DIY Bicycle Pegs or How you can carry your girlfriend on your bike

Update: After almost 3 months I can honestly say that I am thrilled with the pegs. I use my commuter to lift my girlfriend easily anywhere in the city – she no longer tries to make me buy a car! You can see a recent photo  of me giving a ride to my girlfriend and her backpack to the bus station at 06:00 in the morning !

It is rare for me ever to see a bike designed to transport more than one person.  It is rare for me to see a car that is designed to transport just one person.  I guess this is one reason I always find myself stopping to stare at bikes that are either designed for more than one person or have been hacked for multiple person transport – they are rare indeed.  What happened in the evolution of bicycles?  What kept designers and companies from designing bikes meant to transport multiple people?  Quote from bikehacks.com

I ‘ve been always wondering why cyclists don’t give rides to people. If motorists do it , why don’t we? Bicycles are usually strong enough to carry 2 and maybe even 3 people, but for some reason most bicycles are not prepared by default to do that. They need some extra things like xtracycle. But why buy something if you can make your own solution? In this article I’m going to show you how you can make the DIY Bicycle Pegs or ‘How you can carry your girlfriend – and other lightweight people- on your bike’! I made them to carry my girlfriend around when she doesn’t have her bicycle with her. These are pegs not to stand on them, but just to put your feet on when you sit on the rack. I used to carry her without having the pegs and it was quite dangerous as the rack was very wobbly and it was a matter of time for something to break off.

When I use the pegs now though, the difference is huge. Not only she is very stable on the rack, she feels very comfortable, even in big rides. We ‘ve done many rides together like this with great success! She feels very comfortable and I ride just fine (it’s like touring with some heavy rack panniers) !

Few words about Carrying someone on your rack: Without having too much technical knowledge, I believe that a good rack doesn’t break easily, even with a person sitting on it. What happens usually is that the wobble of the load makes either the racks to bend and finally break or destroy the threading of the bottom bolts that keep the rack on the frame. In some extreme cases the big wobble along with the heavy load can break the eyelets of the frame. That can be solved with two ways: Nuts and Pegs. That way you make a) the bolts impossible to be removed by force b) the load very stable.

As I said, I am not an expert on the field, so you have to try this by your own risk. So far (almost 6 months full of bicycle pooling) the experiment is a big success.

Here are the Pegs in action:

The concept:
Tha main concept behind the DIY bicycle pegs is this: You cut a piece of a wheel axle and you screw it on a nut half way. Then you screw that nut (with the piece of axle on it) on your bicycle’s rear axle. So the nut connects the two axle. I’ve tested them standing on them, and they are very solid. If you want the passenger to stand on them you have to reinforce them by weld two nuts together so there is more thread for the connection.

Instructions:

You are going to need a round file, a thick stick, a bicycle wheel axle, a hammer, a drill and 2 extra nuts (this kind).

1. Take a good thick enough piece of a stick/branch (finger thick +)

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2. Using a hacksaw cut two pieces each measuring 6-6.5cm. These are the Pegs.

3. Do the same thing with the axle. Same length with the pegs. NOTE: Each part of the axle should have a round end (See second pic from the end).

4. Drill a hole through each of the Pegs. The drill bit should be a number thinner than the axle. TIP: Drill half the distance from one side and the other half from the other side. That way when you hammer down the axle inside the peg, the wood won’t split easily.

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5. Make the hole bigger with the file. It should be big enough for the axle to be hammered inside the axle. It should fit very snuggly. NOTE: The round end of the axle piece should be outside and half a CM out of the peg (a half nut).

If the axle doesn’t move when you hammer it inside the peg, take it out and make the hole a tad bigger.

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sds

6. Take a nut and screw it tighly on the axle end. That’s it! Now you can screw it on your bike!

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bicycle-pegs

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael S says:

    Huh… I love your DIY ideas, but this one is to be taken with caution, I think.

    First: You have to have a mountain bike for that or a sturdy built bicycle, like e.g. a dutch “Oma fiets”. At least you should have a good wheel with proper spoke tension. Check tension frequently.

    Second: Without beeing a mechanic on my own, the forces of somebody keeping a foot rest on this peg might be acceptable, but you will come to put more stress on this joint from time to time. It’s only some nuts threadings – Someday it will destroy the drop outs, I suppose.

    I’m working as a volunteer in a refugee camps bicycle shop. People quite frequently ride with 2 people on a bike here. Damaged back wheels have become a very common issue to us now.

    1. Bicyclosis says:

      Hello Michael!

      Thank you for your input!

      I am sorry, but I disagree.

      About the frame: Most manufacturers state that 140 kg of body weight is the limit to ride a bike anywhere safely (including mountain biking on rough roads). Mind you, that the big companies like Giant, Trek etc produce thousands of bikes every year for every age and type of rider and they have to be very cautious regarding the weight limit they give, otherwise they are in trouble. In other words the 140kg weight limit is way bellow the real weight a good bicycle can carry – especially in city conditions.

      About the wheel: successful companies like xtracycles built their name on the bicycle pooling premise. Any bike can be transformed into a bicycle taxi with just an extension. Xtraycle passenger’s entire weight sits on the rear wheel. Never had any problem with that.

      Also, I have ridden thousands of nasty gravel roads on the Greek mountains with 30kg+ on the rear wheel. Never had a problem with the rear wheel. So two times that weight on a flat road is nothing that the wheel can’t handle.

      In my opinion, wheels are much much stronger that we think they are. BUT, they have one weakness. They are very susceptible to lateral forces. You can’t cut corners when you carry a passenger on your bike! Also, very important: The wheel, to have its optimum strength, it must be trued properly. Trued properly means that all the spokes must have the same tension. If the wheel is already buckled, a simple truing process won’t fix it. It will be just a trued but still weak wheel (check ‘the Art of wheel whacking’ article in this blog). I’m suspecting the combination of the above two, is what ‘s causing problems in your camp.

      And about the drop outs: The DIY pegs are screwed on the wheel axle, not the frame. Passenger’s Legs’ weight is supported by the pegs and axle, and the rest from the eyelets of the frame.

      1. Michael S says:

        Hm. I see. I have my daughter and my son (17/12) riding on the rack quite frequently, so in general I would support that. But still, you have to be aware of, that your wheel has to be properly trued. I think, for most people this is not the case after they have ridden their bike for a while. If I would need to carry an adult along from time to time, I would prefer having him/her seated on the top tube for to better put the weight on both wheels.

        Regarding the mounting of the pegs, you are right anyway, As we say in German: “Nicht denken, sondern Nach-denken” [“Don’t think, think it over”]

    1. Bicyclosis says:

      No, but I am glad you mentioned them! Just fantastic! Genius!!!

      1. Michael S says:

        I have them mounted on my bike and that’s nice, but I guess they are really fantastic on a longtail bike.

    2. Bicyclosis says:

      I don’t want to be too confident here, but If I were you I wouldn’t worry about carrying my kids there, even without a properly trued wheel (for conservative riding). I very rarely see fathers carrying their grown up kids on their bikes, it’s a beautiful sight! Well done! I would recommend to try and make these pegs :))

      1. Michael S says:

        No, I’m riding with the Vigurvänt pedals with my daughter (long legs) and the “dutch” style with my son.

        I’m not afraid to carry some light weight person on the rack, since I know how to true a wheel. A heavier person I would seat infront of me, as I said.

        Anyway – bikes are great to transport more than you normally expect them to do, thus far we certainly can agree 🙂

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