BICITRACTOR B300 (POC21 Version, Wait for the Next Version in February If You Want to Build One)




Introduction: BICITRACTOR B300 (POC21 Version, Wait for the Next Version in February If You Want to Build One)

What is Bicitractor?

The Bicitractor is a pedal-powered farming tractor with electric assistance, made by farmers for farmers. It is intended for SMALL AND MEDIUM vegetable farms. It allows for different agricultural tasks that require working a maximum soil depth of 5 cm. It can be used for example for sowing, weeding, hoeing, harvesting open lines, carrying loads, ...

Compared to a traditional tractor, the Bicitractor gives the farmer ease of use by eliminating the nuisance caused by an internal combustion engine such as engine noise, the smell of exhaust fumes, vibration etc...

The Bicitractor is a tool that allows farmers with agricultural holdings of medium size to mechanically perform tasks which are difficult to perform manually and can cause physical strain.

In addition to being a tractor that does not release carbon dioxide, because it does not use fossil fuels, the Bicitractor is an open source vehicle. That is to say, these manufacturing plans are available for everyone free of charge and so everyone is able to make, for themselves, an effective non-polluting working tool, which is easy to manufacture at a cost of less than 1500 Euros.

The BITRACTOR B300 (POC21 Version) by Farming Soul is a prototype in progress. Even now, we are busy working on a new version of the prototype. That's why we are explaining here all the steps to build a bicitractor B300. We will soon explain all the fabrication details of the updated and improved version of the Bicitractor, the B310 which is coming soon...

N.B. We provide detailed photos and dimensions of the current prototype in this Instructable. However, we do not explain every fabrication step in detail because we are currently making a lot of modifications to the prototype. A lot of parts are going to change very soon for the better, so stay tuned for the new version of the prototype with a manual due to arrive soon!

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How did the project begin?

It all started in Chiapas Mexico a region where we have started to learn how to develop pedal-powered machines in collaboration with workshops like “El Machete”, “Casa Feliz”, “Cacita” in Oaxaca, etc…

Bike machines are machines that function by pedaling instead of running on electricity, such as washing machines, kitchen mixer, corn grinder or water pump.

The development and construction of these machines acquires a real value when placed in the domain of “appropriate technologies”. “Appropriate technologies” are all technologies invented and created by and for their users so they can be retrieved, modified and reproduced. Therefore, we can say that they are technologically, ecologically and socially appropriate.

After developing several types of bike machines in Chiapas, friends from Solidarity Farm in San Diego, California, asked us to undertake the creation of a pedal powered tractor. It was there that the first prototype of Bictractor was first made from recovered materials for a total of 50 dollars.

Subsequently, a farmer in southern France who wanted to have a Bicitractor also asked us to design a version with him. Having learned from the issues of the two previous prototypes, we recently executed a third version in the sustainable innovation and open source camp POC21.

What are the issues related to Bicitractor?

The idea behind this bike tractor is firstly to avoid the debt that farmers may incur, when they have to invest in expensive equipment and experience difficulty repaying large loans, especially where farms are small or medium size.

This project returns the power to manufacture useful tools to the people, who are therefore able to define and fulfill their owns needs. Instead of relying on an out-of-touch designer from far away, we can provide for ourselves. This is truly made by farmers for farmers.

Our mode of operation is within the principles of appropriate technology, so it is not to invent a tractor that can later resell to farmers. Instead, having invented a tractor, we will now offer training workshops for interested farmers so that they can build their own tractor with our help. These workshops will be partly through self-construction of the organization the "Atelier Paysan''. *********HYPERLINK*******

We break with the classic, hierarchical economic system, choosing not to invent a product to sell, but instead to first invent a product, and then sell the know-how that will enable the user to produce this product themselves through training. Not to mention that the plans of Bicitractor will be accessible to everyone for free online.


(You can also download the weight specifications as a PDF or ODT file below)

Farming tools : 29 kg

Wood floor : 21kg

Steel seat : 8 kg

Frame : 56 kg

Front fork : 2kg *2 = 4kg

Front wheel : 4,3kg *2 = 8,6kg Front wheels + front forks = 12,6kg Rear wheel : 8kg *2 =16kg

Frame + forks+ wheels = 85kg

Frame + froks + wheels + seat = 97kg

Frame + froks + wheels + seat + wood floor = 118kg

Frame + forks + wheels + seat + estimated floor + farming tools : 143kg = Bicitractor total weight

Total weight Bicitractor B300 : 143 kg


The BICITRACTOR B300 is licensed under a CERN Open Hardware License (CERN OHL).


