Picture of Bow - The Bike Wheel Bow
Could not find one of these anywhere - put it into Google but no joy - - guess I better make one myself.

Rigid frame.
Good power output.
No knock required on arrows.
Longer draw than a standard bow.
So very! light.
Simple to build.
Cheap - cost £2.50 for proper catapult rubber preferred by the Chinese apparently (big following of catapults).
Pimp this up and she would be awesome - I kinda like her dirty and visceral though.
Easily shoot 20 meters. 
Would work well for short range hunting of small game or fish.
Ammo carried on the frame.
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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools
Simple tools -
saw to cut the bike rim - scissors - Snips or some way to remove the spokes from the wheel - file to tidy cuts - pliers to bend.

Materials for the basic build - 
Bike wheel  - eyelets of some description - inner tube from wheel - catapult rubber (or you can use cut down inner tube but it is not as powerful) - retainers for the threaded end of the eyelets (plasterboard expanding grommets in this case) - a spoke for the sight  

Step 2: Lets go

Picture of Lets go
Ok - normally I would break the construction down but this build has been developed and put together so I didn't want to take things apart again, but the build is pretty much self explanatory by just looking at the photos really.

So - take your scrap wheel and strip it down to it's constituent parts - clean up the body/frame - strip down the spindle and remove the bearings etc..

Take a saw and cut the rim/wheel in half between two holes - cool cos you get a spare frame to pimp up if you like the performance of the first build rather than breaking it down or adding things on.  Clean up the corners and round off any sharp edges.

This rim is a 29inch so for position of the eyelets I will assume you are using the same size.

Step 3: And on

Picture of And on
Ok - find four full circle eyelets with threaded ends (meaning a full circle welded hoop or hole) this stops the thrust material from getting caught in the end of the eye where it bends round and meets.

Take two eyes and push them into the last holes of the frame - with the threaded end sticking outwards and put a nut or in my case plasterboard fixings on the thread to stop the eyelet from falling into the center of the frame when the bow is drawn (this would not really happen due to the way the draw works and the eyelets are forced against the frame but I figure better safe than sorry - plus I though they looked rather cool ). Now count inwards five holes and put the other two eyelets into the frame, as seen in the photo.

Step 4: Boing

Picture of Boing
Now - take your catapult rubber (I used a meter) - cut it in half and tie the ends to make two rubber bands.

Take your old inner tube and cut a strip eight inches long and one inch wide  tie it between your two bands - a bit like when you set up the rubber on a catapult.

Look at the photo - can you see how if ya do it right, the tied tube makes a natural channel that is perfect to place the end of an arrow into - you'll see when ya try it - when you fit the rubber into the frame position this facing forwards. 

Step 5: Feeding time

Picture of Feeding time
Firstly - go back to your old inner tube and cut off a section one and a half inches long (keep it as a tube - you'll see why).Push the tube over the frame till it is in the middle, like a small black hand grip.

Feed the rubber bowstring through the inner eyelets so that they move freely - take the ends out to the second set, pass the rubber through the hoop but before ya do undo the nut slip out the eyelet, pass the rubber under it so it comes back on itself then re insert the eyelet. this will ensure the rubber can never pop off when you draw - you'll see from the picture what I mean. Because your dealing with rubber and not a bow string it is quite easy to manipulate things that would not  work normally, it;s a fiddle but not a pain.

Step 6: Have a rest

Picture of Have a rest
Phew!! - I need a rest - and here it is.

Take your old, clean spindle and pass it through that short tube of rubber - when the bow is all built you will set this up so that with the arrow in place at the center of the bowstring the other ends rests on the side of the spindle on one edge but with the arrow situated at the bows center of the frame - you know what I mean.

Step 7: A sight for sore eyes

Picture of A sight for sore eyes
Ok - looking at the picture - take your old spoke (leave it full length for now and cut it down when ya sort out the range you want to work in/over).

At one end make a one inch 90 degree bend - do you see it, top of the photo.
feed the spoke through the spindle from top to bottom and holding it in place pull outwards to make another bend but 90 degrees to the first - when you find your range you can mark the sight shaft for different distances, for elevation just bend the wire upwards to suit .
To lock the sight in place, pull the sprocket away from the frame a little and tuck the short bend into the frame as in the photos.

