Portable Bicycle Water Pump





Introduction: Portable Bicycle Water Pump

This is how to make a portable bicycle water pump out of a couple simple Off The Shelf items. You can even transport the pump and stand together while attached to the bike. There are no modifications to the bike. Just a little pounding and cutting to the pump. It can pull water from 10 feet down and push it 30 feet up. The "What To Buy Off The Shelf" is what I want to show you. Here is how I went about it. BTW the Portable part just happened by chance of design. This is for sale if anyone wants it.

This looks so simple now but it wasn't. I looked for hours which turned into months to find the right combo.


The top of the hose in the video is at about 19 feet.

Step 1: Buy the Off the Self Parts

Off The Shelf items.

1. Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer. +-$80 - 60. This trainer is all steel!

Bell Motivator

2. Harbor Freight Water Pump. (3/4 Horsepower Clear Water Pump) $48

3/4 horsepower water pump

3. Plastic Shims.

4. Water Pump Outlet to 3/4 Pex pipe. $10.

5. Pump Foot Valve. +-$20. You need to be able to easily open the valve to suck water in. There is just a spring in these that opens and pushes it closed. You might even be able to swap the spring out. I do recall inhaling on one and was able to get it to open. Where as the others I couldn't.


Step 2: Modify the Pump

The goal of this step is to create a friction wheel for the Bike tire to run on which in turn pumps the water. This will require you to cut the top off the pump and reveal the friction wheel.

1. Start by removing all the electronics.

2. Take the pump all apart by removing all the bolts that hold it together

3. Now cut the top off the middle of the pump motor like in the picture. Be very careful not to break the cheap pot metal!!!!

4. Remove the Brushes. The metal is very cheap pot metal so go at this very slowly. After you get everything apart you will have to hammer and punch out the center rod. See the pics for what you want in the end. This was actually the best part of this project because you get to tear something apart that was perfectly fine.

5. Now put everything back together and the shaft and water turbine part should spin free.

Step 3: Setup the Bike Stand for the Water Pump

In this step, we will be attaching the pump to the bike stand. This will involve taking off the bike stand resistance wheel, bending some metal , drilling some holes and attaching the pump.

1. Remove the trainer weight /wheel/ black plastic friction adjuster. Make sure you keep the adjusting knob and the plate that the weight /wheel/ black plastic friction adjuster are attached to.

2. Now bend the tow flaps flat that are sticking up on the adjuster plate.

3. Place the Pump squared on the adjuster plate and drill 2 holes that line up with the holes on the base of the pump.

Step 4: Attach the Pump

1. Now attach the pump to where the weight /wheel/ black plastic friction adjuster was. Please review the picture on how I did it. I used some 2 hole SPD cleat plates and orange water bottle bolts. We will call this the back of the pump.

2. Depending on the bike you are going to use ,you might have to add a shim under the front part of the pump. This will make sure there is enough room for the tire to hit the rotating shaft in the middle of the pump.

3. Now bolt down the front of the pump. I just used Zip Ties for now.

Your done and almost ready to pump some water...

Step 5: Set Up the Hoses

In this step we will be attaching the Inlet and Outlet hoses.

1. Attach the ball valve to a 1 inch or 3/4 inch Pex Pipe and drop it into the some water up to 10 feet down.

2. Attach the other end to the Inlet using a 1 inch threaded male end to Pex pipe adapter. If you don't have a Pex crimping tool you can just use a snakebite adapter for attaching it to the Pex side, No tools needed.

3. Now attach a 1 inch or 3/4 inch pipe to the outlet and run it to where you want it. I used 1/2 Pex pipe to get more pressure in the line but 3/4 should work. Not sure If I got more pressure or not. I was able to lift water 30 feet up.

I used Pex pipe because it is some what flexible and somewhat cheep but you can use what ever you want. I wouldn't recommend using a garden hose on the intake line because it will collapse but you can use it outlet let.

