Instructables

Shopping Cart Bike Trailer

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I wanted a bike trailer that I can leave out in the weather without rotting, and without trapping water to breed mosquitoes. Figured a shopping cart would make a good body of the trailer. There are many shopping carts around, but just taking one that is in good shape would seem like stealing, and I never got around to investigating where to legally acquire an old one. I finally found this one all smashed up next to a dumpster - looks like a car just t-boned it.
 
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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
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Parts
- one busted up shopping cart
- two old bicycle forks and fitting wheels
mine were mountain bike ones, BMX ones would have been better because they are smaller and more solid. I found them in the garbage somewhere.
- primer and paint
- matching male/female air hose fittings (there are different types)
- material for the tongue and bike hitch - I used an old metal pipe that came from a tent or something, wire, scrap metal

Tools
- welder
- angle grinder with cutting wheel and wire brush (you can use a manual or drill-type brush, but BOY are the grinder ones faster and more powerful!)
- bottle jack and waste lumber to straighen out cart
- several clamps or locking pliers for set-up

Step 2: Straighen out the cart

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Use lumber to fill the space, and use the jack to bend the cart. Careful not to get yourself in the way if this slips. That said, the jack is very controllable, so if you hold it in place you should be able to feel if anything starts shifting.
Some bending worked with the jack, but to get anything that was too far out back in, the only thing I could figure was a maul. Good to get out the frustrations.
Thing wouldn't bounce but not bend when I just jumped on it.
wolfgang641 year ago
Never mind the bent basket, This is the best design I have yet seen, The only thought I have is with a heavy load the best braking comes from the back. Is the there a way to put on a center or side pull brake system with with a quick connect/ disconnect system that could be put in? If your load overtake's you It's scarey. but still A wonderful design. I might be able to help.
onrust1 year ago
I love how you used a mashed up basket. Well done
Dave62 years ago
I made one and its awesome! I have yet to use it to actually get something from one place to another but I still love it, although it is a pain to tow up the hill, especially when your bike only has about 5 gears
berserk (author)  Dave62 years ago
Show us a picture!
Dave6 berserk2 years ago
I will get pics up as soon as possible
jarrelb3 years ago
very useful instructable. i like the idea of using a old beat up cart that would have been scrap otherwise. great job!
12Bones3 years ago
This cart will go perfect with the 66cc motor I just added to my 10 speed. Got the kit from gasbikes.net I've been having fun the last 4 months riding around doing about 30 mph, and I can go 140 - 150 miles on a little over a 1/2 gallon of mixxed gas.
I've been thinking of going out on weekend camping trips riding 1 day out and come back the next. I could have everything all packed up in the cart.
manicmonday4 years ago
You misspelled a word. Your incorrect spelling was "moskitos". The correct spelling is "moskeetoes" :)
berserk (author)  manicmonday4 years ago
Oh man. You know, that one is stuck in my head in its German spelling and I get it wrong every chance I get. Thanks, fixed :-)
Whamola4 years ago
How did you end up attaching the forks to the cart?  A picture of what you welded to would have made this step a lot better. 

Thanks
berserk (author)  Whamola4 years ago
I keep meaning to get a pic to respond to your question. I welded the sides of the forks to a thicker wire (~8mm) that ran down the side of the cart in an S-curve. The "s" gave me three attachmetn points. Probably not the most solid way to do it.
Since then the fork has pulled loose on one side. I re-attached it with some thick wire using a Clamptite (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=59452&cat=1,43456) tool. It's been running will with that repair since.
NWilhelm4 years ago
haha and here I am thinking nobody has made an Instructable on this yet. silly me. I just "acquired" a cart and I was thinking about doing this exact same thing. thanks for the basic idea to work with.
berserk (author)  NWilhelm4 years ago
If I were to do one thing different this time around, I think it's to make it sit lower on the wheels. Maybe use a threaded rod as the axle or so, rather than the forks. There is a fair bit of vibration where they are attached. That said, it's lasting not too badly and has been on many a garbage-eve trip.
yeah im in the process of figuring out a good method to mount the wheels, with my limited tools at the moment it may take a while. but we'll see.
Nice Idea...if I can find a crappy cart I will definetly give this a try!!!
Pandymoose5 years ago
ingenious! i wouldnt have even tried with such a wreak of a trailer, but you seem to have pulled it off perfectly!
Great utilization of old stuff to make a very useful little trailer.
SureShot5 years ago
Very cool idea, and it even looks nice too!
djr67895 years ago
awsome build!
ve2vfd5 years ago
Great idea! Carts are light and very solid. Looks like a vintage car with "wings" at the back where the handle attached :) Just be sure to always have permission to get/use a broken cart. A new cart costs the store $150-$400 depending on model so they may not appreciate people "liberating" their carts.