Check it out!
My first test ride on the rig. I took a short 30 mile each way, over night ride into the Caprock Canyon State park outside Quitaque, TX in January, 2016.
There are many touring/travel bicycles that utilize the S&S coupler system, so I won’t spend much time on that. I purchased a Seven Cycles titanium Airheart frame, with their disc brake fork. I built it up with HED Ardennes wheels, a mix of Chris King, 3T, and SRAM Force among other bits and pieces. I used some Shimano pedals which have SPD on one side and flat pedals on the other so I could ride comfortably with or without my cycling shoes. I had the frame built with no decals on the bike. It is simple, but beautiful.
This is before I had made my final steer tube cut. Mechanical disc brakes, S&S couplers, and cable splitters make this bike easy to take apart and put together on the road.
The trailer was a bit more Frankenstein. I purchased and old discontinued B.O.B. Coz trailer to serve as the frame for the trailer. I then modified the S&S coupler case to be mountable to the trailer, as well as adding internal and external tie-down attachments. I added weather-stripping to further waterproof the sealing areas as well as adding a USB port to the case.
The B.O.B. Coz frame with the preliminary cable routing. the zip ties were replaced with cable routing loops to make the dis-assembly and assembly of the trailer while traveling easier.
The USB port and tie-downs on the top of the case are used to mount a folding solar panel allowing small electronics to be charged while either traveling down the road or in camp.
The internal tie-downs are used in conjunction with the S&S TSA security net for either securing luggage (to keep it from shifting when lightly loaded) or small electronics as they charge.
The Sunrace shift lever used for setting the drum brake for descents. You can also see the weather-stripping, the USB port and the external tie-down points for the solar panel.
Originally descending felt a bit unstable due to the 75 lb. load pushing on the rear wheel in corners. I alleviated that by building a new trailer wheel around a Sturmey-Archer drum break and routing the cable along the frame up to a Sunrace indexed shift lever that is mounted to the bike via a 1/2″ conduit hanger. In testing during short descents, this system has worked wonderfully. One click of the shift lever sets the break, and one click back takes it off. I have been able to actuate it on and off during descents to keep heat buildup to a minimum. Only time will tell how this system works for longer, more technical descents. Fingers crossed.
The Sturmey-Archer drum brake hub in a 3-cross 16″ wheel. Tight fit, but an easy build after everything was laced.
This is a pic of most of the gear I am traveling with. This doesn’t have my sleeping bag or sleeping pad, but it is pretty much everything else.
Below is a pic of the trailer and most of my gear packed into the blue duffel (including sleeping bag and sleeping pad); the bike and some of its stuff packed in the bike case; and my casual clothes, electronics, travel docs, and a few other things in a packable backpack. All-in-all I can travel with two checked pieces of luggage and one carry-on with no oversize or overweight fees. I always have my bike case with me to hop on planes/trains when needed, and never pay excessive fees. It’s a pretty sweet set up.