flowers on Hanlon point

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My Bike Trailer

I don't drive so I often have to carry loads on my bike. In particular when I go to the boats, I often carry tools and sails and other boaty things. The trailer is also useful for grocery shopping.

bike frame

FRAME

This frame is made from grey steel shelving. I cut the steel corner angle posts with a hacksaw and put the pieces together with nuts and bolts and washers. The shelving supports are L shaped so I just cut one side of the L and bent it to the rectangular shape. To attach the bike wheels I cut to one of the holes in the supports and just bolted the wheel with the original bike bolts. The wheels are garbage picks.

The curved handle is 3/4 inch conduit pipe. The single thickness turned out to be too springy so I doubled it up and this worked better. It is still a bit springy when I am carrying a big load. I guess I should add a third layer of conduit or use a thicker pipe. I attached an eye bolt at the front of the frame and at the back to have a spot for bungies to clip on.

The frame was easy to work with but quite heavy. Commercial trailers usually have aluminium frames.




Box is made from 1/2 inch rough plywood I had taken apart from some old panelling. Its quite rough but I didn't care. Worse though is the weight. If I had to re-do this I would use thinner material and double up where I needed to attach stuff. Everything is glued and screwed. I don't like nails for this because if it flips it will hold together. Nails are always iffy. The box overhangs the frame a bit to allow for 2 rubbermaid containers to fit.

box

BOX



bike trailer gets painted

PAINT

Lulu the cat supervises the painting. I wanted to put some orange too but when I mixed red and yellow it just turned yukky grey/muddy brown. I guess Red and Yellow don't always add up to orange. I glued a bunch of reflectors on the back along with reflector tape I had.




Here is the trailer in use. I had made a nice little hitch but it broke due to metal fatigue. I just bundle up a bungee around the end of the conduit now. I have an eye bolted in the end and wrap the bungee through it and around the bike frame. It works very well and allows for motion of the bike.

The trailer can handle about 100 pounds but it's not all that comfortable to pull that much. The load also has to be balanced. I have since modified the handle to double up the conduit tube so that it is not as springy. It would set up a bounce that just built and built and would sort of pull the bike back. Boing-boing-boing. I had to slow right down. With the thicker handle this is not so likely to happen.

box

SHOPPING
It's good to balance the weight in the trailer, this makes riding easier.

A few months later I garbage picked a kid's trailer and took out the seats. It does not carry any more weight but is much lighter. I gave my yellow trailer away on Craigslist. The kid's trailer is wider and that makes it harder to ride with. I think the ideal trailer would be longer but narrower.

emails: Christine

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view.