Monday, March 16, 2015

Winter Project: New Bike Box

   Get ready for a long one, because I'm excited and this is thorough! The cargo bike has been amazing. Calvin and I have put over 800 miles on it since we got it last year. 


   Calvin has been riding in a trailer modified to fit in the cargo area. It works great. It has restraints, some storage, a nice cover. 


Full 'o stuff

   As you see, there are a couple blankets in there. The front isn't sealed very well and when it's cold or wet, it is not comfortable. Since the winter was lots of time at home and no riding, it was a great chance to update the bike. This started as a 12 page Google doc with ideas, pictures and links. Here is how it went down:

Front protection

   Since the front protection was one of the biggest problems, I made the front nice and high. I used 3/8 plywood, and did a couple tests to see what the best way to keep it all together would be. First I laid out the bottom, front and rear. This would be most of the structure, with the sides as strengthening members, and the inner seat and back removable.

Judging sides and seat

   I had a lot of drawings and ideas, but didn't want to commit without laying the whole thing out and making sure it would work ok. Once the bottom, front and back were in, I clamped the sides on in several positions to see what would work out best. I also moved the backrest and seat around to see where they would be ideal. Calvin was my model since he would be the main user for a while:

Contain your excitement

   Once the sides were worked out, I went ahead and cut them down. You can see the general shape of the box starting to take.

Sides cut and clamped in place

   There is a space behind the backrest and the back of the box that provides some storage. Whatever we needed to carry could go here. Bike pump and spare tubes, jackets, lock, etc. It is nice and out of the way.

Storage area

   I  unmounted it from the bike to see how it would all look and weigh.

Inspecting the final design

From the back

   I took it all apart and sanded it nice and smooth, including the top edges. I also stained it a darker color to protect it from the elements.

Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. 

   All done with the box, not it was just making the trailer work. Since the trailer has a great cover with all the clips and velcro, I removed the sides and mounted them into the box. 

Measuring the material

   The trailer sides and top are pretty stout. Inside there are new straps and belts to keep calvin secure. The front is sealed well, and when the top is closed it is nice and warm and protected inside. 

All done

   After getting everything together there were a few adjustments to make. I lowered the seat a little to give calvin more head room. He is very secure in it and we are sure ready for the Farmers Market to start up again!

Calvin ready to go for a ride

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