Home Made Cargo Bicycle Makes Use Of Scraps!

Recycled DIY Bicycle!

Ever heard of a cargo bike? If you need to carry a lot of stuff around (or maybe even your kid!), then they’re super handy — unfortunately, they aren’t exactly cheap — or common. So you could just make your own…

[Matthew Venn] was inspired by Tom’s cargo bikes, recently featured in issue 12 of Boneshaker magazine. He collected a few scrap bicycles, some steel, and started fabrication — lucky for him, his friend [Eric] has a full metal working shop complete with plasma cutting, MIG welding, and a lathe.

They started by cutting the front end of the bicycle off and replacing it with a much longer steering column. This connects to the only new part they had to buy — a pair of Ford Escort tie rods, which allow you to steer the tiny front wheel. They continued welding the rest of the frame together, testing it as they went — once satisfied with its handling (it still needs brakes) they built the cargo platform and called it a day.

There’s a complete gallery of the process over on [Matthew’s] Flickr, so if you’re hoping to make your own, take a gander!

39 thoughts on “Home Made Cargo Bicycle Makes Use Of Scraps!

      1. Dude, I’m from Germany and I know those type of Bikes en mass. At my City its a common occurrence. But can we agree that the images you posted differs _slightly_ from the image in the article? Can we agree on that?

    1. I’m sure things like this are pretty common in places other than north america. There is far too much unsubstantiated fear mongering in regards to child safety here in the US, because people are constantly getting the police/DHS/DFS called on them for ‘mistreating’ their children. I remember doing all sorts of crazy things as a kid. They’d probably put you in jail if you rode around with your kids in a basket like that today, at least in the US anyways. People just need to learn to live a little and mind their own business.

        1. It’s not as much that the US is bike-unfriendly as it is that a subset of US bikers are assholes. They’ll blow right through red lights and stop signs without even looking at traffic “to keep the burn” or whatever for their “training”. They’ll ride at 20mph in the middle of a lane during rush hour on a 45mph road, blocking traffic for a half mile. Scooters are all nice and good, but you can’t ride them on the interstate. Likewise bikes are all nice and good, but bikers should be safe, follow the traffic laws, and respect the fast flow of traffic.

          Obviously not all bikers are this way, but the assholes ruin the image for everyone.

          1. Imagine you are riding your bike to work, but a group of pedestrians is slowly ambling along in your way. They should be respectful to you and move over to let faster bike traffic pass. This is no different than bikers on major roads.

            Driving/riding slow is the trasportation equivalent of trolling. Hostility is natural.

          2. The big difference is a 300lb fat guy ambling along isn’t going to involve a lot of damage when a skinny 180lb biker smashes into him. A bruise, maybe a broken bone. Whereas a 3/4 ton truck is going to do a lot more damage to both the bicyclist and the ambler.

          3. No, the person on the bike should be a little patient and wait until it’s safe to pass.

            Which, oddly enough, is what I do. Another 30 seconds added to my trip isn’t the end of the world.

            In your case I gather you’d be itching to run them over, while settling for just seething with rage. Have you contemplated the possibility that with that attitude you’re an arsehole?

            Once again, downright hostile.

  1. I’m not no safety pussy or nothing, but I do believe that you need a helmet when riding a bike, broken arms heal, broken brains not so much. (And if you can’t put a helmet on a baby put some kind of roll cage around that child seat.)

    1. “I’m not no safety pussy or nothing,”
      So you are a ‘safety pussy’?

      “but I do believe that you need a helmet”
      Shame there’s very little evidence to show wearing a helmet is beneficial but plenty to show it increases neck injury, unfortunately belief tends to ignore evidence.

      Disclaimer: I wear always wear a helmet (aero/cooling/STRAAAAAAVAAAA) and have both neck and brain damage received while wearing a helmet.

      1. Is there data to support the claim ” plenty to show it increases neck injury” relative to decreasing major trauma or death?

        I’m always astonished at the “no helmet” crowd – most of the evidence for not wearing them is either based on mythology (“the feeling of security will make you ride more recklessly”) or *sshat articles like the recent one in the NY Times that used data from the Netherlands (which has a separate road system for bikes) showing that helmets don’t affect safety much and shouldn’t be required in downtown Manhattan.

        It’s this simple – ask anyone who’s been in a substantial accident with a helmet on whether they’re worthwhile. Neck/cranial injury < Death.

