Picture of 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.

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Step 1: Gather materials

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.
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To be fair I didnt find his comment "un nice" but had a very valid point.
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Yeah, fine, everyone has an opinion and it doesnt bother me, but the actual comment wasn't offensive. I just get tired of the high five culture which means no one is able to critique anything without being hit over the head with handbags. What that man said was a valid opinion said in a courteous way. I just didnt agree with the handbagging that he got to 'be nice or you're out buddy'. ...
xana dqalballah3 years ago
why cant people do what they want with out getting handbags thrown at them buy the guy that's being a critique.   i think its cool that hes brave enough not to ware a helmet.
black hole xana3 years ago
Maybe not cool, but it's also not like he's going 30 mph either.
I thin kyou need a new username, because obviously you arn't "easily amused".
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Nope I have better things to do than have an internet argument.
I would not compared a guy riding without a helmet with a car ... Perhaps with a guy without a seatbelt.
I don´t think the first comment was inappropriate.
I see no problem with the photo, if he wants to wear flip flops and not use a helmet that is up to him. I think most people will understand that this rig is probably not going to be going high speeds, and thus I would feel comfortable not wearing a helmet while riding this. Of course there is still the worry of getting hit by a car, but we also have that worry as a pedestrian, so unless you want walkers to wear helmet and "bike shoes" I think the argument is pointless.
i agree
dent2443 years ago
OK y'all!
lets settle some disputes here,
don't go to a store and take their brand new shopping carts. Go inside and request to speak to the owner or a manager and ask if they have any older shopping carts that they can sell or give you or a way to acquire one. Some may give you a few to choose from while others will say no. There is probably one out stuck in a lake, rusting. Go and help your community and pull it out and put it to use! If those aren't options and there isn't a dump near you, weld/make one! I am sure you can learn a new skill, to weld! it would probably be lots of tacking, but a good way to practice! or maybe you are confident in your lashing abilities and the strength of bamboo and make one that way. Maybe you make one out of composite material! the simplest way would be to form it to the shape you want or to attach the sheets to form a box and drill holes in it. There are so many alternatives!
and as to him with no helmet and flip flops, it isn't the safest thing but there is no reason to argue about it.
also it would be very innovative to attach the handle of the cart to a sets of wheels with a rod to make them turn! like how go carts turn.
carlsands3 years ago
ughhh..... where do you buy a shopping cart
go no ebay duck
zieak (author)  carlsands3 years ago
They are quite expensive to buy. But try asking around at different shops - many will have ones that have been damaged that only require an hour with a hydraulic jack and some pipe to straighten out. I think I have snagged three or four now from the local dump.
for longevity and a smoother ride i would replace the shopping cart wheels with good quality kick scooter wheels and bearings also. its amazing the smoothness of some of those things
also i would weld the back flap on the cart closed and remove the child seat. and for a more permanent fixture to the forks maybe a metal rod secured through some holes drilled in the carts frame and locked on with some nuts or bent around the cart frame and welded on?
marques13 years ago
Have you considered using pram wheels or other similar ones instead of the trolley wheels, that would help smooth the ride and last longer.
svstick983 years ago
that is the best bike i,v sen cool from sam
chotii5 years ago
Actually....just because a cart appears to be "derelict" doesn't mean it doesn't still belong to the store from which it was taken. People around my neighborhood sometimes use carts to push their groceries home, then abandon the carts a few blocks from the store. They still belong to the store, and unless you have written permission (at least in my state, it is against the law to have a shopping cart for which you do not have written permission from the store to possess it). Such carts should be returned to the store that owns them. Call it your 'good deed for the day'. If stores have to keep buying carts, they pass the cost of those carts on to everybody.
if its been floating around the city for a week i dont think its being used
Theft of services is a crime no matter who else helped you.
Lost or stolen property still belongs to the person who paid for it. Unless you paid the store for the cart, the fact it's "floating around" is irrelevent. The only time one may take possession of an item, is when there is no possible way of determining the owner. Good example: I find and keep a $5 bill stuck to the ground in a wet parking lot. Bad example: I find and keep a set of car keys (envelope with large amount of money in it, watch, phone, iPod, ring, etc) on the ground in a wet parking lot.
Wasagi chotii3 years ago
This is going to sound like an Anarcho-Punk "burn the world" rant, but the fact of the matter is, if you find a cart floating around, the Grocery store hasn't done good enough of a job hanging on to them, and should rightly forfeit them. This is the case in many jurisdictions, though the Grocers' lobbies have started to turn this trend around. And to be honest, even if it is stealing, it's stealing from multi-million dollar corporations, that have done without that cart for however long it's been missing. Each store has dozens of extra carts, even with the periodic disappearances. These stores are tantamount to evil. They push out local chains with their severely reduced prices and corporate fallback, they import from halfway across the world, blatantly ignoring the contamination of many foodstuffs. They are the reason that locally grown produce is now a luxury, they've caused countless smaller operations to close and cost thousands their livelihoods. Furthermore, they hire people at minimum wage, barely enough to survive, and keep them at the bottom. These are not people that are being hurt, these are corporations. Corporations that are using their lobbying power to shift the blame away from themselves, and further ruin people's lives for the petty offense of possessing a shopping cart. That isn't fair. And any judge or jury that agrees that "stealing" a shopping cart should be damned.
bo88y chotii4 years ago
They run about $200 each, I think.
Wasagi bo88y3 years ago
Most people go with $75 - $100. (
pdlbooboo bo88y4 years ago
i'd be surprised if 200 bucks is gonna even put a noticeable dent in the local "megamart's" income... just sayin
But lets just say everyone that replied to this article took one would that add up to a dent do you think? Though there does seem to be a stream of legitimate shopping carts we can all draw from.
maboy pfred23 years ago
Plus I'd never get my quarter back from the annoying
Aldi's carts :P
I can help with that dent.
johnny3h chotii3 years ago
@chotii.  In spite of all the idiots saying go ahead, steal 'em," you are absolutely correct.

