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innovative trailer design

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innovative trailer design

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Old 02-27-08, 02:17 PM
  #1  
lar
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innovative trailer design

hi all
i am designing a bicycle trailer aimed at the business commuter market as part of my 4th yr degree project.
i would like it to be easily stored in an office/workplace enviroment but be of a robust form that can easily tackle the pot-holed roads of britain.i am looking to incorporate a laptop/suit case of some form that could be easily accesed be it on the train or bus and have the trailer operating as a trolley when not attached to the bike. i have looked at several leading manufacturers such as carryfreedom, bob yak, chariot, croozer etc and would be keen to hear any suggested design modification or problems with trailers already in the market place.
any comments or suggestions would be greatly helpful.
cheers
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Old 02-27-08, 02:51 PM
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HandsomeRyan
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I don't currently own a trailer but here are a few things I have thought of-

Price. There are some truely awesome trailers out there (bikesatwork, burley, etc.) but they are priced so high that I can't justify buying one for how little I would actually use it.

Storage. You already mentioned this but becasue I would use a trailer maybe only a couple times a month, I need a way to compactly store it when not in use.

Versitility. Adding extra holes, tiedowns, and flanges built into the trailer would allow users to modify it to suit their specific needs.
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Old 02-27-08, 06:06 PM
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Someone in Britain beat you to it. http://www.bikehod.com/ Well, maybe you could add a laptop or garment section.

I can't afford it at the current exchange rates. If it was sold in the US at a reasonable price, I'd own one.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:02 PM
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- Capable of being locked or secured with one hand
- Ability to remove and store lid if carrying something oversize (or designed with a roll top similar to Burley trailers)
- Standard tire size
- Retractable 3rd wheel which allows the trailer to stand level when unattached to a bike
- Must be maneuverable from normal standing height; I don't want to have to bend down to pick up the tow bar every time I want to move the trailer around
- Flexible, lockable tow bar which can be bent up and locked as a push cart handle
- Quick-release wheels
- Must not be tippy when rounding corners quickly, yet must be able to fit through standard sized doorways (in the U.S., about 3 ft.)
- Hitch design must be clean and aesthetic if it's going to be left on the bike (or compatible with a currently marketed hitch)
- Hitch must not interfere with the quick-releases (chainstay mounted hitches seem the best option)
- Must stand on its own when tipped up
- Capable of storing a folding bike such as a Brompton (optional)
- Must be strong enough and long enough to hold at least two kids under the age of 5 (optional)

Last edited by spambait11; 02-27-08 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:29 PM
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hey all
thanks for the feedback!

i will take into consideration some of the points raised within my design scope and would apprechiate any further suggestions!
i think many of the points raised here could really help me in creating a useful new trailer design!

cheers
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Old 02-28-08, 04:10 PM
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A narrow dolly with small wheels can develop instability where it rocks side to side. So don't make it too narrow.

On the Bob trailers, you want your load below the line from the hitch point to the wheel contact point. So you can't make it too short.

Seems those two would somewhat limit the minimum size.

How bout a side-car type trailer that rides beside the rear wheel and has just one wheel...just a though.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:00 AM
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lar
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hey
yes the size considerations seems to be a big factor.
i am going to look into area's such train door width, elevator width etc.
also the idea about a side car is interesting and i have so far not seen anythink similar on the market.
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Old 03-01-08, 11:47 AM
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Here are some ideas that you can hopefully use. Of my three trailers, this modified Burley Flatbed sees the most miles:



One of the first things I did when I got this trailer is replace the stock rear reflectors with Cateye TL-LD500 taillights. These give me the CPSC certified reflector and active lights.

The vertical pieces of PVC pipe are, primarily, for carrying fishing rods, but also work for any long, skinny objects, i.e., yard tools, etc.



The horizontal pieces of PVC pipe secure a suitably sized load without having to tie it down, and provide a rest for my golf bag to prevent it dragging on the road.



This trailer comes apart and folds for a smaller storage footprint. The drawback to this is, being so modular makes it difficult to lock to something.

The width of this trailer allows it to fit through a standard, American, exterior doorway, but not by much.

Some other modifications I am going to make, when I get around to it, are to replace the QR skewers with locking axles, and cut a solid deck out of thin plywood that can be emplaced or removed as desired.

