Introduction: Cart Bike
Combine a derelict shopping cart with a bicycle for a ride with ample cargo capacity. This is a nice way to save a shopping cart and a bike that might otherwise end up in a landfill. It is quite the head turner but not a good corner turner.
Any mention of this project must provide a link to www.zieak.com with credit to Ryan McFarland.
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
Hex key set
A note on shopping carts: Please don't steal them. This one happened to be floating around our downtown area for over a week before I grabbed it. The bicycle is almost ten years old and still works fine but I just bought the bike shop in town so suddenly have access to plenty of cycling materials.
Step 2: Remove the Handlebars and Shopping Cart Handle
Use the allen key set (probably number 6) to loosen the stem bolts on the bicycle. Use the socket set to remove the shopping cart handle. Ideally the diameter of the cart handle is close to the handlebar center. As you can see i was able to just bolt the handle right in as a replacement. Remove the front wheel. You also can remove the front brake.
Step 3: Install the Brakes
In order to attach the brake i had to cut off the plastic handle. I used a rotary tool to cut a line down to the metal and then used a chisel and utility knife to peel back and cut off the plastic handle. I then used a screwdriver to slightly pry open the brake lever and gear shifter enough to slide it on. I also slid the handle grip on since the end had already been cut off for the bar ends.
Step 4: Stabilize the Forks
The bike needs to articulate a little for the irregularities in the road. Leaving the forks hanging free makes the bike prone to leaning over when you turn. Just using a few zip ties to connect each fork to the shopping cart frame helps stabilize the bike and prevents it from falling over. I would like to find a more permanent solution. It needs to allow the fork to swing forward and back but prevent too much side to side sway.
Step 5: Test Ride
The front brake lever won't be useful unless the shifter is attached to it. I will modify the left handlebar for the shifter when i find one without a brake lever attached.
On test rides it does not corner well. Steering is very wide turns and sometimes the cart teeters on two of the wheels on one side. I'll definitely be playing around with the details. This will make a great rig to make trips to the post office for the bike shop. The cart bike will be a great addition to our town parades.
Please note that this is not the first cart bike. See some of my inspiration here and here.