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Set up for paper delivery?

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Set up for paper delivery?

Old 07-20-08, 06:02 AM
  #1  
IceNine
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Set up for paper delivery?

I would like to use a bike to deliver about 100-110 pounds of newspapers. Would it work to do this with my 1979 Miyata Gran Touring and a Bob Trailer?

I would put a front basket on the Miyata as well as a couple of folding baskets on the rear rack. Would that be too much for my rear wheel?

It is about 8 miles from my home to the pickup point, so I'd like to be able to cruise as fast as possible during that unloaded portion. After loading up, I go about 5 miles back to the route location.

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Old 07-20-08, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by IceNine View Post
I would like to use a bike to deliver about 100-110 pounds of newspapers. Would it work to do this with my 1979 Miyata Gran Touring and a Bob Trailer?

I would put a front basket on the Miyata as well as a couple of folding baskets on the rear rack. Would that be too much for my rear wheel?

It is about 8 miles from my home to the pickup point, so I'd like to be able to cruise as fast as possible during that unloaded portion. After loading up, I go about 5 miles back to the route location.
It would probably work for a while, until you start wearing things out.

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Old 07-20-08, 08:31 AM
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I can tell you that for myself, hauling an extra 100 lbs for 5 miles would be a major chore that pretty well took the fun out of riding.

Would you have the baskets PLUS the trailer?
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Old 07-20-08, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by IceNine View Post
I would like to use a bike to deliver about 100-110 pounds of newspapers. Would it work to do this with my 1979 Miyata Gran Touring and a Bob Trailer?

I would put a front basket on the Miyata as well as a couple of folding baskets on the rear rack. Would that be too much for my rear wheel?

It is about 8 miles from my home to the pickup point, so I'd like to be able to cruise as fast as possible during that unloaded portion. After loading up, I go about 5 miles back to the route location.
The "Worksman Newsboy" is built just for this type of use. Get the 3 spd and smaller chainring
when you order yours to have a bike that will take all the work you can give it and more.

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../indbikes.html
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 07-20-08, 09:24 AM
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I would think an adult trike may be better suited to this than a Bob trailer. You can reach easily into the basket and fling the paper. Schwinn Town & Country for $450 is a three speed that might do the trick.
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Old 07-20-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by spikedog123 View Post
I would think an adult trike may be better suited to this than a Bob trailer. You can reach easily into the basket and fling the paper. Schwinn Town & Country for $450 is a three speed that might do the trick.
In line with this suggestion Worksman also builds a full line of trikes that will , like the newsboy,
take all the work you can dish out and come back for more.

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page33.html

-and-

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...indtrikes.html
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 07-20-08, 11:04 AM
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A cruiser style with 26" wheels and lots of spokes on the rear is best. In my teen years, I had paper routes of 75-125 customers. Of course, it was long ago, so the modern mountain type bikes weren't around. My favorite bikes were the old balloon tired Schwinn cruisers, tough. My dad built a sturdy rack out of 1/4" plate steel cut in strips. The paper company provided the bags...we called them racks...to carry our papers. These consisted of canvas bags secured to a wood frame. Each bag held 40-60 papers, depending on the size of the paper that day. I could even stack a few between the bags on the middle of the rack as the papers sticking up out of the bags held them in place.

Your bike needs to be stout. Pay close attention to the type of axle you use on the rear, it also needs to be tough. As my father was a machinist, I was able to use sealed roller bearings in the wheels, much better than ball bearings as far as wear, not smoothness. These days, an industrial bike may be your best bet. Sure, they are heavy, but will hold up.

A trailer or trike may work if you are placing the papers on the door step. But, if you are throwing the paper, a bike that can handle racks over the back wheel will be best. You can just reach back for the paper and fling it. I haven't looked closely at folding style baskets, but they don't seem tough enough to hold up over the long haul. Whether you tow a trailer or carry the papers on a bike, its going to put a lot of stress on the bike. You need to be prepared to do regular maintenance, especially checking bearings, axles, and tires on a regular basis. You may be best off having at least two bikes just in case your regular bike is down for the day or needs extensive repairs. I usually had three bikes in my stable in my route days. One was in use, one was probably being repaired, and the other was the one I cruised around when not delivering papers. It too could be pressed into service if needed.

Last edited by grayloon; 07-20-08 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 07-20-08, 12:45 PM
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I also used to deliver papers, but not as many as you are planning to do. Transport depends of your funds and how the delivery is done.

If you have to leave the bike alot you`ll soon be sick of getting the kickstand out, it would be better to get a trike.

