I love bicycles and I love pizza. So, what could be better than using my bike to pick up a pizza!*
That is the inspiration behind this instructable - a Bicycle mounted pizza carrier.
Unfortunately it will be difficult to exactly duplicate my build (more on that later), but hopefully this instructable will provide some ideas for somebody looking to build something similar.
*I suppose eating pizza WHILE riding the bike would be the best, but I don't know if I have the coordination for that...
Step 1: Design
2) It must be insulated so as to not let the pizza get cold on the ride home
3) It must be able to carry 1 large pizza and wings, or two large pizzas
4) It must be stable, so as to not lose the precious cargo
5) Lets see if I can build it using things laying around the garage...
My bike is equipped with a rear rack, so I will use this to support the pizza carrier.
The size of an average pizza box (in Central New York) is:
16.5" x 16.5" x 2.25"
The size of an average chicken wing container is:
10" x 6" x 3.5"
This means the inside carrier dimensions must be, at a minimum:
16.5" x 16.5" x 5.75"
Step 2: Suggested Materials
The foundation of my pizza carrier is actually part of a LINX ii Laser 400 medical X-ray printer frame, which it just so happens fits a pizza box perfectly! Realizing that most people will not have a LINX ii Laser 400 x-ray printer laying around, you may have to do a little extra work and build up a frame from scratch. You could use sheet metal, or even thin plywood. Maybe even a largish rubber maid container?
Spray foam ("Great Stuff")
Caulk for sealing cracks
Old bungee cords from the side of the road
Rivets for attaching sheet metal
Step 3: Construction
In keeping with design goal #1, I fashioned a sheet metal hook out of aluminum and attached it to the frame using rivets (see pictures). This hook keeps the carrier attached to the front and centered on the rack. You may still need something to keep the carrier held tight against the rack - For this I used bungee cords since my sheet metal frame already had two convenient holes drilled for attachment points!
The remainder of my carrier is made out of blue rigid foam insulation. As the name implies, it is rigid enough to make a nice box and it has good insulative properties. It is also very easy to work with:
Cutting the foam:
To cut rigid foam, simply use a sharp utility knife and score the foam. Then simply "bend" the foam and it will break right along your score line.
Fastening the foam:
I also found rigid foam is easily fastened:
To attach two pieces of foam together, simply take a nail and press it in by hand through the two pieces of foam you want to join. As simple as that! It seems to hold together well by itself, but you could always improve the joint with glue. As a nice bonus, you can use that pile of rusty bent nails for this, because you don't need to worry about them bending further with each hammer blow.
My foam box is held onto the metal frame mostly by "friction fit" - the metal frame had several pieces jutting out that I was able to press the foam on to.
The front cover is also made entirely out of foam, with two inner pieces fastened as above to provide a friction fit, holding the cover in place. I also use a bungee across the front for added assurance.
You can see pictures below of the final carrier, before painting.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Unless bright pink or baby blue are your colors, you'll probably want to paint the foam insulation.
After finishing the entire foam structure I removed it in one piece and hit it with a couple THIN coats of spray paint. Warning: when I sprayed the paint on thick, it started melting the foam! I also tried applying latex paint with a brush, and that seemed to work well too.
After painting, I caulked the seams in the foam structure first and then re-attached to the sheet metal frame, caulking all of the joints I could reach. This will make sure the container is relatively air-tight, allowing the foam insulation to do it's job. The caulk also serves a bit of adhesive to keep everything together...
Step 5: Finished Product
And here is the finished product - Carrier mounted, bungee'd down, and front cover bungee'd on. I took it out for a test drive fully loaded with pizza, and the stability and heat retention were more than sufficient.
The installation is very easy - I leave the bungees attached, so I simply hook on the front and attach each of the back bungees to the bottom of my rack, and then I'm good to go.
This project was especially fun for me, since I was able to build the whole thing using scrap items from the garage! That metal from had been kicking around for years, so I'm especially glad to have found a good use for that.
I hope this gives you some good ideas to go and build your own bicycle-mounted pizza carrier!