Step 8: Lube and Arrows

Picture of Lube and Arrows
Before you shoot lube up the rubber that passes through the eyelets with vaseline etc to stop friction reducing power - not the far ones just the inner - if you tweak your bow you'll probably want to put rollers here to give a more constant draw.

Not gonna mention arrows as you can pretty much shoot anything - make em or buy them.

Step 9: Let Fly

Picture of Let Fly
Lets go - drop your arrow in the channel of the rubber - rest the front on the spindle - aim at that nice big and probably close target to get ya going - - draw like any other bow and SHOOT!!. - - yes she will slap you on the back of the hand, it does not hurt, it is not the arrow and it's just a tap ya baby : - )

Because the rubber is gentler when resting you can store your ammo under it without worrying about deforming the shaft - nice and easy to carry.

Have a play - if ya don't love this and really see the potential then get back to me for a full refund.

Be safe - wear safety goggles - have fun.

More piks to follow of my bow in the draw position to follow, just the weather is dire here at the mo.

See Ya.

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Darkmon2 years ago
Should use some Flint and some feathers and a straight stick to make the arrow... Think primitive!
SabaB1 Darkmon1 month ago


Darkmon SabaB11 month ago
No, flint chips easily, and the flint chips are sharp, although minecraft does use that idea
SabaB11 month ago

I just noticed that drawn picture of this bow (one before last) looks like assassin's creed's emblem

MsMaoMaoz1 month ago

I like this!

POITO2 months ago

hey guys

I'm new around here

just found the concept pretty interresting

where I live we go spearfishing and you might want to upgrade for power

look for speargun rubbers, they can be 16, 18 and 20 mm diametre and you have all kinds of length

Godzilla544 months ago

with a few hacks it can turn into a crossbow

darrenhall (author)  Godzilla544 months ago

Hi - yeesssssss! your right, and the extra frame would allow a mod to increase power but not just working around the bow itself - cool idea.

jpedro84 months ago
Miles easyer than cutting and shapping wood. Why did i never have this idea? This is awesome. Thank you for sharing with us.
darrenhall (author)  jpedro84 months ago

Hi and cheers for the post - mine was just a prototype, some of the other guys on here have made some much better versions that look great.

ethantank154 months ago

i hope you didnt need that wheel still

darrenhall (author)  ethantank154 months ago

Hi - LoL.

You should have seen the look on my Grannies face when she saw her wheelchair with only three wheels - would have kicked my butt but she can't catch me now, ha ha .

PowellMade5 months ago

What a wheely good idea!! Right on target!!

A very concise and accurate instructable.

darrenhall (author)  PowellMade5 months ago

Hi - cheers for the post, this was just a proto, ya should see some of the cool stuff others folks came up with - wiiicckkkkeeddddd.

jadedhills6 months ago

instead of ending at the outer islet, if you take the rubber back to the second islet and finish there you will get extra power, so through the end one and finish back at the second one :)

I have a question. Maybe I missed it earlier, but I would really like to know what kind of game this is capable of taking down. I only hunt to supply myself with meat. I love you design. I just would not use it to experiment without a little more info. Thanks

darrenhall (author)  adele.morgan.546 months ago

Hi there - cheers for the look in.

Hhmmm ok, my honest reply would be this - if you built the bow totally like mine I would suggest it would really only ok for close range spear fishing, as some of the other folks have stated, the rubber used is not the best kind as it does not have a powerful or very fast recoil - this was really a basic prototype just to see if it could be built at all.

For bigger game I would suggest you look on Youtube at the Slingshot channel, the guy there really knows his stuff - ya might decide to go with one of his designs or build similar to mine but with more information about the surgical rubber he likes to use.

Sorry I could not be more specific but good luck to you - hope you find the right tool for the job - it would be great if ya let me know how you got on.

Cheers once again.

I have a question. Maybe I missed it earlier, but I would really like to know what kind of game this is capable of taking down. I only hunt to supply myself with meat. I love you design. I just would not use it to experiment without a little more info. Thanks

snorkleaye7 months ago

You do know what happens to Rubber when You Lube it wih Vaseline, Don't you?...Daddy?

darrenhall (author)  snorkleaye7 months ago

Lol - yeah you should have seen my other build ( the one I did not put on here )

involving a gag ball, a sheep and a bike inner tube - Snnnnaaaapppppp aagggghhhhh!!!.

