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I have a chariot 2 bike trailer that mounts in the 'typical' way: an arm extends from the front left corner of the trailer and attaches to a socket joint on the left-side axle of the rear wheel on the bike. Here is a picture of the trailer:

Trailer Front

This trailer works well for a standard bike using the axle that came with the trailer. I am now trying to mount it to an electric bike as well, which has a motor on the left-side of rear wheel that is in the way of where the trailer arm would typically go. Here is an image of the electric bike rear left side:

Bike rear left

I think this is an old-style electric bike because the motor placement is not like many other bikes I have seen around.

How can I safely attach the the trailer to this electric bike? Some things I have considered:

  1. Extend the rear axle away from the bike by a couple inches somehow, and attach the socket as usual. I could probably find a custom axle to do this, but that axle is already holding some weight and doubling its size may not be prudent. Plus, adding the trailer off-center like that might throw the bike balance off.

  2. Switch the arm to the right-hand-side of the trailer and mount it to the right-side of the rear wheel. This seems possible, but the arm I have is not reversible even though there is another mounting area on the right-side of the trailer. Also, the right-hand-side of the rear wheel has the gearing system, and bike balance may also be an issue?

  3. Abandon this idea - the electric bike is not suitable for attaching the bike trailer and any attempt to do so is unsafe or unreasonably difficult or expensive. Buy a child seat mount instead.

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    Never seen that motor configuration before, is that an aftermarket e-bike conversion? Can the motor be relocated maybe to the seat stay, maybe a pic or to to show the mounting might help? Would almost suspect the torque generated by the motor on the non-drive side + the load of Trailer may be enough for failure, IMO maybe not a good idea
    – Hursey
    Feb 2, 2023 at 20:20
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    @Hursey I don't think it's aftermarket, because there's a small chain driving the rear axle from the motor and it looks housed natively. I think that means relocation is not easily doable. Thanks for your thoughts.
    – Ross
    Feb 2, 2023 at 20:46
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    A thought: what I would do first is test the system by attaching for example the trailer on the rack and putting some weight in the trailer, to see if it's worth investigating further (going uphill is sufficient for this purpose, and to having the trailer attached correctly is less of an issue in that case). (Considering that this system works as the common ones) Hub motors typically lack power at low speeds, and may lag between between the beginning of pedaling and the operation of the motor. That would give you a hint on the adequacy of the setup (towing is rarely advertised for hub motors).
    – Rеnаud
    Feb 3, 2023 at 12:03

1 Answer 1

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There are trailers where the boom/drawbar attaches to the bike's seatpost. These normally exit the chassis in the middle rather than at the side.

enter image description here

One variation on that attaches to a ball on the bike's parcel-rack/carrier, though these are uncommon. This will change the way the combination handles while riding.

You might be able to fabricate a drawbar from metal that swaps for the current one - this allows an easy revert if that becomes necessary.

Another option is to closely inspect the chassis of the trailer and see if it can be flipped over. This would put your drawbar on the right hand side but then you've got to faff around with the derailleur interfering with tow-fitting.

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    I don't think the chassis can be flipped - even the arm I have is not reversible. Thanks for the response, I will mark something as accepted soon.
    – Ross
    Feb 3, 2023 at 17:07
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    @Ross you might be able to secure the trailer's mount to the bike a little higher, by attaching it to the seat stay and getting some clearance over the motor. Downside, the nose will be higher so the trailer will be at an angle. This might need a spreader-bar between the seatstay and a rack stay to get a useful angle. Plus if you're towing children then any bodge solution needs to have the risks thought through carefully first. Ultimately, it might be worth considering a new tractor-bike, electric or not. Your existing e-bike appears to have Cantilever brakes and Ashtabula cranks....
    – Criggie
    Feb 3, 2023 at 23:23
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    @ross ...so its at least a dozen years old. Modern ebikes have more pep and more battery capacity, so N+1 bikes is a possible though expensive fix.
    – Criggie
    Feb 3, 2023 at 23:24

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