Bike Trailer Blog:

All hail the bike cargo trailer!

Bike cargo trailers are amazing tools for getting more out of a bicycle -- and keeping you a out of your car. In all their variety, bike cargo trailers are the perfect tools for hauling stuff by bike.

We cover touring, commuting, errands, and generally doing more by bike -- so we don't leave out cargo bikes and conversions.

The topics of bike child trailers and trailer-cycles are covered in our Family Cycling section.

Submit Your Bike Trailer Photos

This blog is about sharing the fun, the utility, and the creativity that bike trailers can inspire. We want photos of how you've used your trailer -- whether it's an off-the-shelf model in a beautiful or interesting setting, or if it's a Franken-trailer customized in a way only you could have conceived.

Photos help to spread ideas, and stimulate discussion. It doesn't matter if you bought from one of our shops or not -- Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop and Bike Kid Shop. Your photos and the stories behind them want to be seen and heard.

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Danny’s DIY Conduit Creation

Danny sent in these images of his DIY Bike Trailer. It looks like quite the configuration, specifically the utilization of the the seat post mounted bike rack as a mounting point for the bike trailer’s hitch bracket. While it is tough to say how reliable and safe this setup would be, we would certainly give Danny an A for creative use of available materials.

Bike Mapping, The Hot Topic

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With the recent release of Google Map’s Bike directions the cycling word has been buzzing over bike mapping. Having a major global player like Google adding to the bike universe certainly has some large implications. Social media has been a flurry of messages discussing the new Google Mapping system, but have things really changed that much?

This reminds me of when GPS units started to become more common and everyone thought they were going to be the greatest things and paper maps would no longer be needed. Well I think anyone who has been lost in the wood because their gps data became corrupted, was inaccurate or the batteries just died, would disagree. GPS units are certainly a very useful tool but still suffer the short comings of all technology.

The question is how will a system like Google Maps help or complicate real world travel? Some questions are already being raised as to the accuracy and efficiency of the routes that are planned by Google Maps bike directions, but on the other hand we have to start somewhere and Google is encouraging feed back on routes that our used or unknown by the system.

Everyone has what they believe to be the perfect commute to work, but in large urban centers in might be beneficial to have cyclist using common routes to commute with possibly increasing safety and awareness. Our friends at Utility Cycling have a great story that examines the Google Maps bike directions further, check it out.

Ausssie Long Haul Road Train

We received some photos and a cool story from down under. Hayden was kind enough to share his epic trip around the coast of Australia with his modified Burley trailer and what looks like a custom single wheeled BOB style trailer. Hayden said that he and his wife had began their journey two and a half years ago. Since then they now have a 10 month old daughter I’m assuming she was an en-route baby.

BOB Trailer Special ‘ Get a Free Wandertec SAX

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Bike Trailer Shop is offering a free Wondertec SAX with the purchase of any BOB trailer. The Wondertec SAX are a must addition to any BOB trailer. The SAX completely changes the way in which your BOB Ibex or BOB Yak carries cargo. Check out the details of the sale at Bike Trailer Blog. Don’t miss this great opportunity to purchase a BOB trailer with a great upgrade accessory.

BOB Trailer Special – Get a Free Wandertec SAX

Get a Free Wandertec SAX BOB liner with the purchase of a BOB Trailer. This offer is valid with the purchase of either the BOB Yak or the BOB Ibex now thru March 22nd.

The Wandertec SAX is an excellent addition to the BOB Trailer, offering the ability to contain bulky items in the BOB without fully enclosing them. Used with the Wandertec Cargo Net, the BOB Trailer becomes the trunk of your bicycle where you can toss in bags of groceries, boxes, small bags and anything else you travel around town with.

The Twitter of Cycling

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The cyclist above is twittering wishing he had a new Dahon BioLogic Bike Mount

Like every other aspect of life, micro blogging a.k.a. Twitter has exposed, updated and connected people in ways no one ever thought possible, cycling is no different. Every bike racer, cycling organization, commuter, bike enthusiast, bike tourer and the like are updating their daily bike adventures with twitter, sharing their cycling lives with the world. But it is not only twitter that has opened up the world of connections. Blogs and social media such as MySpace and Facebook provide forums and insight into peoples lives never available before.

Some criticize what social media has done to society, claiming that people are now exposed to things they were previously sheltered from, while this is true, there is a flip side to the coin, people can now share interests and information like never before. Someone who lives in a small town in North Dakota can now, in real time, share their experiences about their favorite bike ride with someone in San Fransisco, and vice verse.

blogging1Until the the Lance era in the Tour De France, cycling in the US had remained relatively under the radar of main stream media, as that was all that existed for exposure. The Lance era helped to bring cycling into peoples homes that otherwise were isolated or uninterested in cycling. But with the advent of social media, large groups of people who share common interests, like the Tour De France can now create their own universe and communicate unhindered by traditional media.

Social media has not only has brought together cyclist in general but has allowed the blossoming of every sub niche that cycling has in it. Take bike touring for example, people planning trips need information about routes, what kind of bike gear to use, or just a place to stay, can now reach out to all their fellow bike tourers across the country for help and information.

The use of social media helped level the playing field for the cycling industry in comparison to other more main stream industries. The Bike Trailer Shop and Bike Bag Shop have benefited greatly from the use of social media applications.

