How to create a smoothie making human powered bike blender for less than $25

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Picture of How to create a smoothie making human powered bike blender for less than $25
I love biking. I also love smoothies. That's why I was really excited when I read about the B3 mini from rock the bike in Make 11. However, upon visiting their site I was dismayed at the cost of the blender, about $250. Thus, not knowing if it would work, or if it was even legal (patent infringement and such) I set of to create my own bike blender.
This instructable documents how to create your own inexpensive, energy conserving, bike powered blender. Since appliances account for over 20% of your electric bill, this is one less energy consuming machine in your house. And making a fruit smoothie is twice as good for you as before; both in nutritional value, and also in the exercise you get. It isn't an incredibly difficult build, and even the most inexperienced Maker should be able to complete it in less than 3 hours (not counting glue drying time).

Step 1: Necessary Materials

Picture of Necessary Materials
Materials needed:

Blender: Theoretically, any blender would do. I'm using a Hamilton Beach personal blender that was practically made for this project. The two key things needed are that:

1) The blender jar locks in place
2) There is a transmission disk, instead of the motor connecting directly to the blades

A M4-.70, 19cm long bolt: In a perfect world, a bolt of this size would exist, but the longest I could find was a 7 cm. If you can find one, great, otherwise you need: 3- 7 cm, M4-.70 bolts and 2 coupling nuts of the same size.

Old bicycle inner tube

1x8 board

3x4 metal plate

2- 1.5 in. diameter wooden wheels

4- 2 inch bolts of any size, and 4 matching nuts

2- 1 inch wood screws

2- M4-.70 Tee nuts

Bicycle rear rack: any rack should do.
ANTIOQUIA7 years ago
Heya IBike! You'll be stoked to know a group of about 40 people gathered at our house yesterday for a DIY skillshare, and one of the projects we took on was your bike blender. We'll post pics and detailed comments on how our version went as soon as we can.

For now, a few comments for anyone attempting the project soon:

--make sure you check out where the rod will need to be placed in relation to the bike rack your blender's mounted on. We had to drill a hole straight through the rack and it made a horrible screaming sound when riding, so we made the notch a lot bigger which fixed the problem. However, the size of the discs covered in inner tube and the placement within the rack means that in order to remove the blender, you need to dismantle the whole rod mechanism connecting to the inside of the blender to remove the dang thing. Our solution to this was to cut a gap in the outer bar of our bike rack. All good, just be mindful of how the rack you've chosen works with the placement of blender & vertical rod.

--We used an inner tube to cover the wooden discs that was from a road bike. WAY TOO SMALL - a pain in the butt to get on the discs, and it ripped after about 5 uses of the bike. We're now looking for a mountain bike size inner tube and hopefully that will fix the problem.

--One thing about the design you have is that the bike can't be ridden without blending. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas on mechanisms that would allow the blending rod to swing away from the wheel to deactivate the blender rotation caused by the wheel turning?

--Also would love to hear some brilliant ideas on how to make the bike stationary. While its hilarious to watch your roommate embark off on to the street to make the morning smoothie, it'd also be great to be able to ride up to say a farmer's market or festival and make smoothies on the spot.

Happy blending, folks!

