Author Topic: Danneaux Project: ExtraWheel trailer as do-all cargo, charging, cam solution  (Read 16755 times)

JimK

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On the rower I can hold 220 watt avarage over a 10km distance and that hurts.

Egads you are a monster! I can pull that power for about three strokes!

Andybg

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I used to row for my university and have managed to keep about the same level of fitness. Believe me it is not bad but nowhere near poffesional status. They are pulling around the 500w mark for that length of time. Now that must hurt lots.


Danneaux

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Looks like the bar has been raised Dan. what's your solution to this?

Hmm. Good question, Richie. Let's see...my hummingbird cadence + Rohloff's Gear 14 + Jawine's knees + cheering from the assembled crowd + the TTTP2 on the bike and the B&M e-Werk on the Extrawheel trailer + a power inverter = Success, easy!  :D

All the best,

Dan. (...has to be a microwave oven so I can have quick, tasty dinners in camp)

kingnutterrick

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Hi Dan, I love your ideas with the extra wheel. I first read your post on forums. net. I am intrigue with your project. I am having a new wheel set built with the newest Schmidt son 28 dynamos. I have a standard Schmidt on my front now. I am serious about following your project big wheel. I hope to build one this year, if you don't mind me following your e-Werk setup to handle charging duties.

Danneaux

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Hi King!

Welcome to the Forum! I'm glad you made the trip and will be following the trailer build. Truly, this is a project I find exciting, and I want to develop it fully.

Since my last post, I have been trialing various materials and designs for the wheel-spoke "blades" needed for nighttime power generation. I'm currently very close to the needed shape using clear mylar sheeting -- that's fine for the prototype, but the final version needs to quickly attach or remove, and must stow compactly and weigh very little. Semi-coated lycra is the leading candidate, attached with sewing hooks-and-eyes. I've come up with a promising "pocketed" design to take maximum advantage of available breezes, and it does turn and generate power, so progress is being made.

The e-Werk is ideally suited for this application because it can be attached temporarily (with o-rings) or permanently (zip-ties) to the trailer frame. I'll be mounting mine inverted (controls facing the ground) for better moisture and dirt-shielding and feeding the cables right into one of the rear panniers. I should have a photo-essay up before long, showing the ideal mounting and routing locations for the unit and harness.

The *new* SON28 you are choosing (as I run in the front wheel on my Nomad) has less drag than the SON28 Klassik I am using on the trailer, and would be a great choice for your build.

One of the surprises of the project is the trailer's utility for non-touring use. I had pondered using a BOB for this project, but as I mentioned over at bikeforums, a platform trailer like that is not ideal for my off-road use, thanks to limited ground clearance and the use of a small trailer wheel/tire. The tradeoff was using panniers for cargo. As it happens, the 40l+ capacity of the Ortlieb BikePacker Plus panniers with pockets is proving ideal for shopping and errands -- especially when combined with panniers on the bike. The short length and good ground clearance (as much as front panniers on lowrider racks) means I can negotiate curbs and other similar obstacles with ease and parking is much more convenient. The large wheel helps greatly in this regard also. I do think the trailer's dedicated rack can be improved (and Extrawheel are working on this at present), but even so, it offers additional cargo options including use of longitudinal or transverse dry sacks. Extrawheel recommend the rack load be limited to a maximum of 5kg, and the weight should be kept low and forward as much as possible, as with the loads in the panniers. This keeps the center of gravity low and forward, ensuring adequate tongue loads for improved handling.

I am test-loading and riding with a variety of cargo and with water. Bottled water (especially in square cross-section containers) is very convenient because it allows for maximum configurability and the weight calculations are dead-easy: One liter of pure water weighs one kilogram at sea level and room temperature (25C). At maximum, *each* pannier holds three 3.78l (1 USgal) bottles and three 1.5l bottles in the main compartment and one 2l bladder in the outside pocket. Total: 17.84l/kg per bag or 35.68 total in both bags on the trailer -- right at Extrawheel's stated 35kg weight limit.

