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Old 07-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 34

MetallicTurd - '94 Ford Aerostar minivan XL
90 day: 25.46 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by bobo333 View Post
That Surly hitch looks great but I cant for the life of me figure out why the left hand axle mounted hitch is better than a hitch at the back of the bike in the middle like nearly every other vehicle trailer hitch has, the only benefit i can see is ease of attachment to any bike frame as they all have a rear axle to attach to but the surly mount had the bracket that goes all the way around the wheel anyway so wouldnt mounting the hitch in the middle be better?
The hitch mount on the LH chain stay is typically preferred because it allows transferring the trailer to multiple bikes. The LH side because it doesn't interfere with the gearing (deraileur and IGH shifting mechs). It's also easier to install without permanent modifications to the bike.

Mountings with hitches that pivot at the center/rear place the tongue weight (and hitch pivot point) further aft of the rear tire's contact patch. This location gives the loaded trailer greater leverage to effect the bike's handling - most notably during emergency maneuvers w/heavy loads or when the trailer tire catches an obstruction such as a pot hole. Just think of the conventional automotive bumper hitch Vs. the bed mounted 5-wheel trailer, common with the longer & heavier travel trailers. Semi's too utilize hitches that place the hitch weight (and pivot) directly over the tractor's rear tire's contact patches.

Originally Posted by bobo333 View Post
The bikes handling hasnt been affected noticably with my current design, its the trailers handling that im worried about, will the longer hitch arm help prevent sway at higher speeds?
Yes. The longer the tongue, the greater the leverage because the bulk of the trailer's weight is placed further aft of the hitch pivot point, which reduces lateral dynamic loads on both the hitch and the rear of the bike. The downside to longer tongues is the minor inconvenience of greater overall length (parking) and reduced maneuverability around tight corners.

Last edited by Kenny; 07-02-2013 at 12:41 PM..
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