Friday, 11 June 2010

How To Build A Bicycle Sidecar

Briton Steve Bodiley shows you how to build a bicycle sidecar using a wooden body welded upon a steel frame.

(thanks Cora)

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Small point about your entry: the wooden body isn't (and couldn't be) welded to the frame.

My main point is, however, about the pivot. A single pivot like that is not a good system since the distance between the contact patch of the sidecar wheel and cycle wheels will vary. There have been plenty of motorcycle designs over the years using a parallelogram linkage so the sidecar wheel leans along with the bike, but the body itself remains horizontal. Some designs have been very complicated, but most are startlingly simple.

Incidentally with a fixed car a good rider will have no problems. A good rider being one who spins the pedals rather than simply leaning hard on the leading pedal. If you rock from side to side when riding hard without a sidecar, you will have problems with one. If remain vertical then you'll have no problems lifting the wheel of the sidecar. Indeed if you remain vertical your pedalling will be much more efficient and you will be faster and be able to ride further without tiring.

Rather than building a pivoted sidecar, learn how to ride properly.

Steve B said...

I appreciate your comments but disagree that it is riding style that is at fault here. Imagine, for example, riding on a road with a significant camber. With a fixed sidecar you are forced to ride at an angle, with a pivoting design you can still sit vertical. Also during corners there is no risk of the whole thing tipping over.
I've have tried a fixed sidecar on both a motorcycle and a bicycle. The bicycle scenario is very different because the rider is the majority of the weight of the whole outfit. So extreme leaning on corners is needed from both passenger and rider to keep it stable, that’s what makes BMX sidehack racing such a challenge.
As regarding the parallelogram suggestion, I have seen this too, but this is a more complicated build. Besides I find the side scrub which occurs at the sidecar wheel when the bicycle leans, a benefit. It allows the bicycle to stay upright while the passenger is climbing aboard and aids directional stability.
Steve B