What to do if you need to go to the country house, but you don’t have something to bring back the rich harvest from the garden? You can’t carry it all on your own shoulders! There is a solution – a bicycle trailer. It is used to transport oversized but heavy loads. It can be constructed by yourself if you have elementary skills with tools and welding. Although for some homemade designs the machine may not be necessary.
To say that the bicycle trailer – this is a mandatory attribute of a cyclist, it is impossible. Some people can easily do without it, there are those who have never heard of such a device and have no idea what the design is. But a certain category of people (gardening cyclists or active city dwellers, for example) cannot do without such a device.
Types of bicycle trailers
Today, official manufacturers produce a variety of designs:
- with one or two wheels;
- For children (similar to a stroller for a child);
- for pets;
- travel models;
- sideways (bicycles);
- ranebauts (to carry a child, but without the front wheel);
- residential bicycle trailers (there are some).
And what about heavy-duty luggage? Especially for these purposes, trailers have been designed, which can be placed in a separate category. These are cargo models. True, and the bike here will need the appropriate. It is undesirable to attach a cargo trailer to a road bike, because this bike is not designed for transportation of cargo, though it is characterized by the proper endurance. You can transport small household appliances, bricks and other oversized cargo with a cargo trailer for a bicycle.
There are bicycle trailers for small children. Except that this design can not be called a trailer: rather, it is a bicycle wheelchair with mounting on the frame. These models are characterized by increased stability (after all, the “cargo” is very valuable), protection against falling out, a roof and a spacious body.
If you look at the models of trailers for bicycles, you can see that for all the variety of design, all carts have similar features:
- Frame. Must be strong and stable, so steel or metal profile is used for its manufacture.
- Platform. It bears all the load. It is made of plywood, plastic, MDF or other improvised materials that can withstand considerable weight.
- mounting. This is the most important component of a bicycle trailer. Mounting can consist of a drawbar, various fasteners, locks and latches.
There are a great many model variations. In the United States, for example, you can often see carts on which surfers carry their boards. In our country, in great demand are universal models, with which you can transport bricks and vegetables, and personal belongings.
How to make a trailer for a bicycle with their own hands
In fact, there is nothing complicated about it. Even someone who has basic skills with tools and a welding machine will cope with the task. Do not be intimidated, welding is not a must. Homemade version – this is a reasonable solution for those who do not want to spend money on buying a special device, but also can not do without it. A little later we will tell you how to make a trailer for a bicycle with their own hands without welding, how to construct a wooden cart or tourist bike trailer.
The wheelbarrow can be made from PVC pipes. This is a fairly practical material that is easy to work with. It is clear that no one will buy specially pipes, but if you have a small amount left after repairs, they can be used. When transporting children and pets, you should provide a mount for the straps and their fixation.
Types of homemade bike trailers
Bicycle auxiliary designs vary depending on the material of manufacture and purpose. The trailer can be sideways or placed in the back. You will need 1 or 2 wheels to make it.
Stable and durable bicycle trailers are usually made from 25×25 mm section steel tubing. For greater stability, the loading platform is lowered slightly below the axis of the wheels. Also for convenience, some designs are equipped with an additional handle, with which the trailer can be transported manually.
It is impossible not to mention the advantages of the side trailer for a bicycle with their own hands. This is not a bad option for transporting small children, pets and luggage, for which you need to keep an eye while driving. Such a tandem is stable in parking, but makes the driver lean to the right while driving to keep the balance. This problem is easily solved by a movable connection between the bicycle and the cart itself. It should be remembered that you need a level road of sufficient width to move the tricycle.
Step-by-step instructions for making
It is time to move from theory to practice. To begin with, let’s talk about how to make a trailer for a bicycle from improvised materials. For this you can use sheets of plywood, polypropylene pipes and other raw materials. Remember that the cart needs wheels (1 or 2).
First of all, you need to make a drawing of the trailer for the bicycle. It can be drawn by hand or use a ready-made template. In any case, you need to take into account your own preferences and the purpose of the bicycle cart.
There is no single instruction on how to make a bicycle trailer, and all because craftsmen make them according to personal preferences. A variety of drawings allows you to build a strong cargo trailer, a cart for transporting a dog, and other models. The box is most often made of MDF or plywood.
Titanium is ideal for making the frame. But this is an expensive material, so aluminum is more often used as a counterpart. For the bottom, a metal basket can be used. If desired, it can be covered with plywood or any other material.
