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Race car bike trailer

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This is a race car-inspired bicycle trailer I made for my 2-year-old from parts of an old jogging stroller, a 55 gallon plastic barrel, some scrap wood, and a few other odds and ends.

It's fairly lightweight, and as a neighbor put it, "looks bad as hell." (Not my line, but I agree!)

It took a few months to complete, working on and off. It was painted to match an old 10-speed that I restored for my wife, and has upholstered seats, covered wheels, and a trunk to carry lunch for the family.

This open-top design works well for the age of my child, but the techniques I used to make this could be applied to make a similar child trailer in almost any form, such as to accommodate a sleeping baby, or to included some kind of canopy, for example.

Thanks for taking a look . . . and as always, let me know what you think!
 
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Step 1: Old jogging stroller

Picture of Old jogging stroller
I had to scour my local thrift stores for many months before I found an ideal jogging stroller for this project. I picked it up for only $5 and everything was still in great condition, including the tires. It was almost a shame to take it all apart! 

The rear wheels are attached to a flat piece of metal that is bolted to the stroller frame. This wheel assembly worked out perfectly for what I needed, as did the handlebars which were modified to use as the tow bar. 
badboyss4 days ago

awesome

bwh138 months ago
Clever build!
I saw this and thought that it was an old kid's trailer converted into a car, I love this, I am kinda waiting for my son to out grow his bike trailer so that I (or my father who is better at wood working) can make something like this out of the frame :D
Very cool project; one that I'm definitely going to have to try, but I do have a safety concern I'd like to hear your thoughts on:
I like the idea of a safety backup for the hitch, but I'd be concerned that, in the unlikely event that the primary hitch failed, the safety strap would pendulum the end of the hitch right into your spokes. Probably just an academic concern, as I have a hard time imagining the hitch failing to begin with.
seamster (author)  HibbityDibbity1 year ago
I guess it could happen. But I'd still want my kid attached to my bike somehow, rather than not at all. I'd like to think most people would notice really quickly if the trailer hitch broke. Before every ride, you would want to inspect the hitch to make sure it's secure and not wearing down anywhere.
seamster (author)  seamster1 year ago
Another thought, all commercial kid trailers have a similar safety strap. So they're obviously worth having, despite any possible risk in the scenario you describe.

Hope you make one! Do an instructable if you do. Love the manly beard. I can't manage more than so patchy scruff. Very jealous.
Don't be too jealous; the testosterone that gave me my beard is the same testosterone that caused me to start balding at 17.
seamster (author)  HibbityDibbity1 year ago
I likewise started going bald in high school. So, so sad.

The trick to overcoming baldness is a hot wife that doesn't care and a nice hat. At least that worked for me.
My plan was to grow the beard out as a comb-over.
The style does look a little like old race cars, but I thought it looked more like a nice sidecar, only it's a trailer. I like it.
seamster (author)  Yard Sale Dale1 year ago
I think you're right, it does look like a sidecar. My racecar inspiration may have just been with the paint job!

You are right on with your other comment about low center of gravity and tongue length. These two concerns dictated where I placed the wheels and the seat. I put the wheels further toward the back with the seat in front of them and as low as possible, which makes the trailer stable and keeps the weight on the hitch. I made the tongue just long enough to clear the rear tire plus a couple inches, with enough room for right and left swing.
That's impressive. The thing to aim for with trailers is a low center of gravity, and balanced load over the wheel axle. The longer the trailer tongue, the more stable it will likely be, but it can be a problem as the trailer "cheats" when cornering around obstacles like poles or pedestrians. I like your idea of the wooden car body. I think I'll do a much simpler version, aiming for a Jeep body style, built on an existing kid-trailer.
earlyflyer1 year ago
Very excellent project. Reminds me of an MG TD. As usual, your craftsmanship and creativity are top notch. Seeing fenders in the base of a plastic barrel speaks to your resourcefulness. Keep 'em coming!

You should add one of those little horns with the squeezy bulb thing for your son to have fun with. Or maybe mom would nix that idea?
A nice ding bell is pleasant and hard to get tired of.
seamster (author)  earlyflyer1 year ago
Thanks!

