Introduction: The Bicycle Shower


We were asked to make a water installation for a school project of Howest and Bolwerk. We were free to do what we would like to as long as the idea had a good story and a nice technical implementation. The water installation will be exposed during a camping festival. So started from the camping experience we thought it would be a lot of fun to make an installation that provides water, in a fun way, that can be used for camping activities like showering.

Our idea is to create a pump system which is fun to handle. For young and old! We would also like to work with a water reservoir where all the pumped water will be collected and filtered.

Eventually we made the pump system "The Bicycle Shower". While cycling you pump water. The pump is connected to the wheel with the help of a lifting arm. It pumps the water up in the waterfilter. From there the water splits in a warm and cold water tank. The warm water floats immediately to the shower while the cold water has to be pumped by a second bicycle pump.

To make it even more funnier we added a brake to the steering wheel. When a person pulls the brake there will only be cold water in the shower! Brrrrrrr!

Our bike is only a prototype of the big picture. It works but there is still space for some modifications.
The waterfilter, tanks, construction, and showercabin are not worked out yet. But, we will show you how you will be able to make it yourself!

We hope you like the idea!

Thanks for watching!

Step 1: 1. Bicycle: Material List + Technical Drawings

In the pictures above you can see all the materials and tools you will need to make the bicycle pump!

All the big sheets are made out of plywood (9mm) just cut everything out according the plan!

Step 2: 1. Bicycle: Make the Base

First we will make the base!

  • Follow the plan in the attachment
  • Cut every plate out
  • Drill where indicated
  • Polish the borders
  • Place the bike hub

Now we are going to attach each side on the bottom beam except for the left side (where the chain passes through) and the upper plate. The beam keeps everything together!

  • First predill, use woodglue and drill

Hint! Don't forget to put the bike chain through the holes before the attachment!

Congrats, your first step is finished!

Step 3: 1. Bicycle: the Pump + Lifting Arm

The Pump

  • Search a double action pump in your local store. (Make sure the pump isn't too strong max. 2l)
  • Smooth one handle so it fits in the hole on the wheel

Hint! You can add some strength by adding support blocks around the handle (see previous step)

The Lifting Arm

  • Saw the plates as shown on the plan
  • Attach the hinge

Now attach the pump on the lifting arm.

Step 4: 1. the Bicycle: Pedals

First cut everything out according to the plan!

After that we are going to attach the pedals!

  • Fix the pedals with the wooden blocks
  • Attach the blocks to the 'bridge beam' (with the L-shaped brackets)
  • Attach the wooden pillar to the base frame

Up to the next!

Step 5: 1. the Bicycle: Assembly

You are almost there!

  • Attach the left side (where the chain passes through) and the upperplate on the base.
  • Fix the base on the bottom plate.
  • Use your drill and enough glue!!
  • Place the pump in the hole of the wheel and again: glue en drill this together.
  • Attach the lifting arm on the bottom plate
  • Put your saddle and steering wheel through the holes.

Now we are going to add some strength by attaching support brackets on each side to avoid that the bike will sway!

Step 6: 1. the Bicycle: Alternative System

Our system can only work with two bicycles. So, we thought it may be fun to use two different pump systems.

This one works with an electronic water pump. You just have to grind a piece of the pump casing so if you cycle you would start to roll over the spindle of the motor. The motor will start to pump.

You can make your own bike stand by according the plan!

You can use a normal bike, which can also be a circus bike!

Step 7: 2. the Shower

The shower

Now we are going to make the 'shower'

The framework is made of aluminium profiles (h200xl50xw50mm). You need to weld them together.

The side where the shower head will come through is made of Betonplex (9mm). Make everything according to the plans.

The showerhead

The showerhead is a garden hose. Just drill some random holes. You will have two showerheads, one wille come straight from the hot water tank, the other one will come from the second pump bike. This will be the cold water.

Just put some carrier straps through the little holes so the hose won't pop out of the panel.

When everything is finished suspend the shower curtains!

Step 8: 3. Construction: Filtersystem + Water Tanks

Now we only have to make the construction that is made of steel profiles.

Everything is weld together. The support surfaces are made of a steelen lattice. It is very strong and can carry
a lot of water! It is also very helpful because it is easy to stick the garden hoses through it.

The tanks are trash cans which are closed by using silicone. You have to drill holes to make the connections with the garden hoses. Again use silicone!

The hot water tank (second from above), has an heating element of a boiler to heat the water. Only a part of the element is inside the trashcan, the other side hangs outside. In that case people can regulate the temperature. It is also save because the electricity side does not make contact with the water!.

Step 9: 4. the Brake

Now the finishing touch the brake!

  • Set up the brake system like on a regular bike.
  • Instead of applying the brake pads to a wheel weld it on the shower cabin.
    Make sure the pads aren't stuck and surround the hose that comes straight from the warm water tank.
  • Fasten the cord on the wood panels of the bike with a staples machine so no one can fall over the rope!

Now, when the person pulls the break, the showering person will only get cold water!

Make sure when the installation is out of use you pull the brake with a rubber O-ring. Otherwise the hot water will keep streaming.

Step 10: End Result

That's it!

There is only one hint left: make sure your hoses are stuck to every opening. Otherwise there will be a lot of water spilled! Use a heat gun to make the hose as flexible as needed and glue everything together! To make sure you can still add some silicone!

I hope you like it!

Have a lot of fun trying this machine!

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