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View Full Version : Hauling - cargo bikes and trailers


resopmok
11-20-2010, 11:54 AM
So, I'm a recently new homeowner and did some heavy remodelling which required things like full sheets of plywood/sheetrock and 10ft+ boards of varying sized, including mouldings. Fortunately I had some assistance from a friend in the form of an Outback for all the trips to Home Depot, but as a car free resident I have to wonder how I would have transported many of these things without that help. I do have a cargo trailer with about a 180lb limit, and I've even used it to move myself (it took 14 trips, but I did it), but I could never take on a project of house sized magnitude with it. On that note, I am planning to rehab the backyard shed in the summer, and will need to move oversized items again, only this time I probably won't have that help. This leads me to the question - how do you guys handle these situations?

I remember an article about a guy who picked up a couple toilets from the airport with his trailer, but I've never seen one that big or even know where to buy it. I can't really afford a cargo bike, though I'm not sure how a bakfiets or xtracycle would handle a full sheet of plywood anyway. I might be able to find a welder that could custom build something, I know there are some around town who advertise. I'm also concerned about trying to figure max weight handling - I don't want to damage my bike with too heavy a load either. With all the extra weight, would it be wise to build a 40 or 48 spoke rear wheel with a wider rim? What about stress placed on the dropouts and frame in general? I'm sure there's more I'll think of once the discussion gets going, but I'm curious about some of these technical details. Thanks!

bonny790
11-22-2010, 05:05 PM
http://www.bikesatwork.com/

Without going custom, Bikes at Work is what you'd want. There are some other big ones out there that would turn up with a little searching, but this is a very popular cargo trailer with lots of room and high weight capacity.

bonny790
12-01-2010, 10:44 AM
There's a new article about a local cargo trailer builder on Bike Portland in case you didn't already see it.

Spiffy
12-01-2010, 01:21 PM
There's a new article about a local cargo trailer builder on Bike Portland in case you didn't already see it.

good call...

http://bikeportland.org/2010/12/01/introducing-bike-trailer-maker-black-oak-fabrications-43721

rainperimeter
12-01-2010, 02:18 PM
the new surly trailers look pretty nice. i know a couple friends who have seemingly already got dibs on one (inside surly hook-up). this isn't out yet. not sure of the price.

Jeff Wills
12-05-2010, 09:04 PM
With all the extra weight, would it be wise to build a 40 or 48 spoke rear wheel with a wider rim? What about stress placed on the dropouts and frame in general? I'm sure there's more I'll think of once the discussion gets going, but I'm curious about some of these technical details. Thanks!

I think Bill Stites has been working on the details for a couple years:
http://www.stitesdesign.com/trucker-trike/

http://www.stitesdesign.com/uploads/Trucker-Trike.jpg

MrWolf
12-11-2010, 05:16 PM
You may want to look into a bikes at the work trailer. I own one and it works well. 300lb towing capacity. i have moved with it, as well as hauled large items including my christmas tree and lumber.

resopmok
12-12-2010, 12:18 AM
Just wanted to thank you guys for some of the input so far. As neat as Stites' invention is, I'd probably just buy a small pickup before something like that for as infrequently as it got used, i think the total cost of ownership would still be less. I have been considering the bikesatwork trailer option more seriously, but that's still a pretty hefty sum. I like the BOF trailers too but I'm concerned about their use of a non ball-type hitch (maybe undeservedly), and the longest BOF is still not as long as the longest bikesatwork model.

One discovery I made is that for heavier loads it seems to be recommended to use a bike with 26" wheels for the superior beefiness. Has anyone ever taco'd a 700C with too heavy a load on the trailer or would I be wasting my time re-outfitting a bike in order to pull it?

bonny790
12-15-2010, 09:06 AM
I'd say it would depend on how dainty the 700's are, the fancier the lacing and fewer the spokes, the less I'd trust them. I'd be more concerned with running out of gears. One advantage to mountain type bikes (other than 26" wheels) is the low gears that aren't on a lot of road bikes. I also wouldn't be too concerned with the non ball type hitch. I know someone with a very large cargo trailer that pulls some crazy loads at bike moves and his hitch is the pneumatic air line coupler type. I've always been dubious of them, but it works. That said, nothing is perfect.