Culticycle & Farmhack:


CACITAS, POC21, L'Atelier Paysan Comunity, Simon d'Hénin, Till Wolfer, Timm Wille, Michael Floyd, Sam Muirhead.....

Step 1: What You'll Need



Bike mechanics


6.5 days, 2 Persons




2 days for the frame

1 day for the direction

1 day for the pedal power transmission

1,5 day for the tool holder

1 day for the seat


Preparing the workshop place

Materials: 1000 Euros

The perfect TOOL BOX to build your own Bicitractor!

(You can also download the TOOLBOX list PDF or ODT below)

Materials to built your own Bicitractor !

(You can also download a MATERIALS list PDF or ODT below)

Motorbike parts

2* Motorbike chaine 420

2* Motorbike rear wheel 16''

2* Motrobike front wheel 14 ''

2* Motorbike sprocket 46 teeth

2* Motorbike sprocket 16 teeth

5* Bearing, Inside Ø 20 mm

Boat parts

1* Cleat

2* Sailing rope 2m

3* Sailing boat pulley

2* Double sailing boat pulley

2* Sailing schakle

Bike parts

2* Bike pedals

1* Bike Crankset

1* Bottom bracket

1* Bike frame to cut

3* Bike rear wheel hub (with free wheel)

2* Bike rear wheel hub (with free wheel) and axle with bolt tightening

1* Bike Sprocket ,46 teeth

2* Bike cassette 7 speed (one with the biggest sprocket you can find)

2* Bike cassette 3 speed

5* Bike chain

3* Mountain bike headset, extern Ø 34mm, intern Ø 30mm

1* Bike gear sheath, 3,5m

1* Bike brake sheath, 3,5m

1* Mountain bike gallow

1* Handle bar

2* Bike Grip

2* Bike brake lever

1* Bike Front gear shifter

1* Bike Rear gear shifter

10* Used bike tubes

1* Bike brake cable, 3,5m

1* Bike speed cable, 3,5m

1* Bike disc brake

Raw materials

1* Round steel bar Ø 20mm*155cm

4* Treated wood board 2cm*12cm*250cm

4* Square steel tube 16mm*16mm*1,5mm*6m

2* Square steel tube 20mm*20mm*2mm*6m

2* Square steel tube 12mm*12mm*1,5mm*6m

1* Steel tube inside Ø 34mm*2mm*1m

1* Steel bar Ø 8mm*4m

1* Flat steel bar 30mm*5mm*1m

1* Flat steel bar 37mm*5mm*1m

1* Rectangle Steel tube 237mm*40mm*2mm*1,5m

1* Angle steel bar 25mm*25mm*2mm*1m

1* Angle steel bar 60mm*30mm*2mm*0,5m

1* Steel plate 50mm*20mm*5mm


10* Bolt Ø 8mm*60mm

30* Bolt Ø 8mm*40mm

90* Washer Ø10mm

40* Nut Ø 8mm

4* Ring screw Ø 8mm


After building the BICITRACTOR B300, you will be left with some scrap metal that can be used in other projects, or recycled.

Step 2: The Frame

Step 3: The Forks

Step 4: The Transmission

Step 5: The Steering System

Step 6: The Wheels

Step 7: The Tool Holder

Step 8: The Pulleys Lift System

Step 9: The Seat

Step 10: Assembling the Bicitractor

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    5 years ago

    love this idea! I have a small farm (24 acres) in Northern Canada, and can't afford a big tractor - i'd love to try something like this. Don't think i have the skills at this point to build this, but possibly in the future - i love that you are making the plans available - what huge hearts you have!


    6 years ago

    For all you people saying it would be a terrible tractor, it's not trying to replace tractors.

    If you needed to travel often but you couldn't justify a car, would you rather walk or spend 6 days building a bicycle. The bicycle isn't a car but it is much better than walking.


