Energy & Sustainability Metalworking Workshop
How-To:  Build a bicycle sidecar
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A wooden body upon a welded steel frame, by Briton Steve Bodiley. Build details available at his website. [Thanks, Billy Baque!]

12 thoughts on “How-To: Build a bicycle sidecar

  1. I’m curious about his braking setup, too, what’s with that one lever leading to both front and rear? Really chic.

    1. It’s a dual-pull brake lever, which is generally a Bad Idea for actuating the front and rear brakes of a bike because different braking conditions call for different ratios between the front and rear brakes to be safe (see discussion at http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?458546-Two-brakes-one-lever ), but is awesome for actuating the two-wheeled end of a trike ( http://cargocycling.org/2009/06/dual-pull-brake-lever.html )

      The rear hub on the bike used with the sidecar build ( http://www.steves-workshop.co.uk/vehicles/sidecar/towingbike/towingbike.htm ) appears to have a drum brake that is both a coaster brake and cable-actuated, so it could be used with a single front brake and be pretty fine.

      1. He stated he has a Shimano nexus 7 speed with coaster brake for the rear wheel.
        The lever is for the front wheel only; on that lever there’s the gear shifter too, so that’s why there are two cables (one for the front brake and the other for the gear shift).

        1. My bad; should’ve read the build notes more closely. Those Shimano Nexus internal-geared hubs are ace.

          My statements about dual-pull brake levers still stand. With a sidecar they might be useful to stop the rear and side wheels together, but there ehn’t much point with the coaster and front brake on this one.

  2. I am heading out to Utah for the Front Runner Century bicycle ride and I am looking to see if anyone has ever used a sidecar bicycle for the Front Runner Century Bicycle Ride. I have heard that people have used it for LOTOJA classic and for the Ulcer Ride as well as the Salt Lake City Century. If anyone has info for the Front Runner Century they could give to me I would be happy. Check out the http://www.frontrunnercentury.com and please let me know.

  3. OMG how fab are you! I’ve been looking all over for a dog side car. I live in Austin Texas and wheresabout are you? Any other hints? Any one willing to augment these plans with advice?
    Thank you!

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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