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Pics of MacGyvered trailer hitch mechanism

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Pics of MacGyvered trailer hitch mechanism

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Old 07-25-08, 11:20 AM
  #1  
HandsomeRyan
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Pics of MacGyvered trailer hitch mechanism

I'm not responisble for the ideas of using a castor wheel bracket or an airline quick connect to make a trailer hitch attachment point for a bicycle. All I did here was take the ideas of others and implement them on my bike. Check out the pics and let me know if you have questions. I've towed a 50lb trailer for 20+ miles with this setup so far with no problems.







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Old 07-25-08, 11:22 AM
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Spectacular.
Simply spectacular.
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Old 08-05-08, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
Spectacular.
Simply spectacular.
+ 1

Although you might want to consider replacing the hose clamps and wireties with "U" bolts for a more secure attachment to the bike.

Other than that, looks good.
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Old 08-05-08, 04:40 PM
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Great idea
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Old 08-05-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
+ 1

Although you might want to consider replacing the hose clamps and wireties with "U" bolts for a more secure attachment to the bike.

Other than that, looks good.

Those U bolts would have to be pretty precise to give a tight fit. That's the beauty of hose clamps; they're flexible, and customizable.
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Old 08-05-08, 08:42 PM
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Yeah, u-bolts are way overkill, and they don't spread the load as well. Don't wanna crush your tubes. Bikesatwork hitches use hoseclamps, good 'nuff.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:08 AM
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This hitch works but......Boy! it sure is fugly!!
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Old 08-06-08, 08:35 PM
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Why not just drill a hole through the center of the caster and attach it to the skewer? That may be claener and just as strong. Or use your disk brake mounts. Just talking out loud...I think it's a great design.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:10 PM
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Can't tell from the pictures, so maybe you've got one already - but it wouldn't be a bad idea to use an "uh oh" strap (connected to the chainstay) just so you won't have a catastrophe if an unintended disconnect happens.

Both the commercially-produced trailers I own use them, and they're a common feature of trailers for motorized vehicles (usually in the form of chains).

Just sayin'...

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Old 08-07-08, 01:03 AM
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I'd second the recommendation for a backup strap. Not because of the air fitting, just a good idea no matter what

As far as alternative mountings, the way you've got it now is way strong, and not gonna break something crucial. The J shaped mount like bikesatwork uses will go on lots of different bikes, and brings the tow bar lower, but yours is cleaner and simpler.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
This hitch works but......Boy! it sure is fugly!!
Haute couture is not a part of utility cycling.

Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
Why not just drill a hole through the center of the caster and attach it to the skewer? That may be claener and just as strong. Or use your disk brake mounts. Just talking out loud...I think it's a great design.
I think your ideas could work in some situations but i'll address why I did not use them on this design-

• The "arms" of my hitch distribute the load of the trailer over a large area of the seat and chain stays; a skewer mount would put a lot of load on skinny little piece of steel that wasn't designed for those types of forces. I see a lot of homebrew trailer hitches that use the factory skewer but personally I think thats not a safe design. They sell a specailly made trailer hitch skewer mechanism but I've never used one so I don't know anyhting about it.

• Disc mounts would be great to use if the bike didn't actually have disc brakes. It's not worth messing up a pair of $100+ hydraulic disc brakes because every time I put the hitch on or take it off I have to unbolt the whole caliper assembly.

• You can't drill a hole in the center of the castor because the way it's made. Drilling out the center would cause the 'swivel' to detach from the 'base plate'. It's easy to see when you are holding a castor wheel in your hand but hard to explain in words, if you look at the first picture at the top of the page you can kind of see what I mean.


Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
Can't tell from the pictures, so maybe you've got one already - but it wouldn't be a bad idea to use an "uh oh" strap
The strap is on the trailer side of the hitch mechanism. It loops through the bike's frame and connects back to the trailer's arm.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxwell View Post
As far as alternative mountings, the way you've got it now is way strong, and not gonna break something crucial. The J shaped mount like bikesatwork uses will go on lots of different bikes, and brings the tow bar lower, but yours is cleaner and simpler.
Sorry I missed your post when I was replying above.

You hit on a key problem with this mechanism, it only fits one bike. I could "make it work" on my greenway bike but the rear dropout geometry is a little different and the fit would not be as good. I only use my MTB to tow the trailer because it is a 50lb bike stereo and I like the low gearing but for other folks who may have several 'tow bikes' this type hitch may not be the best solution. If I had access to a machine shop I could probably make something similar to this with one fixed arm and one arm that could be adjusted so it could be put on any bike but in my garage I don't have the correct tools to do it right.
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Old 04-08-11, 06:34 PM
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Just build a trailer for groceries and small errands that I attach to my folding bike and I've used your hitch system... Best one i've seen around, punk styled, DIY friendly, and awesomly efficient !!! I just love it!!! got register on this forum to tell you that...
THANK YOU.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:29 PM
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bravo

Nice work! - as was said earlier it's super strong and shouldn't give you any problems for a while. I'd keep an eye on that air coupling. I like that it does double duty, it's a quick-disconnect system and allows for twist in the linkage - but they do wear. I use a lot of pneumatic tools in my shop with these fittings and they occasionally go bad from normal use. I imagine it's getting more stress with this use so it's worth extra attention. I came up with something like this early on when I was developing my trailer and solved all the motion problem with bolts and nylon washers. It's not as strong but it's held up well and was inexpensive.
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Old 04-18-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
This hitch works but......Boy! it sure is fugly!!
Not fugly, theft resistant!
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Old 04-19-11, 12:33 AM
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I used a "MTB type" kickstand as a base for a DIY trailer mount some time back, the type that is clamped on just in front of the left drop out. Just remowe the center bolt and drill a bigger hole trough the stand. Atach your stuff from there. I just use a 10mm bolt secured with nuts, sticking out at least 20-30mm. On the end of the trailer arm is 2 links of chain. One is mostly innside the tube w a bolt trough. The free chain link goes on the bilt sticking out from the kickstand plate. Secure with a wingnut type nut (big plastic wheel). I guess I should look for some pix..
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