Here in Texas 8 to 10 years ago, shopping cart THEFT got so bad that the various industry trade lobbiests for the different stores that use shopping carts, got the Texas Legislature to enact a STATUTE making shopping cart theft A FELONY!!!!!   And the statute had the "PRESUMPTIVE" CLAUSE in it which means that whether your intent was to steal the cart, or not, IF you posess it OFF of the store's property, THEN you ARE PRESUMED to have known that you were stealing it. 

It does NOT MATTER if someone else took it off the property, and you "just rescued" it from the street, in Texas possesing a shopping cart off of the owner's premises is a felony.

And by the way a similar law applies to ANY railroad rails, ties, or scraps along the RR right-of-way!  The railroad companies say anything they leave / store on their right-of-way is THEIRS, and removing it is stealing! And other similar laws

 similarly apply to plastic MILK "CRATES" and plastic soft drink bottle "trays."

And a couple of years back, Louisiana passed a strict new TRESSPASSING law that says, that IF YOU ARE ON PROPERTY that you KNOW IS NOT YOURS, AND you DON'T HAVE SPECIFIC PERMISSION OF THE OWNER, THEN YOU ARE TRESPASSING.

These newer laws take the "fudge fact\or" [quibbling] out of law enforcement protection of people's property rights.
pfred2 chotii3 years ago
Last time I priced out shopping carts they ran in the neighborhood of $250USD a piece. They may not look it but shopping carts are big bucks! Though their casters have made it into a few of my projects ... hey I found some at my town dumps.
zieak (author)  pfred23 years ago
I have picked up three carts since making this project. All at the dump. And they all needed work but can become use-able. Although I left a few behind!
pfred2 zieak3 years ago
Dumps usually have a good return policy, double your money back! So some carts I've taken home, hacked their wheels off, then took the basket back to the dumps I got them from.
nickstou chotii3 years ago
don't be a dodo. while I agree that proactively taking carts from stores is not cool... well done and very original Mr. Zieak.
bahaminb chotii3 years ago
lol so take it from a store you hate and never like to shop at. well actually, i think walmart and sam's club could afford this.
zieak (author)  chotii5 years ago
I live on an island. Only way in or out is by airplane or ferry. This cart didn't match the carts used by any of the local stores. Trust me, i made a good effort to make sure i wasn't stealing. Since then i have picked up another shopping cart at the landfill. It needed some work to straighten it out but some time with a sledgehammer and a jack and it was sitting back on all four wheels. I bet that if you live somewhere where there are lots of grocery stores or other big box chains you could probably contact a manager about rounding up carts of theirs that are far off their property and bringing them back... perhaps trade finding ten carts for you packing off one of them. When i made my second one i just needed to borrow one so we went to a market and i put a $200 deposit down. I brought it back and they gave me my money back. I only say that to point out my voracious honesty!
bo88y zieak4 years ago
All good. You might also ask for their damaged carts. They might well give you some for free that you can cannibalize for parts. It might be a good idea to erase any company logos with a belt sander, in the way that used commercial-truck sellers paint over their logos before passing them on, so that no one comes back to them with liability claims. Who knows? If you ran over some guy's flower bed with your rig, and he noticed a "Food & Forage" logo on it, he could try to sue them.
zieak (author)  bo88y4 years ago
Since making this project i have picked up two more shopping carts at our dump. For $5 citizens can (after signing a liability waiver) salvage from the metal and wood piles or from the junk cars. So i've got a collection of totally legally obtained carts that only required a bit of work with a jack and crowbars to sit on all four wheels and operate normally!
peufeu chotii4 years ago
If I fish out the dozen or so shopping carts that are slowly rotting at the bottom of the city river, you think someone is gonna sue me ?
Haha cool :D
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