Introduction: A Better Ski Bike

Picture of A Better Ski Bike

Here's the ultimate DIY Ski Bike!!! I wanted it to function well, be super strong, easy to fabricate, not too heavy, and very cheap to make. 

Here's what you'll need:
- an old BMX Bike (MTB's work too) 
- 2x4 stud (x1)
- 8" Hinges (x2)
- 2" Lag Bolts (x12)
- 2" Drywall Screws (x12)
- 3/8" BMX wheel axles (x3) (keep all nuts) 
- Flatland BMX Pegs (x2)
- a Pair of old Skis
- Spray paint

Step 1: Prepare Bike

Picture of Prepare Bike

Remove the wheels, cranks and chain.  Remove the axles from the front and rear wheel.  Keep all your nuts.  Keep the bottom bracket cups installed in the frame as a super strong seat for your pegs.

Step 2: Flatland Pegs

Picture of Flatland Pegs

Use a set of large flatland style alloy pegs and a extra 3/8" BMX axle to create the standing platform.

Step 3: Install Pegs

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The pegs seat perfectly into bottom bracket cups. This setup virtually bomb-proof.

Step 4: Setup the Hinges

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Remove the hinge pin from the hinges by drilling out the spots where the pin is punched.  Keep the plastic spacers in place (if any).  The pins can vary slightly in diameter from brand to brand. I got mine at lowes and the bmx axles were a snug fit but required no modification.  You may need to drill or ream or pry them out slightly to fit 3/8". Use the nuts and washers from the donor wheels to fill in the gaps. You don't want to pinch or spread your bike too much in order to make a snug fit. I backed off the inner most nuts a 1/4 turn away from the edge of the hinge so it swings freely on the axle.

Step 5: Create the Platforms

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Cut 2x4s a couple inches longer than you'll need.  Use a miter joint where the 2x4's come together so your lag bolts bite into both studs.  Drill your holes and bolt them to the hinges with 2" lag bolts. The holes closest to the axle on each side will be left empty since they would collide with bolts on the opposing side. On my second set I sunk 4" lag bolts in the upper holes and 2" in the lower holes for added strength. 

Step 6: Cut Proper Angle and Length

Picture of Cut Proper Angle and Length

Cut the excess wood at the angle and height you want.  I made the front strut a little longer than the rest. The axles are taped for painting. These will fit any 3/8" axle bike and could be mounted to most any ski or snowboard.

Step 7: Ready for Skis

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Painting the platforms will seal them against moisture.

Step 8: Cut and Mark Skis

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I cut the front ski 24", and the rear 34".  Line your skis up a little forward of center on your struts. You want the nose of the rear ski lined up under the bottom bracket and a few inches clear of the front ski.  Mark the inner and outer line where the struts contact your skis. 

Step 9: Drill Holes

Picture of Drill Holes

Drill your holes along the inner mark so the screws get deep into the meat of the studs since they are sitting at an angle (imagine the 2x4 strut leaning back to the left on top of the ski in this pic).  Offset the middle hole towards the center 1/2" from the holes on the ends to prevent splitting.

Step 10: Coutnersink Holes

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You need a smooth surface on the bottom so countersink your holes.  I used a 3/4" bit.

Step 11: Like Butter

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2" drywall screws go deep into the stud and make a strong platform.  A good waxing will fill in all the crevasses and make a smooth surface.

Step 12: Now You Have a Ski Bike!

Picture of Now You Have a Ski Bike!

This setup cost around $30 for all the materials (hinges, thrift store skis, bolts, screws, and new grips). You'll also need a free junk bike. Busted wheels are fine, all you'll need are the axles and nuts.

Comments

pcorbett (author)2012-10-29

That is exellent work there. Cheapest and best setup I've seen. I have the standard wood blocks and now I'm going to swap them out for this. Thanks for sharing

MikeT227 (author)2017-01-03

What approximate length of skis do you recommend? Do you think it might make sense to do this with a snowboard or would it make it unwieldy in firm conditions?

melonpeel (author)MikeT2272017-04-24

I think any ski will be long enough to cut the front down to 2 ft and the rear around 3 ft. Snowboard will work too but I've heard they are a little slower.. but still loads of fun!

SCHLEPIC (author)2012-11-07

Great work! I'm working on a ski-bike of my own and have to say your hinge system is brilliant! I agree with the prior statement about adding some form of bungie system. Once you get that puppy airborne, you'll want to be sure the skis stay smooth side down!

MikeT227 (author)SCHLEPIC2017-01-03

You could also leave a little more of the ski's length behind the axle so that it always rotates slightly upward when airborne.

CoryB41 (author)2016-09-28

Im making one out of my old mtb. Would snowmobile skis work for the skis?

melonpeel (author)CoryB412016-09-28

It will be more challenging than using snow skis if you don't have a flat surface to mount the studs to, but give it a shot!

melonpeel (author)2016-08-11

Four winters and hundreds of runs later and still going strong....

WyattS5 (author)2015-12-30

This is a great design and works great!

melonpeel (author)WyattS52015-12-31

Looks great! Thanks for adding a pic!

Jarheadicus (author)2014-12-03

So if I am more of a mountain biker, would you recommend that I build this using a mtn bike frame?

melonpeel (author)Jarheadicus2015-07-10

Yes, you can put these on any bike that uses 3/8" axles. You will need to add some spacers on the longer rear axle to accomodate for bikes that have a wider gap because they are sized for gears.

zfollette (author)2014-08-03

Couldn't you use skate trucks to connect the ski to the bike?

joey.heider.1 (author)zfollette2014-11-08

Skate trucks are cheap and break easily

Oblongata (author)2013-06-06

Nice build! I like the hinge idea, slick. Now you just need some bungees to hold the tips up and some old tire tread wrapped around the pegs for more grip when they get covered in snow/ice.

masterbuilder (author)2013-02-17

by the way, not all heavy duty 8 inch hinges will work. I got some from home depot, and the 3/8 inch rod/axle wouldn't fit in the hinge, even after prying them open a bit. You may have to use the 12 inch hinges.

masterbuilder (author)2013-02-01

When you leave the bottom bracket cups in, do you leave the bearings in too?

melonpeel (author)masterbuilder2013-02-01

no, just the cups

dilysalu (author)2012-10-30

This looks like it would work for a child ready to bike, Yipeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

bertus52x11 (author)2012-10-29

Smart solution with the hinges! Nice project!

embochner (author)2012-10-28

how do you control it?

melonpeel (author)embochner2012-10-28

Search youtube for "skibike"... lots of fun!

embochner (author)melonpeel2012-10-28

looks like a lot of fun- came across this on youtube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ztf84Nhtt8&feature=related

black hole (author)embochner2012-10-28

Like a regular bike. It's not as hard as it seems.

jgfresh (author)2012-10-28

that looks dangerous.. but fun!

ilpug (author)2012-10-27

you need to add elastic strips to keep the blades from rotating.

Kiteman (author)2012-10-27

That's really cool.

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