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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this the place to ask about trailers? If it is not, a mod can move this to the right place :thumbsup:

A little background. I live and work in Tokyo Japan, right downtown, in Shinjuku, well, just a couple of good baseball throws from "right downtown" I guess :)

My lovely wife and I run her family's business, that is a liquor shop, among my many duties is doing the deliveries to restaurants and homes of customers. Right now I mainly use a three wheeled 50cc scooter, a Honda Gyro.

It is a workhorse and I've put a ton of miles on it, I've rebuilt the clutch once and I've rebuilt the motor twice.

The thing is about 80% of my deliveries are doable by a bicycle and trailer, and it would be a great way to get back into biking and get in shape.

I'm rebuilding my old Cannondale right now, you can see that thread >> HERE << so I'll use that as my pull bike.

I will build the trailer myself, I have a MIG welder and know how to use it, heck I built my own 14" bandsaw for my woodworking stuff :D

I guess before I go any further, I'll ask again; is this where I should be asking about building a trailer for my bike?

Cheers! :D
 

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Stu, How much weight are you talking about? I'm thinking maybe modify a BOB Ibex to take 2 wheels on the swingarm so the bike and trailer are self standing when you stop to deliver. The suspension would work well for the, I assume, bottles and you could easily get 45Kg on there. The BOB connection to the bike is bullet proof and very simple to connect / disconnect when loaded or empty.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
alanm said:
Stu, How much weight are you talking about? I'm thinking maybe modify a BOB Ibex to take 2 wheels on the swingarm so the bike and trailer are self standing when you stop to deliver. The suspension would work well for the, I assume, bottles and you could easily get 45Kg on there. The BOB connection to the bike is bullet proof and very simple to connect / disconnect when loaded or empty.

Al

Thanks for the reply Al, the thing is, I'm in Japan, and getting a BOB trailer might be a bit costly. I have the tools and the skills to build whatever I want, "Have MIG Welder, Will Travel" :D

One case of beer weighs 27Kg, I would need to carry twice that on occasion, but usually closer to say 35 KG.

Here in Japan, some of the FedEx kind of guys use bicycles with trailers to do parcel delivery......
Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel Bicycle accessory Wheel Tire Mode of transport Window Transport

They all use a hitch that hooks up to the seat post, I think part of that is because they don't want the arm on the side....? Dunno, but there are a lot of them around now, and they seem to work well.

There is a guy here who makes trailers, but the size is not exactly what I want.

Some videos of said trailer and it's hitch.

Trailer on the move

How the hitch works

I found the gimble thing here for about $8, and like I said, I can make the rest. My buddy owns a bike shop, (not a REAL bike shop, a local neighbour hood bike shop) and he gets throw away bikes from time to time, I've asked him to get me two 20" front wheels, they should work good for this.


>> Bicycle Trailer <<
Here is the website that sell that trailer, yes it is all in Japanese, but you can click around and take alook.

Super light weight is not the main concern, I'm NOT going to be pulling this thing 8 hours a day, ease of use, safety, durability and reliability are important.

I think I can do this, now I just have to do some more head scratching.

Cheers!
 

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Stu,

If you're going to build it yourself might I suggest you use 700 c wheels or simular but keep the bed height right down low like the red 20" version. The reason for this is to keep the centre of mass of your load well below the pivot point, which is your axle. This will give you a very real increase in stability and make it easy to handle even pushing by hand, even with two wheels. I've modded a BOB Yak and Ibex to take 26" Endo's, 29"s overall, the Ibex was a screaming disaster because the builder did it his way and didn't follow my drawings, the load was far too high. The Yak was more successful but I'm having the bed lowered this week by another 100mm because of the pivot point issue. I carry around 50Kg regularly and tow off road and dirt tracks here in Oz.

Here's a few links, I did quite a bit of research when deciding on mine. Not suggesting you buy but gather ideas instead.

Al

http://www.tonystrailers.com/singlewheelers/

http://www.radicaldesign.nl/en/products/trailers/cyclone.php

http://www.carryfreedom.com/products.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Al, a BIG thanks for that, the first link, Tony's trailers, has a ton of info, great reading!

I can get the 26" wheels with tires and tubes ready to do for free, maybe I will go that route. I was already planing on dropping the cargo carrying floor of the trailer fairly close to the ground, I just figured it would be better, but now reading that page I understand why it will be better, and more stable.

