So, I'm in a Dad dance group. 740 Stompers. We were asked to do a parade in our town. The only catch was that we couldn't have a motorized vehicle. I thought,,"what can we do?'' Then it came to me. A mountain bike with a sidecar to hold a suitcase stereo. A wild combination of two separate and fantastic ideas. Now the 740 Stompers will have a more permanent vehicle for local parades. We have a sweet bike that is ready to go and no one has to put streamers all over their car. I'll attempt to walk you through the process and please remember, I'm just a lower case "p" professional. Thanks for looking!
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Step 1: Get Parts & Dream
I have seen a lot of things on the internet about bikes and bike mods and trailers.....I've ridden what's called a "sidehack" which is a bmx bike with a side car. They've been around for quite awhile actually. I knew I already had a mountain bike I found on the side of the road for free so I started there. I really liked it being a mountain bike because there are gears. When you start adding steel and wood to a bike, gears become really important. So I had a bike but needed more. I simply asked for help and people were excited to donate bikes. I lucked into a 5th wheel trailer and it seemed just like what I wanted.
Step 2: Find a Friend Who Welds, Cut Stuff and Weld It.
SUPER IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: We're not professional welders, but we are functional welders and tried to have our design also help the structure.
The 5th wheel trailer I got was quite a perfect thing. It had a goose neck type of extension we welded near the mountain bike's rear hub, then put another pipe 90 degrees straight into the hub of the 5th wheel.
I found a bud who was into this and willing to help me weld it all together. We used some steel bar or piping that I found in my shed. Just remember to be safe and have fun.
Step 3: Cut More Stuff and Weld It.
Ok, Next we cut the neck off the 5th wheel and re welded it to aim back towards the front fork of the mountain bike. We had to extend the pipe with some of the piping from my shed. Wham bam, we had a decently solid frame.
A few things to think about.
- Try to keep your wheels all aligned (or err to a slight inward angle)
- Remember to leave room for pedaling.
- Try to keep things level that you want level. (our platform)
- Again, remember to be safe. ear and eye protection.
Step 4: Make It Solid.
Sweet! So there are two things that I think were really smart moves.
- We added a triangle bracket to the back connection to strengthen the frame.
- We welded a horizontal pipe directly into the hub of the 5th wheel. Super strong connection.
Step 5: Layout the Platform. Prep for Paint
Once the frame was finished, I took a pallet apart and layed out the boards to see what I wanted. I drilled out the frame so I could use carriage bolts to bolt the planks down. It all seemed to come together nicely so I began stripping it all down to prep for paint.
- Take off stickers
- Sand it down a bit
- Add some fiberglass bondo to clean up the welds a bit
- Get ready to paint!
Step 6: Paint It With a Sweet Paint Job!
Our 740 Stompers colors are red, white, and blue (of course) so I wanted a red to white fade on the frame with blue rims on the wheels. Slick slick slick. I did end up changing the blue color to a more manly blue. Check out the next step. A few tips on spray painting.
- Work in the shade
- Make sure it's not too hot or your cans will clog up fast
- Add lots of layers and let them dry in between.
Step 7: Start Putting It Back Together.
I began putting it all back together and just went slow so I didn't scratch my hot paint job. I actually learned quite a bit about bikes, gears, brakes, and how to get it all functioning well. The internet is a really great thing! That's probably why you're hooked on instructables. Here you can see how I changed the blue color.
Step 8: Put the Finishing Touches On!
740 Stompers So here's a video of what we do.
Our Stomper bike And here's another which highlights the bike.
I added a "Mitch" license plate to finish it off and have also put the 5th wheel handle bars back on for when I give my kids rides through town. We add a suitcase boombox to the sidecar for parades and can also carry a cooler on it. A most perfect parade mobile. If you're curious about suitcase boomboxes, that's a whole different project but you can easily find plenty of those on here. So there you go! Thanks for looking and thanks for your time!