Good thing about the trailer is you could shift it to different bikes, and you get the heavy weight away from the bike. You could get hold of one or two older strong MTB`s, a lot of peopel bought them and did not use them.

Also remember BMX wheels can be wery strong. Put longer seat tube on a BMX.

I like longtails (x-tra cykel, Big dummy, homemade longtail and so on). You`we got it all on the bike, no trailer needed. Keep ekstra rear wheels so you can do repairs or replacements.

Front basket is good, easy to pick papers from. Could you get the type that mounts to the frame? One frame mounted front rack is presented several times in the forum, like on the late bamboo longtail.

Hub geared wheels is stronger than the casette type geared.

Difficult to know what works for you. In my area you can just go to the dump and pick whatewer you need. I found strong wheels from older MTB`s, broad strong rims, sealed bearrings in the hubs. Also almost new BMX`es with extra heavy axels.
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Old 07-20-08, 12:56 PM
  #9  
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It is a downtown route with more than half the volume at about 5 or 6 locations where papers are delivered inside in a bundle. Plus, I have another 10-20% that get delivered loose to a lobby. So my though is to have the single papers that I need to fling inside canvas bags that I would put on the front and rear racks, and maybe once on the route I would just gab another canvas bag from the Bob. The rest would be bundles/loose stacks that would be on the Bob. Since I would be getting off to go inside, it wouldn't slow me down much to have to go back to the Bob.
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Old 07-20-08, 01:52 PM
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If you like your old school bike a lot and want to ride it for a long time, avoid the wear and tear of the route on it and get the Worksman Newsboy cycle with the 3 speed. Its worth the bit extra for a strong bike and appears to have the capacity to carry the load you are looking at.
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Old 07-20-08, 04:26 PM
  #11  
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I delivered papers via bicycle from the time I was 10 'till I was 16, on an English 3 speed. Don't know anything about your Miata....but I can tell you that the old Schwinn and Columbia paper bikes were made stout for good reason....hauling steel up a hill isn't fun, but it sure beats dealing with a busted bike when you are just trying to get your work done so you can go have supper. (I had an afternoon route....Denver Post before it went to mornings)

Rear baskets worked well, stand the papers on end, and you can reach them from the seat. I don't recommend the folding ones though. Paper route is very hard on them. I had the stoutest fixed pannier baskets you've ever seen. I went through two sets for sure, and maybe three, and dad made braze repairs every few months. With all your baskets, you are going to be stuffing them as full as possible every day, and this will take it's toll.

Back in the day, the newspaper supplied a set of canvas bags to be slung from the handle bars. Horrible things these were. If you had much in them, they would get to swinging at speed and crash you sure as anything. Papers all over the street. There are some dynamic things that happen when you increase the moment of inertia of the front wheel by adding mass to the bars or forks....Low and near the steering axis is best, like front panniers do it.


If it was me, I would get/make a large two wheeled trailer, and see if one of your customers will let you use thier place as a "remote base" maybe offer a discount on thier subscription rate.....Haul all your papers there in one trip with the trailer, then load up the bike and do the route in several sections without the trailer. Actually, If they have a place you could fold the papers, you could use a much smaller trailer....a bail of papers takes up about 1/4 - 1/3 the volume that it will once folded, and will be much easier to recover WHEN you crash. Trust me, you will crash once a week when you start, and probably once every couple of months when you get it dialed in.

Honestly, I pity you....the way today's newspapers are bloated with ads even Mondays (Usually the smallest edition) wouldn't be easy.
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Old 07-20-08, 08:18 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
Honestly, I pity you....the way today's newspapers are bloated with ads even Mondays (Usually the smallest edition) wouldn't be easy.
Must be a local thing. The Houston Chronicle is about the same size or a bit smaller than it was when I delivered it. The exception may be Sunday.
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Old 07-20-08, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spikedog123 View Post
I would think an adult trike may be better suited to this than a Bob trailer. You can reach easily into the basket and fling the paper. Schwinn Town & Country for $450 is a three speed that might do the trick.
+1 On the modern Schwinn Town & Country. It might fill the bill. I use mine for groceries. I will say this much, anything over three miles under load and you're going to be pretty tired. The new T&C is very much built "for the money" The rear axle bearings are sleeve bearings which definitely cut down on it's rolling efficiency. I've looked at ways to improve it; however, most of the rolling stock is unique to the design. It does seem to handle better with 25 lbs.+ in the basket. Typically my grocery run involves a 28 can cooler filled with ice and a couple family packs of meat, and about four bags of groceries. I'd guess the weight is somewhere around 75 to 50 lbs.

