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People's Utility Bicycle Project 2012 MA Thesis by Uula Jero, Supervisor Simo Puintila Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design


Table of Contents Personal Statement 1. Hypothesis

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2. Abstract

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3. Aim

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4. Objectives

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5. Background

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5.1

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Philosophical Framework

5.1.1 Limits to Growth / Ecological Argument 5.1.2 Looking Beyond the Industrial Society 5.1.3 Facilitating a Transition Under the Current Economic Reality / Social Entrepreneurship 5.1.4 Open Source Technology 5.1.5 Revival of Handicraft in a Deskilled Modern Society 5.1.6 A Frugal Society 5.1.7 Sustainable Technology

5.2

Practical Framework

5.2.1 Bicycle, the Most Efficient Means of Transportation 5.2.2 The Past of Utilitarian Cycling 5.2.3 The Rise of Utilitarian Cycling

6. Method 6.1

10 11 14 15 17 17 18 18 20

23 Development Basis

6.1.1 The Long John 6.1.2 The Industrial Tricycle 6.1.3 The Sociable Cargo Bicycle

25 25 26 28


6.1.4 Evaluating the Potential for Production with Simple Tools and Low-energy Manufacturing Methods

6.2

Making & Development

6.2.1 The Box Bike 6.2.2 The Doubler 6.2.3 The Barrel Bike

6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6

Instructions Utility Bicycles in Action Outside Involvement Work with Glasgow Bike Station

6.6.1 The Vision of Glasgow Bike Station and the Future of the People's Utility Bicycle Project 6.6.2 The Collaboration 6.6.3 Fabrication 6.6.4 Workshops

30 31 32 46 58 65 73 95 112 112 113 113 114

7. Aesthetics and Visual Communication of Values

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8. Results

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9. Conclusion

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10. Bibliography

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11. References

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12. Appendix

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People's Utility Bicycle Projet Visual Identity Material The Box Bike Instructions The Barrel Bike Instructions Cargo Bicycle Cost Sheet Produced for Bike Station Workshop Plan Produced for Bike Station

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Personal Statement I have been thoroughly exploring the benefit of human powered technology for the last seven years. The world revealed itself to me in the beginning of my studies, when I stumbled upon a discarded bicycle frame in skip of a recycling centre which was located near the Helsinki School of Industrial Arts. Before then, despite enjoying riding it, the bicycle had never revealed its true nature to me. Seeing this naked frame laying there, was when I understood its functionally de-tangled simplicity. The staff of the bicycle workshop at the recycling centre probably sensed my enthusiasm, when I first walked in with this frame I had found. All I knew was, that I wanted to learn everything that was required to make it run. Kindly they took me under their wing, letting me rummage through the oily bins of spare parts every break I got from school, and teaching me the essential knowledge and tricks of working with old bicycle technology firsthand. To my surprise, everything was straightforward, and made more sense than I had previously thought. All that was really needed, was the courage to explore the technology through my own hands. Though it cannot be said, that I know everything, I consider that I learned to master the old bicycle in their guidance. Riding swiftly through the congested morning traffic to school gave me a liberating sensation of freedom and self-sufficiency. Looking at the expressions of the motorists confined in their stagnant vehicles, made me think that they were missing out, committing a sin simply because they were misguided. I too, had once been a keen motorist, succumbed to that ecstasy of speed, and fascinated by the promise of the esoteric technology. I did not know how relative the illusion was. I made my 16 kilometre commute to school nearly as fast as I would with a car or a bus in the morning traffic, and felt considerably better and invigorated when I reached my destination. The physical effort, and being exposed to the elements was not a struggle, but rather a triumph in self discovery. I felt more connected to the world than ever before. I learned to accept my limitations, and cope with the realities of nature. I no longer had to worry myself over the upkeep of the car and expensive specialist repairs. All that I needed to keep my bicycle running reliably would fit in my backpack. For as long as my legs would carry, I would not be left standing puzzled in the side of the road. Perplexing enough, I could no longer be satisfied accepting the dependent foundation of the society. The longer I studied industrial design, the more intimately the modern technology revealed itself to me. Perhaps with a na誰ve attitude, I had considered that technology had a genuinely liberating function and human interest behind it, yet it became obvious that its fundamental purpose was altered to serve the interests of market forces. Technology would