The project is coming along nicely, and when I get each component a bit further along, I will post results and photos. I will also be posting photos of the trailer in action; it really is different in a positive way from other trailers I've used.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts and input along the way as well.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 04:38:40 AM by Danneaux »

kingnutterrick

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I am very excited to follow your progress. Thanks for the tips, I can't wait to see your pics.

kingnutterrick

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Hi Dan, I do have a question about the trailer itself. Does it track down hill without much sway. I saw a video a gentleman was having a hard time controlling the bike, and trailer down a hilly dirt path. Most of my touring is on pavement, since I live in the state Indiana. Also I have a rear tubus rack on my  bike, do I have to remove the rack to hitch the trailer? I have found a company in the USA to get my extra wheel trailer. Here is the photo of the bicycle which will get the trailer.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 08:34:12 PM by kingnutterrick »

Danneaux

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Hi King!

My, that is a lovely setup you have! Thanks for sharing a photo of such a nicely equipped tourer; it's a beaut!

I have limited time at the moment and my handling tests are not complete, but I can quickly say this:

The handling of the Extrawheel trailer is very much dependent on load distribution, and it is happiest to have the load placed as low and as far forward as possible. High and rearward is not good, and can cause the handling to decay quickly. Pavement is a more severe test in this regard than off-road or on dirt, because there is no loose surface to provide a degree of "slippage" at the tire contact patch and the surface is more consistent. On this last point, there are some paved surfaces that made the trailer feel less stable and I did see it tracking from side-to-side. In my case, this was on a highway shoulder that has been sloppily overlaid in a repaving, so it may well have been not the surface itself but the varying camber of the surface imparting a twisting moment to the trailer that resulted in momentary sway.

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I saw a video a gentleman was having a hard time controlling the bike, and trailer down a hilly dirt path.
<nods> Yes, I have seen that too. I think what happened to him is much the same as forum member Pete (Il Padrone) encountered on his recent tour of Australia's Red Center: Ruts in the road caught the wheels and steered the bike. I tried the trailer by riding across an empty field that had been plowed, where the tractor's tires created ruts that then sun-dried into hummocks. I had no problem going across the ruts, but found going lengthwise, the trailer was "steered" independently -- just as the front wheel of my bike tried to do. The difference on the trailer was, I had no handlebars to correct it.

Another factor is the tires used, their pressure, and their mounting on the rims/trueness. Remember, the tires aren't supporting anywhere near the same load they would on a bicycle with load and rider, so pressures must be dropped according. I decided to see what would happen if I ran my 26x2.0 Duremes at the same 45psi/3.1bar pressure as on the Nomad, and the results were not good at all -- the trailer bounced wildly when hitting small bumps like driveway lips and such, and the tracking and stability were poor because of it Dropping the pressure to the 15-20psi/1-1.4bar range brought a real transformation on pavement and off-road. The trailer's tracking improved tremendously and the bouncing on small obstacles was largely eliminated; the trailer rode smoothly and silently. I am beginning to think less pressure yet may be the route to go, but I need to measure actual rim "drop" under various loads to hit the ideal of a 10-15% drop, then adjust from there. Counter to what one might think, rolling resistance remained low. Remember, these comments apply to a 26x2.0 (47mm actual section width/height) tire with a lot of air volume. If one equipped the trailer with, say, a 700x35C tire, then pressures would have to be raised accordingly to prevent impact damage to the rim. I also think an out-of-true tire or rim would be more apt to "steer" the trailer than it would a bicycle, but I want to investigate this further.

The reason I can't answer your question definitively at this point is I have not completed all my load testing with the variety of weights I will be carrying. I can say the unladen trailer tracks as if it isn't there, and this holds true with lesser weights also. Truly heavy weights approaching or at the trailers limit impart more influence on the handling, but I am not sure if it is simply that I am hauling more weight or if the weight directly affects the trailer's handling.

There is another factor as well, and one worth investigating further: The trailer's kingpin/pivot point is inclined, much like a bicycle's head tube, providing what amounts to "trail". It may seem obvious on reflection, but I think it is important: I think the trailer's handling will be best if equipped with the same tire width/profile as used on the bicycle so the kingpin head angle remains constant. If the trailer was equipped with a tire that varied largely from that of the bike -- say a bike with 26in wheels/tires hauling the trailer equipped with a 20in wheel or vice versa, then I think handling would be far less predictable.

