A clever “shape-shifting” bicycle trailer that can be reconfigured easily to transport nearly anything you need to move without a car! Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on June 21, 2011.
About this project
[Note: Video shows our prototype designs and configurations of the M.O.M. Trailer™ - final production trailers and Trailer Plug-Ins™ may incorporate changes (improvements!) to those designs.]
I’m Len Rubin. Those of you who may have followed my bicycle design projects over the years, read industry articles by or about me, heard me speak at bicycle trade shows, or visited any of my bike shops know that I’m passionate about removing barriers to the regular use of bicycles for daily practical transit and transport.
My latest project is what I lovingly call, “M.O.M.”™ (for “Multipurpose Overland Mover” ™)—an exciting twist on a traditional “loadbed” bicycle cargo trailer design [see Andy Hunter’s BikeBox, Nick Lobnitz‘s Carry Freedom Y Frame, etc.] that–through a system of versatile Trailer Plug-Ins™ –greatly expands the range of what can be easily and conveniently transported by bicycle (using a “morphing”, one-tool-does-it-all cargo trailer!) (our draft logo is below..)
We have a 1,200 square foot bicycle fabrication workshop at our home in Portland, Oregon. Using my current rudimentary tools— with some friendly assistance/use of additional tools & facilities from some bike-fabricator friends—I have produced three hand-built prototype trailers: 1) a first-generation proof-of-concept prototype, 2) a lighter and more streamlined second generation prototype, and 3) the current, third-generation prototype, which is even lighter than the 2nd-gen proto (while retaining its best-of-class 500+ lb. hauling capacity) and incorporates several additional refinements to the design. [Note: the second generation prototype was purchased by an enthusiastic beta tester (he’s a musician, kayaker, ER doctor and father of two young boys)]
In order to create the first limited production run, I need to build and document a proper "production" prototype and subsequent trailers using tools and techniques that ensure precision and repeatability. To do this I need capital with which to purchase additional tooling, equipment & supplies.
Also, I will need to make a pair of extrusion dies that my local aluminum tube supplier can use to produce the special telescoping tube pairs which are key to the trailer design. (For the existing prototypes, I had to import tube sets from Canada (both cost-prohibitive and “un-green”!), and then hand-file all mating tube pairs post-welding (oooh, don’t even ASK how many hours THAT took!) [We are extremely fortunate to have one of the leading extruded aluminum tube manufacturers in the world right here in Portland, so for the production units what had been a bit of a nightmare will actually be closer to a dream come true—both in terms of the economics and convenience/best-case environmental practice of truly local sourcing!]
Also, while I intend to eventually produce the trailers completely in-house, for any processes or components that need to be subcontracted initially, I am committed to using only local—or at least domestic—materials, suppliers and workers!
Yes! We just came up with this fun new challenge:
M.O.M. Trailer™ Kickstarter Challenge: If you can help get us $450 in new Kickstarter Backer pledges (any number of pledges from $1 to $395 that total $450 or more) by our June 21st funding deadline we will give you a free M.O.M. Bike Trailer™ core configuration flatbed trailer ($499 value)– one of the first limited production run !
Restrictions/ Rules (to get your free trailer):
1. You need to make one pledge first (not included in the $450 total). This pledge can be any amount - $1 or more (that way you can ask your friends to join you!)
2. All pledges counted towards the $450 you help us raise must be $395 or less.
3. Pledges can be in any combination… (examples: three $150 pledges OR ten $35 pledges plus one $110 pledge OR forty-five $10 pledges!)
4. The initial backer (you) needs to inform us of the names of people who have made the pledges you have gotten for us. (“Hi this is John Smith, Sally Jones just made a $10 pledge towards my free trailer goal.”)
5. The people who have made the pledges towards your $450 goal must also send us a note confirming their pledge is counted towards your free trailer goal. (“Hi this is Sally Jones, I just made a $10 pledge towards John Smith’s free trailer goal.”)
6. Only new pledges (after this is posted, today 5/28) will be counted towards your $450 goal.
7. If you earn a free trailer, this will not include shipping of your free trailer. You may pick it up locally if you live in the Portland, Oregon area OR we will let you know the actual shipping costs when the time comes.
8. As with every Kickstarter Project, any contributions pledged—and this free trailer offer—are void if we do not meet our Kickstarter campaign fundraising goal by our June 21st Kickstarter Project deadline (sorry!)
Thank you for your help making this vision a reality!
While we won't have final numbers until the end of this campaign, when we know the total backing we will have we have in place initially (which will determine what resources we'll have in-house, and what elements we'll have to outsource), based on current estimates, it's likely that the "core configuration" flatbed M.O.M. Trailer™ (that you can pre-buy here on kickstarter for $399) will cost $499. We estimate that the M.O.M. Trailer™ with the shopping cart Trailer Plug-In™ kit (that you can pre-buy here on kickstarter for $650) will cost $749.
Any kind of bike!
Each M.O.M. Trailer™ comes with a universal hitch that makes it possible to attach M.O.M.™ to nearly any bike with a rear triangle; other bikes, such as monostay designs, some recumbents, etc. will be supported through an alternate hitch kit that can be ordered with the trailer or separately, as needed.
- Well, as the Mom of M.O.M.''s family... my favorite use is:
Going to summer concerts and easily carrying everything we need with us: picnic lunch for 6, cooler with beverages, folding chairs, first aid kit (4 boys!), blankets, towels, bathing suits, sweaters for when it starts to get chilly... and for the summer concerts by the river - throwing the kayak on top of all of that!
We are setting up shop so that we can make Trailer Plug-Ins™ to carry anything you could want or need to carry. We have started with all of the uses that we, as a family, have needed over the past year:
• Shopping Cart / Utility Cart
• Kayak Carrier
• Child carrier
• Bike Transporter
• Pet Carrier (for large or small pets)
• Sheet Goods Transporter / Panel Dolly (for plywood, drywall, insulation, etc.)
• Garden Cart
• Yakima Rack Trailer Plug-In™ system so you can carry anything you might carry on top of your car with a car-rack system
To get a trailer quickly, your best bet is to pre-purchase a trailer through one of our Kickstarter backer pledge options that includes a trailer as a benefit (all of the options $399 and up.) The date the first run of trailers will be ready will depend on how much we raise through this kickstarter campaign and how many backers choose pledge options that include a trailer. Right now (5/27) we are almost 10% funded and the pledges include pre-orders for 4 trailers... if this trend continues we will reach our $35,053.42 goal with about 40 trailers pre-ordered. The first step (once we are funded) will be to tool up and build precision fixtures that will ensure all of our trailers exactly alike. This is critical, so that all of the Trailer Plug-Ins™ fit easily in every M.O.M. Trailer™ made. Once we have finalized our tooling we will have a better sense of the delivery date. Please watch our project updates and check back here and we will let you know as soon as we know more!
We'll be looking at that as soon as we finish this first round—it will obviously depend on what numbers for sales/production volume we're looking at.
Later today - 5/27 we are going to introduce a new backer option aimed at resellers (just for this Kickstarter campaign)... $2,400 will get you 6 first run M.O.M. Trailers™ with the flatbed core configuration (which will retail for $499 each)- and we'll throw in 8 t-shirts (one to go with each trailer you sell and two for your shop!) and a handful of tattoos too!.
- (32 days)