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.

Sidecar?

Old 06-13-13, 06:55 PM
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Sidecar?

Not sure if this is the right place to post this (bike mechanics?), but since my purpose is cargo hauling here goes.
Currently using front basket, large rear basket on rack & collapsible baskets on each each side of rear rack, and want a bit more hauling capacity (with a low center of gravity) for larger heavy items such as dog food, large packs of bottled water, gardening & home improvement supplies.
Not interested in a trailer. Have considered a long bike conversion - home built or Xtra-cycle, but thinking a side car would be easier, as no mods to drivetrain are required. As well the uniqueness of a sidecar is appealing.

So wondering if anyone has any experience or advice with sidecars on bicycles, please reply.

Last edited by GTryder; 06-13-13 at 06:56 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-13-13, 08:17 PM
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You can get one for Xtracycles and Big Dummys, but they are hinged, so as to fold up to get in places,
like between posts on Bike path entrys.. they are for increased load space..

rigid ones have been made for downhill racing BMX courses ,
'monkey' hangs on to shift weight around in corners, just like the Moto side car races.

there is one company making a sidecar child carrier, too..

never owned any myself.
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Old 06-13-13, 08:51 PM
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Yes, width is a bit of a concern. Can use overhead door on garage if setup ends up being too wide for side door. Almost at that point now as side baskets may become rigid non-collapsible with use of zip ties. They are a cheap knock-off of the Wald baskets and the clips are made of very soft metal and easily bend out of shape.

Saw a Youtube vid of 2 kids on a "Side Hack" BMX - pretty wild ride and apparently the attachment was sold at WalMart a few years ago.

Have spent a bit of time on Google finding DIY large sidecar bikes that can carry a wheelchair or little retro motorbike style to carry kids or pets. Main concerns are geometry, mounting to frame & rigid vs. hinged or spring type suspension. Also thinking of mounting opposite drive train for simplicity - but could be dangerous riding in traffic (traffic laws for motor bikes specify curbside mounting)
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Old 06-14-13, 09:22 AM
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Next time you see a sidecar rig , note it is leaned away from the side car, a bit.

Remember, the way to make a quick turn to the right is to turn the bars to the left..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-14-13 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 06-14-13, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
Not sure if this is the right place to post this (bike mechanics?), but since my purpose is cargo hauling here goes.
Currently using front basket, large rear basket on rack & collapsible baskets on each each side of rear rack, and want a bit more hauling capacity (with a low center of gravity) for larger heavy items such as dog food, large packs of bottled water, gardening & home improvement supplies.
Not interested in a trailer. Have considered a long bike conversion - home built or Xtra-cycle, but thinking a side car would be easier, as no mods to drivetrain are required. As well the uniqueness of a sidecar is appealing.

So wondering if anyone has any experience or advice with sidecars on bicycles, please reply.
When I was a kid the kid next door had a homemade bike/sidecar that we would ride. It was a beast to control with that extra wheel out there.
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Old 06-14-13, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
So wondering if anyone has any experience or advice with sidecars on bicycles, please reply.
Talk to Donkelope Bikes. They built a cool sidecar rig for the Oregon Manifest show in 2011:
http://donkelopebikes.blogspot.com/s...max-results=16
http://www.core77.com/gallery/oregon...st-2011/33.asp



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Old 06-15-13, 03:33 AM
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Thanks Jeff,

The Donkelope isn't exactly what I have in mind, but its very functional & a beautiful build.
The core 77 Oregon Manifest pages got me looking further & found some flickr pages with great detail shots of finished products and some of the build processes.
Starting to rethink the sidecar idea in favour of possible frame mods to our utility bike (thankfully an older lugged steel frame with a sturdy rear monostay and rather long chain stays).

Last edited by GTryder; 06-15-13 at 03:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-23-13, 06:45 AM
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I've got one of the Chariot sidecars Fietsbob mentioned, and while its a cool way to carry a kid and the occasional cargo, I think sidecars are generally poor ways to carry things on bikes. They totally mess up handling dynamics, take up too much space, add weight, and increase wind resistance incredibly. Trailers are the best when it comes to doing work.
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Old 06-28-13, 06:43 PM
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The Extracycle "sidecar" is not exactly a real sidecar to support a living critter. However, I do so hope to order one soon.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:53 PM
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Ponder.
http://www.bikehacks.com/bikehacks/2...e-sidecar.html

http://bikerodnkustom4.homestead.com/sidecar.html
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Old 08-04-13, 04:57 AM
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I just found a like new Xtracycle sidecar off of Craigslist for $125 but haven't set it up on the Big Dummy as of yet. I plan on using it mostly hauling RC planes to the school yard.
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Old 08-05-13, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
Not interested in a trailer.
Trailer is the obvious, most common and most convenient way of extending load-carrying for large, heavy loads. My new Y-frame trailer is proving to be incredibly useful and versatile. I have carried big loads on the flatbed and collections of smaller stuff in a big box fixed to the flatbed. I can't think of any situation where a sidecar would be more useful or convenient than a trailer.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Trailer is the obvious, most common and most convenient way of extending load-carrying for large, heavy loads. My new Y-frame trailer is proving to be incredibly useful and versatile. I have carried big loads on the flatbed and collections of smaller stuff in a big box fixed to the flatbed. I can't think of any situation where a sidecar would be more useful or convenient than a trailer.
I have both and they both have there place. Not one thing is the the best for everything and everyone. When going down hill try stopping fast when someone pulls out in front of you with a heavily loaded trailer. You will soon find your trailer in your lap! A sidecar is not as easy to steal off your bike when you are inside shopping. Just my $.02

From Xtracycle sidecar page "providing a huge cargo platform capable of carrying 250 lbs. When not in use, pivot sidecar up and out of the way, reducing rolling resistance and narrowing your ride. Provides unbeatable stability for massive loads"

The pivoting up the sidecar option is pretty slick!

Last edited by tim24k; 08-15-13 at 05:23 AM.
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