How-To Attach a Bicycle Trailer Without a Coupler!

Bike Trailer

Are you someone who’s looking for a way to attach a bike trailer to their bicycle without using a coupler? If you are then this guide is going to answer all your queries and give you 4 easy alternatives to attach the bike trailer to your bike instead of using a coupler. 

Here are the four methods you can employ to attach a bicycle trailer without a coupler:

  • The Bolt-on-hub method.
  • The chainstay frame mount method.
  • The seat post mount method.
  • The DIY hitch method. 

Whatever the reason may be, the important part is you don’t always need a coupler to attach the bike trailer to your bike. 

This article is here to guide you with just that. So keep reading. 

Why Is a Coupler Important For a Bicycle Trailer?

A bike coupler is a small attachment that is used to connect the rear wheel of the bike with the hitch arm of the bike trailer. It is important because it secures the attachment of the bike trailer with the use of a security pin that potentially allows one to attach as well as detach the bike trailer quickly. 

A coupler can make the installation of a bike trailer super easy for the cyclist as well as super reliable. 

In simple words, a coupler makes the cycling trip with a trailer super secure since it keeps the bike trailer from moving out of place or detaching from the bike even through bumpy rides. 

» I have also written this post, about: How-To Guide: (Turn a Bicycle Into a Stationary Bike)

Is It Possible to Attach a Bike Trailer Without Using a Hitch Coupler?

It is possible to attach a bike trailer without using a hitch coupler if you follow some out-of-the-box methods, which are mentioned below in this article. It is even possible to make a do-it-yourself hitch for your bike trailer. 

However, it is important to note that professionals do not recommend attaching a bike trailer without using a hitch coupler. 

This is because a coupler is generally designed as a safe and reliable component that attaches the bike trailer to your bike securely as well as ensures that it does not let the trailer detach itself from the bike when riding. 

How to Attach a Bicycle Trailer Without a Coupler?

People try to attach their bike trailers to their bikes with some out-of-the-box methods. A lot of people try to do so by using a chain and a padlock to secure their trailer to their bike, while some use a locking cable and zip ties. 

Although a bike trailer often comes with a coupler since it is crucial for the attachment of a bike trailer to the bike. Hundreds of people on the internet attempt to attach a bike trailer to their bikes without using a coupler. 

However, these methods can be a bit messy, and they do not seem foul-proof at all. Below are some of the safe alternatives that won’t let the bike trailer move around out of the way or fall off of the bike. 

You can also opt for these alternative methods if you do not have a coupler available. Here are 4 methods that you can use to attach a bike trailer to your bike without using a coupler. 

#1 The Bolt-On-Hub Method

The best way to attach a bike trailer without a coupler is by employing the bolt-on-hub method. With this method, you can easily attach a bike trailer to your bike by using a bolt-on hub. So start by finding or buying a bolt-on hub made out of steel. 

It is important to buy a bolt-on hub made of steel because the alloy component in it can make the attachment more secure. Moreover, a steel hub is often available at the same size as the coupler. 

In addition, it follows the same installation process as a coupler does. Here’s a step-by-step of how you can attach the bike trailer using the bolt-on hub method: 

Step #1 

To install the trailer with a bolt-on hub, you need to start by removing the axle nut as well as the wheel washer, which is located on the left side of the rear wheel of your bike. 

Step #2

After successfully removing the axle and the wheel washer, you have to place the steel hitch onto the axle and replace the wheel washer in the process. 

The steel hitch has enough power that can give you the right amount of grip to keep the axle nut intact.

Therefore, this replacement ensures that you have adjusted the right alignment and grip of the steel hitch you installed. 

Step #3 

After replacing the washer, move towards aligning the tow bar properly, then insert the pin from the bottom. Now properly tighten the axle nut as soon as you insert the pin and lock the device tightly. 

Stay focused and ensure that you have aligned the hitch correctly with the pin so you can easily tighten the rear axle nut while keeping the steel hitch in its position.

Repeat the process until the hitch is aligned properly.

Step #4

After ensuring that the hitch and the tow bar are securely installed, you can connect the trailer to your bike.

After you have successfully installed the tow bar, you can now easily attach the bike trailer to your bike without a coupler.

» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: How-To: (Change a Bike Inner Tube) — Easy Guide

Step #5

After installing the trailer, make sure you use the safety strap that comes with it for security purposes. For extra safety, wrap it through the frame and clip the strap onto the tow bar during the process.

#2 The ChainStay Frame Mount Method

One famous method of attaching a bike trailer without a coupler is the chainstay mount frame method. To use this technique, you will need mounting kits to attach the bike trailer securely. 

