Introduction: Bike-Powered Rotisserie Spit
Runner Up in the
Bikes and Wheels Contest
Humans need food to survive. Humans need exercise to survive. But in today's fast-paced world, it's hard to find time to take care of essentials as well as social functions, work, and other such pesky things. So why not combine cooking and exercise into a single, less-pesky bike ride?
Well, we couldn't think of any reason not to, so we did. Here's how.
Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together
- a bike you're willing to part with
- some Allen wrenches
- some regular wrenches
- a machine belt (1/2 the circumference of your wheel plus another 4 feet should be a good size.)
- a bike trainer, or something else to hold the bike while you ride it (Don't have one? Try a simplified version of this.)
- electrical tape
- a fire pit
- a way to hold up your front wheel and spit (Our solution was to use two of the car jack pictured, because they could be adjusted.
- something to use as a spit (Any clean metal rod over 1/4" in diameter works. make it as long as your fire pit is across, plus another 6".)
- a way to connect your front axle and spit (Ours were threaded the same way, so we used a nut from the bike. This doesn't have to be very sturdy.)
- a bike stand, if you have one (makes things monumentally easier.)
Step 2: The Wheels
1. Take both wheels off your bike.
2. Pry off the tires, as well as any lining underneath.
3. Set the front wheel aside. In the rim of the back wheel, the screws holding the spokes on all need to be taken off.
4. Get rid of the back rim. By any means necessary, start taking the spokes off the back axle. (For us, this meant a combination of bending them until they could be pulled off and skilled hacksaw usage.)
5. Put the belt over the axle. Reattach it to the bike, hook it back up to the chain, and wrap the spindle in electrical tape.
6. Set the back wheel into your bike trainer.
And now to the fun part...
Step 3: Final Assembly
1. If you haven't been building there from the start, move your bike over next to your fire pit.
2. Bend a piece of coat hanger wire into a U, and join it to the spit with zip-ties. It should look like a trident, and the spit should twist with the wire. If the wire can twist freely, more zip-ties!
3. Join the trident end of your spit to the axle of your free wheel. The wire should sit comfortably between the spokes.
4. Put the belt over the rim of the free wheel. make sure it's tight enough.
5. Support the free end of the spit and the free half of the axle.
6. Prop the front fork of the bike up on something sturdy.
7. Test it! If you're lucky, the entire spit should turn rather easily.
Well, there you have it. Skewer some meat and get pedaling!
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