Thanks!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
alanm said:
Pleasure :D Post some pics when you get it done. :thumbsup:
You bet, I'm a bit well known for posting a LOT of pictures when building something, mainly woodworking stuff.


I talked to my buddy accross the street today, and said I'd changed my mind, I want two 26" wheels, the type the come on a regular Japanese bike, aluminum rims, 1 3/8" rims. He told me that he threw out SIX bikes like that LAST NIGHT :cryin:

Oh well, he will have a few more in the next week he figures.

I'll be putting up my design, I'd sure appreciate some critique of the design when I get it up.

Strong and light is the key I guess, I tend to WAY over build stuff, a card carrying member of the "When in doubt, build it stout" crowd. :D

It will be fairly thin square tube steel.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, my Sketch up skills are slowly improving, but this is a basic concept.......

Rim Bicycle wheel rim Spoke Machine Line art

I did NOT draw them wheels, they were drawn by someone named Ben Wood, I modified the wheels slightly, took off the brake disk, but that is similar to the wheels I'll have, well mine will be a bit thinner and a much more smooth tread on the tires.

I've got a lot more head scratching and SU work to do, but it is coming along.

The tubing is all 1" square in this model, except for the ones no the very bottom, I'm thinking I'll put light expanded mesh in the frame work, dunno yet really, still at the "Huh?" stage :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another view.........

Bicycle wheel rim Automotive tire Rim Spoke Synthetic rubber

More work to do on the trailer, I'm thinking of wooden slats on the bottom and on the sides of the cargo area, they would be durable (I'd use Ash for the wood) and light weight. I'll also be making some kind of brake, for each wheel hooked together, that when engaged would push against the tires, think old time wagon :D I would need something to stop the trailer from moving around while I'm loading and unloading it.

Cheers!
 

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Stu,

Lookin' good, I'd be inclined to use a light mesh on the floor and sides, drains easily and is light and strong + doesn't eat into your cargo space. ie No loss of volume. For the draw bar I'd be inclined to make the two bottom rails long enough to come out and then sweep up with a curve that makes them meet in the centre line of the trailer and then follow a radius of the rear wheel of your bike as one tube, terminating at a hitch on the seat post. The top rails would then come out on the same plane, curve inwards to the centre line and intersect the tow bar (bottom bar) and simply terminate there. This would make the draw bar very strong.

I'd like to be able to draw it for you but have no idea how to go about doing so !!!!

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alanm said:
Stu,

Lookin' good, I'd be inclined to use a light mesh on the floor and sides, drains easily and is light and strong + doesn't eat into your cargo space. ie No loss of volume. For the draw bar I'd be inclined to make the two bottom rails long enough to come out and then sweep up with a curve that makes them meet in the centre line of the trailer and then follow a radius of the rear wheel of your bike as one tube, terminating at a hitch on the seat post. The top rails would then come out on the same plane, curve inwards to the centre line and intersect the tow bar (bottom bar) and simply terminate there. This would make the draw bar very strong.

I'd like to be able to draw it for you but have no idea how to go about doing so !!!!

Al
Al, I do understand what you are talking about, but I do not own a pipe bender, which, by far, would be the easiest way to do that.

I've been fooling with SU some more.......
Line Parallel Rim Rectangle Illustration

Mode of transport Automotive design Transport Rim Automotive tire

Parallel Line art Illustration Drawing Log cabin

Bicycle wheel rim Rim Line Spoke Automotive tire

Line Parallel Drawing Illustration Sketch

Sorry for all the pics :)

I'd like a more elegant curve or whatever, but I don't want to make it too complex either, as the more cuts I have to make and the more welding, which in turn, can give you more points of possible failure. :skep:

Maybe I should invest in a pipe bender and then use some round pipe for this :D
 

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Stu,

If you build it the way you've drawn it now, you'll need a 45 (ish) degree vertical brace from the top horizontal bar of the tow bar to the top horizontal tube of the cargo frame. The tow bar as it stands now is inherently weak due to the fulcrum effect of the load and tow bar.