Made of wood
The cart can withstand quite a decent weight (about 20 kg) and has sufficient strength. The necessary materials:
- Two wheels with a diameter of 10 inches each;
- A piece of plywood (120×120 cm);
- thin board and plastic;
- wood paint in different colors;
- steel pipe with a square cross-section;
- PVC pipe;
- circular saw;
- other tools and small appliances.
- The side panels of the future trailer and the bottom should be cut from sheets of plywood. The walls should be made semicircular. The bottom panel is about 40 cm wide and 80 cm long (the same length should be the side panels).
- Once all parts are cut out, they need to be fastened with screws. It is advisable to drill the holes in advance with a drill of a smaller diameter. The surface of the base of the trailer should be primed with white paint.
- Next, it is necessary to strengthen the base, because it will bear most of the load. Keep in mind: if the frame is assembled incorrectly, the trailer will soon start to deform. That’s why you should place 2 long bars (about 35 cm) at the top and bottom of it. The same piece is attached to the bottom on the opposite side. Two long boards on the edges complete the “skeleton”.
- Now proceed to the installation of the roof. It should be made of flexible material. A thin board, a plastic panel (ideal) or a large poster-frame will work for this purpose. The dimensions of the roof: 35×90 cm. You can cut it out with a sharp knife, then apply a coat of primer and attach it to the trailer. The corners of the frame should be painted in the desired shade. They are attached to the roof with self-tapping screws.
- Move on to making the chariot and axle. Mark the location of the axle on the bottom. Cut two 40 cm pieces of plywood. One of them cut in half (about 6 cm wide). Attach the smaller piece to the bottom of the trailer with screws. On top – the larger piece. The wheels are held on the axle thanks to the clamps.
- Doors. In the roof of the trailer, cut two holes for the door. Leave 5 cm holes on each side. From the remaining piece you need to make a front bumper and glue it to the roof. While the glue dries, you can make additional reinforcement with duct tape. Once the bumper dries, it can be painted in the desired shade. The door can be cut from a piece of plastic. To do this, you will need a panel of the desired width and length. You can attach it with screws or self-tapping screws. All that remains is to paint the trailer and sand its construction.
Attach a piece of steel pipe to the cart, and on it – a spring axle. Now you can go on a long journey, taking everything you need with you.
From plastic pipes
If there is a competently made drawing, everyone can make a bicycle trailer at home. The advantage of this design is that the trailer from PVC pipes has greater strength compared to a wooden cart. In addition, products made of plastic are not afraid of dampness and low temperatures, including garage storage conditions. As for the disadvantages, they include the following points:
- the relative high cost of materials required for manufacturing (but if you have leftover pipes after the installation of sewage or water supply systems – you do not have to buy anything);
- need a special soldering iron (if not – you can fasten the pipes with a special adhesive composition or conventional screws).
To make a stylish and original cart, go to the nearest bike store and buy:
- 2 wheels with a diameter of 20 inches;
- Fasteners under the seat.
Frame can be welded with special soldering equipment. You can also use special glue to mount it, or simply fix the tubes with self-tapping screws.
With the appearance of additional cargo, the danger of riding a bicycle on the roadway increases. According to the Driving Regulations, a cyclist’s luggage should not protrude beyond the edges of the body. But that doesn’t mean you can make your trailer 2 meters wide and ride around town unimpeded. Going out on the road with a bicycle trailer, you must make sure that all fasteners and fixation tubes are in good working order. You should also place your luggage ergonomically and, if necessary, additionally secure it with straps so that the load does not fly out of the trailer during sudden braking or on a corner.
Permissible dimensions of transported load in width – no more than 50 cm to each side. The trailer must have reflective elements. In any case, self-made design noticeably worsens steerability of the vehicle. It is especially appreciable on turns.
Peculiarities of towing a trailer with a bicycle:
- try not to go downhill with the trailer;
- when turning, the cart goes on the inside arc and cuts the corner (this means that you should turn pre-emptively);
- the trailer is slightly or much wider than the bike;
- does not tow well on loose ground;
- getting over logs or ditches with the cart is a headache (keep this in mind when choosing a route).
You should move with the trailer with maximum caution. Separately, we should focus on the dogs. They love to rush on one cyclist with triumphant barking, and here – instead of two wheels it’s four. So, try to avoid the routes, where you can meet the dogs, or take some protective equipment.
Bicycle trailer is a convenient and practical solution for cyclists who prefer to solve all issues on their own. With it, you can go to the cottage, and to a camping trip with tents, and to the nearest village with overnight stays. Moreover, with a reliable and strong trailer, you can safely travel across the country and even beyond its borders. However, in this case, it is better to buy a ready-made construction, made in accordance with the rules.