The trailer is also sensitive to left-right load distribution, as noted by Extrawheel. I found the best results came from loading the trailer evenly, as Extrawheel instructs -- certainly within a kg or so from side to side. This keeps the weight effectively centered. If too much weight is carried on one side, there is a tendency for the trailer to impart a "lean" by loading the bicycle unevenly as well, and things get worse from there. This is where the containers of water have been so helpful in my trials; they are adjustable loads, and can be moved around in the bags to see how they affect handling.

I have built my own trailers in the past with success (they were two-wheel trailers with a cargo box and 16in wheels; max. capacity 57kg), and I put the most design time and effort into axle placement, since this largely determined hitch loading. If the hitch carried too little of the total weight, then the trailer wanted to "turkey trot" -- sway or shimmy from the pivot point of the kingpin or hitch. The same holds true for car-towed trailers. I have not yet induced that handing behavior in the Extrawheel, but I think this is the reason why the handling improves with weight low and forward; it is a reasonable assumption. It also shortens the moment arm between the mass (cargo) and the lateral/vertical pivots of the kingpin and rear q/r hitch.

As far as downhill performance goes, the acid test for me will be a downhill at various speeds on Green Hill here in Eugene, Oregon, my usual "test road" for such things. It is steep -- 12%-15% in places, and long enough for extended observation. I can look down and rearward in my eyeglass-mounted rearview mirror by tipping my head up, or I can affix my GoPro HD Hero2 camera to the rear of the bike or the trailer and review the footage after. This is still on my schedule, but I am turning my attention at present to the electronics and spoke-airfoil design. Overall, this is a big project and time-consuming.

I must note Extrawheel strongly suggest limiting downhill speed, and this seems like a Very Good Idea to me. I know from trials with my own trailers, at a certain point going downhill at high speed (in my case at nearly 100kph), they became markedly less stable and this stability was in part speed-dependent and also load-dependent.

Remember, like most bicycle trailers, the Extrawheel has no brakes, and there is a surge or push-surge effect caused by any unbraked trailer. Smooth pedaling is rewarded and so is smooth braking. For example, when I attached the Extrawheel -- loaded to capacity -- to my unladen Nomad, the bike didn't "feel" as burdened as it usually does when carrying the same weight in panniers on racks and handling was much less affected. The bike retained most of its unladen (nimble) handling characteristics. However, I was still accelerating and stopping the same overall mass, so the effect could be felt in slower acceleration and in extended braking distances/effort compared to the bare bike.

I don't think you'll have clearance problems using the Extrawheel with your Tubus rack. I am using mine with Thorn's 5mm-to-6mm rack adapters, so the rack supports are wider than yours will be and I have no clearance problems; the hub quick-release/hitch extends 30mm from the dropout face on each side; the trailer fork or tongue then snaps over it and is retained by spring tension (the fork width is adjustable and is set so it is 30mm less than the overall width across the hitch faces). If you have a new "Evo" design Tubus rack with investment cast lowers, there may be less clearance, since the eyelet mounts are effectively wider at that dropouts than with Tubus' earlier designs. The rear rack in your photo appears to the older "Klassik" Tubus Cargo design, so you should be fine.

I hope this helps.

All the best,

Dan.

kingnutterrick

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Thank you for the detailed info. I will take your advise, and suggestions and apply to my extra wheel.

Danneaux

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Hi All!

'Turns out the Extrawheel makes a dandy utility trailer. It was unexpectedly nice out today, and I wanted to get some pumpkins to boil down for pumpkin pie. Now Hallowe'en has come and gone, the stores are looking to reduce their stocks, so it was time to drop by the Corner Market and see what I could find. I knew my regular panniers wouldn't be enough to hold what I needed, so I got out the Extrawheel, put on the 40l+ Ortlieb BikePacker Plus panniers, and hitched it to the Nomad in similar cargo-bike attire.

I hit the jackpot; when I got home, I found the trailer was carrying 56lbs/25kg of pumpkins and the bike had a similar load. The bike and trailer handled well, and I managed a good bit of fully-loaded off-road riding down by the river and detoured onto the sidewalk to avoid some of the leaves piled in the bike path for next week's scheduled pickup. No problems; the trailer tagged along happily behind, full as full could be. Even had room for the camera tripod so I could take these photos with a self-timer.

