Built a trike carrier (cheap)

edited December 2013 in Accessories
I bought a 3 speed Rover about a week ago. Then realized I really wanted the 8 speed instead. To get the 3 speed home we disassembled it and put it in the trunk. When I went to reassemble the trike I found the chain had kinked. It took me 30 minutes to figure out how to get the chain straight and it used up a LOT of my patience. I called my dealer and asked him about exchanging my 3 speed for the 8 speed. He said, 'bring it down and we'll talk.' I didn't want to disassemble and reassemble again. I was in Harbor Freight and noticed that they had a hitch mount bicycle carrier on sale for $39.99. Here's a link:

http://www.harborfreight.com/two-bike-hitch-mount-bike-rack-98019.html

I brought it home and assembled it and stood the trike on the rear wheel near it. I found it was about a foot or foot and a half too short. I put my Townie bicycle on the rack and found the front wheel was too close to the ground. So... I stopped by the local steel yard and bought a piece of 1 1/4 square stock, 4 feet long. Then I used the existing square stock in the bicycle carrier as a guide. I drilled the holes and then cut the 60 degree angle at one end (it pivots out away from the car, see pictures in link above). I then bolted it together using my new square stock. Now the bicycle 'yoke' is 1 1/2 feet taller than before. The Rover sits very nice and straight in the yoke. I use a strip of double sided Velcro to secure the rear tire to the square stock. It holds the trike very tight. I notice some wiggling, but it's very secure.

Bike Carrier $39.00
4' of sq. stock $6.00
Total cost $45.00

The dealer (Sun Cyclery, Phoenix, AZ) let me return my 3 speed and just pay the difference for the 8 speed. I would highly recommend them to anyone in the area. They are very knowledgeable and just plain good folks. The old 3 speed made the trip to the dealer and then the 8 speed made the trip home on my new 'trike carrier.' No assembly/reassembly required. :-) Plus, I now have the ability to take the trike on trips and ride it in some other fun places.

This is an easy project. It does involve some drilling of holes and cutting of steel, but I think a lot of people can accomplish the modification.

Happy Trike'n,
Randy
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Comments

  • I think a picture of your setup would be great...
  • Sorry, I was having trouble with the digital camera. But, now were squared away.

    This first picture is of the completed rack laying on the ground with the original upright laying along side. You can see how much longer (thus higher) the 4 foot new steel is.

    P1030282.jpg

    This second picture shows the trike rack mounted on the car. And, the trike placed on the rack. It doesn't show the double sided Velcro used around the rear tire and the upright.

    P1030281.jpg

    Buy the steel, drills some holes, cut an angle, assemble and you're ready to go.
  • Looks great,,,,, :)
  • MotoRandy wrote:
    Sorry, I was having trouble with the digital camera. But, now were squared away.

    This first picture is of the completed rack laying on the ground with the original upright laying along side. You can see how much longer (thus higher) the 4 foot new steel is.

    P1030282.jpg

    This second picture shows the trike rack mounted on the car. And, the trike placed on the rack. It doesn't show the double sided Velcro used around the rear tire and the upright.

    P1030281.jpg

    Buy the steel, drills some holes, cut an angle, assemble and you're ready to go.

    Where did you buy the steel for the extension on the bike rack? I am hoping I won't have to buy one. But I have a PT cruiser
    I had the hitch put on my car this morning. It sure looks low. I don't get my bike till April 6th.
  • That looks completely sweet~!

    Everywhere I've looked, folks want $300-$400 for a trike 'rack'. While I can put my Rover inside my Tuscon, there are times I would rather not do so. Can you please tell us a few more details?

    Is it for a 2 inch hitch, or a 1.25 inch hitch?

    How much does it sway?

    Have you thought of taking a nylon strap from the top of the rack, and connect it to a cross-member on your roof rack?

    How does it handle bumps in the road? Would you feel comfortable going 50-100 miles with it?

    Also - is there a brand *NAME* on it? It's now $59.99 - oh well - great catch~!!

    Thanks for sharing :)
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • A few questions/comments about this trike rack?

