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I need to fetch an outsider from about 20km far away and I want to use my bicycles. I have used roller skaters with a bicycle to fetch my friend, I let my friend to use the bike while I will stuck to the back at the destination -- it is very cool and convenient (light weight) when you know your friend but doing it with unknown outsider is not be the best option because it requires trust between the participants. My next best option is to use my foldable bike stuck to my back-bag and my diamond-framed bike but the foldable bike weighs about 10 kg. I have been considering a number of options such as tandem, an unicycle and side-cargo thing but many options tend to be expensive. I don't want to use rack based sitting approach because it would damage the rack.

How do you fetch your friends or outsiders over long distances when you need to carry the transportation equipments to one-direction alone and then allow the friend/outsider to use the equipments to move to the other direction with you?

If you are suggesting a thing such as tandem that may be too expensive, let me know whether you could hack your standard bike such as diamond framed bike to a tandem so that I could get it cheaper.

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While it is possible to weld frames together - witness this tall-bike frame - I'm going to guess that the stresses on a tandem would require some rather heavy reinforcement, making for an extremely heavy tandem frame. Can someone confirm or deny this? –  Neil Fein Apr 17 '11 at 23:50

3 Answers 3

When I drop my wife off at the train station, we use a folding bike and a trailer. She rides the folding bike there, and her suitcase rides in the trailer behind my bike. However, while inexpensive used folding bikes can be found, getting a trailer may be too expensive.

You'll either need to carry someone on your bike, or find a way to bring along another bike.

You can hold onto another bike while you're riding, wheeling it along next to you, but that's not very safe (especially for rides of any distance). Since you've indicated you don't want to carry someone on your rack, I would consider buying an inexpensive beater bike and a truck bed mount, attaching the mount to a bike's rack to receive the front fork of the bike you're pulling. (Here are instructions to make one of those inexpensively, scroll down a bit on the page and you'll see a commercially produced version of the same device.)

You can ride with one bike behind the other, strapping the front wheel of the bike you're towing to the side of your rack, or just carry it. You'll also have the empty rack for the trip back.

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I don't understand how to attach the to-be-towed bike's fork to that mount; nor how to attach the mount to the doing-the-towing bike's rack. –  ChrisW Apr 17 '11 at 14:28
    
The mount has a quick-release skewer that attaches to the front fork when you take off the front wheel. In terms of attaching it to the rack, you'll need to rig something up with some nuts and bolts and probably use a drill to make some holes in the rack and the mount. I'll see if I can dig up a picture of this. –  Neil Fein Apr 17 '11 at 19:05
    
OK I think I understand now even without the picture. Thank you. –  ChrisW Apr 17 '11 at 21:10
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Just be a little cautious about the torque on the rack platform - the towed bike is a nice long lever. I commonly build these into my DIY racks and trailers because as HHH points out, it's quite hard to carry a bicycle on a bicycle. –  Мסž Apr 18 '11 at 0:48
    
@Neil Fein: @moz: sorry took me a while to really get into this. The goal should be to minimize the lever so something long needed to attach into the axle of the towing bike with some support from the saddle (not to hit the ground) and then just use thing like this one here. Anything like that built already where the lever is minimized by having the towed bike as low as possible by supporting it well to the riding bike? Perhaps if your another bike had very wide fork, you could attach it directly to towing axle. –  user652 Apr 19 '11 at 20:33

You can also purchase an Xtracycle kit (the FreeRadical) to convert your existing frame into a longtail -- these have both passenger seats and footrests available (the latter being not only convenient for your passenger, but necessary in some jurisdictions to make passenger-carrying legal).

Having a longtail cargo bike can come in handy for other reasons too. That said, they start at $500 -- I'm not sure exactly what your target budget is here.

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Best option I've seen here so far. –  zenbike Jul 29 '11 at 14:39

You may want to look into getting something like a Trail Gator which can be used to tow a child's bike behind a standard bike. I don't think that weight would be a problem as most children's bikes are actually Bike Shaped Objects. I think my kids' bike weights more than most road bikes. Might take some adjustments to get the front wheel off the ground on a full size bike but you may be able to make it work.

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As long as you don't think about rider weight... –  zenbike Jul 30 '11 at 15:13
    
I was thinking the other person would ride the bike after you fetched them. –  Kibbee Jul 31 '11 at 1:21

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