        1. >Is there data to support the claim ” plenty to show it increases neck injury” relative to decreasing major trauma or death?

          Yes, but plenty may have been an overstatement.

          >I’m always astonished at the “no helmet” crowd

          I’m not a no homers club member, I’m an evidence based policy club member who wears a helmet.

          >It’s this simple – ask anyone who’s been in a substantial accident with a helmet on whether they’re worthwhile. Neck/cranial injury < Death.

          Because anecdotes are always correct. I've been in a 'substantial accident' with a helmet on, I can suspect that it improved my outcome but I can't prove it based on a sample size of 1.

        2. “No helmet” people are just Low IQ types. if you don’t want to ride with a helmet because it’s your, “god given right…. ‘MERICA!” then do it for that reason and say so, don’t make up silly and wrong BS to justify your lack of safety or caring about your safety to others.

          I also have a standing bet with any “no helmet” person. $1000 waiting for them to win.

          I will wear a helmet and they dont. we each push a running belt sander to our heads for 10 seconds and see who is un-injured. I can’t even get big bad bikers to take that challenge.

        3. I can’t comment.. my one and only bike accident was a fluke in that I was thrown from my bike and cleared the hood of the car that cut me off (full-on head over heels too) – I was wearing a helmet, but my head never hit anything.

          I would have liked to have been a bystander.. that had to be a fantastic spill. ;)

      2. The myth that helmets cause neck injuries was created by Hell’s Angels when battling mandatory helmet laws in California many years ago. They used pseudoscience to “prove” that neck injuries were happening. In fact, they only looked at the neck injuries of those who survived motorcycle accidents while wearing helmets. If you include neck injuries of those who didn’t wear helmets, you discover that those dead bikers often had neck injuries as well, but didn’t complain about them, well, because they were dead. The real statistics showed that helmets have a significant benefit and that neck injuries are the result of having an accident, not due to wearing helmets.

      3. Are we talking jock styled salad strainers or DOT approved helmets? Go ahead wear a real helmet preferably a full face one, the safety is undeniable. That is real concrete and real cars that the helmet will interact with, only the speeds may vary. Oh and don’t forget to put on your leathers!

  2. I get people being uneasy about the baby seat on this thing. Honestly though this is the kind of stuff (the nice cargo bikes) that I hope everyone got to tinker with as a kid.

  3. Shouldn’t the bike tubing be brazed rather than welded? The add-ons are thick enough that it won’t matter, but most bikes are thin, tempered steel and the heat of welding really messes that up.

  4. Why does everyone design these wrong by putting cargo in the front? all that work for the steering is wasted, it’s brain dead easy to extend a chain via an idler and put the cargo behind you. Bigger front wheel = more stopping power. you NEVER rely on the rear for stopping as it only has 20% of the capability of the front.

    1. First: In my experience, having the kids in front of you is better, because you have them in your field of view and can interact better.
      Second: With the extended wheelbase the 80:20 stopping power distribution isn’t correct anymore. You can apply the front power full on without the risk of going over the handlebar. Depending on the load in the cargo bay the front wheel tends to skip (with low load), but the risk of crashing due to a blocking front wheel is lower.
      Third: these things can go fast, when they are built the right way.
      The Bike featured in this post is a low-tech el cheapo version.

      Disclaimer: I ride a bullitt cargo bike (http://www.larryvsharry.com/english/), definitely not cheap, but worth the money.
      I can carry up to three kids and am still faster then most other cyclists.

  5. Ever ridden a bike with a child seat in back?
    It’s very difficult (and arguably dangerous) to keep looking behind you all the time to check what your child is pointing at/leaning over to grab. Much more fun for Rider and passenger when kids are at the front. Majority of Cargo bike builds I’ve seen have been geared towards transporting kids.

    As for larger wheels having more stopping power? larger barking disks, sure, but I can’t work out how a larger wheel would offer better braking. Regardless of the wheel size, the rim will be passing through the brake callipers at the speed you’re travelling.

  6. An simpler alternative to this is a cargo trailer – made one myself using parts from a stroller and a box. It served very nicely as an underage-compatible-zero-cost car replacement.
    The only mod to the actual bicycle is adding something which can pull/push the trailer and provides reasonable attach/detach time. The benefit is you can still use the ‘converted’ bike as a non-cargo one.

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