Trailers!

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
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UrbanManc
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Re: Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Cargo Trailer

Postby UrbanManc » 23 Sep 2008, 8:35pm

CliveA wrote:I've just returned from a camping holiday in south west Wales, towing an Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Cargo trailer behind my bike.

It was absolutely great, with only a couple of very minor problems. I'll write more when I have time, but if you'd like to know more (or even a test ride if you're in the Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire/London area) then give me a shout at clive.andrews@ctc.org.uk

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Cargo Trailer


Tapping desk ... waiting for " a couple of very minor problems. I'll write more when I have time " :?

CliveA
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Postby CliveA » 24 Sep 2008, 10:31am

Sorry to have kept you on tenterhooks, UrbanManc!

I've owned by EBC trailer for about a year. It's very closely based on the Bob Yak, but by no means identical.

Until last month, I'd only ever used it for short trips - camping, picnics and beach barbecues. Our trip to Wales was the first time I'd used it on a proper tour.

The trailer has a frame of square-section steel tube which can be flat-packed when not in use. A single rear wheel attaches via a quick release. On the bike, a replacement rear quick-release skewer has wide stubs that receive the hooks which extend from the main trailer body. A nearly-waterproof fitted dry(ish) bag fits into the trailer and a flag completes the package.

We traveled from Brighton to Llanelli by train, which was the first challenge for the trailer. Negotiating our way onto trains was made easier by co-operative rail staff, but was by no means easy. Our journey involved two changes of train. The first platform change (at Fratton) forced me to separate the trailer and carry it separately up to staircases - not fun.

Thankfully, the passenger lifts at Cardiff are large enough to receive a bike and trailer without having to disconnect. Our final train was a very crowded two-car rural affair. Our fellow passengers were very understanding and helped a nightmare become tolerable.

Once in Wales, we hitched up and set off, me towing the heavily packed trailer behind a hardtail cross-country race mountain bike.

Image

I won't deny the trailer takes a little getting used to, but compared to the two-wheeled trailers I've used, it's fantastic. The trailer's wheel tracks the bike's rear wheel almost exactly, making it a good choice for off-road riding. Climbing hills is no more difficult than doing so with chunky panniers - maybe even easier. And fast cornering is absolutely fine - really confidence-inspiring. The only times I feel uneasy with the trailer are during fast lane-changes on quick roads. A simple sideways movement between lanes can sometimes lead to a kind of snaking sensation. Not enough to cause a real problem, but worth being aware of.

And so we continued for 250km - mostly on narrow country lanes, with a few off-road sections and some occasional larger roads. The trailer behaved very well, and its load continued to grow as items of my girlfriend's kit began to migrate mysteriously into my trailer bag.

After a particularly difficult off-road section we suffered a spate of punctures, but it would be unfair to blame this on the trailer's design - just one of those things.

The large orange bag, though it looks waterproof, is not, and I learnt to keep my clothes in plastic bags while riding through the wet Welsh weather. This may have been less of a problem had I not omitted to add the mudguard that came with the trailer. And if the end of the world had not fallen from the sky as we rode back through Llanelli on day 7...

The journey home featured larger, less crowded trains, so was less stressful. We arrived back into London Paddington late at night and opted to ride to Waterloo and take one last train to Putney, our final destination.

It was as we left Putney station, with only a mile left to ride, that the trailer developed the only real issue of the trip. After carrying it up the stairs, I couldn't seem to reconnect the hooks to the stubs mounted on the bike. After fiddling with it for a while, I had to turn the trailer upside down to locate the problem.

The 'hooks' which locate onto the bike's axle stubs are in fact each made from two steel plates with a space between them. This gap accommodates a smaller hook, which rotates with the aid of a small fiddly button in order to lock the trailer to the bike. One of the outer steel plates had bent inward a small amount, preventing the inner hook from rotating forward and performing its purpose. The problem was cured by jamming a large screwdriver into the gap and prising the plates apart.

To be fair, this problem was probably the result of my clumsy attachment and re-attachment technique, dropping the trailer into concrete floors while steadying my bike with my spare hand. If I'd been more careful or more gentle, I'm sure this minor damage wouldn't have happened.

I'm looking forward to using the trailer again, but will take more care with the attachment mechanism, and might even fit the mudguard next time.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 24 Sep 2008, 4:24pm

A very comprehensive review , to be honest my main use for it would be collecting the weeks shopping , I'll take a look at my local EBC this weekend.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 24 Sep 2008, 8:11pm

Mick F. Cornwall

Gareth
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Postby Gareth » 28 Sep 2008, 2:18pm

Here are a few photos of my bike trailer, before I refurbish it.

Looking down on it with the draw bar resting in the storage position on the cargo deck. To give you some idea of scale; wheels 16 inches in diameter. Cargo deck 30 inches long X 18 inches wide (Overall width to outside of wheels 26 inches), the wheels have been set at about 2 inches to the rear of the the centre line, to impose a load upon the drawbar and towing bicycle to prevent the trailer from nodding up and down around the wheel centre. Overall unladen weight is 22lbs. I have successfully hauled almost 75kgs over 5 miles on it. oh.gif, but the average payload that I haul is around 15-20 kgs. It was great to use during family cycling outings, carrying the extra waterproofs, picnics and all the other stuff essential to a family day out that my townie wife and two children required. In her dotage one of my Lurcher bitches used to ride home on the trailer, after thoroughly knackering herself out on such trips. Jumping off and then back on again, allowing her to rest a little and still carry on investigating interesting smells etc.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/Biketrailer002.jpg[/img]

A side view of it. Note; when I originally designed and built the trailer, I chose "an over the Wheel" type drawbar that connects to a tow point on the bike's seat post. Most commercially available bike trailers have an off-set drawbar that connects to a tow point near to the bike's rear wheel axle. As I use my trailer off road as much as on road, this high tow point seemed a very sensible idea to me.

