Have you ever wanted to take something extra with you when you ride your bike, but didn't know how you could get it on the bike and still be able to ride? I have, and believe me one of my favorite challenges about bike riding is figuring out how to strap anything from a tennis racket to a load of firewood to a bike. There is something about that moment when you wrap that bungee cord around your item just right, pull on it until your fingers hurt, and get it to hook on. You step back and think to yourself "this is rigged but it just might stay on."
In my effort to carry more things with my bike I decided to build a cargo trailer. It wasn't going to be a typical trailer though, I wanted something that was Heavy Duty, maybe something that could handle most household appliances. So I got started just like every other good home made bike trailer, with a pair of garbage picked wheels and a set of tires that were given to me for free.
Here is a quick run down of the main features of the trailer:
Large 28"x41" deck
Mounts with a quick release ball joint to any bike rack
1" square steel tube frame can accommodate up to 700c/29" wheels and tires
100mm drop out spacing to allow for most bicycle front wheels
Space for tool box with tools, straps, and bungee cords
Adjustable pulling arm to allow mounting to any bike
My main motivation for building this trailer came from the many "bike move" videos and blog posts on this topic. A bike move is what it sounds like, moving to a new house by only using bikes for transportation and hauling. This requires cargo bikes, bike trailers and the blank stares of people as you ride past with a massive load of stuff on your bike. This video is my favorite bike move video from a group of bike movers in Bozeman. This is not me or my video, but it is a great example of what can be done with a bike trailer.
There is also a great post on the Utility Cycling blog about this bike move, Bike Move!
If you just watched the video your probably wondering, How much can I really tow with a bike? Well the company www.bikesatwork.com
sells cargo bike trailers and has some great references on hauling large items on bikes. Check out the How much can I haul?
page for a calculator on towing weight. They state that "...most people can comfortably pull 300 lbs (137 kg) with a typical mountain bike and cargo trailer..." Also check out these links for bike gearing and moving advice, Hauling Cargo by bike
I have not purchased anything from this company but from the info they give and the pictures of their trailers in action I believe they sell a good product, but its just a little pricey.
So now that you see the potential behind a simple bike trailer, lets go build one!NOTE: In order to use this bike trailer you must have a bike rack