Mounting kits are easily available in the market that can work well with all types of bike trailers. Make sure that the mounting kits or attachment has hitches or tubes.

This is because these are the tools you will need to install the axle nut and attach the bike trailer to your bike. 

To connect the trailer to your bike, use the following step-by-step guide:

Step #1

The first step is to properly align and mount the v-shaped part of the hitch on the chainstay frame of your bike. After this, you should turn the large knob on the hitch in a clockwise direction to firmly tighten it as much as you can. 

Step #2

After you have properly mounted the v-shaped hitch section, you can now move on to work on the other end of the attachment kit. 

All you have to do is look for a tube that has two holes. When you successfully locate the tube, insert the end of the bike trailer into one of the holes and attach your bike to the other one.

Step #3

You have now successfully connected the bike trailer to your bike without a coupler. Now all you need to do is clip the safety strap that comes with the trailer to the frame of your bike for extra security. 

#3 The Seat Post Mount Method

If, however, you don’t prefer the above two methods, you can proceed with this one. The seat post mount method is the hitch method’s alternative. To follow this method, you will need to buy a specific hitch for the bike trailer. 

Some recommended hitches that you can buy for the Seat Post Mount method are the WeeRide Co-Pilot Spare Hitch or the Travoy Quick-Hitch.

After buying the hitch, you should take the hitch and tighten it to the seat post and attach the bike trailer to it. 

Using the tool is easy and it can go well with any size of seat post that your bike may have. Therefore, you will most likely not face any compatibility issues with this tool. 

» Read my blog post: How-To: Remove Rust from Bike Chain (Step-by-Step)

This is by far one of the easiest methods to attach a bike trailer without a coupler. All you have to do is attach the hitch to the bike’s seat post. It is budget-friendly as well as less time taking. 

#4 DIY Hitch Method

If some of you are still concerned about spending money on kits that you might not use twice, then you can attempt to make a DIY hitch for your bike trailer attachment.

DIY Hitch method is the most cost-friendly method you can use for attaching the trailer to your bike without a coupler. 

This method will help you design your very own attachment tool in the comfort of your home garage so you can attach the bike trailer to your bike.

What You Need:

To make the DIY hitch in your home, you will need some tools to work with. Here are the tools that you will end up needing to follow in this step-by-step guide:

  • A complete set of a swivel caster.
  • A cross bracket to mount antenna poles.
  • A self-locking nut.

Step By Step

  1. The first thing you need to do is detach the axle bolt from your caster and remove the wheel as you won’t be needing the wheel for this procedure.
  2. Now you need to make a hole in the cross bracket in such a way that it can allow the caster’s bolt to fit in it perfectly. 
  3. After you have made sure that the hole is the perfect size for the caster bolt, you can now secure the caster to the bracket with the help of a self-locking nut. If you see an extra length at the end of the bolt, use the grinder to make the length appropriate by cutting it short. 
  4. After building the DIY device. The last step is to join the DIY hitch to the bike seat post. To join the hitch to your bike’s seat post, all you need to do is tighten the bolts of the cross bracket firmly.
  5. In the last step, you can install your bike trailer bar to the hitch with the help of a simple pin and a safety lock. The caster helps the wheel to stay horizontal. 
  6. At this stage, you will be able to successfully connect your bike to the trailer.

Why Do Bike Trailers Need the Coupler Attachment?

One of the main reasons why a bike trailer needs a coupler attachment is that it makes it super easy and convenient to move the bike trailer from one bike to another instantly. 

If you have a bike trailer with a coupler attachment then you must have noticed how easily you can remove the bike trailer from your bike and attach it to another bike. 

This can be a big advantage if you have a big family and have around two to three bikes available in your home since you can use the same bike trailer on any bike. 

Plus, a coupler is one of the most important components of the bike trailer as it is what connects the bike trailer to the bike. A coupler is essential since it prevents the trailer from falling off.  

Moreover, it’s important to check if the coupler is firmly tightened or not for security purposes since it ensures it stays firmly connected to both ends. 

Couplers are a great way to attach the bike trailer to your bike since they are reliable and secure. They prevent the bike trailer from detaching by moving around or falling off of your bike when in riding mode.

Conclusion

Bike trailers no doubt make traveling with bicycles a pretty easy job since they’re secure and don’t put weight on the bike. They even make it convenient to take your kids or even pets along with you on a ride while you’re cycling somewhere. 

So instead of buying couplers again and again after they wear, you can just ditch the headache and try these methods or even attempt to do a DIY hitch if you’re feeling productive enough. 

If sometimes you end up losing a coupler or your current bike trailer coupler isn’t compatible with your bike, then you can easily try the above alternatives and still get the best use of your bike trailer. 

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