I have been pulling a bicycle trailer with my Surly Karate Monkey for approximately 3-4 years. I have been using cheaply obtained used kiddie bike trailers, usually removing the fabric and adding a simple, lightweight deck to support the loads I carry. Works great! The trailer is attached to the bicycle with the standard left side quick hitch. Its a simple design and more than adequate for light duty use. I have been progressively increasing the loads on my trailer and demanding more utility from the system.

I am in the process of designing a new hitch system and looking for design considerations.Surly makes a nice hitch system for their trailers. BOB also makes a nice trailer design. There are also trailers that attach to the seat post or upper frame area.

There's also this setup

What are the considerations for where to attach a bicycle trailer hitch? What is best for heavy utility trailer use versus pulling a kid to the park?

I am considering something of a hybrid trailer hitch that attaches to both sides of the axle and has a frame incorporating features of both the surly/bob going back to a single bicycle wheel. This single bike wheel would have a frame around it including an attachment point for the simple single point hitch to pull kiddie bikes. The idea is to reduce tongue weight of the trailer acting on the frame of my bicycle and increase the draft load I can pull. I would also be adding trailer brakes to the system.

Thanks for any input.

  • 1
    +1 on the question. I've messed around with it but not gotten anywhere. In the scheme of things, rapid/parts-minimal interchangeability between bikes is a huge and limiting consideration that drives everything about the commercial designs. If this is a non-issue for what you're trying to accomplish, it might be helpful to say so. May 16, 2021 at 15:34
  • I am looking to use some off the shelf components. Particularly, the axle nuts and/or quick attach skewers that are currently manufactured for other trailer hitch systems. My imagined design attaches to the bike with standard hitch components. I'm wanting to build a single wheel trailer that attaches to the bike and is essentially used as an intermediary to which another trailer can be attached using the standard left side quick coupler. This would allow me to still utilize the cheap kiddie trailers to haul heavy loads with very little tongue weight on the bicycle. May 17, 2021 at 0:52
  • See also: This person also building a trailer hitch and the answers people responded with. Nov 6, 2023 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


The requirements for hitches for single wheel and two wheel trailers are different.

3 types of rotation through this joint: Pitch, yaw, roll.

Pitch: as the bike transitions up to a ramp,

Yaw: to allow a flat turn,

Roll: A two wheel trailer will stay flat while the bike leans into corners. A single wheel trailer will fall over if it's not constrained.

The Surly hitch has the X-shaped component providing yaw and roll, and the axle ends have bearings in them to provide freedom to pitch.

The BOB tailer allows pitch at the axle, but the joint before the platform only has 1 degree of freedom, allowing yaw. The trailer can't roll independently of the bike.

The mounting point differences change the impact of the tongue weight on the bike dynamics. Seatpost clamps are simpler to design and use and allow tight turns without bike-trailer contact, but increase the torque created by the tongue weight. Mounting at the rear axle minimises the torque, but all the load will be added to the rear wheel, and the trailer has to be further from the bike to avoid contact with the bike or your heels in sharp turns.

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