One of the biggest favors you can do is replace the gosh-awful OEM saddle. The one that came on my trike had a definite slope to the left. Although a pricey solution, a B66 works well. Also the OEM front fender is ornamental at best. I replaced mine with a Planet Bike Hard Core; although, I think a Cascadia would provide more protection for the chain. Also, be sure to go over the wheels with a spoke wrench before riding it. The truing out of the box leaves much to be desired.




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Old 07-21-08, 12:14 PM
  #14  
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I don't know how much that weighs but check out the Bob trailer weight rating. Don't exceed it because it gets a bit iffy after that. I think the trailer is the best idea because of the long distance to pick up and get back to start delivering. Those work trikes seem like they would take a long time. A trailer doesn't put that much more load on the bike only the drive train.
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Old 07-21-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by IceNine View Post
I would like to use a bike to deliver about 100-110 pounds of newspapers. Would it work to do this with my 1979 Miyata Gran Touring and a Bob Trailer?

I would put a front basket on the Miyata as well as a couple of folding baskets on the rear rack. Would that be too much for my rear wheel?

It is about 8 miles from my home to the pickup point, so I'd like to be able to cruise as fast as possible during that unloaded portion. After loading up, I go about 5 miles back to the route location.
I don't know if your Miyata could take it...
And I don't know about the baskets, it would depend on which ones you had. I think the Wald folding baskets I have would be seriously strained with 20 lbs in each of them.

You'd have to say your weight before I could offer much opinion if you would be overloading the rear wheel or not.

Also-
I bought a Worksman,,,, and with me being 6'2", the "large" frame was still way too small for riding comfortably at all. I would apparently need about a 25" Worksman frame, and they only make them in 16" and 20". ...If the 20" frame is too small for you too, then you could get a Worksman and then swap all the pieces onto another suitable frame.

I have posted elsewhere on this site so I will not repeat the details, but the Worksman bikes are very much a mixed bag.
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Old 07-21-08, 05:50 PM
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Actually after thinking about this a bit. I second the suggestion for a trailer-although a two wheel child carrier not a Bob trailer. It will be the cheapest solution, you could put a smallish basket in the front for your "throwing papers" and have adequate storage on the trailer. A two wheel trailer will be easier to park.

Good luck. I delivered papers on a Columbia "cruiser" before they were called as such.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:07 PM
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I delivered pamplets and flyers over country roads for a year or so and that shiney type of paper that they use weighs heavy when it's all bundled up I can tell you
My choice was a tricycle of my own devising and I found it to be the perfect vehicle for me. Having a vehicle that won't tip over on uneven ground when loaded is a seriously big advantage IMHO. Care of tyres and bearings is important though, as is making sure the back axle is up to the job. I didn't brace the axle well enough on my first tricycle and it bent. Needless to say my MkII tricycle was much improved in this department when I built it.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:20 PM
  #18  
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You might try this trailer: http://www.bikerev.com/pg18.cfm

It's rated for 150 lbs and should keep the papers waterproof, if necessary.
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Old 07-22-08, 04:43 AM
  #19  
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Actually, I had previously considered using a car to pick up the papers, then use a staging point for the bike. I think I have decided on that option, as I already have a spot I can use at no additional cost. I could also deliver the largest bundles by car, which would eliminate about half the total volume. After that I would probably only have to go back once to the staging point.
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Old 07-22-08, 04:07 PM
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Trying to deliver papers by car is a pain in the fundament. I only ever tried it once when my Mk.I tricycle broke down and I never did it again. The staging post idea is good though and is definitely worth trying.
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Old 07-22-08, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
Trying to deliver papers by car is a pain in the fundament. I only ever tried it once when my Mk.I tricycle broke down and I never did it again. The staging post idea is good though and is definitely worth trying.
Not so, delivering by car works great, assuming good parking if one has to deliver to buildings and parking complexes. For home delivery where you toss the paper out the window, its fun and fast. Of course, it was even better in the old days when station wagons had tail gates and you could sit on the tailgate while someone else drove. But, delivering by car is expensive these days. And, if you are trying to not use a car, it interferes.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:24 PM
  #22  
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Here in NZ the paper has to go in the mailbox and throwing them around is a no-no
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Old 07-22-08, 10:25 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
Here in NZ the paper has to go in the mailbox and throwing them around is a no-no

That's a shame. Back when I threw papers, we rolled them and tied them with twine. They were tightly rolled and I could walk one end over end if it hit right and it would wind up on the front porch. Now, they put our papers in plastic bags...more petroleum wasted...and toss them into the drive way.
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