Best hitch point, stem or axle ?
I've tried both when I built my last trailer...........
I first tried the axle approach, but the weight of the engine made the balance really bad, so then I made the hitch go to the seat post, and the balance was MUCH better. Also, with the axle approach, the engine pushing against the rear wheel caused the wheel to slide on dirt on turns, which was scary.....
The trailer pushing up high on the bike is fine, because your body weight on the seat controls the bike. It pushes you in the direction you want to go.
So far, 54.8mph topped out once, and it is stable at any speed.
Click to expand...
At this point, I am leaning toward seatpost attachment. For pretty much the reasons you list.
My bike is full suspension:
I'm thinking that if the pusher were attached to the axle, it would tend to 'push' the rear wheel up 'under' the bike. Plus there's that wheel slide on dirt curves, which you mention. I live on a 3 mile long gravel road. With some very steep hills, and one very steep, treacherous switchback.
I think that it would be more difficult to get used to having the rear wheel pushed around, than having the PT push against my own, (rather voluminous), weight, on the seat.
There is also the fact that an axle connection would be more difficult to move from one bike to another, than a seatpost mount.
How to Make a Bike Trailer Hitch
A bike trailer is a useful device for transporting cargo via bicycle. It is a motorless wheeled frame that usually has a capacity of up to 4 cubic yards, or 3 cubic meters, in volume and up to ½ ton in weigh. Its design is based on the intended purposes, cargo requirements, and riding conditions.
Types of bike trailer—by number of wheels
A bike trailer with one wheel is more stable than trailer with two wheels. It can tilt from side to side and coordinates turns with the bicycle at relatively high speeds. It requires a simpler connection to the bicycle than the two wheeled bike trailer.
On the other hand, the two wheeled bike trailer is more stable at low speeds and has a greater capacity for cargo. It is ideal for heavy and huge cargo. Since it is intended for heavy loads, it is unsafe for high speeds.
Components of a bike trailer
The frame of a bike trailer is either made of metal or wood. Metal frames are usually steel or aluminum alloy tubing, and wood or bamboo frames are often used. Other components of a bike trailer include the axle, wheel, mud guard, and hitch.
The hitch is an important component because it joins the bicycle and the bike trailer. It comes in different types—homemade, and trailer manufactured. It can be attached to different parts such as seat post, rear axle, rear cargo or pannier rack, chain stay, or improvised such as chain, ropes, cables, and more.
How to make your own bike trailer hitch
Bike trailers are very practical especially when transporting loads. Did you know that you can make your own bike trailer hitch? It is easy and inexpensive. Here is how to make a bike trailer hitch:
- Prepare all the materials—notice that the cost is under $5
- 1 1/4” bolt
- 1 1/4” nut
- 1 U-bolt (1 and 1/4”)
- 1 male air hose coupling
- The U-bolts typically come with metal plate. Drill the U-bolt plate into the metal plate with a standard drill bit of about 1/4”.
- Insert the nut into the bolt. Then, put the bolt through the metal plate.
- Thread the male air hose coupling onto the bolt. To tighten all the materials, using two wrenches will help.
- Put the bolt onto the U-bolt.
- Lastly, connect the bolt to the bike seat post. To avoid any scratches on the seat post, wrap the bolt in an inner tube. Tighten it with a crescent wrench.
Now you have your own homemade bike trailer hitch which costs less than $5 bucks to make and can be easily assembled without requiring any weld or complicated tasks. Just follow the above steps and you will have an instant hitch.
Commercial bike trailer hitches
To compare how inexpensive it is to make your own hitch, let us take a look at some commercial bike trailer hitches, which come in different varieties for different bikes and trailers.
One variety is the Bicycle Trailer Hitch that costs around $50. It is stainless steel, made of heavy duty alloy steel 3/8 inch—rod end. It can hold a 600-pound load. It can fit most bikes— 26 inches, or 29 inches wheels.
Axle-Mounted Bicycle Trailer Hitch
This variety is designed to fit bicycles with unusual frame geometry. It can be attached on the end of the axle on the dropout top under the skewer. It costs about $55.
