The Re~Cycle DIY bicycle Trailer
This site is run by Re~Cycle, a charity shipping unwanted bikes to Africa. Please look around and spread the word.
Self-Build, Heavyweight Trailer
We set out to design a robust, low cost, simple trailer made from globally available materials and unwanted bicycle parts.
Any moderately technically minded person can succeed in this project.
Ideally it should be welded together using a simple arc welder, or it can be assembled using nuts and bolts if no welder is available.
It has been designed to carry heavy loads (up to 100kg) and has been refined to interfere as little as possible with the safe and comfortable handling of the bicycle. This is achieved by mounting the trailer to the cycle's rear axle (rather than the seat post) using a specially designed, flexible joint (again using bike parts!).
If you would like to build your own trailer, please download our step-by-step guide.
Note: The instructions are in PDF format. To view them, you will need Acrobat Reader installed on you computer.
If you have any difficulties, please email us.
Download In Black & White (Photocopy Version)
Comments and improvements:
I like your trailer design and i have two suggestions
1- used hydraulic hose is wire meshed and is a common wear item on lots of machinery. i personally have never seen pipe bender as strong, cheap or common as hydraulic hose
2- use the down tube - head tube section of the frame with the ht over the steer tube it can be rotated and bolted or simply the headset tightened to achive the needed angle for the hitch and the downtube can be drilled a few inches from the other end then a looped and clamped cable end can be inserted with a bolt through the dt and the loop, then the hydraulic hose pushed over the cable and into the dt the bike end of the hitch can be the same as you describe but the flattened end can be bent to match the angle of the dt so as to keep the hitch out of the wheel when turning to the right the bike end of the hitch can also be a piece of the dt so the sizing and fit of the hose is uniform and eliminating the need for handlebar or stem
Actually i haven't gotten around to trying it yet but i think you can simply drill through the tube and the hyd. hose forgetting the cable hyd hose especially in the 3/4 id range is pretty tough stuff and i'm pretty sure it would withstand all the stress a bicycle could put on it. Christi Lynne - http://www.acmebicyclecompany.com
I live on a boat and have no road access to my home, only a narrow pathway. This trailer has been vital in allowing me to transport heavy items and shopping to the boat. I have loaded it up with powertools, a generator, children and even a kayak. An impressively strong design. Henry Godfrey
Please contact us to suggest improvements, which we'll use to improve the designs, next generation!
Big Thanks to Ian for the design and Henry for the instructions.
One of our volunteers has designed a second trailer, using a Royal Mail bicycle's luggage rack as the main component.
Feedback: We've had feedback that the caster used for the hitching point isn't strong enough for the purpose. Also the trailer isn't as stable as we'd like so a two-rear-wheel solution is currently in the works.
List of other places to find trailer designs:
Bamboo trailer - Carry Freedom
"Kyoto" Utility Trike (aka Drumtrike) - Mark Rehder
Single wheel trailer - French site, UK translation