Mountain Bike Scooter




About: Long time bicyclist, bike commuter, bike tourer, recent bike builder/experimenter. I'm an energy consultant for hydro electric, solar and other renewable energy generation.

It's a better, faster, funner scooter.  Ready for Maker Faire 2010!
Combining the front end of a mountain bike with the back end of a kick scooter makes a high performance scooter that is easy to ride.
The high wheel shape (aka penny farthing) hearkens back to the 1880s when big wheels ruled the roads.  They too were pursuing greater comfort and more speed. 

Video of synchronized scootering at youtube:

Dumpster rescued items including: scooter, mountain bike front end, floor boards, spray paint.
Store bought items: 4 nuts and bolts, 2 grips, varnish, 3 feet of 1.5" steel tube

Other unusual bikes located at:

Step 1: Layout Using the RAD System (Reality Aided Design)

Reality Aided Design refers to laying the parts out and eyeballing the geometry.   (no software needed)  Here I'm setting up the basics of a scooter body behind a mountain bike front end.  The yardstick represents the steering axis (center of the head-tube).  Note the steering axis intersects the ground ahead of the front tire contact point on the road.  The tire contact point 'trails" the steering axis.  As a side note to bike designers... The bend of the fork blades produces "rake" aka "offset" that consumes part of the trail to shorten or snug-up the trail for a certain head angle and wheel diameter.

Step 2: More Layout

Laying the back bone (aka down-tube) into the picture I see I will have to bend it to get it around the tire and ahead of the foot zone.

Step 3: The Bender

A 12 ton hydraulic press pipe bender easily bends the thin wall tubing.  Maybe too easily.

Step 4: Might We Need a Miter?

In order to have a strong joint between two cylindrical tubes we need a mitered joint.  That way the end of one tube conforms to the side of other.  It gives a lot of length of contact to weld and more widely distributes the forces while riding.

Step 5: Mitering With a Hole Saw

Using a hole saw the same diameter as the head-tube I drilled a hole (in the down-tube) at the connection angle between the down-tube and the head-tube.  It was done with the down-tube in a sturdy vice and eye balled to a diagonal line drawn on the tube.  Remember to run the drill speed fairly slow (100-200 rpm) for these large diameter holes.

Step 6: Hole Saw Carves a Place for the Head Tube

Might we miter a mighty fine joint to mightily mitigate forces that might manifest from manhandling?

Step 7: Dry Fit

Laying it all out again before the crucial weld, just to admire it.

Step 8: Tack Weld and Then Re-check Alignment

A couple of small weld points hold head-tube to down-tube.  The shiny pipe passing through head-tube is for alignment purposes.

Step 9: All Welded Up

Just needs its stem and bars re-installed.

Step 10: With Bars and the Wood Deck Installed

The wood deck is two pieces of 3/4" oak hardwood flooring bolted to the scooter body.

Step 11: Painted and Varnished

Frame was spray painted,  Deck was floor stained and varnished.  It rides nice!
Lessons learned: next time I will try to curve the down-tube closer to the wheel to try to bring the scooter body further forward.  that has the effect of reducing the reach forward, distributing more weight onto the big front wheel and reducing the vehicle length by about 2-3".

Finalist in the
Humana Health by Design Contest



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    37 Discussions

    I really wanna make this, but I don't have a welding torch, or the hydraulic press, so do you think it'd be safe to make the down-tube out of two 2x4's joined at an angle?

    1 reply

    That could work. Another way might be to join the straight metal down tube to a vertical 2x4 that is bolted between the riser plates of a Razor scooter deck. The joint could be by bolting through the down tube and 2x4. It may be tricky to make the joint strong. Another way to get welding is to cut and file your parts so they fit well and taking them to a muffler shop for a quick weld. They are good at welding thin walled steel tubing.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    It is cool, and actually Kool Kat has made something similar to the mountain bike scooter. I still like it though, very interesting!


    6 years ago

    Epic! :D Too bad I don't have half of the things to make this... :(


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I looked at the picture again and I realized that the scooter has a handbrake! No having to stop with your foot!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I see what you did there.... its a bikescooter!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great Idea. I have all wood working skills and little experience with metal, but I just got an ARC welder and a gas torch welder so I think I will test my skill on a smaller version of this for my kids. That way if it falls apart they get hurt not me.  
    1 reply

    my dad made 2 of these about 6 years ago for my brothers. sorry to say, but somebody else has created these before you. glad to see that somebody else is creative enough in a country losing common sense over crazed consumerism and fear. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad that maker fair and instructables exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 reply

    Don't be sorry. Great minds think alike. I've been making them since 2004 and bringing them to all 7 years of Bay Area Maker Faire to inspire folks to create fun vehicles. Happy making.

    i have been using a commercial kick bike for the lat couple years.
    front tire is 700c-35, The rear is 355x40.
    It is a much harder workout compared to biking, especially in urban areas, where you need to stop every block for cross traffic on a bike.
    my heart rate is much higher , than on my recombents. Usuallt around 130 plus on the flats without really pushing it when using the kick bike.
    they make all kinds, so imagination and terrain is the key. serious off-road ones with higher clearance and beefier set ups. Racing types that , are super lightweight.,with fast tires, The first time i met a guy with one he had kicked to s place called bear mountain from central park,NY . 100 miles round trip, and far from flat. A lot of nordic skiers and ultra marathoner use them.
    The nice think about this set-up. is the size and big front wheel , prevent you from do a header in a pot hole or when you catch the plate on a tar heave on city streets


    8 years ago on Step 6

    So..., you reckon the pun is mightier than the (chop)saw??? ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice for paved surfaces.  Now you need to put a full size wheel on the back (or at least a larger one) and improve the ground clearance slightly.  The Amish around here (mostly the younger ones) use kick bikes with full size wheels front and back.  They work on country roads and even down farm lanes.   I guess pneumatic tires are alright but they interpret the Bible to say chains and gears are a no-no.  They look like fun.  You can buy them but they probably make their own.      

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Flat ground speed tops out at around 12-14 mph based on my fitness.  Uphill has not been attempted by me, but I imagine it's slow (same cadence shorter glides).  Down hill speed only limited by slope and courage up to same speed as a bike.
    It feels like more workout per mile than a bicycle and somewhat slower at same effort level.  Hundreds of people enjoyed riding it at Maker Faire. 


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure it's more of a workout than a geared bicycle, but the Amish and Mennonites are farm boys--they're tough.  It still all looks like great low-tech fun!  I'm also sure everyone who rode enjoyed it.  Keep gliding, Woodenbikes!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    one word... amazing! im gonna try to get my grandpa to help me make one. great job!