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Free Cycles

Home Pedal Technology
Pedal Technology

Pedal Technology is about extending the reach of the modern day bike. We are experimenting with building better bike trailers, 3 and 4 wheel bikes for balance and stability, long johns for load-carrying, energy generation and other pedal powered devices .

Come visit the Warehouse to talk with us about pedal projects.

A sample of the creations that have come out of Pedal Technology:


 Bicycle Trailer from Bike Parts

A no-weld, all bike parts bicycle trailer....  try modifying the design and send us pictures (to mist  @  strans.  org)


This is the arm and hitch of a simple bike trailer made from recycled bike parts and with no welding

One type of hitch- a piece of bike tire that wraps around the non-drive side chainstay. Leave the metal tire bead for strength. A wing nut or seat post quick release can then secure the tire hitch to itself .

Any hitch needs 3 movements: yaw is the side to side movement (going around turns); roll is twisting motion (for leaning into turns); and pitch is up and down movement (for hills and dips).  A rubber ball joint (tire, hose, etc) gives universal movement, yet must be strong with little slack.  Other hitches utilize springs, nuts and bolts and other every day objects.


A basic cad drawing for bike trailer from volunteer Kurt

In this early design, the trailer is attached to the seat post.  The other way is to attach the hitch to the chain stay on the non-drive side, with room given for the rear wheel to turn.



A bike trailer for kayaks made from crutches

Kayak trailer out of crutches



Bicycle Parking Rack made from Old Frames

Bike Frame Parking Rack

Get a piece of 1" steel tubing, slide on the stems, install bike frame upside down by inserting stem into the seat tube.  Use more frames or handle bars to lift the steel tubing off the ground a foot or so.  These make great racks because a bike locks up really well to another bike frame.  In addition, you can leave some of the parts on the frame as a 24/7 parts depo.

Variation- slide a larger diameter piece of steel tubing, like a chain link fence post, thru open bottom brackets of old/bent frames   click here for picture and instructions.

Good spacing between frames seems to be about 32".  An 8' piece of tubing would take 4 frames- one on each end, one at 32" and one at 64".

We now have a new and improved bicycle parking rack design- click for picture and info



Bike trailer with sculpture of wheels made by kids

4-wheel bike pulling a cart with a wheel sculpture made by school kids...



Our giant haywagon bike trailer in action

2-seater 4-wheeler pulling hay wagon with a live band in a parade.



 The 4-wheel bike with 2 seats

The 2-seater 4-wheeler up close.  More info as a pedal powered sweeper



This is how MUD transports coffee grinds- by bike!

Coffee Grounds Bike Trailer for the local community gardens.



Overflow stock for making bikes out of bikes

One of the many community sorting yards we have operated- this one at the Old City Shops.



Loading the bikes on the river crossing canoes

Stage 2 of the Tour de Montana bike ride series entailed a homemade bike ferry across a river. 32 riders made it safely from Missoula to Hamilton, without needing to traverse the dangerous S curves of Highway 93 between Missoula and Lolo.



Here's how we crossed a river with lots of cyclists

The bike ferry carried eight people and bikes at a time.


Bicycle Side Car

Bicycle with a side car made back in the 70's and donated to Free Cycles.



Simon carts bikes 50 miles to a school in Ovando- by bike!

Another one of our fundraiser rides entailed a 100 mile roundtrip bike ride (overnight camping) up to Ovando. We carried six kids bikes on bike trailers to donate to a elementary school.

Another bike trailer click here


Even way back when they had bikes that pulled children

Bike trailers are nothing too new...  

more pedal tech pictures and designs

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