I can give you a tip for bending pipe without a pipebender, find a nice flat surface like a beam, that is solidly held down. Wrap 3 or 4 turns of half inch rope loosely enough around it so you can slide your chosen diameter pipe under it. Pick the point where you want your bend to start and gently apply upwward pressure, don't over do it. Release the pressure and move the pipe along, repeating step 1. Simply keep doing this untill you have your desired curve. If you take it slowly and do it bit by bit you'll wind up with a nice smooth curve. Another way of bending pipe is to find an object that has the desired radius you require and then finding a way to secure one end of your pipe and then simply bend your pipe around the object. Because you require a gentle radius you can get away with it if you're careful in your approach. I've used both the mentioned methods successfully at work over the years.

If you are successful in bending a piece of pipe you can then modify the draw bar section on your drawing to form an A frame, once braced, it would be more than adequate, strength wise, and would look quite professional. Who knows, you may get people placing orders........

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info Al, I know a nice graceful curve would be MUCH better, I wonder how your bending technique would work with square tubing?

I wish I knew a shop around here that would bend it for me, but most shops like that are not set up to take on walk in trade, and are usually quite closed to the idea, must be a Japan, or maybe better, a "Tokyo" thing :rolleyes:

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did a little research and I found >> THIS << page, loads of info on bending tubes :thumbsup:

I built the MDF jig, and even though I only had a fairly short piece of square tube, 2cm square, I was able to make a nice smooth bend!

Wood Plywood Composite material Machine Steel
It was really simple, even with the short piece of tube, I was able to bend it using just muscle power, I did not have to use the larger piece of pipe that is laying on the bench.

Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle tire Spoke Rim
Next to a wheel, you can get an idea of the size etc, this should work well.

I'll be going to the DIY shop tomorrow to get some more steel tubes!

Cheers!
 

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Mate,

That looks red hot, well done. It'll give your trailer a professional look. Now I think you can change to an A frame setup for your draw bar, it'll save weight and not sacrifice strength.

Great site BTW, very practical.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, I was kind of surprised at how easy it was to do! :D

Yep, a curved or bent A-frame I guess. I'll have to update my SU drawing.......... when I figure out curves that is :rolleyes: :)

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I went out to the DIY home center place today. I got all the steel I need, I think, and I downsized the steel a bit more.

I saw a number of hand carts that were rated anywhere from 100Kg to 500 KG and they were not nearly as stout as the trailer I'm planing on building, so I figured I can easily downsize the tubing from 2.5cm to 1.9 cm, it will still be very strong I think.

Product Synthetic rubber Rolling Cart Spoke Wheel Product Rim Spoke Bicycle wheel rim
Here is a little hand cart, it has 18" wheels and looks rather fragile, but it was rated to hold 100Kg (220 pounds) and the wheels were really wobbly, cost about $100. I looked at it as a possible unit to be modified, but then gave it up, too much work and I really did not think it was that well made.

Iron Metal Cart Gas Drum
Here is a better cart, and this one folds, the whole thing comes apart, all aluminum too, but nearly $400 and still not what I want. rated at 150 Kg, 20" wheels.

Bicycle wheel rim Rim Spoke Iron Bicycle tire
Then in the back I found this much larger cart in the back, about $550, and rated at 500 Kg :eek: built like a tank, and weighs as much too :rolleyes:

Tire Automotive tire Rim Automotive wheel system Synthetic rubber
They were selling wheels, but I have that covered, the 20" wheels are about $40 each with tubes and tires and the big trailer wheels are 25" and where $100 each and weighed about 25 pounds EACH!

Wood Hardwood Plywood Composite material Tool

Wood Hardwood Parallel Wood stain Trigger

Composite material Ruler Tool Office ruler Measuring instrument

I made up a jig to cut the tubes at a 45 angle using my sawsall, I do have a large abrasive cutter, but it never leaves a nice 45 and is always smelly with sparks and smoke, this is much nicer!

Motor vehicle Mode of transport Vehicle Land vehicle Transport
Finally, just for fun, I saw this mini dumper in the parking lot :D :thumbsup:

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I did some more fooling around on SU.................

Bicycle wheel rim Rim Line Spoke Line art

Line Line art Illustration Artwork Drawing

Home accessories Drawing Silver Sketch

I hope that is starting to look better :D
 

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Stu,

Looks good. I reckon it'll be very robust for what you require. I think it'll also be very easy to manoeuvre by hand when required. Looking forward to it's maiden voyage. Overload it and push it around by hand and to see if it flexes at all, do some fast sideway manoeuvre's.

Al
 
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