    I wonder if the 'tie-rod' is touching or rubbing while going down the road? It is not too stout and I would fear damage to it if it is touching.

    Sadly, the rack is currently selling here in Ohio for $69.99 - so while still the cheapest option, is a bit out of reach at the moment.

    Lastly, have you driven any more with it? Does it handle the bumps, etc of the road ok?
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Great post and idea. I have two to haul at times. Since I would exceed the 100 lb capacity with one rack I'm thinking of modifying a receiver tube to allow two tacks side-to-side pointing outward.
  • edited September 2011
    Thanks for posting Randy.

    I had to retuirn my wife's home-built tadpole to the shop this morning to correct a chain issue. Afterwards, she asked me to stop at the local Goodwill store.
    I'm glad I did; I found the exact hitch mount rack at the store, everything there and totaly functional. It cost me a whole $8. Now to get my square tubing
    and and follow your lead. One thing I may add to this is a Yakima Boa wheel craddle to better support the rear wheel. The craddle is shownn at left in the pic
    below:

    1

    Gary
  • Meon3 wrote:
    Great post and idea. I have two to haul at times. Since I would exceed the 100 lb capacity with one rack I'm thinking of modifying a receiver tube to allow two tacks side-to-side pointing outward.

    Be careful on doing that. Both the hitch, and the receiver have a weight limit. Also, besides possible weight limit issues, the receiver is not designed to handle the torque loads that two hanging trikes will but on it. *might* be possible on a 2" hitch receiver (depending on type, but I would forget trying it with an 1.25" receiver.

    Something to check on...
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • +++1

    I agree with Peter! The weight limit on the receiver on your car is one thing, the hitch itself is totally something different.

    As you drive down the road you will get a side to side motion with the weight of two trikes 4 feet above the fixed point (where hitch inserts into receiver).

    THAT is where there can be a major problem that can possibly fatigue and break the support tubing.

    Caryl
  • I am going to do the same-thing Moto Rand :D y did
    I just found out that harbor freight opened a
    store 8 miles from me, so Saturday I bought the
    same rack as Randy got, just have to get the
    4 foot square tubing. Peter C. may be happy to know that the price at the store was $44.00 and
    change. When I retire for good in June I plan to do some long trips and take my Rover along.
    :D :D
    Happy Trikings !
  • This is the most viable choice I have read about.

    I would so love to hear (read) if any others have tried this yet? My local HB is being stubborn and *not* changing the price on the rack ever~! That is the only reason I have not yet bought one to try this. I have already located a place to get the new piece, cut to order for under $15bucks.

    The only *possible* change I may make would be to upgrade the bolts to stainless - mainly because I've had great luck with them and hate rust.

    While I am concerned about the torque action going down the road, I've been paying attention, and many, many racks have been loaded with 3 and 4 bikes at a time, and do not seem to have any issues.

    I'd love to hear from the OP with an update to see if any new thoughts have arisen?
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • You all are very talented.

    Good work.
    Marian

    Rover 8 with 24T chain ring and shorter crankset
    Walky Dog - Checkers - whippet mix
    Bike Tow Leash - Cleo - boxer/English bulldog mix
    Puprunner http://www.puprunners.com/index.html

    Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
  • I did not know what your local HB ment here is some info. that may be of help to you, Pete C
    Horbor Freight store in Akron, Ohio 44319
    ph, # 330 245-0264 they are open 8am to 9pm
    mon thru Sat. and Sun. 9am to 6pm
    sorry have to run!
    Happy Trikings !
  • What I meant was the Harbor Freight store I go to (Canton), seems to never put the bike rack on sale. And I've been watching it there for months now. They have it, but only at $79 bucks - as of last Saturday. Call me cheap - I wanna get it cheap :)
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Peter_C wrote:
    What I meant was the Harbor Freight store I go to (Canton), seems to never put the bike rack on sale. And I've been watching it there for months now. They have it, but only at $79 bucks - as of last Saturday. Call me cheap - I wanna get it cheap :)

    This is on sale for $44.99 on the website with $6.99 shipping, unless I am reading something wrong. Might order one for that price.

