Homemade Bicycle Trailer

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In the summer of 2008, I downloaded the plans for the "Deep and Short" bike trailer available here.  I was about to move into Grinnell College's EcoHouse, a house full of Grinnell students committed to decreasing their environmental impact and helping the college test new sustainable technology on its way to the dorms.  I decided to build the trailer and bring it to the house for grocery runs, apple picking, etc.  

On the whole, I was very impressed with the design.  It uses electrical conduit as the main construction material.  This stuff is cheap and potentially available recycled from construction sites.  Pipe bending and brazing is an easy construction technique with lots of possibilities -- I haven't designed anything myself yet, but it's on my list!  The trailer has held up well these 2.5 years.  I have since graduated, but EcoHouse residents continue to use the trailer.

The plans on the Pedal People website gives step-by-step instructions, so I won't try to repeat that here.  I just hope my pictures can help those in the building or designing process.  I misplaced my pictures of the trailer in use, but I made a particle-board bottom with slots cut for the ribs.  This guy has hauled lots of stuff (and people) -- I love it!

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    11 Discussions

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    olmoncmac91000

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The auto factories are returning to brazing as a way of attaching some auto body panels because it is less likely to fatigue crack then a weld. However, things have progressed and the factories have a wire feed brazing process.

    Very similar to the cart as described in the 1913 edition of The Boy Mechanic. Come to think of it, a LOT of what is described in this site is covered by that book.

    Beautiful trailer! I noticed that you were wearing sandals in a couple of pics. I do stupid things like that all the time. I usually put on the safety goggles after I get something in my eye. On the 'ol internet though, people like us have to tell people not to be stupid (like us). Nice job though, don't want to detract in any way from that.

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    badgerali

    7 years ago on Introduction

    hey looks great ive got a question i just did some touring on my bike and i ditched my trusty old pannier bags and used my friends kiddy trailer but it would have a dragging sensation when pulling hills or going fast which was horrible is there a way to connect to the bike with out the pivot spring joint?

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    Rmal

    8 years ago on Introduction

    No health issues brazing galvanized conduit? Any worry about zinc fumes?

    1 reply
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    calischsRmal

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Good point! I kept a fan blowing and door open whenever I was brazing the conduit.

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    calischsFlameRazor

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I followed the instructions on the Pedal People design -- Here's a picture from their guide. The main component is the rod end ball joint at the bottom.

    PedalPeopleHitch.jpg
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    Calorie

    8 years ago on Introduction

    It is a nice design, and it looks great. But safety people! It's all fun till you catch your leg hair on fire.