DIY Single Wheel Bicycle
for the cycling tourist... who rides road bikes, mountain bikes or tandem bikes
Photo - Riding the Tandem around Tasmania with version 2 of the trailer (2009)
(Please see bottom of this page for version information)
Bike Trailer's Specifications (version 3)
Tray Size - 60cm x 100cm (24"x40"),
Weight - 8kgs (17.5lbs),
Wheel Size - Single 16" wheel,
Hitching Method -
Quick release hitch to rear forks of bicycle
(Please note... this section refers to previous versions of the trailer... please refer to the bottom of this page for full version information)
This trailer is now in its third design version... each version bringing improvements in handling, weight, carrying capacity, hitching methods and durability. The latest version features a quick release hitch (which takes just a few seconds to hitch and unhitch from the bike), a dedicated rack for carrying four panniers, and a larger tray area also round off its new features. It's also lighter than its predecessor.
Although version 3 hasn't been fully field tested as yet, version 2 has. And version 3 only seeks to improve on the areas of weakness in version 2… the overall design remains the same.
In 2009, we took the version 2 trailer on a 5 week journey around Tasmania (Australia)… the trailer easily made the distance, however, we found a few niggling problems… It was becoming a little annoying to hitch and unhitch the trailer to and from the bike, as we had to fiddle around with nuts and bolts and needed to get my tools out. So this has now been fixed, with a nice little quick release design.
The other concern had to do with the bends in the frame. Certain parts of the frame had to be bent in the making of the trailer to create the design I wanted. Unfortunately, over time, these bends would start to crack. Although the cracks seemed to stop growing after a while, it still concerned me in terms of long term use. I've now removed all bends from the design and only use the aluminum in its original form. So no cracks should appear.
We've easily travelled well over 60km's per hour (down hill), with this trailer fully loaded. Always feeling very comfortable and safe. The only thing stopping us from going faster was our ability to stop in an emergency… when you have two people and over 50kg's of luggage, you really need quite a bit of time to stop (a bit like a road train)!!!
I can't really say what the overall load capacity is, but we've easily had around 40kgs in it and it handles really nice.
My goal this time is to eliminate the need for any extra panniers on the bike, and simply carry all we need in the trailer. This will make handling the bike a lot easier… if you've ever tried touring with heavy panniers on the front and rear, you'll know what I mean… and tandems are even worse, as you also have an extra person on the bike.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the trailer…
Ok... so you want to build one?
If you want to use these photos and build yourself a trailer, then by all means... GO FOR IT!!! And feel free to ask me questions... I love to talk about the design with likeminded people from all over the world.
However, if you want the more detailed design drawings, photos and step by step instructions, it would be great if you could make a once only payment of $20 AUD (or approx $17 USD) and subscribe to the detailed section of my website…
I use Paypal to process all
payments, which allows you use your credit card if you wish and guarantee's to
keep your details safe. That way, you're not giving your valuable information to
someone you can't trust.
After I receive your payment you will be emailed your username and password.
PLEASE NOTE... I'm no longer taking payments for this design... if you're interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, to give you an idea of whether or not it's worth trying to build it yourself... here's a brief list of what it will take and what you'll need...
All materials should be available at most good hardware stores, cycling shops or junk yards and shouldn't cost more than about $200 AUD (it cost me about $160)
You'll need to have access to (and the ability to use) the following tools...
a hacksaw, wrench or range of spaners,
allen keys, screw driver's,
steel file, clamps, vice, hammer,
and a power drill (with appropriate drill bits)...
Oh, you'll also need a bit of space to work... where you won't mind a big mess for a few days.
Once you have all your materials and tools ready, it shouldn't take you much longer than a few days to finish... you may even be able to complete it in one day if you're quick!!!
So if you think you can do it, subcribe to the detailed section by clicking "Pay Now" below... (You will be taken to PayPal's secure website)
Want me to build one for you?
If you're interested in this trailer, but don't have the skills, tools or time to build it yourself... please send me an expression of interest.
I've had so much interest in this trailer, that I'm considering manufacturing them for the general public, at an expected cost of around $450 AUD (plus P&H)
Contact me using... email@example.com
Bike Trailer's Version History
|Features (or improvements over previous version)||Issues or Problems|
|a) Single wheel||a) Hitched to the seat post of the bike… this made it difficult to keep the trailer from developing a wobble at higher speeds.|
|b) quick and easy to hitch or unhitch||b) Some elements of the frame had to be bent to form the shape of the trailer frame. Over time cracks would form where the aluminum was bent.|
|c) large capacity|
|Version 2||a) Hitched to the rear forks… this maintained much greater stability and performance. Never had an issue with wobbles since.||a) Some elements of the frame still had to be bent to form the shape of the trailer frame. Over time cracks would form where the aluminum was bent.|
|b) New hitching method was a little difficult to get on and off as you needed tools to undo nuts and bolts.|
|Version 3||a) Hitched to the rear forks (with quick release system)… can be hitched on the bike in about 10 seconds… and unhitched in about 5 seconds.|
|b) No need to bend the aluminum, therefore there is no risk of metal fatigue. And cracks should not appear.|
|c) Tray size increased, to take more weight off the bike and onto the trailer.|
|d) Weight of trailer decreased… better use of the aluminum, a better selection of nuts and bolts, and a purpose designed pannier rack have enabled the overall weight of the trailer to be reduced to just 8kgs.|