No Weld Bike Trailer




About: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.

This project seeks to make bike trailer building easy and cheap! Bike trailers are extremely useful and enable cyclists to carry heavy or weird loads easily.

This project was made for under 30 dollars using mostly found objects. If i had to buy everything i used it would cost around 60.


Step 1: Wheel Base

The hardest part of building a bike trailer is building the wheel base. This is the part that holds two wheels in place so you can build the rest of the trailer.

I have to confess i did not build mine. I got it from Dan who scavenged it from an broken trailer.

This instructable uses a firewood cart, i'm sure you can find other wheel bases to scavenge from.

Step 2: Making the Platform Part 1

The first step after you get a wheel base is to build a base for your trailer, for this you will need:

3 - 30" 2x4s
6 long screws
Drill bits made for drilling metal.

Once you get those, drill holes into the wheel base, making about 6 holes to mount the 2x4s.

Step 3: Making the Platform Part 2

Once you have the holes drilled, mount the 2x4s onto the base making a nice platform.

Step 4: Trailer Hitch Part 1

Once you have a base made it's time to make a hitch. I did a variation on this hitch idea and used air hose coupling. I already had a hitch that attached to my bike so it made it easier. For the arm down i used electrical conduit.
To build the part that connects to your bicycle take a look at this instructable: No Weld Bike Trailer Hitch

For this step i used:
1 10ft x 1/2" conduit tubing
1 Air hose coupling
6 inches of webbed tubing.
2 hose clamps

Step 5: Trailer Hitch Part 2

First i cut the tubing to size and shoved the air hose coupling on one end. I shoved the other end onto the electrical conduit.

This part was hard, i used rubbing alcohol to slip it on but it still took a lot of elbow grease.

After i got it together i ran a heat gun over it to seal it.

See the last picture for the hitch on the bicycle.

Step 6: Trailer Hitch Part 3

Once you get the connector on, it's time to bend the conduit. There are special tools for this, but they cost around 30 bucks and i didn't want to get one just to use it once.

So i used a barrel! You want to have a sort of S shape going from the hitch to the trailer.

But if you have the money or can borrow one, i strongly suggest the conduit bender.

Step 7: Attaching the Hitch to the Platform

Once the hitch is bent to your liking, it's time to attach it to the base. I used some U brackets and a few screws to attach it to the bottom.

The conduit was a little too long, i cut off the extra with a dremel.

Step 8: Attaching a Base

At this point the main part of the trailer is done. From here you can build on to adding a bucket or a flat plank

I decided on a flat plank from some scrap wood i had lying around. I cut a 30x18 inch piece out.

Step 9: Painting It

Well you could stop here, but where is the fun in a boring brown trailer. I prettied mine up with some orange and silver spray paint.

Step 10: Test Ride

Now it's time to test ride!

Right when i got outside someone yelled to me "I Want One!" which is always a great response to a new project.

I had someone sit on the trailer as i rode it around to test it out, the first time i went out i realized that my hitch wasn't tight enough. oops!

If you have ideas for improvements, please comment! Hope your bike trailer makings go wonderfully! Share your projects!



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    44 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Nice, this project inspired me to make a hot cocoa/lemonade stand bike trailer. I hope to make an instructable about it.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Could you add sides to the cart and not hurt the wheel's function?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I need a trailer for my dog, and for my work as a gardener in a 301 acre situation. I've been planning my trailer for awhile. I am going to use the extruded aluminum from an old extension ladder. It can be cut with regular saws. I scrounged the wheels and axle. The hitch is what I have not worked out yet. I figure the extrusions can be cut along the length, then shaped, to give me the tongue.
    I will screw it together for testing, then if it seems to right enough, I'll get someone to weld it for me. The old ladder idea seems like a good one. It is 40', not really good any more for a ladder as it has a cantankerous bow in it which makes it hard to use. Besides, it's really heavy and I'm too old to be interested in juggling that thing anymore.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    that i a cool trailer i am going to make a a bigger one with a wood plait


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hi again, just had another thought, it might be a great idea to add reflectors or reflective tape (available in 1/2" and 1") on all 4 sides as anything to catch notice of motorists etc.even on a bright day is a good thing.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hi nice able, i do have a few possible variations for you. 1. use liq soap and a tiny bit of water to slip the hose on, this has been used for decades to install handlebar grips and decals and drys like cement. 2. use a piece of mudflap or conveyor belt (or leather belt) for hinge. a piece 1" x 6" with one hole at each end wrapped somewhat snugly around the seat stem and attached with a 1/4" dia. carriage bolt and a wing nut and 2 washers through the material/conduit/material absorbs some shock and polishes the stem as well. 3. for attachment points use eye bolts or small boat cleats (depends on if you prefer bungees or rope, either can be stored between fasteners when not in use) but don't put on top, put on sides like my pick-up truck or under edge. keep up the great work.


