Homemade Cart Bike




Introduction: Homemade Cart Bike

The cart bike was my first major bicycle project. My bike was inspired by a cart bike by zieak and a model by bicyclelaneindustries. I wouldn't trust it to hold any large weights, but it sure does look interesting when you're riding it. It was pretty easy to make but not nearly as easy to ride. It has a tendency to swerve if it goes too fast. Don't ride it in any areas with lots of traffic.

Step 1: Step 1) Parts

I happened to have three old bicycles that I was willing to tear apart. I really only needed the forks from two of them. I also needed a long threaded rod and some nuts and lock washers. I needed some more washers and two bolts. I also used six hose clamps. I found the shopping cart in a pile of junk behind a trailer.

Step 2: Step 2) Tools

I used a drill with various bits, two 3 ton jack stands, a phillips and flat-head screwdriver, channel lock pliers, and a reciprocating saw.

Step 3: Step 3) Attaching the Bike to the Shopping Cart

I removed the wheel and front brake form one of the bikes. I drilled a hole in the legs of the cart and then threaded the rod through. Using the nuts and split lock washers I attached the dropouts for the fork to the rod. I wrapped several larger hose clamps around the bars of the cart and the rod. I attached the stem of the fork where the handle bar once was to the handle of the cart along with the gear shift levers. The plastic clamp keeping the brake lever to the handle bar would have snapped if I had tried to wrap it around the handle of the cart.

Step 4: Step 4) Attaching the Wheels to the Cart

I used the saw to cut the legs off of the cart while the jacks held it up. I cut away part of the cage of the cart so I could fit the forks of the other two bikes onto the cart. I used several bolts, washers, and smaller hose clamps to attach them to the cart. At first, the forks would slide in and the wheels would grind against the side of the cart. Luckily, the prongs where the brakes once were could be used to push against the cart, keeping the wheel just barely away from the cart.

Step 5: Step 5) How Does It Ride?

The bike doesn't make u-turns on its own very well, but it is surprisingly easier to turn than I thought it would be. If it goes too fast, the front two forks turn and cause the bike to swerve. Sometimes the front forks may turn a little and may need to be shifted back into place followed by a tightening of the hose clamps. I don't know how much it can carry yet. Be sure to where a helmet!



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    10 Discussions

    flip forks correct way rake to match original forks or little more rake and run wire/rope/bar in tension (clamped under basket also) between inside front forks and maybe add some camber to wheels. love the no weld/backyard design

    Nice concept. I'm a bit concerned about the mounting of the cart - are those clamps strong enough for heavy loads?

    As for the angle of the forks, would lowering the front wheels (tilting the bike and forks) help ? I'd be interested for next time I pick up another bike in the hard rubbish

    Cool bike. I've been thinking about doing something like this, and you have made it really simple. I think your bike wobbles at speed because you have moved the front axle too far forward in relation to the steering head. Guys who build choppers encounter this all the time. Death wobble. If they want to achieve the "long" look with extended forks and such, they"'rake" the steering head forward to change the angle. If you use a ruler on the photo above, hold it through the middle of the steering head and make an imaginary line all the way to the bottom of the front wheel (I measure it at about the 8th spoke back from the tyre valve). Then hold the ruler through the front axle straight up at a 90 degree angle to the ground (I measure it at about the 5th spoke back from the tyre valve). The point through the axle to the ground should be behind the point through the steering head to the ground. Yours is in front. If you did this on a bike with a single front wheel you would certainly crash at speed. It's a little hard to explain, google "rake and trail". If you could tilt the steering head angle forward or move the axle back you will eliminate the wobble and ride safely in traffic. Cool looking bike!

    Good luck with the bike - think the small issues it has will be easily sorted with some stiffeners and a little extra material - when she's done I think she will ride really well - one of the best looking bikes like this I have seen - great job.

    I think you should spin those forks around to improve the stability . Adding a shaft between the two front wheels sounds like a good idea , too .

    Nicely done .

    i like it man, but i'm a bit concerned about safety. weld the forks to the basket and use a thicker pipe for the front axle and weld it also.

    I wonder if you could use axle pegs on each front axle, on the inside, under the cart wire, then tie them together with a 3/8 shaft to help keep the front wheels stable at higher speeds and increase load capacity? Awesome design!

    it needs a stearing rack the the car just jolts to like a icecreem cart. but good no weld !.

    I love the simplistic no weld technique, but I can see how that would cause the bike to swerve.