I don't have the link, but I have seen on the 'net where people have modified this trailer into a bicycle sidecar.
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Old 03-03-08, 12:23 AM
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Here's what I thought of when i saw your request: a business person who wants their trailer to look good, and not look bizarre, in the looks-are-important suit and tie environment of an office.

My imaginary business person wants the trailer to be waterproof to protect his laptop, documents, etc. Roomy enough to carry lunch, laptop, some papers, etc. He knows it might get dirty on the way to work, so he wants it to hold on to water/dirt as little as possible.

If you wanted it to be really "stealth" in the office, you could make it look like an airline carry-on suitcase which has the little 10cm wheels as well as a pair of standard child bike wheels (standard 16" ?) which can be removed and hidden away. Maybe instead of a center mounted retractable handle, it has a side-mounted retractable handle that can be used as trailer tongue or carrying handle.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:58 AM
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A good looking one should be important as said, but a laptop in a trailer, potholes, daily commute sounds not so good in my ears, but as long as you stay away from my laptop I am happy

I just bought a wheeled soft suitcase cheap. Thinking of putting the 10 cm wheels from a childs "kick scooter", since they are ment for quite alot of spees and weight.

Narrow ones being unstable is mentioned. What about making it so that wheels and part of axel can be pulled out to make the thing more stable. Then pushed back in for pulling it trough dors and innside houses.

I "can see" a hardshell alu finnish thing with wheels "integrated" (not sticking out alot) when resting and /or innside. I am thinking the normal "pull out handle" that you often find on suitcases w wheels is good but should be made stronger. You can pull like on a "carry on suitcase". I would like to use the same "pull out handle" to connect it to the top rear of the rack of the bike. That way a lot of the weight is in the trailerwheels, not on the bike or handle. If you go to the "Folder bikes" forums the riders often talk about weight. Heavy riders ask about what bike can I ride, my weight is..

Extra bar to konnect to seatpost for the ones riding without rack. Should be quick release and foldable (or telescope) to stor innside the box, to avoid theft.

Could be made in 2-3 sizes, largest one to fit small bile innside.

Lightweight bag innside for your stuff to take out (ewerything innside) and carry on when you need to put bike innside. Small wheels (type found on office chairs or ewen smaller "one direction wheels) on small hard sheet in the bottom of this one if you need to walk a long distance with it out (airports and so on). I`we seen this type of "folding bag" at IKEA, blue lightweight thing. Made to walk maybe 200 mtrs to and from the bus.

Alot of nice bags and things made already, difficult to "re invent the wheel- or the trailer". Take something well known to man.
Hardshell "carryon type hardshell suitcase" thing.
Much stronger, both case, wheels and shell, but not too big (or two sizes) wheels. 10 cm and 12,5" is good. 12,5" could not be integrated, but removable maybe. These wheels would both be wery easy(and cheap) to replace if on travel or if broke. This would be wer important for me when deciding on what trailer to buy.
Lightweight and strong. Carbon and / or alu box maybe?

Still think I would keep the laptop only in a light backpack (do not like to ride with them, but like broken down laptops even less.

Do not forget to send me a prototype to try out
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Old 03-03-08, 06:00 AM
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Oh, and maybe make half the shell remowable (top off) if you want to pull something that is too bulky to fit in.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:17 AM
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Suitcase Trailer

I've already done that see pics below and a previous post of mine. The axle has an inside spline and hinge pins to make it break in two for packing. Also I have made a seatpost hitch out of semi rigid plastic hot water pipe, hose clamps and eye bolts, no pics of it yet.
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Old 03-03-08, 03:25 PM
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lar
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hey all
the ideas are really starting to flow .really useful at this early stage in the design process.
will upload concept soon.
cheers
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Old 03-03-08, 10:47 PM
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If you're going with 20" or larger wheels, leave the wheels out and let us scrounge some free ones. Less weight, less cost, and easier to ship.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:34 PM
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Mine hangs from the rafters,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I stand on a bucket to reach it.


Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
I don't currently own a trailer but here are a few things I have thought of-

Price. There are some truely awesome trailers out there (bikesatwork, burley, etc.) but they are priced so high that I can't justify buying one for how little I would actually use it.

Storage. You already mentioned this but becasue I would use a trailer maybe only a couple times a month, I need a way to compactly store it when not in use.

Versitility. Adding extra holes, tiedowns, and flanges built into the trailer would allow users to modify it to suit their specific needs.
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