Have a merry christmas and keep on building.

solarbipolar7 months ago

Very good design. As with all slingbows, the part where you load the arrow should not be stretchable. It should be paracord or similar string material with a leather pouch to hold the arrow.

clusterflop7 months ago

Great idea but 20 meters is very very weak. This would probably be improved by using Thera-Band black rubber, but then, you may have used this, it's hard to tell by the description. Thera-Band is the number one elastic used by catapult (slingshot) makers. And yes, you're correct about inner tube rubber being weaker. It's completely out of the question unless you're building a toy. Inner tubes are made of butyl rubber and have very little elasticity. One way of making the bow more powerful is doubling the rubber instead of using a single piece. A lot of slingshots and slingbows are made this way. This is technically a slingbow.

etcmn8 months ago

This is AWESOME! What kind & size arrows do you use?

The text said arrows are stored on the rim but I'm not seeing how that works.

Thanks for sharing this fantastic design!

darrenhall (author)  etcmn8 months ago

Hiya - cheers for the look in.

I could not find the bit about storing arrows on the unit - but that is the great thing about instructables, your building stuff from your own head - keeping spares to hand does sound a great idea but at the time I just wanted to see if I could make this work.

As too arrows - weeeeelllll ya can kinda shoot any size but I made my own from some dowel, I drew the bow and measured the length of draw, then cut the wood just a little longer, allowing for flights and a tip.

Mine is a basic design - ya should see the cool black number one of the other guys on here built - very smart.

Cheers again - :-)

gaestes38 months ago

a butte! and the comments log-in link - thnx. i suppose if maximum performance was the prime operative > take the 's' hooks out of a couple of "radiator specialty shop" rubber bungees...might blow the budget if you have to purchase them but its all part of the R&D design/build premise.

gaestes38 months ago

a butte! and the comments log-in link - thnx. i suppose if maximum performance was the prime operative > take the 's' hooks out of a couple of "radiator specialty shop" rubber bungees...might blow the budget if you have to purchase them but its all part of the R&D design/build premise.

spookylean2 years ago
Too much fun. Great instructable.

I like this one!

I have a few bike wheels sitting around too...I think I may just have to make one!

Would be great with some cos-play outfits...

That's a heck of a little monster you've built. Very nice use of hardware
darrenhall (author)  spookylean2 years ago
Ooooohhhhhh Yeeeaahhhh - you my friend are the man - she's a beauty.

Cmon folks, follow this lead - where can we go from here.

Amazing - just amazing
Skwisha9 months ago

Down below people are asking about how to make arrow heads, Use old teaspoons. Hammer them out flat cut or file into a head then cut the handle off to the desired legnth.

darrenhall (author)  Skwisha9 months ago

Very cool - deadly spoons - excellent


diazaman1 year ago

Ingenious! Why the rubber band? Doesn't the rim act like a real compound bow does? Have you ever tried using using composite type rims? I'm thinking if you tried a fiberglass rim (if they make them) would give the bend needed to use real bow string or its equivalent...

Thanks for the idea,


darrenhall (author)  diazaman1 year ago

Hiya - cheers for the look in - sorry it took so long to reply.

The rubber used is the stuff the sling shot guys prefer, gives good fast acceleration also did ya notice the draw with this method , unlike a standard bow that has the string from tip to tip of the bow this configuration sets the string deeper into the frame giving a longer draw than a strung bow provides.

I am really worried that you might experiment with fiberglass, only cos it is deadly stuff if it breaks under tension - please take care - - that being said I hope you have some fun trying out builds and any you put together I would love to see them.

For some really cool builds take a look at the slingshot Chanel on Youtube, the stuff the fella on there gets upto is just epic.

Cheers again - see ya.

J,R,D, Ltd1 year ago

Did you ever take a video of this in action?

darrenhall (author)  J,R,D, Ltd1 year ago

Hi - I'm afraid not - if you would like to see similar projects though type in "the slingshot (or catapult I forget ) channel" on Youtube and check out some of the builds, I think you love it and the principal was the same.

Cheers for the look in.

Any other questions drop me a line - OH! did you check out the bow that the guy further down in these posts built, makes mine look rubbish, his is wicked cool.


Mattrox1 year ago

This is so epic! I love the ingenuity and the finished bow looks so good. Nice!

excellent idea and ibl
tight I think this is awesom
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