Bicycle Wheel Bow Has Plenty of Kick

bicycle bow

Here’s a clever way to recycle and reuse an old bicycle wheel! [Darren] came up with this idea a while ago, and unable to find any mention of it on the internet, he decided to make his own — He calls it the Bike Wheel Bow.

Now technically it may look like a bow, but it’s actually more of a bow-like-sling-shot, as it relies on stretch of the string (which is rubber tubing) instead of the bow itself — regardless though, it’s a cool piece of kit.

[Darren] chopped up a bicycle wheel, removed the spokes, and was left with a nice semi circle. Using regular old eyelets he installed them around the perimeter giving it a bit of a compound bow look. He’s using rubber medical tubing with a section of bicycle inner-tube in the middle which provides a fold, allowing you to shoot arrows without knocks. You can use the inner-tube for the whole thing, but it’s not as powerful.

For a bow made out of almost entirely recycled parts, it’s pretty good — he’s even made an arrow rest using the hub and a bent spoke. The only caveat to the design is the rubber tends to stick on the eyelets — it’s best to lube them up a bit before shooting. Alternatively a few $1 pulleys might work even better!

If you’re looking for a more traditional home-made bow build, why not use a pair of cross country skis? Or if you’re alone in the woods, make one completely from scratch!


  1. Tetra says:

    Interesting article,O really like it, though arrows have “Nocks” not Knocks.

  2. Tetra says:

    Then I go and accidentally hit O instead of I.

  3. Andri says:

    Am I the only one worrying about a blue thumb ? Not really seeing how you can reliably aim around the wheel rim if you are using it as a slingshot without arrows.

  4. justice099 says:

    I think this would be considered more of a slingshot, not a bow. A bow is so named because the cord is stiff and the “bow” flexes.

    • Eirinn says:

      Ninja edit?

      “Now technically it may look like a bow, but it’s actually more of a bow-like-sling-shot, as it relies on stretch of the string (which is rubber tubing) instead of the bow itself — regardless though, it’s a cool piece of kit.”

      • Andrew says:

        Should have fixed ‘nock’ whilst he was at it.

        • eanao says:

          and its an eye bolt not an eyelet. Fastener nomenclature fail

          • kaidenshi says:

            Hackaday, where the readers care more about grammar and proper nomenclature than the hacks themselves.

            (I’m not just picking on you btw, so far every single comment has been about grammar and not how cool or not cool the actual hack is)

          • eanao says:

            meh, I rarely go for these pedantic little moans but as there was such an established moan train running down here I couldn’t help but jump on :)
            Must make some constructive comments to balance the karma…

      • justice099 says:

        Not sure, I can’t remember if I read the entire original article. They may have pointed that out already.

  5. cHRIS says:

    If you’re into bowmaking, this guy does it with PVC pipe..

    Otherwise for actual bowmaking, this site is a treasure trove:

    Then again, if you have an old pair of skis you no longer need/use:

    and of course:

  6. Hirudinea says:

    Ok, ok, it’s not a bow (power to fire the projectile is obtained from the rubber “string” and not the metal “bow”), but it will shoot arrows and looks cool, so what the hell, let him call it what he likes.

  7. chuck says:

    I was going to suggest pulleys before I read the whole article. Also be careful what kind of lubricant you use on rubber- some lubricants will make the rubber break down, which WILL break at the worst possible time and hurt you. Cool build, though! I’ll have to do this with my Hunger Games- obsessed nephews.
    BTW- a good source of strong rubber straps is physical therapy clinics. They use them in several thicknesses for resistance training and rehabilitation.

  8. Scott_Tx says:

    I believe what I’ve seen them called is a slingbow

  9. Could’ve made a decent Short Bow, This is a sling shot, Could’ve bought a Short bow or a Long bow
    Recurve – – Compound.
    You can make better this and BOW STRING is cheap.

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