Big Dummy Side-Mount Bicycle Trailer Hitch
It can be attached to the left side of the bike to allow for maximum capacity. It has a split design to avoid foot rest on the stays. This hitch is not intended for huge loads; use a rear-mount hitch instead. This variety of bicycle trailer hitch costs $60.
Xtracycle/ Big Dummy Rear Trailer Hitch
For wide loaders, this Xtracycle/Big Dummy Rear Trailer Dummy Rear Trailer Hitch works best. This usually costs around $60.
Making your own bicycle trailer hitch can save you a lot of money and it’s very easy to make. Compared to commercial bike trailer hitches, making you own hitch can be done very easily. It requires only few materials that cost around $5. The assembly is easy and doesn’t require any electricity or welding.
Introduction: No Weld Bicycle Trailer Hitch
This is a complementary instructable to the No Weld Bike Trailer. This instructable will show you a quick air hose coupling based trailer hitch, that connects to that trailer.
Step 1: Supplies
The supply list for this hitch is well under 5 bucks, here is what i used:
1 Male Airhose coupling
1 1/4" bolt
1 1/4" nut
1 U bolt (1 and 1/4")
Drill bits necessary to complete the job.
Step 2: Drill the Ubolt Plate
Most Ubolts will come with a metal plate, Drill into this with a standard drill bit about 1/4"
Step 3: Put the Bolt and Nut On
Put the nut on the bolt and the put the bolt through the metal plate like the picture below.
Step 4: Thread the Airhose Coupling On
Thread the airhose coupling onto the bolt, Use 2 wrenches to tighten everything down sufficiently.
Step 5: Put It on the Ubolt
Put the bolt onto the ubolt like so:
Step 6: Attach to the Seatpost
Lastly attach the hardware to your seat post and ride! If you don't want to scratch your bike seat post, wrap it in an inner tube. Use a crescent wrench to tighten it down.
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Pumpkins & Gourds Speed Challenge
Back to School: Student Design Challenge
Based on a design I saw on the net some time ago, here’s mine (now briefly tested on the road):
It attaches near the wheel axle, to the left chain stay and saddle stay. (A single clamp would pivot around the chain stay, so I added a second clamp linked to the first one with a connector, which keeps the first clamp from moving.) The design could easily be modified to attach to the saddle post, but I wanted to keep the baggage rack free, and some sources claim stability is better with a low-mounted drawbar.
The clamps are standard pipe clamps; I just replaced the threaded tongues with wing nuts so no tools are necessary to attach or detach the trailer. I left the rubber part in place to protect the paint of my bike. There’s a bit of give between the hitch and the bike, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem so far. Nothing is mounted permanently on the bike, so the trailer can be attached to pretty much any bike.
The rest are three swivel casters (one each for the yaw, pitch and roll axis). The wheels were removed as we just need the ball bearings. There’s also a right angle connector between the pitch and yaw axis. For the draw bar I took a square aluminium tube and cut two slots into it, then slid the fork of the swivel caster into it and secured it with a screw, using the existing hole. I needed to drill a second hole to prevent the assembly from bending at the joint (which otherwise happens easily, as the link needs to support the weight of the trailer). This does not seem to be a problem with the pitch/roll swivel casters, although a similar two-hole solution could be constructed here.
The draw bar has a 45° bend in it and attaches to the left side of the trailer (not shown in the picture). The trailer was built using two front forks; the draw bar slides over the shaft of the left fork and is secured with two screws.
All nuts (except for the wing nuts) are self-locking. For the bolts that go into the clamps I used Loctite to prevent them from coming off. For the screws that have the wing nuts on them I might do the same, or put a self-locking nut on the end. Either way I would need slightly longer screws: currently they are M6×30, I would need M6×35 (as M6×40 would get dangerously close to the spokes).
I am thinking of putting a rubber tube around the whole assembly, as the parts probably do not handle moisture and road grime very well.
Hitch bike seatpost
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