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Thread: tagalong and trailer pushers
05-25-2007 #1paintvalleymusic Guest
tagalong and trailer pushers
If anyone has motorized a tagalong or trailer and used it as a supplemental pusher.....please contact me. I want to motorize my bike, but don't want it to be a permanent attachment. Seems like motorizing a tagalong or trailer would be the way to go.....then just unhook when you don't need the assistance. Just another crazy idea floating around in this head of mine. Thanks
I know this has already been done, but want to talk to someone who has actually used one or talked to someone who has. Thanks
12-05-2007 #2Dennis Becraft Guest
power trailer, pusher trailer, motor trailer
I just joined this forum & found this thread soon thereafter. I built one and am gathering parts for a more sophisticated version. I made the first one about 20 yrs. ago. I've renewed my interest recently. You can see my first one in Google videos here;
Another (FWD) powered bike I made is here;
Several people seeing the video have contacted me for further info and I answered all of their questions. The trailer is the easiest way to power a bike I could devise. No welding was necessary, no modification of the bike was necessary and no extra stresses are placed on the bike. I have several ideas for different versions, accessories etc. I built it in 2 evenings entirely from scrounged and garage sale items for a total of $40.
It handles extremely well. It doesn't affect the handling of the bike in the least except when making the tightest low speed u-turns. Even those are easily manageable after you've done it a couple times.
The one I'm making next uses a 7 lb. Honda GX31, 4-stroke, 1.5 hp engine w/a double-bearing centrifugal clutch. The wheel is a 16 inch bike wheel laced onto a 3 speed hub. Primary reduction will be by cogbelt and final drive will be chain. 3 spd. hubs freewheel so the trailer will be easy to tow when the engine is not running. The one in the video does not tow easily due to the drag of turning the chain and clutch. 3 spd. hub ratios are 75%, 100% (direct drive), and 133%. I plan to gear it for 15, 20 and 27 mph to start with; perhaps changing it for higher speeds after I break in the engine. I'm retired and plan to use this vehicle for long tours, so I have to start thinlking about cargo capacity.
I may also experiment with a CVT I have for this engine, but I expect the 3 speed hub will be more efficient.
I hope to make a very quiet muffler from a propane bottle or fire extinguisher canister. If it's disguised and very quiet, I can go anywhere with no more than a glance from the constabulary. Who would suspect a trailer is actually pushing the bike?
You might have noticed I have another Google video showing my sailbike.
I plan to upgrade that to a larger more efficient wingsail.
Ideally, I'd like to be able to use wind and pedal power as much as possible, reserving the engine for long or steep uphills, strong headwinds, laziness, full belly, old age etc.
Closing now to scour this forum for more ideas.
12-05-2007 #3OldPete Guest
The smile on the youngster's face in the FWD vid says it all.
Three speed hubs are not considered strong when subjected to non-human horse power. Please let us know how it works out.
12-05-2007 #4az cra-z Guest
12-06-2007 #5Dennis Becraft Guest
Thanks for all the 'welcome messages' !
I guessed that engine power (1.5 hp) might overstress a 3 speed hub, but I figured placing the hub in a small wheel would reduce torque through it by exchanging torque for RPMs. A strong adult can briefly produce 3/4 hp I've heard. Surely the hub must be overbuilt to some extent for durability. If we consider axle to ground distance as a lever for the torque from hub to ground, half of a 26 in. wheel is 13" and half of a 16" wheel is 8'. 8/13 =.614 so torque through a hub is reduced to 61% when taken from a 26' to 16" wheel. I need to examine the innards of a 3 speed hub first, but I suspect that using 2nd gear (which is direct drive) most of the time would make it easier on the internals. Doing it that way would reserve 3rd gear for an infrequently used overdrive. If the engine still tore up the hub, I could re-lace it into a 12.5 in. wheel which would cut the torque to 48%, or I could use a multispeed hub in the jackshaft where I'm sure it could cope.
Scrappyscooter.com uses a 5 speed hub as a jackshaft with a 43 cc 2-stroke. If it doesn't work he has a lot of nerve asking $20 for VHS plans and $29 for DVD. It seems like a good idea to me. Seems like 3 speed hubs would be sturdier than 5 speeds. They're cheap & easy to find in almost new shape. Unfortunately I won't have a workshop until Spring.
01-04-2008 #6TheBadBunny Guest
The Third Wheel Bike Pusher
The idea of a motorized trailer has appealed to me ever since I saw the old Go-Devil plans on eBay. (I wouldn't advise buying them, they're a good five decades or more out of date). I finally found a commercially produced one on the Internet called the Third Wheel"
A complete Third Wheel kit sans engine runs $288.00, and a complete Third Wheel with an engine already installed goes for $498.00, and for the do-it-yourselfer, you can buy just the trailer for $148.00 and rig your own drivetrain and motor. Pretty nifty! It would, I imagine, be fairly easy to hide the engine on this thing!
I'll try to post a photo now.
here's a blast from the past
01-04-2008 #8TheBadBunny Guest
There are several electric trailers to push your bike along, like the TKO motorized trailer (http://tkotrailers.com/), which is relatively affordable at $398.00, the PT50 (http://www.geocities.com/vancyclist/PT50.html), which looks like a tiny teardrop trailer and isn't very affordable at $1200.00 but boasts speeds up to 55 kilometers (34 miles) per hour, and, of course, the Bidwell Bike Pusher, plans available from http://www.rqriley.com/. The problem, of course, is that they have all the drawbacks of electric bicycles (heavy weight, limited range, and, unless you're willing to pay thousands for, say, a Phoenix Racer, very limited speed). On the bright side, however, they're completely street legal. But the Third Wheel is the only commercially produced gas-powered pusher I've come across.
And come to think of it, the first two web sites listed above looked awfully old. They might have gone out of production like the Motobob!
01-05-2008 #10BSA Guest
Dennis, you are a genius. The bike in the video is mad. Do you have a front brake? I'm guessing the transmission is friction drive straight to the tire.