“Just some slight modifications.”
Once I narrowed down which trail building tools I’d be bringing into the bush, I needed to figure out how to pack them in. After researching some options, I decided on a Specialized Pizza Rack for the front carrier and Topeak’s Journey trailer for the tow-behind duties. I appreciated the aesthetics and slidelock quick release of the Topeak trailer. The other option was a B.O.B. trailer, but I didn’t like the attachment points nor did it look as good as the Journey.
Attaching any sort of front rack to a suspension fork isn’t a straight forward task. As a Machinist in the aerospace industry, solving machining problems is a task I thrive at.
For side projects, I had access to manual machines and as opposed to CNC machines, so producing the required attachment hardware took a bit of planning. All the hardware I made was from 7075-T6, the SWorks of the aluminum world. It’s very strong and capable of handling loads.
First things first, I looked at how the Pizza Rack would attach to the fork leg. I decided to go with a two piece sleeve. Once it was secured, it would utilize a lot of the holding strength from the over all surface area that contacted the fork leg.
Next was how to attach the rack to the fork arch. I used a similar concept to the split nut from an old school stem quills on threaded headsets. When you tightened the bolts of the bottom spacer plate, the wedge would move, providing a secure attachment. The hardest part of this task was making sure I had all the compound angles figured out so the Pizza Rack would sit level when the handle bars were straight.
With the Pizza Rack now complete, the next problem to address was how to attach Topeak’s specific SlidingLock quick release hardware to the LEVO’s rear end.
The solution involved taping the thru axle, on both ends, to accommodate a M8 bolt. But going this route would eliminate the hex for the Allen wrench that secures the wheel to the frame. I needed a custom tool. So I made a “pin wrench” to tighten and loosen the thru axle.
I can distinctly remember saying to myself – “no going back now”, when I first engaged the M8 tap into the the thru axle.
The B.O.B trailers and Topeak trailers share a similar trait, both company’s have yet to make a trailer yoke to fit a BOOST rear end. Yoke manipulation is required to accommodate the wider hub spacing. You can find YouTube videos on this process.
With the trailer now attaching to the LEVO, I needed to give it a new set of meats and a lift kit.
Using Specialized Riprock 20″ midfat tire, I had to make a new set of drop-outs for the trailer. These would accommodate a the larger diameter tire and level out the trailer.
“Adding a Special touch”
For big trail days, where I would haul in lots of shovels and rakes for the volunteers, I needed a top rack for the trailer and some side grating to keep all my tools and materials from falling out.
It’s been such a joy working on my LEVO Builder Bike Project. It garners a lot of attention, positive attention, when I’m out on the trails.
On a few occasions, I’ve had some trail users express concerns about E-bikes and their perceived ability to”BRAP!” up the trails.
In response, I suggest they take a quick demo ride. The resulting conversation about the crank based technology is always a positive one.
Riding my LEVO, with a trailer full of tools, always puts a smile on my face. I’m usually thinking of different ways and reasons to haul stuff with my trailer. But the best part is, I no longer have to bust a lung trying to packing materials and tools into the trails.