‘Using blogging as a marketing tool for our website has not only helped us to achieve high quality traffic and improve our search engine results for targeted key-words, it has also become a centerpiece in our involvement with the bicycling community, leading the way for both our customers to become much more aware of our business and broader range of interests and for our business to become much more aware of issues and opportunities in our industry.’ -Josh Lipton, featured in a Chicago Style SEO article.

twitterWhether you are aware if it, we are creating our own bicycle web, that thickens ever time someone follows someone else on twitter, or one blog links to the next like Bike Trailer Blog linking to Commute by Bike, or Utility Cycling, one more person might be turned onto a new bike trailer, mountain bike route or idea that they previously weren’t aware of.

So next time you see someone talking about twittering, don’t turn your nose up, it not just for high school girls, or see a new blog, its not just another geek blathering on about nonsense, these are powerful tools that allow us, as cyclist to connect in ways we never thought possible.



Internet Marketing Professional / Bicycling Blogger – position available!

anna-kortschak-drivetrain-in-snow2Are you an internet marketing professional with a passion for cycling? Or perhaps you are an active bicycling blogger who’s gotten to know the internet marketing game. We are currently looking for someone to clean off our internet marketing machine! Have a look at our detailed desription of the position at the About Us Page of Bike Trailer Shop. To sum up, we are looking for someone to lead up our blogging efforts on our 3 blogs, UtilityCycling.org, Bike Trailer Blog and our shop blogging here at Bike Shop Hub. Please send resumes to josh@bikeshophub.com

Garys Long Hauler

There really isn’t any limit to what kind of bike trailer you can make, especially when it comes to how long a bicycle trailer can be. Check out this original build from Gary. The whole set up looks like it should be operating on a railroad track rather then on city streets, especially with the recumbent pulling the trailer. The trailer is 8′ long and was made from aluminum hand railings.

Clancy’s Custom Foldable trailer

After giving his Burley child trailer to a friend, because children do grow up, Clancy was finding himself lacking cargo capacity on his bike. One day his wife brought home a Yakima Tot Rod. Well, since Clancy no longer need another bike child trailer he began the modification process to convert it into a bike cargo trailer.

What Size BOB Trailer Nutz Do I Need?

Hello readers! This being my first venture out into the blog-o-sphere, I figure introductions are in order. Casey Clark here, Wandertec product developer and friendly neighborhood bicycle mechanic, at your service. Nice to meet you.

We received a call from a fellow the other day who was having a little trouble figuring out how to attach a BOB trailer to his bike, which has a solid, bolt-on rear axle. In fact, we’ve been getting quite a few calls and emails on the subject lately, which tells me that we’ve got a ‘teachable moment’ on our hands. I’m going to take off my Product Developer Hat and put on my Friendly Neighborhood Bicycle Mechanic Hat for a minute here and see if I can de-mystify the topic.

First off, the basics. A solid axle attaches to the frame via axle nuts, as opposed to a hollow axle with a quick release skewer. If you’ve got a hub with a solid axle, and you want to tow a BOB trailer, you obviously can’t use the standard BOB Trailer quick release skewer hitch, so what you need are some BOB trailer Nutz.

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There are four sizes of BOB nutz available. To find out which one fits your bike, you need to determine your hub axle diameter and thread pitch. (If you’re not savvy to thread concepts yet, read this page on the Park Tools website). Measuring axle diameter is easy, set your calipers around the axle threads and get a reading. This is the major diameter, which is slightly smaller than the listed size. For example, a 10mm axle may measure at 9.8mm.

Thread pitch, or the frequency of threads along the length of the axle, is a little trickier to measure Like the article says, the best tool to use is a pitch gauge, but in a pinch you can use high quality calipers. Set your calipers for exactly one inch, and count how many thread crests fit between the caliper jaws. This is your threads per inch (tpi) measurement, which all SAE (a.k.a. “standard”, Imperial, English) axles use. ISO (metric) threaded axles don’t use a tpi measurement, but rather a crest-to-crest measurement. As far as hub axles go, the threads are always one millimeter apart, which would give you 25.4 tpi. Be careful differentiating between 10 x 26tpi and 10 x 1, they look very, very similar, but are not compatible. Generally speaking, 10 x 1 axles are only found on Campagnolo hubs and a few other brands that produced Campy copies.

This chart shows the most common rear axle sizes, the kind of hubs they are commonly found in, and the corresponding BOB Nuts part number as listed at Bike Trailer Shop. I lifted most of the info from the late Sheldon Brown. Remember, this is more of a rough guide than a comprehensive chart.

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Axle dia./pitch Common Applications B.O.B. Nutz model
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3/8′ x 24 tpi Wald, Skyway, coaster brake hubs, and hubs on many dept. store bikes. 3/8′ x 24 tpi

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3/8′ x 26 tpi BMX, tandem, old Shimano XT (freewheel), and hubs on many dept. store bikes. 3/8′ x 26 tpi

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9.5mm x 26 tpi (3/8′ x 26 and 9.5mm x 26 are generally interchangeable) 3/8′ x 26 tpi

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10mm x 1 (25.4 tpi) Japanese Hubs (Suntour, Shimano, etc.), Miche 10mm x 1mm

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10mm x 26 tpi Campagnolo, Campagnolo copies (Avocet, Ofmega, etc.) N/A

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10.3 x 26 tpi Aka fg 10.3, a German standard, found on some older Sturmey Archer hubs 10.5 x 26 tpi

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10.5 x 26 tpi Aka fg 10.5, a German standard, found on some older Sachs hubs 10.5 x 26 tpi

Once you have the right BOB Nutz, use them to replace the stock nuts, hitch up your trailer, and you’re ready to ride.

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Well, I hope that clears up some of the confusion. If you have any more questions, you can always contact us directly, or ask your favorite local bike shop.

If we’ve left anything out please let us know in the comments below and we’ll update this post regularly to include it with any other new findings that we come across.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for riding bikes.