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Longjohn

BOB is making another trip to DC

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Without me. A friend who is new to cycling is doing the Pittsburgh to DC trail later this month. I’m loaning him my BOB trailer. He and his son are not cyclist but are doing this adventure together. Making memories.

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I also have another friend that is doing the trail the same week. She is not new to cycling but as never done anything more than day rides. I hooked her up with a trail website and she realized it may take her longer than she thought. She added two days on to her plan. She and her husband are doing this together. He is a real noob but she said he can handle it. I’m taking them to Pittsburg and seeing them off.

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On 6/17/2018 at 10:01 AM, donkpow said:

Nice.

Does the trailer use a QR skewer to attach to the bike?

Yes it does. I thought about buying an extra one so I wouldn’t have to keep switching skewers when I loan out the trailer but it’s real easy to switch them.

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17 hours ago, Longjohn said:

Yes it does. I thought about buying an extra one so I wouldn’t have to keep switching skewers when I loan out the trailer but it’s real easy to switch them.

Don is just planning his BOB heist.  You are helping him refine his plan.

Better put a lock on it!

Tom

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5 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

Don is just planning his BOB heist.  You are helping him refine his plan.

Better put a lock on it!

Tom

I'd like to build a trailer using my own specs. I can purchase BOB components for the more complex bits.

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Update on my friends adventure: Both of the pairs of cyclists completed the adventure all the way to DC mile marker 0. The married couple posted daily reports and lots of photos. The lady complained about the climbing into Shepardstown and into the KOA campground in Harpers Ferry. They went for campgrounds with hot showers and electric and swimming pools wherever possible. Climbing three miles in Harpers Ferry in 100 degree heat almost broke her. She said she would never do that again.

The father and son that borrowed BOB did 83 miles the first day, two 60 miles days and two fifty mile days. They said the trip was more aggressive than they thought it would be but they had a great time and made memories.

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I've had my BoB for 20 years. When I first bought it, I was between marriages, and used it for self supported touring. These days, I use it for utility runs, but I hope to do another multi day trip with it some time. Maybe next summer.

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Could one of you guys do me a favor? I am interested in a couple of pieces of information on the fork. If you could just put an eye on it and give me some approximations, I would appreciate it.

How long is the pivot tube? What diameter does it appear to be?

The most difficult question relates to the angle of the pivot tube when fully installed. In all the pictures I see, it looks like the pivot tube sets off vertical. What do you think about that? I know that the fork is performing the duty of a basic universal joint, allowing movement in multiple planes. I wonder, though, if the angle of the pivot plays a role in supporting the trailer's load.

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1 hour ago, donkpow said:

Could one of you guys do me a favor? I am interested in a couple of pieces of information on the fork. If you could just put an eye on it and give me some approximations, I would appreciate it.

How long is the pivot tube? What diameter does it appear to be?

The most difficult question relates to the angle of the pivot tube when fully installed. In all the pictures I see, it looks like the pivot tube sets off vertical. What do you think about that? I know that the fork is performing the duty of a basic universal joint, allowing movement in multiple planes. I wonder, though, if the angle of the pivot plays a role in supporting the trailer's load.

I think the angle might have something to do with the handling, providing some trail on the pivot akin to the trail of the fork on the bike. Just my theory. The angle will vary depending on the size of the rear wheel of the towing bike. 

 On my tours, I towed it behind a recumbent with a 20" rear wheel, so the pivot would have been closer to vertical than behind a larger wheel, but the whole rig was extremely stable, giving me confidence to descend hills quite fast.

Anyway, I have a leveling protractor, so if you wish, I can hook my Bob up to a 26" wheel and take a reading on the angle. I can also do the other measurements for you.

EDIT: When I went to look at it I realized I was thinking about the pivot shaft backwards. It slopes forward at the top, not rearward.

