Why would anyone want to know how to attach bike trailer without coupler? The answer is simple.
Biking is a fantastic hobby that combines exercise with fun, excitement, and fresh air. There’s nothing like enjoying the beauty of nature during a bike ride.
And when you want to share the thrill of riding with those you love, you have many options to do so, even if they can’t ride a bike themselves!
You can attach all sorts of things to your bike—a wagon for your pet or a bike trailer for young children—so you can enjoy the sun and the breeze with everyone in your family.
A bike trailer is essentially a motorless wheel frame that you can attach to the rear of a bike without putting on extra weight that you need to drag around.
There are many different options for trailers out there; you just need to choose the best one that will suit your company. You can use it to transport objects or carry kids and pets with you as you ride.
Bike trailers are often sold with couplers for attachment. However, that coupler can break or become worn out, or it may get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.
A coupler is an essential tool that will easily attach a trailer to your bike. If you lose your coupler for any reason, does it mean that you need to run out and get a new one before you can use your bike trailer again?
The answer is no; you don’t necessarily need a coupler. In fact, knowing how to attach a bike trailer without a coupler is one of the most important elements of being a bike owner.
In this article, we will discuss three handy coupler substitutes that you can use. We will also show you how to attach your bike trailer without using a coupler.
Let’s get to it!
Why Is A Bike Trailer Coupler Important?
A bike trailer coupler or a hitch coupler is a small attachment device that comes in handy if you need to connect a trailer to your bike without the need for other expensive tools.
It works as a trailer hitch that joins your bike’s back wheel to your trailer’s hitch arm.
A hitch coupler uses a security pin for a firm attachment that you can quickly add or remove whenever you want.
Bike trailer couplers are designed as a safety device to ensure that the bike trailer does not come off while you’re riding. It is best to use the coupler attachment that came with your bike trailer—it is sure to be the safest and most secure option.
Make sure your coupler is compatible with your bike trailer, or it won’t work as intended.
Can I Bypass the Need for a Coupler?
Over time the bike trailer coupler you have will wear off, and you’ll need to make do without one. Or you may need to attach a trailer to a different bike that is not compatible with your coupler.
Your hitch coupler could also break or become damaged, and your new bike trailer did not come with a coupler.
In such cases, you’ll need to find an alternative for a hitch coupler that will allow you to attach a trailer to your bike. This kind of situation is more common than you’d think, and it is something that happens with many riders.
This is why there are quite a few coupler substitutes that you can use to get the job done.
Below we will delve into the three coupler alternatives you can use instantly.
How To Attach Bike Trailer Without Coupler
#1 Bolt-On Hub
The bolt-on hub method is one of the most popular and easiest ways how to attach bike trailer without coupler. You’ll need a steel bolt-on hub to ensure a firm attachment.
Follow the steps below to attach your bike trailer using this method:
- Detach the axle nut and the washer of the rear wheel located on the left side of your bike.
- Install the steel hitch coupler onto the axle and replace the washer. The hitch coupler will give you the required grip to keep the axle nut in place. Then, slowly adjust the grip and alignment of the steel hitch as needed.
- Next, line up the tow bar and insert the pin from the bottom. Lock the device and make sure that the hitch is lined up correctly with the pin. This will allow you to easily tighten the rear axle nut.
- Once the hitch and the tow bar are correctly installed, join the trailer to the bike.
- Fasten the bike trailer’s safety strap to make the connection even more secure and tight. After running the strap through the frame, clip it into the tow bar.
#2 Chain Stay Frame Mount
Another way how to attach bike trailer without coupler is by using the chainstay mount frame method. This requires mounting kits to ensure a strong attachment between the trailer and the bike.
Make sure that your mounting or attachment kit includes tubes and hitches. You’ll need them to install the axle nut and attach the trailer to your bike.
The previous bolt-on hub method is limited as it does not work with all kinds of hitches and bikes. In comparison, the chainstay mount frame method is much more flexible and adaptable no matter what type of bike you have.
You will easily find universal mounting kits on the market compatible with all types of hitches, bikes, and bike trailers. With the help of a mounting kit, you will easily attach the tools to the bike frame.
Here are the steps you need to follow to attach your bike trailer using the chainstay mount frame method:
- First, align the V-shaped part of the hitch on your bike’s chainstay frame. Tighten the large knob on the hitch by turning it clockwise.
- Check the other end of the attachment or mounting kit. You’ll see a tube with two holes. Insert one end of the trailer in one hole and attach your bike to the other.
- And finally, clip and fasten the trailer’s safety strap to the bike frame for greater security.
#3 Seat Post Mount
If you do not want to use the axle mount options mentioned above, the seat post mount hitches method is another alternative for how to attach a bike trailer without a coupler.
It requires a specific hitch for the bike trailer, such as the WeeRide Co-Pilot Spare Hitch, the Travoy Quick Hitch, or the Ventura Zinc Coated Bicycle Trailer Hitch. You can easily find these products online.
All of these options are suitable for this method. These tools are easy to use and compatible with any bike seat post size.
Using any one of these hitches, follow the steps below:
- Tighten the hitch to the seat post.
- Connect the bike trailer to the seat post. That’s it; the job is done!
While the methods mentioned above are excellent for attaching a bike trailer without using a coupler, you still need to buy specific tools and connecting mechanisms to get the job done.
If you do not wish to spend money on an attachment or mounting kit, there are do-it-yourself solutions you can use to connect your trailer and bike.
You’ll need the following tools to make your own hitch:
- A complete swivel caster set (it should allow you to remove the wheel)
- A cross bracket used to mount antenna poles
- A self-locking nut
Once you gather these tools, follow the steps below for how to attach a bike trailer without a coupler:
- Remove the axle bolt from the caster and detach the caster wheel. The wheel is not needed for this process.
- Grab the cross bracket and make a hole in it. The bolt of the caster should fit into the hole easily.
- Using the self-locking nut, attach the caster to the cross bracket. If you notice an excess length in the bolt, you can reduce it with the help of a tool grinder.
- After building the DIY coupler attachment, connect it to your bike seat post by tightening the bolt of the cross bracket.
- Finally, install the bike trailer bar to the coupler with a pin that has a safety lock. Now attach your bike to your trailer.
There is no doubt that a specialized coupler is the best way to attach a trailer to a bike. It makes attachment a breeze and ensures your safety during the ride.
But if you don’t have a bike trailer coupler, you can use any of the three methods mentioned in this guide and buy the right parts to get the job done. You can also try the DIY method and save some bucks.
If you enjoyed reading our guide on how to attach a bike trailer without a coupler, do share it with your friends and family and spread the love. Also, check out our other helpful bike articles on our website. Happy riding!
Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic