Urban Transport

Bike trailer transforms into a cargo dolly

The Convert, in dolly and trailer modes
The Convert, in dolly and trailer modes
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Once the cyclist reaches their destination, the Convert can be quickly unhitched and tipped up on its back end
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Once the cyclist reaches their destination, the Convert can be quickly unhitched and tipped up on its back end
The Convert, in dolly and trailer modes
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The Convert, in dolly and trailer modes
The Convert attaches to the bike’s rear axle using a standard hitch and pin
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The Convert attaches to the bike’s rear axle using a standard hitch and pin

If something is big and/or heavy enough to transport on a bicycle trailer, then it’s likely also unwieldy to carry by hand. Well, that’s why the Convert was created. It’s a bicycle trailer that can be converted into a cargo dolly.

The device was invented by industrial designer Joshua Brassé, who was also behind the Incog multi-tool. When in trailer mode, the Convert attaches to the bike’s rear axle using a standard hitch and pin. At this point, the trailer’s moveable wheel axle is situated towards the middle of the unit, in order to support the cargo’s weight most effectively while being towed.

The Convert attaches to the bike’s rear axle using a standard hitch and pin
The Convert attaches to the bike’s rear axle using a standard hitch and pin

Once the cyclist reaches their destination, the Convert can be quickly unhitched and tipped up on its back end. Its axle is then released and swung down, so that the wheels are in the proper place to allow it to be used as a dolly. The cargo can simply be left as it was when in trailer mode.

Although the images seen here are renderings, Brassé informs us that he has built a working prototype of the Convert. He is now attempting to raise production funds on the ideacious crowd-funding website. A pledge of US$5 will get your name on the list to purchase a Convert of your own, which will cost you an additional $585 when and if they reach production.

Source: ideacious

19 comments
Arahant
interesting idea, although im not sure its so much of an innovation for this to be of significant use in the real world. I dont really know for sure though.. this seems like it would be good for people who delivered stuff via bike, i know bike couriers exist but im pretty sure that weaving in and out of traffic with a trailer/luggage thing wouldnt work well.
Anne Ominous
Ridiculous. Those wheels are far too small to make an effective bicycle trailer, especially under a load of any weight. The slightest pothole would jerk the rider around terribly, and maybe even off the bike.
Slowburn
re; Anne Ominous While I agree that bigger tires would be better I have pulled a heavily laden radio flyer with those narrow 8 inch tires without that kind of problem.
Freyr Gunnar
It's worth testing. It's a common issue to have to carry heavier/bigger stuff when you live in a city and only have a bike to move around.
Bruce Miller
For the new electric bikes with IBM's Super Batteries? http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-lithium-air-battery/22310/ IBM Lithium /Air battery, and the cusp of the “Electron Age” for all mankind! “IBM showed off its first lithium-air battery — a light-weight, ultra-high-density battery that should eventually find a home in electric cars,” I can hardly wait to see the new distance specs, speed means nothing to me, but distance and charging times matter! So do efficiency numbers. This opens amazing possibilities for bikes of all kinds!
Michael Crumpton
Great idea with a silly price. sell it for $25 more than a regular handtruck and you would sell a lot of them. At over $500 you could get a local welder to modify a $50 handtruck to do the same thing and have a couple of hundred left over.
bergamot69
Does seem grossly overpriced, but I don't see it would be a major problem re-stability. After all, most potholes are not that deep, and the weight on the trailer shouldn't be great enough to cause more than a hiccup. However, it would be better still if the axle, when moved forward to act as a bike trailer, could be positioned on the end of a leaf spring so that it would deflect in the event of contact with a pothole, brick, etc, and if the coupling could allow for rotation (assuming it doesn't already).
joshuabrasse
Hey Arahant, thanks for the comment. Over the past few years there's been a huge bike, e-bike, scooter, and subsequent lightweight trailer boom here in Toronto. I've got a bike that has been my companion for over a decade, and a Honda Ruckus - both are my go-to's when I'm whipping around the city. The idea for the convert was born of necessity, and the combination dolly/trailer made sense to me, not only for those 2 functional purposes, but also, it means that I don't need to have/store 2 relatively big/bulky objects in my small living space, and I've really grown to hate moving - especially when I've got to deal with stairs (I've moved home or office close to 10 times over the last 10 years). I mocked up a working prototype, and have been really happy with it. Traffic hasn't really been an issue (city drivers are getting pretty used to seeing these things)... I've definitely got more compliments on it than haters! Hauling my hockey gear gets the most smiles for sure.
joshuabrasse
re; Anne Hi Anne, I can see how you might think the wheels are too small (actually the wheels in the renderings are a little smaller that the prototype), but we've used those so that the function of the dolly isn't compromised. Once in production, we'll be testing the size to have the perfect balance between the 2 functionalities. I know that bigger wheels would be better, but IMO it's a small compromise for the added benefits.
joshuabrasse
Re: Freyr Thanks Freyr. I'm loving the prototype, it's working out great. We'll be going into production shortly too. Can't wait!