    6 years ago

    Have you considered running 12v electrical motors for the drivetrain, then have the pedal power for running high powered semi alternators (several) to keep the battery's charged on those days/nights without the needed sunlight (or after dark, as this is quit frequent in farming). This will utilize the manpower better and allow for some rest in between charging cycles. It will also be possible to drive faster and have better control, as you would not have to put thought into hard pedaling, but can focus more on steering. Just an idea. Love the concept. :)

    Farming Soul
    Farming Soul

    Reply 6 years ago

    hello we have an 24v assistance know on that model, as you can see on the video. We are planning to charge the battery with windturbine. So far it work well


    6 years ago

    Excellent machine. Along with all the benefits you spoke of, there is also the fact that it doesn't need fuel. Many farmers are not close to somewhere they can purchase gas, or can't afford it. This is a great alternative for them. I would much rather live by a farm using Bicitractors than internal combustion tractors. Keep up the good work.


    6 years ago

    Seriously? "All the nuisance of an internal combustion engine"? What a load. The engine was invented, implemented, and is still used today because it allows farmers, and anyone else, to do more work in less time. As a child of a farmer, there is nothing more rewarding than riding on a tractor all day, and at days end look over the fields and to see all that you've accomplished. There is no nuisance to an engine, it is instead music to a farmers ears.

    All this contraption does is serve as an interesting conversation/novelty piece, or something to make the tree-huggers and hippies feel good about 'decreasing pollution', at least up until they realize how sore their legs are.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a neat design, and I might even build one when I have kids, to make them use in the garden to help build character. But this would not be efficient in the slightest for anything larger than a small vegetable garden, let alone a " medium vegetable farm". A medium farm, at least around where I grew up, is about 20 acres, which would be awful to have to pedal over, trying to drag a plow just by leg power.

    Farming Soul
    Farming Soul

    Reply 6 years ago

    Hi Leer42

    have difficulty in understanding our approach
    and why is made Bicitractor. It is not made on no account to replace
    tractors. We agree that all the work of the ground (plowing,
    disc etc.) must be realized with big tractors and fortunately for the
    farmers. But you cannot neglect that Bicitractor corresponds needs for
    certain farmers and not for the simple gardening.
    a great majority of the installations in France are small and average
    farms of vegetable farming (2-4 ha, i don't know equivalence with acres). And for these surfaces our tool is
    adapted, because many farmers have necessarily no financial
    means to equip itself from the beginning and have to make all the small
    works manually (I know it a lot).

    some people who are equipped in tractor cannot or do not want to
    go back on the board with a big tractor to make these small works which
    do not ask so much power. And thirdly the work under greenhouses
    ("serres" is the term in french, i'm not sure of this translation) is more pleasant and more practical with this tool than with a
    tractor (if you have not hundred of it of course).
    If you have a farm of 20 ha and if you are equipped, that can't interest you.
    any case several small farmers who live on their work are interested in
    Bicitractor thus it is more than a toy for amateur


    Reply 6 years ago

    Ok, fair enough. I saw this, and automatically assumed you were trying to cater to the tree-huggers; not knowing how stuff works in France, I can't really judge accurately how well this would work. You're English is very good, I almost couldn't tell you weren't from America.

    Farming Soul
    Farming Soul

    Reply 6 years ago

    If my French was as good as my English I would be delighted. I
    agree with you and me either I don't like the sentence on "..nuisance on internal combustion..." but we are collective .... the most important of the project is not
    there. We really want that farmers appropriates this machine to have a
    maximum of return to develop several tools which would adapt above.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Surely you mean 'Your English is very good, I almost couldn't tell you were from England'
    Incidentally you're is a contraction of you are, the apostrophe takes the place of the letter a.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Oops, I made a typo (big red face) please forgive me Leer42. I meant to say 'I almost couldn't tell you weren't from England '
    I also meant to say that my wife is from Atlanta and we often tease each other about the differences between English and American English, all in good fun.


    6 years ago

    God, how I hate all the negative attitudes of people that have nothing better to do than moan that something someone has spent a lot of time designing and making is just rubbish.
    Instead of complaining they should first go and Google about the Maker groups that are springing up across the world, the whole concept of makerism (new word ?) is phenomenal and amazing. Secondly, their best form of attack against something they think is crap is GO OUT AND MAKE A BETTER ONE (I doubt the majority of moaners could)
    My final point is if the moaners don't like it just click the back button because the majority of us don't want to hear your backward views.
    I know that I'm moaning myself but it's only to get my point across, I genuinely admire everyone that posts a project on here, you have all put in a lot of personal time, money and effort in your ideas, well done to each and every one of you.


