Bicycle Teardrop

Teardrop shaped bicycle travel trailers & related information

Bicycle Teardrop

Postby Mike Viger » Mon May 24, 2004 9:15 am

Has anyone seen or heard of anyone building a teardrop design trailer for a bicycle? I've seen motorcyle teardrops and would imagine that a modified smaller plan would work. Thanks. Mike Viger, Ottawa, Canada.
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Postby campadk » Mon May 24, 2004 10:41 am

Hey neighbour!

I would think a bike tear would be fun project! Probably easier to build as you don't have to worry about towing the thing at speed, and you certainly need to use lighter materials if you expect to be able to tow it. I certainly haven't seen anything smaller than the Quick Silver tears for motorbikes myself.

Are you thinking of building one Mike?
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Bike Tear thoughts...

Postby Mike Viger » Mon May 24, 2004 12:28 pm

I have a source for a bike trailer kit for about $150.CDN. I will make a single trailer about 30" wide and 80" long. 3/4" plywood floor. 1"x2" pine frame with lexan plastic exterior. Lexan comes in a variety of colors and thickness. Maximum height about 28", same as a one person bivy tent. Should be nice and light. I want to be able to go camping and sleep in a nice dry camper... all by bike. The tear shape looks like it should be able to take the wind. Weight has to be kept to a minimum. By adding a tent fly attached to the trailer it should take care of my needs. Does anyone have any thoughts here?
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Postby mikeschn » Mon May 24, 2004 12:41 pm

This sounds like a fun project. First a couple questions...
1) Do you want to be able to carry a kitchen with you?
2) Do you want to be able to store stuff inside your bike-teardrop?

Here's my thoughts. Since a teardrop is nothing more than a mattress on wheels, why not pull your mattress around on your bike, and when it's time to crash, pop up the tent above the mattress.

The mattress is light. But 3/4" plywood is waaaaay too heavy. You might want to consider 1/2" plywood. A little flexing is not a bad thing, especially if you have a couple pieces of tubing running across the width of the teardrop. Why not make it as wide as a twin sized bed... 37"?

I know you really don't like the tent idea... let me think about it some more...

Mike...

P.S. Do you have a URL to this trailer that you are going to build so I can see what your starting point is?
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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More thoughts...

Postby Mike Viger » Mon May 24, 2004 4:44 pm

I've done alot of research on cargo trailers for bikes. Weight is certainly a consideration when I'm doing the all the leg power. I have a recumbant bike, an Exox 140 built, by CCM. It's 76" long and allows a comfortable easy ride with less wind resistance than an upright bike. Back to the Teardrop... I only want to be able to have a place to sleep. There is a company called Pac-A-Sarus which makes a trailer with a pop-up tent. It shows a storage area under the floor of about 8". Good idea. I figure I should be able to have a foam mattress. As previously mentioned, a Bivy tent has about 28" of headroom, since I am 5'9" and weight 165lbs., I don't require an extremely large sleeping area. All cooking requirements and other items would be similiar to lightweight backpacking. If you know of anyone who pulls a bike trailer, they can tell you that a well balanced trailer with minimum drag can be easily towed. I've been thinking about this project for the past 2 years and now is the time to start working on it. I like your idea of framing the 1/2" plywood with a tubular frame. I will put up a website and let others here know of my progress. With the price of gas these days it's not a bad idea to do weekend or day trips with a Tear bike trailer! I bike on paved bikepaths and plan a trip next year along the Rideau Canal system from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario. About a 300 mile round trip. Paved roads. very few hills. Thanks for your imput and hope to get some more ideas from our friends here regarding lightweight materials, etc. I know this is a new idea to this forum, but heck, this is how we all learn to inovate and share.
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Postby angib » Mon May 24, 2004 5:17 pm

This has tickled my interest! How about this:

Image

It does have a bit of 'canvas' in order to keep the road height and hence aero drag down - this could be eliminated if you were willing to sleep in what could only be described as a camping coffin!

Andrew
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Postby mikeschn » Mon May 24, 2004 6:49 pm

Hey hey hey...

no coffins please...

I was thinking something more along the lines of this. This started life a a kid's trailer, but I stretched it out to 80" long. I got rid of the screened sides and made them breathable ripstop nylon. I put a zippered door in the side in the traditional teardrop location. So after a long day of riding you sit on the edge of your bed, swing your feet up, and lay down, just like in a real teardrop.

I would probably collapse it for riding, unless you need to have it up for storage.

