Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fan Mail #2

I got another email about a DIY trailer built using the plans at my site. This one is from Jeff in Elmira, Ontario (just north of Kitchener/Waterloo). He wrote (in part):

"I was looking around and found your bike trailer on the web. It inspired me to build one... It's based on your first trailer...the one with the big blue plastic storage box. As I drive a car to get to work, my wife does not have a license/car, and this trailer allows her to head to the grocery store on the bike and bring back a bunch of groceries. I've thought of adding some covers to the spokes/wheels so that a small child could sit in the bin, and not get their fingers in the
spokes. Thanks again for the inspiration."

Thanks Jeff!


Unknown said...

Nice trailer!

I'm a little worried about the attachment of the wheels. I'm building my own trailer (more or less like yours) and I used some axl plates that are even more rigid than yours (I couldn't bend them with my hands) but I can still bend the wheels from left to right. Isn' thatn dangourous or is it better to have some flexibility?

(I'll try posting some pics later on.)

Mark said...

Hmm, how do you make them bend? It must take a lot of force if you say you can't bend them with your own hands. Mine do flex a little bit on the small trailer, but it has never been a problem. The big trailer has some flex as well, but that seems to mostly come from the lengthy tubes.

It's certainly not dangerous unless they fold right over, but that would be rather hard to do without a seriously heavy load. Rigid would be fine, as I don't think there's any inherent safety advantage in the flex.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking...
couldn't you do a different hitch position? Like instead of offset, you could put it in the middle, and make a reciever and coupler, and a ball on the trailer itself.

Its a thought.

Tell me what you think...

Mark said...


My friend Mike did this for his bike (see the blog "Blue Camembert" on my list).

It's certainly workable, but it also means adding more framework that stays on the bike, which adds weight even when not towing the trailer. And the stays have to be strong, because the lateral motion can pull them from side to side into the wheel (Mike had to replace his aluminum ones with thicker steel).

There's a reason the vast majority of hitches mount low on the chainstay, and that's due to the various manufacturers putting a lot of time into finding the best solution. ;)

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the close up photos of the trailer hitch which seems to have a ball joint but I am wondering whether Jeff made that or if he purchased it somewhere.
How would I make that or where could I buy it?

Anonymous said...

It's similar in ways to the Burley Forged Hitch with Lollipop End that can be found at


- Freth