Instructables

Bike-Powered Rotisserie Spit

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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.
 
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Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together

Picture of Get Your Stuff Together
You'll Need...
- 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.)
We built this this weekend for a whole lamb (54lb) roast and it worked out great.
We built a cinder block pit for our fire and used roller blade wheels and chassis for the spit to ride on to reduce friction. We used a drier belt for the drive which was very skinny but worked. If I had to do it again I'd use a automotive serpentine belt, they are about 1in wide and you can get various lengths for about $20.

We cooked for 3.5 hours it came out perfect and we'd totally do it again. We are thinking about adding a second gear reduction, via another rear wheel with the cluster removed, so that the rider could really spin and get more of a workout.

Thanks for sharing.

Matt S.
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daileyfam (author)  mschuckmann5 months ago

Wow... way to kick things up a notch, Matt! Glad you liked the project!

This is neat. I was wondering if I could see a close-up picture of steps 2 and 3 for clarity. Thank you so much for the 'ible.
daileyfam (author)  Rutabaga10001 year ago
Hmmm... we've already gotten rid of most of the parts from step 2, but I can explain things further if you'd like. :D
Wow hella gunna hurt somebody with that I would never get on that thing
daileyfam (author)  jstandridge21 year ago
With proper precautions, you shouldn't run into anything more dangerous than you otherwise would around a fire pit.
tim_n1 year ago
I'm putting together an instructable on my hog roaster, which uses bike parts. How many RPM are you getting? I've had to gear my system down to achieve 2RPM. Yours looks like the chicken may well be rotating at about 50rpm!

At least you have plenty of torque!
daileyfam (author)  tim_n1 year ago
Believe it or not, we're getting between 2 and 5 RPM, depending on the gear and pedaling speed. Our rear axle is about 1/2" in diameter, and the rear wheel is about
1-1/2'. The gear ratio there gets us a lot of torque with hardly any speed.
AuralVirus1 year ago
eh why take the front wheel off? you really couldn't come up with something better than a rickety old chair to balance the forks on?
daileyfam (author)  AuralVirus1 year ago
The front wheel was taken off to be used in the pulley system that drives the actual spit. But no, we couldn't find anything better than that old chair. :D
How come you're not in the bike contest? I was going to vote for you. Love it!
Kiteman1 year ago
I wonder how many calories from the food are offset by the pedalling?