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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Location: Sarasota FL
Thought I'd post my photo of the 'mod' I did on my Hobie Standard Kayak Cart to make it a "heavy duty" cart (read: better wheels).

The Story: 4 years ago I should have bought the heavy duty Hobie cart for my tandem, but they didn't have it in stock and I lived on an island. So I bought the standard cart which was rated to 150 lbs. Too bad that wasn't true (Hobie: please see my note below).

The plastic spokes on the standard wheels finally gave in two weeks ago, so I bought the heavy duty wheels from Wheeleez ($50 if I recall, and they are the solid kind, not the air. They are sturdy and not heavy).

But..... when I put them on my old axle, the new wheels were too wide for the axle. The wheelez hub covered up the cotter pin hole on the axle.

This is where my inner-MacGruber took over. I went to Home Depot and bought a 1/4" aluminum rod for $3 to go through the hollow axle. A few twists on each end, 2 caps for luck, and them wheels is purfect and she drives like a dream.

Here's a pic of the new set up, with the old standard wheel in the background showing off its broken spokes. If you have the tools, time and care, I'm sure you could make the ends of the aluminum rod look professional. I like my pigtails.

Image

Put in a longer axle you say? Not unless you have welding equipment. The axle has several welding spots to keep the uprights in position on the axle. You can't do without them.

Note to Hobie: the Carts need re-thought.

1. The Standard wheels are a failure waiting to happen. No way they are rated at 150 lbs. Over time, the flimsy plastic spokes will fatigue. Who doesn't drag their cart over the occasional curb, gravel, beach or rock? The heavy duty wheels are the answer.

2. The $150 price for your Heavy Duty Cart, however, is price-gouging. You got $15 worth of materials there, max.

2. The Standard wheels' spokes are too skinny to withstand going from pavement to gravel or sand, and they should, we're Hobie kayaking. They shouldn't even be sold with your name on them.

3. A number of us here have experienced broken welds on the cart. I have a bungee wrapped around mine to keep the uprights from slipping off the crossbar (the bar with the black Hobie pad, which is for what?) If you're going to charge $150, put some better engineering into it. You're Hobie!

4. The plastic end-plugs on the cart's two upright posts were gone within a couple of months of ownership. They tend to pop off when you pull the cart from the kayak holes. Friction or something. So now I have electrical tape on the bare metal tube so it doesn't gouge the mounting hold on the kayak. Works, but all in all, the cart should have been better out of the box.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:07 am 
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Maybe Hobie needs to think about putting on actual trailer wheels on their carts. They would probably hold up much better. You need trailer tires for a trailer. Why not step up the carts to a trailer tire and see if that works better.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:50 am 
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Location: Sarasota FL
Their heavier-duty wheels or the Wheeleez are good.
It's their "basic" cart wheels and welding/engineering (and prices) that are no good, IMHO.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
These carts are supplied to us by the factory that Wheeleez uses. We have addressed the welding issue several times with them. Certainly is a problem on some carts.

Based on the axel length... the cart in question is several years old. Current carts have axels long enough for standard or HD wheel use. I can only assume that the spokes of those were damaged by UV possibly? The standard wheels were heavily tested and abused by us and appeared to be more than capable of carrying all but the heaviest of our kayaks (when new of course).

There is no way to have the perfect tire for all conditions. Standard carts are light and roll over hard ground easily, but not sand. Trax carts are heavier and roll over sand well, but do not roll over hard ground as well as the standard. The HD wheels are stronger, but still perform poorly in soft sand. 4x4 vehicles have the same issue. You need higher tire pressure to drive on hard ground and low pressure to drive in soft sand.

Pricing? It certainly involves more that a pile of parts. If you are handy, you might be able to design, source and fabricate one for less cost in materials, but the labor for all that is not free either. Most DIY people don't add up their own time in determining the value of a home made item. They seem cheap to do... until you try to make a business doing it.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:43 pm 
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"These carts are supplied to us by the factory that Wheeleez uses. We have addressed the welding issue several times with them. Certainly is a problem on some carts."

