 100 psi so I can crank the pressure way up and keep the rolling resistance down.
I did want to note, however, that this isn't an accurate description of the relationship between tire pressure and rolling resistance.

https://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/...ance_7406.html among many other articles on the topic.

Unless your roads are velodrome-smooth, pressures approaching triple digits are probably way too high for optimal resistance -- and arguably might vibrate some of your bolts loose, as well.
TC1 is offline  
Old 09-29-23, 04:23 AM
  #48  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,175

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
TC1 Interesting comments

Ah yes. Rabbit hole. That is a good description.

Remember, the title of the thread is all about experimentation. That says it all. I've simply documented my experimentation here. In my original purpose for the thread it was intended to only be that - the documentation shared on the forum. Whether or not it generated any discussion wasn't really the point. There are many other threads over the past couple years if you do a search under my username that all tie back in to this overall project. However, when I had a specific topic to discuss I took that discussion to its' own thread. The thread here is just the compilation of the project as it progresses, nothing more nothing less.

That, of course, has brought some discussion and interest, which is welcomed, of course! I'm glad it has stirred some brain cells to vibrate, maybe bang in to each other harder than intended, but move none the less, in others as they make their way through.

You made the point about the adjustable flanges while leaving a fixed frame. That is a good point. For the reasoning I have behind it in this particular design with the framing I'd like to toss out there a major root to this whole project - a trailer that a guy had when I ran in to him on my Ohio to Erie trip in '21. I can't remember if I ever posted these in here as some background. Either way, if I did here they are again.

Note the outer "rail" on the outside of the wheel.

The guy who had this trailer, and made it, went through several other "designs" over several years. He is a nomadic type person. On the outside the vast majority of society would consider him "homeless" or a "bum", however after spending some time with him on a 0 day (no mileage - we hung out in camp for a day) I got to understand him better. He chooses to be "off the grid", as he put it - that is, away from what we consider normal society. That leads me to the trailer design.

He is a carpenter by trade - and still, at the time, was doing that type of work every once in a while to recharge his finances. The trailer design was built out of his carpentry trade. He is not one to work with metal and do machining, etc. He also, from living "out there" so much, has to rely on more simplistic materials that he can work with on-the-go. That brings up the "hardware store" options - like the perforated metal and all-thread.

Now lets look at the wheels. Again, going after "simplistic" materials/sources - he chose to use kids type 20" bike wheels. He was able to find a lot of these on his travels with discarded bikes around dumpsters. With needing to make use of both a front wheel and rear wheel, and any variation therein, the mount for the axle needed to be adjustable as no 2 wheels may be the same dimension.

There is where the all-thread and perforated metal comes in with his set up. The all-thread allows him to bring that outer rail in and out to compensate for the axle size.

In thinking through my design - this adjustable outer rail really made an impression on me. He definitely gave it some thought and came up with a great solution to his scenario.




If you look at my current design with the adjustable flanges - look at the square tube frame.

What I was up against is I had the material available to me. I had better tooling and machining available to me. So when I worked through the design I tried to find a way to balance the outer frame rail strength/rigidity while easing up on fabrication.

If I chose the route of having a "floating" outer rail like the guy's trailer I took the pictures of above - that would require a method of allowing that adjustability while still keeping the strength/rigidity. That was a complicated scenario and one I didn't want to spend more time hammering through.

So I considered the option of having a rigid outer rail and adjustable flange. That still took some work, but I think in the case of keeping the fabrication effort thinned down and having the outer rail strong and rigid - in this case the fixed outer rail I think is the way to go.

There are any number of ways to skin the cat, so to speak. In my new design from the ground up will I use it? I am not sure. I do want the adjustable width ability. What I am not sure on is how much. The current hubs are 100mm. If I stick to front hubss what is that range? 80-120mm? That would have to be detailed. A smaller range would be easier to work with.

As to the tire pressure - thanks for the article. I will give that a look-over. Tire pressure at the moment is around 70-80 so not the full 100. But that isn't a scientific point - just what I got to (pump I used won't go above 80 with me bouncing on it with all my weight - I have a higher pressure pump available now).
KC8QVO is offline  

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.