    6 years ago

    This all comes down to a few interactive factors; Weight, power, size, traction.

    Much of the developing world has been addressing low power mechanical cultivation on this scale for decades, many in cultures where human labor is valued less than even animal labor.

    This path has been gone down before with the same end results, too light for deep work, too heavy for human power, poor traction in mud, overly complex. Unfortunately, a healthy well-fed laborer over the course of an 8-hour work shift can sustain an average output of only about 75 watts. (Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers 11th Edition page 9-4)

    Current Asian small cultivators are fairly optimized, but rely on internal combustion. They are compact, heavy enough to do serious work, all weather. If you want to ditch the engine, you have to place the human upright to involve more muscle groups and allow body weight to be used more efficiently.

    Where pedal devices akin to this excel is rough terrain transport. I have seen a much less developed pedal powered water hauler powered by one small man slowly climbing a steep grade with well over 100 gallons or water. The man was not overly exerting himself and was conversing with pedestrians as he negotiated the deep ruts of the dirt road.

    But maybe I am completely wrong. The builder says it works, and has obviously put great skill and thought into this. I believe this is a vital area of development and I truly hope I am merely overly critical. It is easy to criticize from the internet based on pictures, while the builder is actually making and using their creation.


    6 years ago

    Hy, Farming Soul, I think yours is a beautiful/great idea. Do not pay attention to negative comments! Thank you very much in the name of all those that can appreciate fine ideas! Keep up the good/generous spirit ! Congratulatios!!!


    6 years ago

    Wow, what a huge amount of negativity here.

    As far as I can see from the description and the video this machine is largely for cultivation of greenhouse type plots. Once the ground is prepared the daily grind of maintenance (weeding/spraying/etc) would be massively speeded by such a machine. These areas are usually covered so the substrate is unlikely to be heavy soil that the contraption will sink into up to it's hubs.

    It would be more sensible if some of the commenters took a short read down the comments/answers and saw that the maker has consistently pointed out these facts.

    The aim is NOT to plough a 40 acre field of wet clay here.

    Keep working on the prototypes Farming Soul and I'm sure you will find that the people who will benefit from this build will find you out and use it.


    6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing good idea. This can be done with an electric motor too with solar cells on board; would be totally free from pollution. Great regards.

    Farming Soul
    Farming Soul

    Reply 6 years ago

    Thanks for your support. Yes we want adapt an electric motor (the vidéo is the first test with an electrical assistance). and of course after we want solar cell on a roof top above the seat.


    6 years ago

    Excellent work ! Although I think that your steering mechanism could be greatly simplified , without the chains and sprockets ( Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg would be proud . They might like it even better with " ape-hanger " handlebars ) All you should need would be a shaft at an angle leading down to the front end tie rod ( sort of like you would use to steer an automobile ) It appears to be a useful tool for light duty cultivation , and would be good exercise to keep you healthy ! If your field is large , or not perfectly level , you may want to consider motorized assist , pedal when you can , and let the motor take over when you cant . Reducing the weight of the machine ( without compromising strength , of course ) would be a plus . Aluminum frame , floor , etc ?? Please understand that my comments are merely suggestions ! There again , I want to say that you have made a useful machine that should be helpful in your farming !

    Cheers , take care , and have a good day !!!...73

    Farming Soul
    Farming Soul

    Reply 6 years ago

    January we shall modify and shall work on several parts of
    Bicitractor to improve it, thank you for your advice.
    the other hand we are obliged to build it in metal and not aluminum
    because the purpose it is that the farmers can build it themselves.
    They are already used to work with metal, to weld. The work of the
    aluminum is more complex. But we had the proposal of a German collective
    who wished to assemble it completely in aluminum... We will see....


    Reply 6 years ago

    Hello again ,

    I watched your video again , and noticed that the one you were using in the video was somewhat different from the instructions in this build . I didn't get a real good look at everything on it , but the steering mechanism was very different . There appeared to be 2 batteries on the front over the front wheels , although I didn't see a motor anywhere . They appear to be 12V batteries like you would use in an automobile , connected in series ( the red wire from battery to battery ) to give 24 volts . Anyway , is the one in the video the final version , or is it still evolving ?

    Cheers !