Row Pull-push-bike "la Marianette"




Here is how I build a simple rowing bicycle with a child’s bicycle and a folding bike.

Several rowing bicycles are available aiming to improve upper body training. However, they are expensive, it is difficult to find local distributors and most of them are not really suitable for everyday use. This one is cheap, easy to drive and fulfils all traffic regulations that I’m aware of.

I open a blog for Spanish and other languages speakers:

You may also check my second instructable on this subject, explaining some improvements over the original construction: "marianette update".

Step 1:

Find suitable bikes, in my case a folding bike and a child's bike:

Step 2:

Cut the rear of the child’s bike and mount it as a front wheel in the folding bike using the method of
To make place for the rear hub in the front fork, you may deform it using a dismounted hub as in the picture:

Step 3:

My folding bike (like most) has a hinge to fold the stem. If your bike doesn’t, then cut the stem and fix a suitable hinge (how to make a hinge is explained in ). 

Fix a pedal on the stem or handlebar and link a bar from that pedal to one of the front pedals. You will have a crank mechanism:

Step 4:

I used a short crank with a crank shortener in order to make shorter rowing strokes:

Step 5:

Crank shorteners are sold in pairs. I used the second crank shortener and the saddle support of the child bicycle to fix the pedal to the stem.

Step 6:

It is difficult to pass the two dead centres of the crank, so I add an elastic rope to help. It would also be possible to freewheel while pushing and use only the pull motion, like rowers do.

Step 7:

Then you have a pushbike in which you can really push while riding:



    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest

    16 Discussions

    It might be more convenient if you uploaded the video to youtube and then embedded the video into the page. I'm interested, and I can't quite play the video for some reason...

    Wow! This totally brings back childhood 6 my first bike was a four wheel "Zoom Zoom" push and pull bike with the stationary foot rest incorporated in the front wheel system. It ws simple and had a nice seat. All metal if my memory is acurate. Well done, now I'm going to see if I can recreate my fav childhood mode of transportation...Awesome!

    1 reply
    m a r i a n oEdgar

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Could be, it is harder to move only with the arms though. The child will be tired soon. On the other hand it is easy to build.
    For handicap tricycles are available using rotation movement. With a push-pull movement it is easier to keep equilibrium and driving a real bicycle would be possible.

    Edgarm a r i a n o

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, those guys are great, you too, some people do make a mark on this world...
    But those models, I don't see some Blacksmith on Africa making such complex devices, very worthwhile that they are.

    A Tricycle, on the other hand, is a more realistic transport solution, but for kids to feel like kids, again, even for a short while, the bicycle is irreplaceable.

    It's really neat! You could even have independently moving handlebars for each hand and turn it into one of those cross trainer things! Might make steering a little hard though...

    1 reply

    Lo del elástico, te dura desde los 3 años: es momento de superar esa etapa y pasar definitivamente a los muelles (mejorando lo presente,ojo), que ya tienes una edad. IMPRESIONANTE la bici, aunque el nombre escogido sí es manifiestamente mejorable, suena hororoso leído...

    m a r i a n osntgsrv

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I’m also surprised, but it’s very easy to drive, also turning while rowing (see movie). You don’t have to row all the time (for instance in dangerous traffic), it also works only with pedals, like in any bike. I’m commuting every day with it now. I have a back pedal brake, which helps braking while firmly holding the handlebar.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks complicated at first, but when one reads the steps, it turns out to be very cleverly and simply done, and well explained. Nice work!