I'm surprised! If you know it's a problem, then take issue with the factory and require them to fix it or get them from another supplier! If you continue to accept and provide products which don't meet your specs, then your customers suffer and you are complicit! This isn't good business...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:32 am 
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sunday wrote:
1. The Standard wheels are a failure waiting to happen. No way they are rated at 150 lbs. Over time, the flimsy plastic spokes will fatigue. Who doesn't drag their cart over the occasional curb, gravel, beach or rock? The heavy duty wheels are the answer.

2. The Standard wheels' spokes are too skinny to withstand going from pavement to gravel or sand, and they should, we're Hobie kayaking. They shouldn't even be sold with your name on them.
Sorry to hear about your cart problems -- nice fix though! I certainly agree the earlier carts were not nearly as good as the newer versions, but would have to disagree with your wheel assessment. I have three carts (oldest is 6 years old and used regularly), all with standard wheels and have had zero cart frame or wheel failures so far.

Here's the 150# rated standard cart launching a fully-rigged TI. It weighs about 200# in this configuration -- plus gear. or about 3 times that of the Hobie tandem kayaks. You'll notice also the midship position of the wheels where they support virtually the full weight of the rig.
Image

Here's a close up clearly showing those basic stock wheels.
Image

They've run over ramps, rocks, dirt, gravel, medium sand (no curbs though without help). They regularly handle our fully ballasted tandem Oasis and had no problems whatsoever with the heavier PA 14, even rolling it up from its side.

I hate to see these light, tough wheels maligned on the basis of a curb hopping broken (defective?) wheel. In addition to their durability, they are the easiest to insert and extract from the boat in the water, easiest to store on board and by far the least expensive. I wouldn't trade them except for deep sand launching. 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Location: Sarasota FL
I'm with FIS-HIT on this one.
Hobie's response is "we know there have been problems, but..."
They either fix them, or Hobie finds a new supplier. It's Hobie's reputation on the line.

My cart was purchased from a Hobie dealer in 2009 who didn't have stock but had to order it ....from Hobie. Not like it was an antique.

re: why the wheels failed.
UV? No. I kept the cart in the garage with the kayak.

@Roadrunner: I think the issue is this: if ONE spoke goes, the whole spoke system will collapse under the weight of an 80lb kayak. So it doesn't take but one to bend or snap for the whole wheel to collapse.

The break/collapse occured when I was rolling my kayak from a sidewalk to the street, a 5" drop. Cheap plastic.

As for the cost of manufacturing... I stand by my estimate. Hobie has every right to make a good profit, but only if the product is damn good too.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:32 pm 
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A 5" drop off a sidewalk with a 80# kayak on it! You're lucky the scupper tubes didn't crack also... Sorry, none of the carts are designed for that.

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
I believe you guys read my response incompletely...

Quote:
We have addressed the welding issue several times with them.


That means that we have been working with them... several times already to get the issue corrected. We have seen improvement in the welding, but are staying on them just the same.

It is difficult to determine vintage of cart frames... how old are the ones you think have bad welds? If not a wide version or one with an axel wide enough for STD or HD wheels... that is an old cart for sure.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Location: Sarasota FL
KayakBob: A 5 inch drop shouldn't be a problem. I've dropped the kayak from 2 feet, no problem except for my foot! I've rolled it through sand and over rocks. I'd like to believe that these things were designed for many years of outdoor play.

MMiller: "Addressing" is polite, but "made them fix it and replace defective carts" would have been awesome. :)

I bought it from a dealer on St Croix in 2009 who told me he had to order it from you guys. Not sure who his source was. Never saw him wheel any of his kayaks. He had trailers and no tandems. I solved the welding issue with a bungee cord I keep wrapped around the uprights.

Would still like to get replacement CAPS for the posts, as those fell off in the first year. Would look nicer than my electrical tape on the ends (to keep the ends from scratching the inside).

The funny thing is I always thought it would the Mirage Drive that would break. Knock on wood, they're tough!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:59 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Dome caps?

80045000 CAP - HOBIE CART DOME $ .30 (ask your dealer to get them under warranty).

Broken carts are covered by warranty for the first year... no questions asked. Older than that, we may have questions. Dealers can file via the warranty claim process.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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