Spotlight: Trailer Hitches

December 2nd, 2012


No Previous Week — this is the first!

Next Week, 12/10: How to Fix a Flat


This week’s spotlight is how to build a cheap trailer hitch for any bicycle. Trailers are wonderful things, exponentially increasing the carrying capacity of any bicycle — without any modification to the bike itself. Check out this feller, headed for the recycling center:


I have built trailers before, but the hitch is the least obvious part. Trailers can be built out of almost anything, from shopping carts to freight carts — but how to attach them to the bike? Today I’ll make a hitch for a chainstay-mounted trailer. This means it mounts to the bike down by the gears (seat post-mounted trailers mount just under your rump).

You will need:

– Drill

– PVC 45 Degree

– Hose Clamp


1. Drill two slots (many holes side-by-side, or use a dremel if you have one — but hey, we’re in a developing country) on opposite sides of one end of the 45 degree. Drill two holes on opposite sides of the other end (not shown).


2. Hose clamp the elbow onto your left-side chainstay as far back as possible but without interfering with the quick release, if you have one. If electrical tape is readily available, you can wrap some on first to keep from scratching the frame.


3. Slide in the trailer head and put in the lynch pin.

4. Throw on 200 lbs of recycled cans and ride to the nearest recycling center… like a boss.


Total Cost: $3

Total Time: 5 minutes

Effective Change: Carrying Capacity x100


The “Spotlight” series of posts and video features the organizations I’m volunteering for, the places I’ll be visiting, and my skills as a mechanic — all in the context of how bicycles make a difference in the world, and how this project will help. Next week: How to fix a flat tire.

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