U-Aluminum racks for your commuter / work bike to carry back packs, attach stuff, inspired many adventures including pull trailers.
Using school style back packs on a bike rack, you can make with hand tools, is a boy scout project to enable their bikes for camping and adventure. Each bike was unique in the rack attachment points. Card board was cut and trimmed duct taped as a fit up tool measuring how to compensate each design change. Hack saw, hand file and hand drill made for a safe Aluminum construction project for young teenagers. Metal was purchased at the local hardware store. Aluminum U shape was ideal as Aluminum corner gussets and supports fit into the U to strengthened the corners of the box on which the packs are attached.
Fully loaded for camping this adult rider + bike weight can approach ~ 250 lb. Adding a front wheel rack reduced high speed vibrations. Gum rubber tires will not last and have blown out. Continental Gator Skins are the best so far. One rear back pack hold my sleeping bag the other tent. Sleeping pad and poles tied to top of rear rack. Front packs are smaller hold rain gear, cloths, first aid kit, ten essentials, stove, food... Map and water are last tied to opportunistic easy to get at on the trip. Unloaded on a christmass shopping event I have broken a rear ball bearing and axle twice, squire held it together till repaired, now using stainless steel rear axle. Rear wheel spokes originally broke and were replace with a gauge 2x the original.
Three different bike rack systems were made and used on camping trips. Pictures, embedded comments show and tell how the racks were made and attached to the bikes.
Every day used for commuting work, errands and school adds up to ~ 3-4 thousand miles per year . The first step shows construction steps, remaining steps show some unusual occasional adventure ideas.
Viewing picture comments, for me, is best presented by double left clicking on the pictures as this will print the embedded text below that one picture.
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Step 1: Making the Frame Attaching the Packs
Using imagination, cardboard for designing for planning cuts, hand tools, electric drill you build a very versatile frame for your bike that will inspire many adventures. The pictures with embedded comments tell the issues shown.
Step 2: Why Limit Adventures by One Back Pack If Instead You Could Use More Back Pack on Your Bike?
Consider using your bike instead of your car.
If your a ride leader show some color and carry supplies and first aid station in a role around back pack trailer.
Check out some how to do bike trips on this yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BikeTourBasics/
Role around back pack wheels are surprisingly resistant have about 50 miles on them at this point. The small hard wheels are noisy helps to be noticed on paths.
Step 3: Adventure Idea: Pull a Canoe to Your Local Lake.
Story of this adventure is at this link;
The trailer hitch at this prototype step was clamps, eventually replaced by threaded pipe fitting pivots.
Park entrance fee was $5 to inspect the boat.
Step 4: Adventure Idea: Bench Transporter
Preparing to move a bench 1 mile via hand cart and improvised c-clamps 2x4 attachments to bike rack.
Trailer hitch was made from two castors, idea came from this link;
YouTube of two tests
Step 5: Toe a Pony Trailer
Poney trailer roped to bike rack is a great family holiday touring.
Step 6: Food Shopping, Beware.
Tried to get a birthday pie and tied it to parked bike as it was cooler outside than in my office. The Crow ate the pie in the half hour after I thought the package was secure to the frame.
Step 7: Some Surprising Events
Broken rear axle and ball bearing.
Finalist in the