Many of us Xtracycle riders have towed other bikes using the “bag and drag” method (the front wheel of the rear bike simply strapped in a freeloader bag), but I’m sick of that. I loan bikes out often enough that I want a more elegant solution, so I came up with my own take on the “front hub/fork” method. I figured I’d post it here in case some of you would like to try it. The uses include loaning bikes out, bike polo / mtb biking, kids bikes, and getting your tired riding partners home if they bonk (or are too drunk to ride).
Supplies (about $15-16, I bought mine at the True Value right by Arriving by Bike):
- 1 old quick release front hub (not figured into the cost)
- Slotted Angle Iron (about 5 bucks) that you cut to about the width of the rear free-radical bar
- 4 U-Bolts (about $1.50 each) – two that fit the V-racks and two that fit the hub.
- 3 hose clamps (I always have these around for bike stuff, about $1.50 each)
- Grease, hacksaw, fixed wrench, screw driver
This only took about an hour to do. I hope the pictures are self-explanatory. Two hose clamps hold the hub back against the angle iron and the third holds the angle iron down on the cross bar. Two of the U-bolts attach the angle iron to the V-rack holders (the main strength) and the other two attached the hub down on the angle iron. You may have to modify this a bit if you have the new bag attachment system with the nubs on the V-rack holders instead of straps.
I recommend using the stabilizer straps to the handle bars that I have shown in the picture. The tow bike tends to want to fall down when you turn sharply without them (but they probably are optional). With them, the rear wheel of the tow bike lifts rather than having the tow bike fall. Keep them mostly slack when attaching them, as tightening them only flexes your frame (in a scary way) and lifts the back wheel of the tow bike up. They’ll tighten on their own as you turn sharply.
Have Fun, click on any picture for a slideshow. I’m open to suggestions as well!