I measure it at about 4 degrees from vertical. The length of the fork from the hitch slots to the pivot is 15 1/2"

i1k01j.jpg

 

11ah2j9.jpg

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Oh, wow! Thanks for taking the time to gather and share the information, @Rattlecan I've been collecting pieces to build a trailer from scratch. It appears the BOB design is popular so I'm thinking the design is effective. I'm just not sure how the angle of the pivot tube plays into the scheme of things. My plan is to use a 26" wheel and drop the platform down. I get the impression that a load likes to rotate along the center line ahead of that small wheel. I'm hoping that dropping the platform results in a lower center of gravity relative to the wheel and requires more energy for the load to lift and rotate around that axis.

platform.png.4f1ab5e3a69cca41514a68e8dd081b40.png

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2 hours ago, donkpow said:

Oh, wow! Thanks for taking the time to gather and share the information, @Rattlecan I've been collecting pieces to build a trailer from scratch. It appears the BOB design is popular so I'm thinking the design is effective. I'm just not sure how the angle of the pivot tube plays into the scheme of things. My plan is to use a 26" wheel and drop the platform down. I get the impression that a load likes to rotate along the center line ahead of that small wheel. I'm hoping that dropping the platform results in a lower center of gravity relative to the wheel and requires more energy for the load to lift and rotate around that axis.

platform.png.4f1ab5e3a69cca41514a68e8dd081b40.png

A lower CoG is always better. Forgot to mention before the tubing diameter is 5/8" OD. Roughly what you get with 1/2" EMT conduit.

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On 11/7/2018 at 3:13 PM, donkpow said:

I've got a piece of lawn mower handle I have been saving for that. :)

I hope it’s a strong lawn mower handle. Every lawn mower i’ve owned the handle has been the downfall. 

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I’m not sure what grade of steel Bob uses (probably somewhere in the specs) but they hold up. Nashbar used to sell a fake bob. It looked like a bob but cost less than half as much. I was going to buy one because I’m cheap. Then I read the reviews on the site. All but one review said “don’t buy this trailer” Everyone that bought the trailer had it break while on a trip except for the one guy that used his to haul groceries on a smooth flat road for a couple blocks to the grocery store. His hadn’t broken yet. It’s quite inconvenient on a tour to have your trailer fall apart.

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1 hour ago, Longjohn said:

I’m not sure what grade of steel Bob uses (probably somewhere in the specs) but they hold up. Nashbar used to sell a fake bob. It looked like a bob but cost less than half as much. I was going to buy one because I’m cheap. Then I read the reviews on the site. All but one review said “don’t buy this trailer” Everyone that bought the trailer had it break while on a trip except for the one guy that used his to haul groceries on a smooth flat road for a couple blocks to the grocery store. His hadn’t broken yet. It’s quite inconvenient on a tour to have your trailer fall apart.

I keep thinking about the weight of the components. Most important bits are standard steel parts like angle iron. I have some tubing for the tongue that I need to try and bend. It may be too light duty. Guys on the internet make trailers out of all EMT. I don't think that is a good idea.

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35 minutes ago, donkpow said:

I keep thinking about the weight of the components. Most important bits are standard steel parts like angle iron. I have some tubing for the tongue that I need to try and bend. It may be too light duty. Guys on the internet make trailers out of all EMT. I don't think that is a good idea.

EMT is pretty strong. I made a rear rack for my cargo bike out of 3/4" EMT. Worst part is welding galvanized material is kind of a no no.

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1 hour ago, Rattlecan said:

EMT is pretty strong. I made a rear rack for my cargo bike out of 3/4" EMT. Worst part is welding galvanized material is kind of a no no.

Plenty of good things can be built with thin wall material as long as you have good design. I cite as example the"Erector Set".

I've done quite a bit of hot work with galvanized/zinc plated stuff. My trick is to take whatever torch is handy then burn and brush the zinc away.

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1 hour ago, donkpow said:

Plenty of good things can be built with thin wall material as long as you have good design. I cite as example the"Erector Set".

I've done quite a bit of hot work with galvanized/zinc plated stuff. My trick is to take whatever torch is handy then burn and brush the zinc away.

Ever thought about using carbon fiber.  That stuff is wicked strong and uber light! 

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1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

Ever thought about using carbon fiber.  That stuff is wicked strong and uber light! 

I looked into CF a few years ago but didn't do anything with it. What I do is an extension of the rest of the things I do. When I was younger, I would do things that I thought I might need to know about. Now days I do what I already know. I've got the tools, skills, and some of the materials. Not trying to reinvent the wheel here.

I'd probably need to set up a lab instead of a shop for CF. I have worked in fiberglass in the past.

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