    8 years ago on Step 10

    You could add some eye bolt wood screws to the ends of the 2x4's for tie downs/bungee anchors.

    spark master

    8 years ago on Step 6

    If you make friends with an electrician or maybe a a plumber(electrician is better bet), you can peruade them to bend it for you for a cup of coffee and a nice egg sandwich. I know I would have done it for free as long as you asked nicely. The egg and bacon sandwich and a cup o'joe would have been icing on the cake!

    Emt benders or "hickies" (although a hickey usually refers to a pipe bender, not emt), will bend baby carriage frame as well and if you can find an old bender for surface mounted square conduit, (for exposed finished surfaces the name escapes me), it bends square metal perfectly for offsets and 90's.

    great instructable



    8 years ago on Step 4

    Could you maybe post pictures of this coupling in action theres really no photos in this ible highlighting how its attatched physically to your bike... :S I'm very interested in how this is done!

    4 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    I plan to do an instructable soon about how to do the trailer hitch. Take a look at the instructable i linked to.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I liked you're expediency so much that I'm in the midst of building mine! I'll have mine done by the end of the week :D. I'll Post pictures. One question though, do you think that instead of conduit which is rather heavy I could simply just use some aluminum tubing about the same diameter but a bit thicker? It seems like it could be immensely lighter.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    I think a better way to lighten the trailer is to use something other than 2x4's for the base. Of course it also depends on how much weight you intend to be able to support, but I think you can safely carry groceries with a frame built of 3/4" pvc pipe or 1x2 pine. You can use plastic conduit for the hitch, but that doesn't stay bent, so you would have to use it to hitch to the side of the wheel instead of the seat post. I wouldn't know where to acquire aluminum tubing locally but I believe it is much more expensive. You can use wire mesh "fabric" stapled to the frame to support the load, plus you can build sides and a top from this same wire mesh that can fold down flat or be used to lock your groceries safely while you shop at a different store.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    Turns out, I wanted to do this project with my dad, but I dropped a printout of this ible and some of the parts that I had sourced. Two weeks later once I found time to go back to his place to start the project he had finished it by himself. I shall post pics of my (Dad's) build based on this ible. I'll certainly be using the crap out of this trailer though. Thanks for the inspiration!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    William Sullivan of The Cart Book (from TAB Books, but probably out of print), uses a simple, flexible hitch. To wit: Cut a strip of tire sidewall, say about an inch or a little more in width and 6 or 7 inches long. You can also use neoprene, or any flexible, strong material--perhaps a heavy piece of nylon strapping? You also need a bolt, a washer or two, and a nut to fit. A winged nut would be convenient. Flatten the hitch end of your conduit so that it lines up with your seat post (i.e. perpendicular to the ground). Drill a hole through the flattened section big enough to put your bolt through. Drill or bore a hole near one end of your strap (using whatever tool suits your material). Put the bolt through the conduit and strap, and wrap the strap around your seat post to see where the second hole in the strap needs to go. You want the fit fairly snug, so the hitch won't slip down on your seat post. Drill/bore this second hole and put the bolt through this as well. Add a washer and your nut, and you are done.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    There is a product called "plumber's tape" that comes in metal or plastic that is used to secure pipes to joists. It already has holes uniformly through the whole roll for the purpose of using a nut and bolt to secure it, and it's cheap and strong. Of course a scrapper like me would just use any old rag, strap or belt and poke a nail through it and the holes drilled in the conduit. No need to flatten the end except maybe to make drilling the hole through it easier. I have pulled a wagon behind my bike by tying it to the fender with a shoe lace. I just got a free kids bike that I intend to use for parts to make a trailer. I don't have a welder, so whatever I cut apart will have to be bolted into the new configuration.