I live near a bikepath that runs along a creek. I’d really like to get a kayak cart to attach to my bike. Some of the ones I’ve seen online seem cheaply made. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone made their own? Some of these carts and tow bars seem kind of expensive. I wonder if it would work to buy the dumb stick tow bar then make a cart out of pvc and attach some good wheels.
2 usual problems
with home-made kayak carts:
- finding good wheels that have bearings and don’t corrode
- making the whole thing foldable or take-apart, so that you could shove it in the hatch.
In your case #1 should be small bicycle wheels obviously, 16" at least.
#2 - the easier and the cheaper to make it, the more difficult is to take apart. This is why good compact commercial carts cost over $70, and compact bike trailers - even more.
2 usual problems
This is a reply to the previous comment: If I had a cart, I would just lock it up with my bike. The creek where I paddle is calm enough so paddling upstream or downstream doesn’t make much difference. there are bike racks right by the boat launch.
Then just get a cart
with bike wheels like the one by LL Bean http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/68566?feat=2-SR0 and attach aluminum or PVC pipe to it (or to the kayak bow). The cart will still cost $60 (at Cabelas in aluminum version). It is cumbersome, but you won't be carrying it on board. You can make some unsightly imitation out of PVC and it won't be as sturdy as metal, and you still need wheels and straps, so I would rather buy the whole cart.
$700 trailers and offers shipping to UK, and UK company Carry Freedom (City Bicycle Trailers) sells their trailers in North America for 1/3 of that price. Being myself Canadian, I can't understand why our local products cost more than similar US-made or European items (and I'm talking about things locally made in the US, not imported from China). But this is another story...
Back to canoe trailers: if you look at $200 Wike Woody Canoe trailer http://www.wicycle.com/canoe_woody_wagon_bicycle_trailer.php , this is simply a cargo trailer with a separate tube (he calles it Yoke)attached to the bow. Pretty much like I mentioned earlier - get $60 canoe cart from Cabelas
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-CanoeKayak-Carriers/1152380.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dcanoe%2Bcarrier%26x%3D11%26y%3D5%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=canoe and attach a piece of PVC pipe to the bow. The idea isn't mine, I confess. There was a guy who did this with this exactly cart (steel version), IIRC he uses a piece of rubber hose as a flexible joint from pipe to bicycle frame.
Where is Carry Freedom’s canoe trailer?
Also, Tony’s trailer is a complete trailer, rather than a dolly and hitch. I don’t know if that really matters, but thought it worth a look for anyone considering such a thing.
Trayak is a complete canoe trailer starting from $715, and his regular cargo trailers aren't cheap either, starting from $450. The only difference of Trayak from Carry Freedom or any other cargo trailer is added L-shaped hitch and a piece of foam, both things the OP can add himself for $20 or so. My impression has been that this is what he's looking for - making on cheap or converting some trailer into canoe trailer. Built-in hitch like in Tony's or a separate yoke strapped to the bow - what's the difference if either one works?...
In deference to Tony's product I have to say that $200 Wike Woody with separate yoke has horribly looking wheels :-) ... Don't know how good they are, but they look horrible compared to bicycle-style wheels of Tony's Trayak or canoe cart from Cabelas/LLbean. For $45 Wike can upgrade it to normal bicycle wheels, though.
The canoe/kayak cart from Cabella’s looks nice and doesn’t seem to be ridiculously over-priced. Does anyone know if this would work with a dumb stick? Is anyone familiar with the dumb stick?
I have that cart…
…but I’m not familiar with the “dumb stick”. Maybe I should be. Could you describe it, please?
Craig’s List - InStep
I have had good success trolling Craig’s List for the InStep brand child trailer.
Trek and Burly make expensive ones, but the InStep is cheaper and has a better frame for modification.
Remove all the kid stuff (seats, straps, etc) leaving just the frame (wide enough for my Cetus HV). Then I cut some polystyrene blocks that fit nicely on the frame.
I have a rear rack on my commuter bike to which I bolted a 2 x 4 which extends about 6" past my rear wheel. I use some stout shock cord to make a loop which hangs from the end of the 2x4.
I then balance my 'yak on the cart leaving about 5-7 lbs of “tongue weight” at the bow toggle. I clip the bow toggle to the shock cord loop and off I go.
The more tongue weight you have, the more stable the ride. However, to keep too much load off the rack, I keep it to around 5 lbs. It gets a little squirrely on the decents, but I just have to keep it under 25 mph or so.
Last week, my wife was pulled over by not one but two cops on the way to the lake. They took pictures, complimented her on her clever design and asked for her advice in making their own rigs.
Enjoy the freedom from your car!
Bike N Kayak Tow
I Agree Too Expensive. I’m Working On A Cart Tow System. Just As You’ve Explained. PVC And Rubber. I Don’t Think You Have To Have A Metal Bar As Long As Your Tow Is Dense Enough To Hold The Weight Evenly Over Your Cart Wheels And Strong Enough That It Wont Break Under Pressure While Towing. Metal And Plastic Is Too Impacting While PVC And Rubber Is More Shock Absorbent. If You Haven’t Found Something You Like Let Me Know.
A kayak cart with pnuematic wheels. Amazon 32 bucks. I just ordered a trail gator for 60. Amazon. Wheels come off and cart fits in the hatch of my OK Caper. Trail gator should fit in there as well. Gonna tow with a mid drive e-fatbike