Step 6: Pump Some Water

1. Now attach the bike to the stand by following the bike stand instructions.

2. Use the knob adjuster to rase the Water Pump up to the bicycle wheel to create some pressure between the two.

3. Prime the pump per instructions.

3. Hop on the bike and start pedaling. You might have to prime it a couple times until the inlet line gets filled up with water. Water is sucked in through the foot valve but will not escape out of it. Once water gets all the way up to the pump you should be good. I did learn that if you remove the foot valve> prime the pump>put the Outline end in a bucket of water and then pedal backwards it will fill the system from the top down. Once you feel you have removed all the air in the system, attach the foot valve and start pedaling forward.

Step 7: Take the Pump for a Ride.

On my bike, I'm able to just collapse the bike stand and swing the pump upside down and take it for a ride.

1. Collapse the legs.

2. Swing the bike rack and pump towards the back of the bike and all the way up to the seat.

3. Attach the pump and rack to the seat tube with a good strap.

4. Take it for a ride.



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    24 Discussions

    I need to ask you your permission. I'm working on a provisional patent (Only to protect the idea...I have no interest in making money from this but the 3.9 million people killed in the last year from waterborne illnesses motivates me. I've been fiddling with the idea of a UVC lamp to fry the heck out of anything with RNA/DNA. It works but it needs to be human powered by somebody about 80 lbs. A bicycle is better for sub Saharan Africa for a couple of reasons. I once again stress this is not about me making money it is about trying to save lives. If you want my background check out the USPTO office to see my patents. I don't actually care much about them but some people want proof.


    This is about me realizing an idea that might save lives.

    1 reply

    Hi. have you had any success with your project? It's a wonderful idea. The need is especially great right now in Puerto Rico and other disaster-hit areas. Thank you.

    Hi, I am working on a school project and your project is really interesting. Do you think I can use a Shurflo diaphragm pump instead of the one you listed (I can't find it anywhere online)?

    2 replies

    I have bought that same pump shown at Harbor Freight. hope that helps


    It looks like a Shurflo diaphragm pump will work but???????

    Hey ! I am trying to amass components to build this, but I found that some of the links you provided have gone stale (the pump and the foot valve). Any chance you could link me to a suitable foot valve ? I think I've already found a suitable pump (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/391045203278?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true). Thanks so much ! This is a very cool project and I hope I can get it working with my rain barrel !

    1 reply


    I think it was the 1 inch one but it could have been the 1.25 one. go into homedopot and inhale on a few. I was able to get the one that I used to open

    Hi Treadmaps, I am an architect in Austin TX designing a small installation at an elementary school. The idea is a hydroelectric science experiment station, where kids interact with water, its properties, its kinetic energy, and even test rainwater samples. The idea is that the kids actually pump the water into the interactive portion of the pavilion. Your bike pump is a great idea and widely used in irrigation around the world... however your system is the only one I can find so far being sold online. We are on a budget and could buy the DIY components but do not wish to hire a specialist or scout the PTA for volunteers to build this thing. If you are interested in selling it and sending it to us for this project please message me! Thank you. Becca, designer, Rhode Partners Inc Austin, TX

    1 reply

    Sold, It is just sitting doing nothing good. I will send it to you and you can pay for it if you use it.

    Can the bike actually move or be ridden?

    1 reply

    yes, it folds up. just need a strap to hold it in place

    That is a nice way of pumping , and a cleaver thought of using that old electric motor this way . I think , when you would wrap a piece of bike inner tubing around the ''anchor'' (don't know the english word for it ;-( ) as a sleeve , that this would give more grip (traction) for the bike wheel onto the electric motor shaft .

    regards Will

    This is really clever and would be a good reuse of a pump that needed new windings. Great job!

    This is a great and simple way to get just about anything you need shaft driven by a bike. Really Cool. Gets the creative mind thinking.

    Please post a video to see this in action..........although very innovative