My deer-hunting neighbor just dropped by with some venison, so it looks like tomorrow's dinner will be deer meat, harvest sweet corn, carrots, potatoes, and some big slices of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top (and a few extra for the neighbors) -- thanks to some bicycle-trailer gleaning!

By the time I returned home, my MP3 player was charged as well, thanks to a temporary attachment of the e-Werk to the Extrawheel's SON28 dynohub. My community has recently banned plastic shopping bags, so the extra panniers on the trailer will make it possible to get a trolley-load of groceries in the store, load the panniers on check-out, then clip them directly on the bike and trailer, making for a week's shopping using neither car nor grocery bags. Kind of a nice solution for commuting on the same day as a grocery run.

Best,

Dan.

Andybg

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Really fantastic pictures Dan and I can see the joy on your face. That is the kind of thing I get up to on the bike and it is amazing how much fun it is to accomplish something for "nothing" and also get a chance for a "free" ride thrown in as a bonus.

The extrawheel seems to be earning its keep and based on the results of your future testing I think one may finally make it my way.

Heading back home today (4 day trip) so time to break down the bikes into their bags and pack up all the bike goodies.

Andy

jags

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venison and pumpkin pie man you live like a king even feeding the pesants  ;D ;D

ZeroBike

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Hows the project going?

Also do you think the nomads brakes will need upgrading to handle the heavier loads the carrier will allow?

ZeroBike

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I take it you have given up on this one then.

Danneaux

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I take it you have given up on this one then.
No, not at all, but there have been problems I had not anticipated. I will move forward once they are resolved.

I have been in regular contact with ExtraWheel, and it seems mine is one of a small number of trailers with quick-release hitches that do not work well. This has delayed and now stalled my development and testing, and I was reluctant to update until I had the full word from ExtraWheel on the matter. I am very careful and rigorous in my testing (I do this on a contract basis for a number of manufactures, usually with non-disclosure agreements; this is an "open" review as agreed with ExtraWheel) and I won't report based on supposition, rumor, or without checking to see if problems I identify are isolated or widespread and if the manufacturer is committed to improvement/addressing problems that emerge. ExtraWheel tell me they have received 4-6 reports of similar problems this year to date. I am confident this is isolated; after all, the problem has not been previously reported, even by our Forum members who own earlier versions of the trailer (Il Padrone, for example).

ExtraWheel assure me they will be addressing the problem early in the New Year, and I hope to get some of the new batch of hitches soonest so I can report the problem solved and get on with my testing; after all, I have plans for using it on my big tour come Spring 2013, and will need to have it fully developed and sorted before departure.

Here are the details...

The problem is in the JoyTech-supplied quick-release portion of the ExtraWheel hitch, and it affects the originally supplied hitch as well as the other two I purchased at the time as spares and for other bikes. The tolerances are very generous, resulting in a sloppy fit between the lever-operated cam and the end of the skewer in the hitch-cap, causing loss of secure holding of both the trailer and bicycle rear wheel. My Rohloff-hubbed Nomad requires the q/r skewer *not* be overtightened to prevent binding of the hub bearings. The result is these loose tolerances and relatively low clamping force allow the q/r lever to rotate fully (there is no "lever stop" as on other skewers) to the point where the lever can foul the chain.. As the lever rotates, it loses tension and under the torque induced by a pulled load, the tongue becomes mobile on the dropouts and handling degrades to the point where the lot is unridable. This problem first emerged as wear progressed and with use on very rough ground; it now occurs regardless of load or terrain. Since the trailer pulled well until the skewer's already large tolerances increased, I put the handling problems down to the q/r skewer-hitch. Because the skewer end-caps are bespoke items, I can't substitute a conventional skewer as a check.

My rigorous testing has identified further problems I have reported to ExtraWheel and they tell me they are researching solutions.

The inside faces of the q/r-hitch are smooth which presents no immediate problem when used with reasonably high tension on vertical dropouts. However, it is a critical failing when used on ramped dropouts. Regardless of tension-induced clamping forces, there is inadequate friction to prevent pedaling torque from cocking the rear wheel of the bicycle in the dropouts with or without the trailer attached. The inside faces need embossing to better engage the outer faces of ramped dropouts. ExtraWheel is now aware of this problem as well, and I hope this change will be incorporated when the lever issue is addressed.