Image
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Postby Chip » Tue May 25, 2004 6:53 am

Mike,,,,first one comment,,,you must like torture or your legs are the size of a yugo,,,that said,,towing a sleeping chamber with a bike, you are going to have to be as weight concience on every single piece of material you use,,also the amount of surface area on the sides and front will effect how wind and other cars and trucks effect the unit,,since you are going into a virtually unknown area of a bike tear drop, design a fold up, pop up with soft sides,thats easy to collapse and tow but expands to give ya room to sleep,,,also tires ,,high profile,,light weight, ,,one other comment that has not been addresssed,,brakes,,true ya got to get this thing going but ya gots to stop ,,any thoughts on braking,,,maybe a small hydraulic line or a cable attached to two disc on the trailer,,,yall keep em straight out thar

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Postby Wild Mike » Tue May 25, 2004 10:06 am

OH Sure ... thats all we need another Mike ! :lol: :lol:

Well ... that makes 2 of us with recumbents :D I have a homebuilt econobent that I bought about 5 yrs ago. I love it ! No getting me back on a wedgie again. :lol:

How about making it out of coroplast ? I even saw some at Lowes the other day. Say ... now why didn't I think of that for my tear ? :shock:

Some cool ideas guys !

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Postby mikeschn » Tue May 25, 2004 11:10 am

Hey Chip,

Everything is ripstop nylon except for the floor and the poles. Do you really think it's that heavy? :?:

And I really think that for riding you should pull the poles out, and strap the tent fabric down over the cargo.

The only way to make it lighter is to pull out the plywood floor, and maybe make a webbed floor, sorta like those outdoor lounge chairs of years ago. Then to keep the bottom waterproof, you could line it with a poly tarp!

Mike...

Chip wrote:you must like torture or your legs are the size of a yugo,,,that said,,towing a sleeping chamber with a bike, you are going to have to be as weight concience on every single piece of material you use,

chip
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Postby Chip » Tue May 25, 2004 11:47 am

Hey Mike I was talking bout the one he was thinking of building,,,3/4 ply etc,,,not the lightweight in the picture,,,,,that kind of tear could be heavy,,well for a bike anyway

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Light is the only way to go!

Postby Mike Viger » Tue May 25, 2004 7:18 pm

Great imput guys. I was looking at Coroplast today. Also .030 Lexan. They make non-transpant colors. Both of these are super light. The Lexan bends well and will easily take the shape of whatever frame I build. I like the idea of the kids bike trailer. One of the things I noticed in life, it is often better to buy something already built. In this case the basic trailer and lengthen it as was indicated above. Is it possible to spend to much time at Home Depot :lol: Keep the ideas coming lads. All is welcome.
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Postby R Keller » Tue May 25, 2004 8:09 pm

All Pac-A-Sarus links on the web appear to be defunct. Anybody have any photos? Sounds interesting.

Check this link out (scroll down to the "MegaTrailer" "a bike trailer that can carry a double bed, or four adults". Of course, the bed is not enclosed but it does have a webbed floor:

http://www.mozbike.com/build/

Can't see hauling a plywood platform around on which to sleep. A 3/4" plywood floor at 2.2 lbs. /sq. ft. and 30" wide by 80" long would weigh about 37 lbs. alone. 1/2" ply would weigh about 25 lbs. 70 lbs. in a bike trailer (or panniers) is a lot, so that doesn't leave you much for the rest of the trailer (and gear)

Lightweight aluminum tubular framing that supports a custom foam- (or honeycomb-) cored composite panel is probably necessary if you want a rigid floor. It wouldn't be too hard or terribly expensive to construct a small panel like that.

Mike: do you have any photos of your 80" long modified trailer?

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Postby mikeschn » Wed May 26, 2004 5:25 am

R Keller wrote:Mike: do you have any photos of your 80" long modified trailer? Rik


Sorry if I wasn't clear... in my design concept I took the kids trailer and stretched it to 80" long. I never actually built one! The chopped photo is the one you see up there, about 7 messages up.

In the past I have slept on a portable cot, which had some kind of a webbing on the frame, on top of which the mattress lay. So if I was building a bike tear, it would not have a solid floor, it would have webbing for a floor. Like you noted, the weight of a piece of plywood is too much to be dragging around when you are using leg power!

Mike...

P.S. One could also add a lightweight shelf and a zippered door in the back that would serve as a galley of sorts. It would be enough to set a Peak1 stove on and make dinner! :D
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Aerodynamics?

Postby Mike Viger » Fri May 28, 2004 12:18 pm

All tears are big in the front and small in the back. Since I am building a bike tear, what would be the best way to build it? Low in the front or in the traditional way? The least wind resistance the better? Suggestions?
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