We thought about extras like a horn, lights, and faux gauges and such on the dash, but in the end nixed all of these ideas just for simplicity's sake.

As I was laying out the shape I wanted for this, I think I was vaguely conjuring up images of the Aston Martin DBR1, but I never took the time to look up any photos for reference. I've always liked green British roadsters, so you're right in the ballpark with the MG. Nice call!
seamster (author)  seamster1 year ago
Now that I've been looking more closely at these old cars, I want to go make another one of these, only pattern more closely after a specific car.

..Not sure which one though, but it would sure be fun to make a simplified replica of an actual car. Should have done this in the first place!
Just another suggestion, put a fake steering wheel where the kid can play like they are driving and add the horn too :) .
seamster (author)  BillBiker1 year ago
I thought about a steering wheel. That would've been awesome a nice touch. Perhaps I'll put one on the next trailer!
gromm1 year ago
This is an awesome concept! Things that would go well with this are roll bars (for safety and realism! You could probably make them out of PVC pipe.), you might be able to get away with making the sides and top out of plastic sheeting to save weight, and the thing I recommend most is the Chariot ball hitch.

Chariot Carriers makes spare parts for their cup-and-ball hitch that is the cat's pyjamas. You can install the lollipop (ball) in pretty much any trailer hitch arm, and the cup just bolts on the outside of the rear axle. It's super strong, safe, and is super easy to hitch the trailer on.

Most places that sell the Chariots will have these parts, but here's an online catalogue that has all of them, separately and as a kit:

http://www.bikekidshop.com/chariot-trailer-parts-c-197.html
for attatching it to your bike i would use a tie rod end from a car for better turning
seamster (author)  howtomechanic1 year ago
I'm not very familiar with car parts, but I'll ask around and try to find one of those and see if it works. Thanks for the tip!
l8nite1 year ago
have to agree with your neighbor ^5
seamster (author)  l8nite1 year ago
Thanks!
ilpug1 year ago
I really like the techniques, and the look of the end result, but I just can't like the whole idea of baby trailers on bikes. Great job though.
seamster (author)  ilpug1 year ago
Thanks! But hey, what's not to like about baby trailers on bikes? ;)

We have a few kids and we like to go on long bike rides on the paved trails around our home, and this is the best way to bring along the little one that's not quite riding yet.
ilpug seamster1 year ago
I just think that it seems a bit dangerous to pull a kid around in a bike trailer. The statistics probably prove me paranoid, but it just doesn't seem safe to me.
seamster (author)  ilpug1 year ago
Ah.

Yes, there are many dangers in life, and it's generally advisable to avoid them if at all possible!
Yes...even i have that fear of when you ride a bike and the kid is behind...well...you cant always look back....especially when you are supposed to look front...else you'll knock a tree and then you and kiddo will topple over...and as long as the path is smooth...i guess there would be very little accidents...still....i love the design. :-D ...the finish looks excellent
As cycling requires most to wear helmets there are mirrors when adjusted correctly will allow the drivers to look back without having to completely take ones eyes off the road. I too absolutely love the style of this DIY :). Not picking on either one of ya just trying to help out with a suggestion :) .
Understood :-D
coach_sam1 year ago
Great job! This is by far the best looking of the bike trailers I have seen.
seamster (author)  coach_sam1 year ago
Thanks!

I'm biased of course, but I agree with you!
coach_sam1 year ago
This is great, I've been thinking about my own DIY jogging stroller to bike trailer for awhile this hitch will work perfectly. thanks.
zap19981 year ago
Great tip about the first coat matching existing. Your project turned out awesome.
profpat1 year ago
i like it! nice one, i have been planning to build a bike trailer! i have lots of old small bikes i can use the wheels.
___1 year ago
Looks Great!
This came out really slick. I like the way you made the hitch mount for the cart, and a very excellent upcycle of a jogging stroller.
seamster (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago
Thank you. That stroller turned out to be a really good find!
iOskr1 year ago
I'm very impressed for your great job. Looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!!!
seamster (author)  iOskr1 year ago
Thank you for the compliment!
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