Saturday, September 23, 2006

Many folk asked us for Bamboo Trailer plans for this years Burning Man. This is a photo of one Bamboo Bicycle Trailer that ended up as a camp bed.

Its basically a bamboo trailer that has been stretched longer, and then an A frame has been built over the load bed to create a tent with funky fabric.

This is Greg, the guy who built it.

Burning man
is an annual art festival and temporary community based on radical self expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

You can see more photos of the trailer at the burning man here:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is it possible to use the 18" Birdy wheels on a Y-Frame bicycle trailer?

This is trickier than it sounds, but it is possible.
The Birdy rim is 24 hole, while the Y-Frame rim is 20 hole, so it is not possible to simply lace a birdy rim to a Carry Freedom hub. The Birdy front axle is 10mm, while the Y-Frame is 12mm, so it is not possible to use a complete Birdy wheel on a Y-Frame axle. Getting hold of undrilled 18"rims is tricky and I haven't come across 20 hole drillings on the 18" rims. I also suspect it is a fiddle to get 20 hole hubs with bearings with a 12mm center hole.

Therefore the most practical way to do this is to buy complete Birdy front wheels, and then fit these with bearings with an inside diameter of 12mm. You would need to check with R&M about buying two complete front wheels, and we can source suitable bearings. At a guess the bearings would cost between 5-10GBP/unit, so a total of 20-40GBP.

I own a Birdy and use my Y-Frame with it. I do not find the differing rim sizes too much of an issue with my Birdy/Y-Frame. The tyres I use on my trailer is Schwalbe big apples, whereas I use Schwalbe Stelvios on my Birdy. The big apples are good for load bearing unsuspended vehicles like my trailer, while the stelvios are ideal for suspended fast bikes, like my Birdy. The trailer would bounce all over the place with stelvios, and big apples are heavy for a suspended Birdy, and their max pressure is too low for me. So even if the rim sizes were the same, I would not run the same tyre on bike and trailer unless really really desperate.
Does Carry Freedom make any bicycle trailers that can fold out to become a sleeping area with a mini-tent attached that could sleep one person?

Its a common idea to make a trailer that can convert to being a tent, but to my knowledge none of these get beyond prototype stage. Carry Freedom has concepted out a few of these, but with no great enthusiasm.

There are a couple of reasons that a product such as this has never realy taken hold

1) Its expencive to build, and therefore expencive to buy.

2) The market for people who only use thier tent only when cycling alone is small.

3) There is no great advantage of using this type of product over a seperate tent and trailer.

The closest I can think of is the tent made by topeak which uses the bike to support it. This is a nicely engineered one person tent, but it is not very wind/waterproof and is heavier, slower to put up, and more expencive than good one person tents.

For example the two person Terra Nova tent I use is 2.2kg, and is suitable for use in wind speeds up to about 120mph, and it will keep all rain out no matter what. That and I can have it up(single handedly) in under a minuite. Also this tent comes with a full lifetime guarantee, and is rather nice to live in. By our estimate a single person trailer tent would weigh about 4kg more than this tent combined with our normal trailer, and it would cost about 200GBP more than a trailer/good tent combination.

When touring solo I tend to take a homemade Gortex bivibag (900grams)/sleeping bag combo, as this is reasonably hassle free. My main complaint of tents when touring are they are a sod to get dry the next day after condensation/rain, wheras a bivi bag tends to be less hassle.

I only really use my tent now for extended stays in the same place, ie for more than an overnight stop. All this said a Y-Large can make a good sleeping platform you make two plywood bases 60cm wide by 90cm long. These are hinged so they would create a 180cm by 60cm sleeping base. This hing point would also be where a number of support poles hinge about to create the structure to support the roof. The plywood would need to be drilled for lightness and ventilation, and you'd need some form of foam mat glued onto them for comfort.

This type of trailer pops up every now and again in Velovision they should be able to tell you whether there are any trailers of this type in existence just now.