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Fantastiko - Coffee Trailer

Vancouver, BC



A 700lb bicycle coffee trailer with dual Nine Continent 9C direct drive 1,000W motors that is towed behind a 1984 Kuwahara Shasta.

Scavenger Coffee is a mobile coffee shop that bikes around Vancouver. The cart is handmade from local and scavenged materials. The espresso is hand pulled on our 1970s Italian espresso machine called “Fantastiko”.

We've listed some of the build below, but there are so many details and hours and design considerations that went into this that it's impossible to share everything. Happy to chat if anyone has questions or wants to build their own e-trailer!

Brake Splitters & Lines

Since the cart is so heavy (700lb) we have three braking systems:
1. Front and back cantilever brakes on the bike.
2. Disc brakes on the trailer
3. Regenerative e-braking

We only have two levers though so we had to get creative on how to control all of that. The e-brakes kick in once either lever is pulled and the throttle modulates the intensity of the regen. The one lever was modded (based on a bike polo design) to work both brakes on the bicycle, and then the other lever ran a cable down to the hitch arm of the trailer where it splits into two long lines (thankfully tandem brake cables are extra long) that actuate the disc brakes on the trailer.

To route the lines we had to make a series of cable stops and bolt them onto the chassis to try and avoid having to run cable housing the whole way.

Hitch Attachment

Our DIY solution for a strong but flexible trailer hitch.

Stamped end caps

It's the little things, like custom wooden caps for every aluminum tube.

Drop Outs & Disc Brake adaptors

We sized up a few times but ended up with these beefy drop outs that could handle the back and forth action switching between motor and regen braking.

Drop Down Wheel

Version 1 used bike components (seat tube, quick release, chopped up seatstays) to lower a caster wheel. The problem was that you had to strain to lift the cart with one hand and then lock it into place which was a great way to strain your back.

Version 2 was a chopped down trailer wheel (you can't buy them small enough). We pulled it all apart, cut everything (tubing, lead screw, etc) in half and then welded it back together.

Little Details

Old bike tubes are the best bungees

Hauling around a 10x10ft umbrella with old bike tubes.