Archive for July 14th, 2011

Cross Country Upright Bass Mobilcycle

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

We are once again helping our good friends, The Steel Wheels, venture on their annual Michigan summer bicycle music tour.  The Steel Wheels are a killer Americana group with heartfelt songwriting, superb musicianship, and an excellent stage show and presence.  They are bringing their instruments on the road this summer for a tour that is scheduled to start early August in Ann Arbor, end in Chicago, and hits a variety of great venues along the way.  Check out their music and show schedule at


This year, for the first time, the group’s bass player Brian Dickel will be joining the bicycle tour.  Simply playing the large upright bass poses a couple logistical challenges in any situation, let alone taking it on the road by bicycle.  However Brian is quite crafty and creatively fashioned a bass carrier out of the Burly Flatbed trailer.  From Brian:

“You may find it hard to believe but no one makes an upright bass trailer.  This didn’t really alarm me since in a past life I grew up in a family excavating business where metal work and mechanics were a part of life.  I figured that I will find a good trailer and modify it from there.  After considering a lot of different options including weight, size, cost (I am a musician after all) I consulted with our friend Alan at Tree Fort Bikes and eventually decided on the Burley Flatbed.  I already owned a Burley for pulling my kids around and liked the hitch and strength to weight ratio of their designs.  I knew it wasn’t big enough to fit the bass correctly but felt I could find a solution for it.  I got out my welder and in an afternoon came up with this solution.


The only other modification I made to the trailer was replacing all the quick couplers with stainless steel grade 8 bolts and hardware which really tightened it up. I bolted on the new metal frame I made for the bass to sit in and it was ready to go. . . I’ve got water sports dry bags to put clothes, merchandise, food, etc in underneath the bass on the canvas part of the trailer.  That will also help bring the center of gravity back down on the trailer.  The total weight with the bass will probably come in around 75 lbs which is not bad at all and I can easily lift the tongue of the trailer so the balance is great!”

Nice.  Here’s Brian’s full article, and here’s the rig ready to ride: