You will need to find two wheels the same size. Lukacs said that it is best to have the trailer be as close to the ground as possible for stability. You will need two metal plates to hold the wheel axles and a latching device. Lukacs said that he has sometimes scrounged latching devices from old rider mowers, but that they can be purchased for $3 to $7. The latching mechanism is simply a metal arm with holes on both ends and pins to lock the arm to the trailer and bike.
Part of the design process is determining how large a trailer you are comfortable pulling in traffic as well as how strong a rider you are. A well-made bamboo bike trailer can easily haul up to 450 pounds, but in general most are made to haul about 75 pounds. More metal used in construction will add weight to the trailer – which you will be hauling. “Too much metal can make it two times as heavy,” said Lukacs.
Lukacs said that once your materials are gathered, the trailer can be built, even by a novice, in two to three days. You can research your own designs, but more information about cargo hauling on a bicycle can be found at Transition Amherst.
“The more visible and the more strange you are (when riding in traffic) the better,” said Lukacs. He added that it is a good idea to spend plenty of time practicing before heading out to the open roads, especially practicing on hills, steep driveways, and over bumps. “If you are nervous and your outside wheel goes off the road, you may crash,” he said.
Lukacs also warned that you need to be sure your cargo is well balanced on the trailer and firmly tied down. “Otherwise, you may have items moving forward into your rear bicycle wheel,” he said. Lukacs added that having a mirror on your bicycle doesn’t tend to help with hauling a trailer as the trailer is very close to the bike and mirrors are usually set up to see approaching traffic.
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