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Cargo trailer weight.

Old 09-15-14, 10:48 PM
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sleazyrider46
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Cargo trailer weight.

Some of the cargo trailer builders such as Tony's and Bikes at work show guys hauling huge loads up to 800 pounds on bike trailers. If these guys are climbing hills with those loads they must be awful strong. Seems some sort of trailer brake system would be needed for the down hills.
Anybody have any experience hauling heavy trailer loads in hilly country?
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Old 09-16-14, 08:36 PM
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My neighbor told me last night he pulls a trailer with his LHT loaded to 300# at times. Sounds like some pretty long trips too. I'll have to ask him how he does it.

Keith
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Old 09-17-14, 05:01 AM
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A job for electric-assist trailer.
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Old 09-17-14, 11:32 AM
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Just 200 pound me on a tour with my camping gear aboard. I got off and pushed on a couple hills..

See .. Human Powered Machines » The Hauler.

there was a trailer brake thread before .. seek.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-17-14 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 09-17-14, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Just 200 pound me on a tour with my camping gear aboard. I got off and pushed on a couple hills..

See .. Human Powered Machines » The Hauler.

there was a trailer brake thread before .. seek.
How can a seatpost transfer 1/4 ton (560lbs)braking force.
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Old 09-18-14, 07:37 AM
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Ask the builder
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Old 09-19-14, 11:58 PM
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Use a Thomson, not a Carbon Fiber Weight Weenie seat pole.

My little Fuji hauler bike has a FSA K-Light----I had to get a skewer mount trailer.
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Old 12-07-14, 05:01 PM
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I got up to about 500 pounds on my cargo trailer (including a little loaded on the bike). IT WAS HEAVY. Just a small rise in the road, and it was a pain to pedal. I have two hills on my way home, and must admit that I couldn't make it up the hills. It was even a pain to push the bike up the hills. My driveway is steep enough that I ended up parking the trailer and retrieving it with the blazer.

Perhaps I'll have to try something like a 28T chainring and a 40T cassette on my next build.

My trailer has hub brakes from a kids bike. I had originally intended to design mechanical surge brakes, kind of like boat trailers use. However, that portion hasn't been built yet.

I've decided that for flat town riding, I don't get that fast with a 500 lb road. Once I hit the country roads where I hit my hills, braking (or emergency braking) isn't needed. Anyway, something like surge brakes (adjusted appropriately) would be nice, but don't seem necessary.

I could probably build surge brakes with just about any type of brake, so perhaps one would be better off with better quality hubs (lower resistance), and disc brakes.

As far as the hitch, my cargo bike/trailer is a pair with a straight tongue, and pin hitch.

I still need to do some more work on both the bike trailer as well as the bike, and I hate welding aluminum. See photos here.
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Old 12-17-14, 04:49 PM
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With the right gearing, the weight becomes a small concern for pedaling. But I wonder what the limits for braking are. The most I've towed is about 180 lbs, and it wasn't that hard. In fact, I'm always amazed at how easy it is, if the load is stable.
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Old 12-19-14, 02:24 PM
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One Could use the Disc or Drum brakes Made for Low seat, tadpole Recumbent front wheels and build a trailer around them.
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Old 12-19-14, 03:45 PM
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I'm not sure if the weight issue truly disappears with the "right gearing". For the first time ever, I've found myself walking up a few hills. Usually just my driveway, but when I had the 500 lb load on my trailer, I had to walk up the two hills between town and home. Even pulling the bike & trailer up the hill on foot was close to my limit. On my driveway, I actually parked the trailer and fetched it with my Blazer.

Anyway, I've been wondering if one might need outriggers... like training wheels to improve the balance at the very low speeds necessary for hill climbs. I could imagine going with a 40T in the rear and a 20T in the front. One could even do more extreme gearing if one put in an idler which I've considered with my fat tire bike.

The other issue I've run into on my driveway (steep paved) is traction. Even my semi-smoooth fat tire often looses traction on the driveway. My SPD bike shoes have hard soles, and they also have traction problems on the driveway. Perhaps super-low gearing or knobbies would help, but I'm at close to my limit.

My current heavyweight trailer is built on wheels with kid's bike pedal/hub brakes. So far they seem to be holding up to the abuse, however I worry about the added friction. I did repack the bearings, but they weren't designed for this use. My next generation may be pre-configured for disc brakes and through bolts, but that will also add quite a bit of expense.

However, I never got the brakes hooked up. I had originally intended to make a mechanical "surge brake" like boat trailers have, but they would also be easy enough to connect to brake levers with the right place to activate them and the right trailer disconnect. If only I had 3 hands.

The biggest question is whether the brakes are really necessary. With a 500 lb trailer, I wasn't a "speed demon", and the heavier the trailer, the slower I go. So, I think I can stop on flats. I can usually stop the bike on hills with enough distance (although stronger brakes on my bike would be nice). I have never needed to do an "emergency stop" on the couple of hills I most frequently pull my trailer over.
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Old 12-19-14, 03:54 PM
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Yes, when your forward speed drops way down, balance becomes difficult. I hadn't thought of traction.

I don't know what they do in Asia, but there are stories of towing well over 500 pounds. Maybe that's with tricycles, not bicycles.
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Old 12-19-14, 04:26 PM
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I think my driveway peaks at about 17%. I did scoop off the needles once, but there isn't a lot of traffic to keep it swept clean. It is ok dry, but slippery when wet. So it may only be the extremes where traction becomes a problem. I haven't had any traction problems with more ordinary hills, at least for driving power. Stopping power is the other concern, but I don't like to stop going downhill

I haven't built a kickstand for my bike yet. I had thought about adding balance bars to the trailer, which might be sufficient for the added vertical support for hill climbs as well as giving it kickstand capabilities, if it could all be given the necessary support + flex. Bungees?
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Old 12-20-14, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
How can a seatpost transfer 1/4 ton (560lbs)braking force.
How you ask?

It's all in the mechanical physics applied.
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Old 01-03-15, 12:54 PM
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I have experienced a bit of "yanking around " by my trailer when it get really heavy. I do have one disc brake for going down steep hills in the rain. I will get a hydraulic disc brake as soon as I can.

Has any one else had their trailer yank the bike around?

400lbs cargo plus trailer and bike plus large man = 700lbs

Last edited by jawnn; 01-06-15 at 01:52 PM.
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