How to Build a Bike Trailer Hitch

How to Build a Bike Trailer Hitch
On a bicycle tour, hauling a trailer behind a bike takes the weight of the equipment off the bike and puts it all on the trailer. This lowers the bike's center of gravity to match what it would feel like unburdened. It also makes the bike more stable and less likely to suffer from the touring shakes. Building your own bike trailer hitch based on a rear bike rack allows you to tow different types of trailers without having to install different types of hitches. A homemade trailer hitch allows trailers not bike-specific to be towed.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bike
  • Rear bike rack
  • Drill
  • 2" x 1/8" x 2' flat aluminum bar
  • Bolts
  • Nuts
 
Step 1
Attach a rear bike rack to your bike. Follow the instructions that came with the bike rack to ensure proper installation.
Step 2
Drill three holes into one end of a flat aluminum bar. Drill the first hole one inch from the end and drill the second hole four inches away from the first. The last hole is centered between the two.
Step 3
Drill holes in the rear bike rack to match the holes drilled in the flat aluminum bar. Allow one and a half feet of the bar to overhang the rear of the rack.
Step 4
Bend the flat aluminum bar on a line six inches away from the end. The angle you bend depends on the height of your rear rack; bend the angle so the bar's surface comes close to the rear wheel, but leaves a gap several inches wide. When finished, your bar will have a short six-inch section with three holes and a longer one and a half foot section.
Step 5
Bolt the aluminum bar to the bike rack. The size of the bolts depends on the thickness of the rack. Once bolted, the bent part of the bar extends towards the ground.
Step 6
Bend the flat aluminum bar on a line two inches away from the end of the longer section until the two-inch section is parallel with the ground.
Step 7
Drill a hole centered in the two-inch section of the aluminum bar. The size of the hole depends on the trailer that you intend to tow. Match the hole to the hardware included with your hitch.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
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Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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