Repairs and Modifications

By | March 10, 2010

The hitch arm with connector removed

The hitch arm with connector removed

Yesterday the four of us made the trek downtown on the TTC to gather the parts necessary for repairs. First stop: Urbane. They were not able to help with the hitch, but I did pick up a double kickstand ($21) and a quick release front mounted wire basket ($25). I also took a few minutes to drool over the Zigo and ponder the relative merits of the pedal assist. In the end, the pedal assist won, mostly because I will still get a lot of use out of it after the kids can ride their own bikes.

Next stop: Steve’s Music Store. Turns out the battery connector is a microphone plug. Strange. A little soldering by my husband and back in business.

After that, MacFab for nylon webbing and velcro, and also some pink rabbit fur trim, but I won’t put that on the bike I promise. I need a uniquely shaped ‘wedgie’ to store my repair kit under my seat. And a repair kit to put in said wedgie… and the knowledge to use it. But I’m starting with what I know, and I’ll make the bag first.

Hitch - Unaltered

Hitch arm and connector - Unaltered

Right – so… hitch. Got home a little frustrated because I didn’t have a solution. The main problem was that the universal connector is not really all that universal. My bike frame is pretty hefty, and the grip doesn’t make enough contact. The plastic screw connector only gives you a ‘finger tight’ connection, and seems to wobble loose with vibration. Also, when hooking up the trailer, the spring on the arm works against you – pulling the black grip part out of square with the frame. The solution turned out to be not so complicated after all: 1) Remove hitch connector and attach semi-permanently to bike frame 2) Create new ‘quick release’ with padlock. Which also solved the problem of how to lock the trailer to the bike without too much extra weight. The fact that the main connection is now made using a nut and bolt, and is cranked TIGHT with two wrenches makes me more confident. Hubby also found a quick link in the garage to reattach the safety strap until we can replace it with some steel cable or something else more secure.

IMG_5699

Fixed?

There is still a lot more work to be done before this bike fully meets our needs, but at least we’re functional and mobile again. Today: playgroup and groceries. We’re going to see if I can fit a large package of T.P., milk, cereal, and a few other bulky things into the back of the trailer. And not lose them on the way home. Wish me luck.


3 Comments

Joe T. on March 10, 2010 at 10:00 am.

Thanks for the update Claire.

Glad you found a double kickstand, and I too love the look of the Zigo.

I’ve been thinking about what to buy when we start biking with our little one. Maybe a trailer, but most likely more of a sidecar-type thing, or something that goes in front like a Zigo.

Maybe even a Dutch Cargo Bike – so we can use it for groceries too. :)

jnyyz on March 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm.

I’d go with an xtracycle with kid seat and centrestand. A lot easier to get around the city than a bike with trailer

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