THE EVOLUTION OF THE OX 1
My name is Paul Hilton and I am the designer of the OX 1 Oxtail bicycle trailer. I built my first trailer when I was 14 to carry a kayak, and for more than 35 years I've designed and built various different types of bicycle trailers for a wide variety of applications.
I find the bicycle with a trailer attached is the most perfect form of transport for moving around congested towns and cities. However where I like to use my cycle most is up in the mountains. I am English, but I live in Portugal, at the foot of the Serra Lousã. These mountains are covered with tracks and trails winding through beautiful valleys, crossing rivers and ridges with spectacular views, and it s here that the OX 1 evolved to excel.
For off road use two wheel trailers are just not stable enough to be seriously considered. My ideal bicycle trailer design would be no wider than the bicycle, but to give reasonable stability to a two wheel trailer the axle needs to be much wider than the bicycle. This extra width greatly restricts the cycle in the traffic of towns and cities, but more important (to me anyway) is that off road, if one wheel strikes an object such as a large stone the trailer will have a tendency to try and flip. Both of these problems are eliminated with a one wheel trailer design. So the OX 1 was always going to be a one wheel design.
I have to admit that at the age of 14 my first trailer was a little primitive. The truth is I made it from an old pram, however the pram had suspension which I incorporated into the trailer. This taught me a crucial lesson from the very beginning "The importance and benefits of suspension and it s ability to absorb moments of impact". Since then nearly all of my designs have incorporated swing arm type suspension, so the trailer wheel can move up and down and absorb uneven surfaces giving a huge improvement to the ride.
But the real break through came when the trailer was given a double action suspension movement.
Placing a pivot at the front of the load carrying section now allowed the trailer wheel to move backwards and forwards relative to the bicycle. (see pics) So now when the trailer wheel encounters a large obstacle such as a rock, the trailer can stretch giving the trailer more time to absorb the moment of impact. And because the front pivot is placed lower than the flexible hitch, the stretching action pulls up against the weight of the load, lifting it up and therefor allowing the trailer to pass over larger obstacles with the minimum effect on the cycle, rider and trailer.
Having pivots also gives the bicycle trailer the ability to instantly fold making storage and transporting easier and more convenient.
The end result is a very convenient, clever yet simple, rugged bicycle trailer with the ability to carry a heavier load over rougher terrain.
The OX 1 bicycle trailer has evolved.