Saturday, January 18, 2014

Keg Trucks


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Leaning cargo trike design

Warning! You need a third degree of backyard engineering do build one of these!

 To carry cargo on hills that force you to slow down to about 3 mph or less , with out getting off and pushing a bike up thte hills, I would chooose a trike. But I hate the feel of a trike (having to lean into the turns) and I can push a bike easyer than a trike.

 I am not sure that this kind of trike would be easier at very slow speeds than  a two wheel cargo bike. But it does appear that it would have better traction  when  cornering  fast. 

I do not know if the shocks are needed when using  center point steering. 
I also think it would be better to use the two support arm method, even if just to distribute the weight off of the one single bearing.

Center point steering axis should not be exactly centered. Maybe a half inch to one inch off the center of the 2 inch tire?
This  one does have some bump steer. 

This two sided one is better, but is more complex. 

Now if I redraw all of these to fit together, I could built one. If I had enough money.

Ultimate tilting trike    Leaning cargo trikes

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Big Box Trike Steering

The front axil should follow the pivot point by about 2 inches to help it ride in straight line with out turning on it's own.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Building cargo bikes from recycled bikes.

Most people are so weak from driving cars most of their lives that they can't even think about hauling more than 40lbs with a bicycle. Yet I haul 80lbs at least once a week.

I am a third degree backyard engineer so don't ask foolish questions about "how do I know if these bikes are strong enough".


When I climb hills very slowly because of the cargo, I can really feel the wheel flop created by too much trail. A steep steer angle and small wheel combined with short trail adds up to easy maneuverability. I really like to climb hills with cargo.

For a long nose bike I recommend no more than 2.3" trail, with a steer angle less than 60 degrees. But for a short bike more than 70 degrees with  1.3" to 1.7" trail is best.

If your working with a BMX fork you have to make compromises.

A steer angle 68 degrees with a 1.5" rake is 2.4" trail. but a steer angle of 70.2 degrees  will do a trail of 2", so 69.7 degrees will do a 2.1" trail, close enough. It would work better with more rake. Like  maybe 2".

The reason these long bikes are so popular is that trailers can yank your bike around when full of heavy cargo.

How to motorize a heavy bike:

a good cartridge head set or this one? 

Tools to think about, but Not all these tools are needed:

Brazing torch kit and brazing rods. 

Head tubes, steer tubes and a disc brake tab jig .
Head tube 1 3/8th x 1.185"id x .095" wall
Steer tube 1" x .87"id x .065" wall or .085" wall

BMX forks. 

Old MTB frames 

Angle bar for the front rack etc.

Frame Alignment Gauge...Frame and Fork End Alignment Gauge Set $90 and $47 plus shipping.

protractor square $30 ( cut plywood would work)

                    Construction of Utility bike (the prototype)

tubing sizes?


A simple jig to hold the drop-outs should be mounted on 1/2" steel flat bar.

Some bikes will need new Heavy Duty drop outs (these also need a derailleur hanger) with disc tabs built in on the rear. Disc brakes will allow you to use a smaller rear wheel for an effectively lower gear.,43513,51657
a protractor square is essentieal for determining the head tube angle

This is a frame alignment guage
fork alignment tools

BMX fork with brake tabs!

Tube notcher,3482.html

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tail Lights

At 40 mph a car will travel 1760ft in 30 seconds! On dark days drivers need to see you at least that far in advance because they are half asleep from darkness, cold, and fog.

Small tail lights are not visible at that distance, except at night. And even then  it is hard to judge the distance to you.

This is a 12 volt truck tail light with 56 large L.E.D.s

Just look at truck tail lights (with the brake light on) when they are 2000 feet ahead of you. The other way to be seen on dark day is to wear a 'day-glow' shirt.

15 seconds at 50mph is 1100ft, think about it.  
more tail light info!?p=16294544&highlight=#post16294544