    Linda
  • After reading Peter C's last reply, I have to say I am not happy with Harbor Freight for not having
    the same pricing in each store or at least as the online site has. I just emailed customer service to find out if this is true and if so WHY, a dollar is the same in all our States.
    Happy Trikings !
  • Pricing differences at different stores seems very common, at least around here. 'Giant Eagle', 'Wal-mart', and 'Home Depot' just to name three. All three seem to have stores in both Canton and Akron, and since I live sorta in the middle - which one I got to depends on where I am.

    HB told me "internet pricing is not available in the store" - and plus, I am hoping for a price close to what the OP paid. Last summer I just missed a $29.99 sale price for it. Since I do not *need* it at this moment, I am biding my time in hopes of getting lucky.

    Also, I remember looking for a new HDD (computer hard drive), and saw it on the Best Buy website - so I went to the Canton BBY store only to find they had it listed for $50 bucks more - when I commented, they checked the website, then gave me that price - so checking is always good, but it doesn't always seem to work - least not for me.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • This is a very similar setup to the Alpaca hitch racks we have.
    image
    Jeff "Chonk" Yonker
    Marketing Dude @TerraTrike

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretsky
  • I just received a reply from customer service at
    Harbor Freight, Josh Leeds Informed me that you can take a print out of the website advertisement to get the online price honored
    at your local retail store.
    Everybody knows you are not cheap,
    you are just Frugal and very well respected :P :P
    $29.99 for the rack was popular in 2009,
    I don't believe you will be seeing that price again
    unless :roll: maybe a closeout :roll:
    Happy Trikings !
  • Cool - I may just give in and do that. I have hopes of getting my wife into triking, and I won't be able to fit two trikes in my Tucson - so this will be the way to go :D
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Ok, rethinking all my options since I now have a 1 1/4 inch hitch on the Prius, and it is looking like a double rack is not doable. What gauge steel would I need for the longer tube?

    Linda
  • My thoughts were to take my pieces with me to the place where I am going to buy the longer 'tube', and show them my plan - they know metal better than I, and should be able to suggest what I should use...you have things like wall-thickness, and metal-type to consider, so my thinking is to let a 'pro' decide for me.
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • I would very much like to know how this carrier has worked out for those who have built this. I need a carrier and if this has worked out I'm going to go ahead. 2" or 1 1/2" ? :?:
  • Yes, me too actually? Now that Spring is (hopefully) coming, I am thinking of small projects, and this is one of those.

    Will anyone that made one of these give us a long-term review please? photos, blow-by-blow of the build, thoughts after the fact, any changes you'd suggest?
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • To all intrested, just received this today in a email from H.F. The bike rack in question at Harbor Freight is now on sale for $39.99 and the sale starts April 19th and ends April, 29th 2012.
    It is for 1 1/4" or 2" hitch receiver :mrgreen:
    Happy Trikings !
  • Regarding Harbor Freight brick and mortar stores not having the same pricing as online...Two HF stores I have shopped in (Pleasant Hill and Newark, both CA) will match the catalog/online pricing IF YOU BRING IN THE PRINTOUT SHOWING THE DIFFERENT PRICING. I don't know if this is universally applied at all such stores, however.

    Neither volunteers the stuff may be cheaper elsewhere...that is my own homework prior to going there. The way pricing differs I have wondered if the stores may actually be franchise operations rather than company owned. Good luck,

    Paul H
  • Regarding Harbor Freight brick and mortar stores not having the same pricing as online...Two HF stores I have shopped in (Pleasant Hill and Newark, both CA) will match the catalog/online pricing IF YOU BRING IN THE PRINTOUT SHOWING THE DIFFERENT PRICING. I don't know if this is universally applied at all such stores, however.

    Neither volunteers the stuff may be cheaper elsewhere...that is my own homework prior to going there. The way pricing differs I have wondered if the stores may actually be franchise operations rather than company owned. Good luck,

    Paul H
  • Does anyone have instruction on how to modify this for carrying 2 trikes? A picture would also be nice.
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