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building a bike trailer

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Old 08-12-07, 12:13 PM
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TexasHermit
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building a bike trailer

Howdy
I'm new to the forum and would like to thank you all for the inspiration. I thought I was the only person out there that want to use the bike for more then just a weekend ride around the block.
Since seeing some of the trailers you fine folks have built I'm going to try and build one for my bike but I'm wondering about the handling and where to attach it to the bike. Is handling any different if its attached to the frame or the seat post? I'd like to make the trailer detachable so I can take it in the store and do the shopping so I was thinking maybe the handle up higher for easy use. Also the bike I have is a cannondale mt. bike so it's alluminum framed. Would it be o.k to handle pulling such a trailer until I can get a different bike? Steep hills will be an issue as well since I live in the texas hill country.
Thanks for the help
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Old 08-12-07, 01:10 PM
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donnamb 
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Welcome.

There are some handling differences between a seatpost hitch and one that attaches in the chainstay/seatstay triangle or rear wheel quick-release. Generally speaking, the lower the center of gravity, the more stable the trailer. That's why they make trailers with the hitches that fasten lower. They don't affect the handling of the bike as much. On the other hand, seatpost hitches can be really great, too. I've seen people haul taller loads with them, and it seems like people who want to build their trailer completely from scratch have an easier time constructing one. Experienced trailer pullers usually don't have problems pulling them. You just have to be more cautious. Personally, I'm content with my triangle hitch, especially in how it handles during our rainy season.

I don't think your mountain bike frame would have any problems with a trailer. Lots of people use those to pull trailers around here. Depending on what your gearing currently is, you might have to change that. Hard to say.

Instead of building a trailer from scratch, have you thought about rehabing a kiddie trailer?
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Old 08-12-07, 01:29 PM
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I have never built a trailer, but as far as hitches go, avoid the ones that clamp onto the chainstay. Like this:

If it happens to loosen a little bit, which they do, and your heel strikes it, you're in for a set of broken spokes.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
Welcome.

Instead of building a trailer from scratch, have you thought about rehabing a kiddie trailer?
Well I thought of redesigning a kiddie trailer but since I can't find one and the nearest town with a salvation army type store is about 53 miles away I'm stuck with building it myself. Which I don't mind since I like tinkering with things. Now if I come across one I'll grab it and use that too.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:26 PM
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sorry about the double post
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Old 08-12-07, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by le brad View Post
I have never built a trailer, but as far as hitches go, avoid the ones that clamp onto the chainstay. Like this:

If it happens to loosen a little bit, which they do, and your heel strikes it, you're in for a set of broken spokes.

Thanks for the tip. I'm still deciding which type of hitch to put on and this will help in the decision making.
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Old 08-12-07, 08:25 PM
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This is a design I was thinking of using with my vintage bicycles. The source is an old handyman type magazine from the 1940s.

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Old 08-13-07, 03:07 AM
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I bought a trailer recently which came with a very nice style of hitch.
It's very stable, even with a child and luggage in it.
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Old 08-15-07, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by le brad View Post
I have never built a trailer, but as far as hitches go, avoid the ones that clamp onto the chainstay. Like this:

If it happens to loosen a little bit, which they do, and your heel strikes it, you're in for a set of broken spokes.
Good grief, how short is your chainstay and for that matter, how loose are you running the clamp?

In my case that sucker would have to slide noticeably for it to come within range. IF it were that loose you'd feel it moving way before there was any danger of it ending up in your spokes.
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