Cart Bike





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 with credit to Ryan McFarland.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need:

A bicycle
Shopping cart
Socket set
Hex key set
Dremel tool
Utility knife
Zip ties

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.



  • Pocket-Sized Contest

    Pocket-Sized Contest
  • Pro Tips Challenge

    Pro Tips Challenge
  • Science of Cooking

    Science of Cooking

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




That is pretty sweet! I got me a shopping cart at aldi for only 25 cents!

You can use the springs from an old washer!


very funny unique cart bike idea

Well, I need to roaming downtown area first, to find abandoned shopping carts.

Good idea, but using stolen parts is not a good idea. Even if you 'find' a shopping cart, the vast majority of them have identifying labels (i.e. handle wrap & seat flap) so they can be returned to the store. Using them is the same as stealing them off the lot yourself.

I built one a few years back, but i didn't secure the front forks. I ended up face first in a shopping cart haha

I love the idea, but I'd only recommend this build if you like skin grafts and cincussion. The handlebars and are not designed to take the wight the front wheel carries. If the the forks were solidly connected to the shopping trolley it would be great