Fabian's Avant Garde Bicycle Trailer

This is one of the nicest looking examples of a DIY bike cargo trailer we’ve seen. Here is what Fabian has to say about his design:

“I just wanted to build an avant garde bicycle trailer that was somewhat unique. I’ve yet to fit a set of fully functional automotive trailer lights (indicator and brake) to complete the look. I’m still scratching my head as to how to mount a set of mechanical trailer brakes, but i’ll get there in the end.

The trailer base is a 2007-2008 Burley Tailwagon, and I’ve built an aluminium reinforced box section that attaches to the base. The photos show a set of gas struts to add a bit of flare.

The unloaded trailer weight is 20 kilos and the most amount of weight i’ve towed was 75 kilos (including the weight of the trailer). Naturally, my bike has a high specification set of brakes, being an Avid BB7 caliper and Shimano 8″ disk rotor at the front and standard Tektro caliper and 6″ disk rotor at the rear.”

If anyone has any suggestions for Fabian on mouting a brake system to his trailer, please post them in the comments. In our estimation brakes on a bicycle trailer are difficult to deploy and for the cost and effectiveness, putting high quality brakes on the bicycle is where time and money is best spent. With Fabian’s high quality disc brakes he should be well served for most bicycle uses though the presence of the 2-stroke assist motor and a heavily loaded bike trailer may necessitate an even better quality brake system, perhaps one designed for downhill mountain bike racing.

The addition of turn indicators and brake lights sounds like an interesting addition for this project both for the look and function of the trailer. I was considering that perhaps a motion sensor could be used for the brake lights, coming on when a sudden deceleration was sensed. Turn lights would require some wiring to a turn indicator switch though a remote switch would be excellent for this application.

It is interesting to hear that Fabian chose the 2007 Burley Tailwagon as his base for the trailer. The canopy of the 2007 Burley Tailwagon Dog Trailer was not very well designed and the 2008 version was much improved with a fold up function very similar to the easy fold-up Burley Baby Trailer line.

The look of Fabian’s trailer is excellent with the aluminum corners and baby blue panels. One interesting design change that this trailer might lend itself well to is repositioning the hinges on the rear of the trailer allowing for the lid to hinge rearward. The lid could double as a table if fold-down legs were deployed. This could be very nice for going on a picnic, a camping trip or using the trailer for vending goods.

The design can certainly be called spacious, with the potential for capacity on top as well as inside. With this large of a bike trailer, fully loaded, an electric assist bicycle or gas motor assist bicycle, such as the one on Fabian’s bike would be well appreciated especially in hilly areas.

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