JellyWoo7 years ago
the link for the blender is for the Proctor Silex Personal Blender, not the hamilton personal blender.
JellyWoo7 years ago
what is a bicicle inner tube and what is a gusset plate?
also, where can i get them?
beff507 years ago
to keep the ingredients cool. all you need to do is get a cooling plate and about 9 volts of batteries. a remote control car battery would work great. then put the plate in an insulated cooler.
jennyc7 years ago
What a great job. Congrats.
Zetheros7 years ago
Awesome bike mod! It'd stink if you crash though.
mannye7 years ago
Congratulations on the win! Very deserving. Fastenal carries M4 threaded rod for $1.20 / meter. Haven't checked the online shipping costs. But there are a bunch of stores right in your area, I_bike.
Esmagamus7 years ago
You know, there's M4 threaded stock. You just have to buy a meter of it and cut in whatever length you need.
I was thinking the same exact thing.
I_bike (author)  merseyless7 years ago
I was pretty sure some store would have some, but none of the hardware stores I checked did. If I decide to build more of them, I'll probably buy some online to save me the trouble of cutting bolts.
Damn! I can find them in any hardware store around, no matter how small. As in Portugal many houses are made of stone, steel anchor bolts are very frequent and threaded stock is very pratical to use with them, as you can use one nut to open the anchor, cut the threaded stock and use another nut to hold whatever needed to the remaining part of the stock.
I've always wanted to hook up a stationary bike to my house, as a way of exercising and going green. Any suggestions?
I_bike (author)  inscrewtabunny7 years ago
You could attach the friction wheel to a generator, but a more efficient way of doing this would be to attach a generator to the axle of the bike or the trainer on one of the rollers. Here's a good instructable about this energy bike
Talkscience7 years ago
LOVE this idea. I have found a drill-powered blender online that I am planning on buying in order to make one of these - google "portable drill blender" to find it. I'll try to let you know how I get on!
krode7 years ago
Excellent, perpetual energy! You power the blender to make a smoothie, and the smoothie powers you to pedal the bike...
scook krode7 years ago
what about the energy it takes to grow the fruit??
Yeah, it's not like that stuff grows on trees.
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Nice, but it looks hard to use
I_bike (author)  LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
It isn't actually that much more difficult than using a regular blender, just add the ingredients and blend. And the nice thing is, you can take it anywhere.
Bartboy I_bike7 years ago
yes, but I suggest if you aren't in the city on flat roads, taping the blender lid on
I_bike (author)  Bartboy7 years ago
Thanks for the concern, but that's why I chose this blender. Not only does the blender jar lock onto the base, but the lid locks onto the blender jar, thus ensuring that the smoothie can't escape.
Bartboy I_bike7 years ago
smart!, How much does this blender cost?
I_bike (author)  Bartboy7 years ago
It costs $16.99 from target. Heres the link: Personal Blender
Bartboy I_bike7 years ago
O Canada, Target does not Exist!, and sears called it some other thing.
Ah, the internets - Tar jay is on line....
Shiping $$$
skeptikool7 years ago
Would there be too much involved in shortening the motor housing to, say, half or less its height? The lowered unit would seem to reduce potential, dismounting problems.
Labot20017 years ago
Congrats on the win! This is now on my to-do list! 4/5 stars and Fav'd!
i saw one of these recently at a music/art festival in Santa Barbara, CA called Lightning in a Bottle. The juice stall people didn't seem to have any problem using it and making a smoothie hardly seemed to take any time. Very cool.
skeptikool7 years ago
I love it but fear, in my first dismounting, that I would forget the added height and spread my smoothie all over the road. I like the idea of, particularly on long trips, being able to make "energy" drinks from fresh produce one would buy along the way. I could live with the pulp.
dpocius7 years ago
Great for margaritas, as long as you end up at your destination about the time the margarita is ready. This gives me an idea: klooge a universal PTO (power take-off) to my elliptical trainer to power any number of small mechanical devices. A short flexible shaft would ease hookup to stuff that would be difficult to mount directly to the trainer; attachments can be mounted to a separate base alongside the trainer. This could be the nucleus of a contest, I suppose. Come up with the coolest and/or most useful device to be human-powered from a bicycle or such, either stationary or mobile.
At my high school in the 70's we had an electric hand-fed chandler and price printing press that we powered with a stationary bike. In my history class.
Folks, we have a real contender here!
Skor4597 years ago
Using basic stoichiometry(which I will be happy to be done with after this since I just had my chem final) I calculated that you'd need about 62 grams of NH4NO3 to cool water 20 degrees(let's say 70 on a summer day to 50, the typical vegetable fridge temp). I feel this comment has no point and I just seem like something of a smart ass. This is a very cool instructable though, and I'd like to make a series of attatchments for the friction, like maybe a fan for cooling, and perhaps a small motor to generate electricity to charge things. I've seen other tutorials for making bike generators, but this is the most versatile design by far.
1up7 years ago
"2) Attempt to build a mini-refrigerator for the back of my bike, but this will be difficult." I have a solution. Get one of those USB Mini-fridges. Attach that blender motor the same way you attached the blender (You saved that motor, didn't you?). Use a regulator to bring the voltage from the motor down to 5v, and there you go!
Eromanga 1up7 years ago
And you've got a lot of moving air to cool the warm side of the Peltier module. Could work quite well (the power you aren't using to power a fan to take the warm air away can be used entirely for the cooling).
ha ha ha thats what I would say if I saw that on the road. nice I like shakes ....and some times smoothies. convenient though.