[/img]Image

A couple of 1 litre bottle holders fixed to the drawbars swan neck ... ... ... It can be thirsty work hauling a bike trailer.
[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/Biketrailer008.jpg[/img][/img]

A close up of the towing point. It's the end from the gas strut found on Agricultural telescopic handler bonnets. You will have a smaller version on the tailgate or hatchback of your car. It works in exactly the same way as a standard car 50mm towing ball.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/Biketrailer007.jpg[/img][/img]

A closer view of the front. You can see the peeling paint, surface corrosion and rust.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/Biketrailer009.jpg[/img][/img]

The view of the rear of my bike trailer. As you can see by the postion of the 3 reflectors, I like to be clearly seen by other traffic and road users.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/Biketrailer001.jpg[/img][/img]

A couple of photographs of the refurbishment work to date on my bicycle trailer frame.

Taken from the front, right hand side corner looking towards the rear.

You can see the new; front and rear "Low level" cargo retention bars. These are to stop smaller loads slipping off the front or rear of the trailer. You can also see the new tube brazed to the drawbar fixing tube. This is for a stowable jack stand to keep everything horizontal when the trailer is parked and removed from the towing bicycle. The four new bungee strap retention eyes; One fitted to each quadrant just fore and aft of the wheels to stop the load holding elastic bungees slipping along the frame and then not securely holding the load.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/biketrailerframerefurbishment002.jpg[/img][/img]

My bicycle trailer's frame from the right hand side rear, looking towards the front. You can see all of the new bits but from a different angle.
This photo will also allow you to appreciate how much work that I originally put into making this frame some 9 years ago.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/biketrailerframerefurbishment001.jpg[/img][/img]

Later on today the wire wheel will be put onto my cordless angle grinder, and the rest of the paint, rust, and corrosion will be removed ready for the brush application of the Hammerite special primer.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 28 Sep 2008, 3:30pm

Dont forget your goggles :shock:

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 28 Sep 2008, 5:51pm

WOW!

Great bit of kit!
Well done!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Si
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Postby Si » 28 Sep 2008, 5:56pm

Gareth wrote:Here are a few photos of my bike trailer, before I refurbish it.
Image



Just wondering where exactly you are going to mount the bill-hook on it?!?! :shock:

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Postby Gareth » 28 Sep 2008, 7:28pm

UrbanManc wrote:Dont forget your goggles :shock:



It is funny that you should mention that!

As a hands on self-employed mechanical engineer, I wear safety googles almost permanently when working. Ironically it was when I was cycling in Norwich a few weeks ago that I got a load of builder's dust in my right eye that resulted in 3 trips to the hospital, which included a couple of sutures in my cornea.

I have been sort of blogging the trials and tribulatons involved in building a tadpole trike and the refurbishment of my bicycle trailer, and the eye injury has featured in the write up.

here's the link;

http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about10062.html

Asdace

Postby Asdace » 28 Sep 2008, 9:50pm

Funny talking of safety glasses. I was cycling down the A19 cycle-path and got tiny bug in my eye in April, not wearing glasses. Luckily at work, there is a eye wash facility to wash it out. Still getting the little blighters with this mild weather, wonder why the crows are hanging out.

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 28 Sep 2008, 10:46pm


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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 29 Sep 2008, 7:25am

Thanks for that Urban, I have some of those available to hold down my box, until I can think of something a bit more elegant.
Mick F. Cornwall

Gareth
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Postby Gareth » 7 Oct 2008, 10:56pm

Sorry about the delay, it has been an horrendously busy week.

Here are the photos of the new safety/security chain holder that I mig welded to the bike trailer's drawbar. The idea is that the trailer is then locked to the bike, which is desirable when parking up at the shops, or in the city, etc. although it will never be used as the primary security chain and lock. It will also act as a safety device should the coupling socket ever detatach itself whilst the trailer is being towed on the road etc.

Showing the new bit of chain, and the padlock as it will be, when attached to the bike. There is still another eye to be welded to the towing hook so that the padlock can be snapped locked on to the towing bicycle.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/biketrailerdrawbar004.jpg[/img][img]

This padlock has been permentatly assigned to the bike trailer, so the addition of a stowage postition for when the trailer is parked up at home or in storage seemed to be appropriate.

[img][img]http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m230/Gareth_Lewis/Bicycles%20and%20bits/biketrailerdrawbar009.jpg[/img][/img]

Asdace

Postby Asdace » 31 Oct 2008, 2:47pm

I'm in two minds whatever to get either Carryfreedom Y-Frame (sml) or the Extrawheel.

I'm planning a 60 mile ride based on the Crosses of the North Yorkshire Moors and the route is on bridle-ways, rough tracks and forest drives.

If I opt for the Y-Frame, I could take the Dawes Kara-Kum or better still, the hardtail mountain bike with the Extrawheel. Although I will be camping 3 nights, I would prefer the Y-Frame being a overall choice. I'm wondering if the Y-Frame can cope on rough tracks, where the Extrawheel should cope with only one wheel.

Any thoughts.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 31 Oct 2008, 4:20pm

As a quick answer, it depends on how rough the rough tracks are!

My CF coped ok with that short-cut we took off-road, if you remember, on our way to Whitby, but it wasn't that rough and I took my time.
Mick F. Cornwall