There are problems with the accessory rack...
1) Mudguard clearance with the trailer's rack-mounted load results in insufficient clearance between the load and my rear mudguard (an SKS P55 atop 26x2.0 tires). To make the rack universal to fit up to 28" (700C) tires, ExtraWheel had to mount it relatively high above the tire, causing interference between mudguard and load when the recommended 13l Ortlieb dry sack I purchased with the trailer is mounted. If I keep the load high on the rack it will clear alright, but if it slips and/or the bike climbs an abrupt slope, the mudguard is fouled (see attached pic). ExtraWheel tell me they are working on the problem and will have a redesigned cargo rack. I suspect any trailer rack in this location will require the added clearance of the longer "29er"-specific tongue; there is simply not enough clearance with the "universal" (20"/26"/28"-700c) tongue recommended for my application.

2) The rack's lower attachment remains a weak point in my testing. The abrupt change in section width from tubing to flat stock is a problem, as is the use of a plastic spacer along the bolt stack at the trailer's lower-front mudguard mount. As a result, the rack can flex and fatigue at this stress riser, causing premature breakage of the rack tab and/or mounting bolt especially on rough roads. A lower rack attachment made of brazed steel tubing with an integral tubular steel spacer would fully address both problems and result in a much stronger, longer-lived Extrawheel rack.

3) Close spacing of the pannier-carrying frames results in paint-damaging friction between the trailer frame and the lower mounting points for Ortlieb bags equipped with QR-2 mounts. I think the solution here is to apply a protective film to the trailer frame as a barrier (perhaps something like Mactac's surface-protective film, which I am experimenting with on my own to reduce pannier hook/rack abrasion, see: http://mactac.com/ , or a competing automotive anti-abrasion film currently undergoing testing for this purpose by me).

ExtraWheel were brave to agree to my proposal for an open test and crowd-sourcing development of their trailer according to my proposal, and they are as eager to continuously improve it and broaden its appeal and application as I am. They are cooperative and have taken my testing and reported results to heart. I am confident if the q/r-hitch problems can be resolved and improved through all production runs and if the rack can be improved and recommended only for use with the longer available tongue, the trailer can be fully developed. I'm awaiting further developments from their end, and will pick up my own testing and development once these problems are resolved.

ZeroBike, you also asked...
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Also do you think the nomads brakes will need upgrading to handle the heavier loads the carrier will allow?
So far, the Nomad's Deore v-brakes (shod with Kool-Stop Salmon pads on non-CSS Rigida Andra rims) have been well up to the task of stopping the loaded bike-trailer combination. As with any similarly weighted load, braking distance is increased about 20% over riding unladen in my experience, and braking effort at the lever increases by a similar amount. The braking is determined by overall mass and by weight transfer. The trailer adds mass to the rear axle and reduces pitchover, both of which actually aid the rear brake's effectiveness (the front brake still provides the lion's share of braking due to weight transfer under braking). The brakes worked very well even on 14% downgrades with a 40kg load on the bike and another 25kg of bottled water in the trailer for testing purposes. These tests take time to do properly but so far, braking has not been problematic.

As with any trailer, there is a "surge effect" under braking that is quite different from what one feels when the mass is carried in panniers alone. This is especially noticeable with a loaded trailer attached to an unladen bicycle because bike handling is not as adversely affected as it would be with the same weight in panniers alone. Only a fraction of the additional mass is carried by the bike itself. Further, the trailer's mass is carried by the bike at axle height, far below the center of gravity for panniers. However, the mass is still "there" and becomes noticeable in pulling away from a stop and while braking and in other than steady-state riding. You can definitely tell it is there (built-in "hill"), but once up to speed, things feel surprisingly good...as if the bike were carrying only a moderate load on the rear rack in terms of handling.

I'll post updates as things develop at ExtraWheel's end, which will allow me to resume testing and development. Meanwhile, I'm also working on a larger trailer, as the second photo shows. Among other uses, this "Tandem Hauler" may result in more readily finding a stoker for the Biggest Bike in my stable. No plans for attaching the Big Red Trailer to the Nomad!

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 09:24:22 PM by Danneaux »