not reveal to us, what it means to be content, but offer temporary alleviation to the existential crisis. The habits of consumerism portrayed the failure of seeking identity through attachment to material, that was being fed out through the mass production machinery. Simultaneously the market was utilising this void in life, misguiding the consumers by offering tailored projections of identity in the form of new commodities. It was a miserable scenario, as the impact of the habits of the developed world became apparent: the industrial society was rapidly consuming the foundation of its own prosperity and moving on to exploit the human and natural resources outside its own borders, just to feed this questionable source of hunger. I moved into a primitive shelter to discover the relative nature of subjective need. The paramount questions in my mind were: how could we regulate our consumption, and how much do we really need to be content? As a result to this experiment, it occurred to me, that the right kind of technology could, in fact teach us about ourselves. This technology, if it was sufficiently human in scale, and connected us to the physical limitations of ourselves, and the natural environment, could steer the society into a direction that was sustainable. Like the bicycle, there are such technologies, that enforce introspection and give a more modest physical reference point to consumption. This reference point is not, what a motorised machine can achieve, but where we, as humans can stop and say, that a sufficient effort has been made. My vision is to help rekindle the knowledge of technologies that can be managed with modest human efforts. It is becoming more apparent, that we are failing to run away from the natural limitations, therefore it is beneficial to learn to embrace them. I have substituted the dogma of industrial development to learning to live with Nature, for it is Nature that dictates what we can ultimately achieve, not the machine. The future will not be motorised.


1. Hypothesis If there is an imminent and severe oil crisis, then the bicycle can be used as a viable solution for urban mobility. ‘When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race’ (H.G. Wells)

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2. Abstract The People's Utility Bicycle Project is practice based research, that explores the alternative methods of developing and manufacturing human powered transportation technology in times of energy poverty. These utility vehicles are developed as appropriate technology. They can be manufactured energy-frugally; with simple tools and techniques using mainly the waste of the society as a resource. The utility bicycles are aimed to serve as accessible tools of transition towards the behavioural changes required for a sustainable culture. The project employs an open-source approach to development, with the paramount aim of sharing knowledge. This is to enable user freedom, and encourage outside collaboration in pooling of skills and ideas to create beneficial utility bicycles to suit varying needs and environments. In the practical part of the work, 3 typeforms of utility bicycles have been developed, resulting in 9 vehicles. Outside collaboration has produced another 4 cargo bicycles. The knowledge is spread on the internet, and through a social enterprise hub. Of considerable importance in the work is the partnership with a Scottish social enterprise, the Bike Station. The purpose of the collaboration is to establish a harbour in which sustainable practices can be facilitated in the current economic reality. Together with the Bike Station, the aim is to create a sheltering environment and provide local services, to promote cycling as a primary mode of personal transportation. This work is founded on a comprehensive philosophical framework, that provides a clear definition of the prerequisites of a transition to a sustainable culture, based on current facts. Emerging issues and challenges are addressed in the form of a practical example of the steps that can taken towards developing more energy and resource efficient solutions, that take into account both the needs of the society, and the environment.

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3. Aim The aim of this project is to develop human powered vehicles that are suitable for post-industrial production methods and that, to a greater degree can replace the function of motorised vehicles in local-scale transportation.

4. Objectives To empower people to be self-sufficient in their transportation. The project promotes a way for ordinary people to be in control of their everyday tools. In this case to build their own vehicles using simple, non-specialist tools and practices. To prioritise low energy manufacturing.

To demonstrate how the waste of this society can be used efficiently and viably by means of nondestructive recycling. To find a harbour in which the post-industrial practices can be facilitated in the current economic reality.

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5. Background 7


5.1 Philosophical framework 5.1.1 Limits to Growth / Ecological Argument “Oil provides 40% of all energy used by human beings on Earth, and it powers nearly all transportation in the industrial world. It's also the most important raw material for plastics, agricultural and industrial chemicals, lubricants, and asphalt roads” (Greer, 2008, pp. 11) Global oil supplies have been diminishing since 1970’s as observed by M. King Hubbert’s Peak Theory. The world is now approaching a point of increased oil scarcity, which poses a serious challenge to the growing industrial society. The spiralling price of oil will have an unavoidable effect on the current global economy, hindering further growth and increasing poverty.1

reason, it is now beneficial to reflect upon other oil-frugal means of sustaining the needs of the society. Keeping the cost down is vital for mass production to remain viable. For agriculture, oil impacts as much as 20-50 percent of total costs, for raw material industries 20-30 percent, for manufacturing industries 10-20 percent, and for service industries 5-10 percent.2 'Limits to Growth' report published by Club of Rome in 1972 was one of the first scientific studies to question the foundation of our political and economic systems. The conducted research presented a conclusion that any measures done to persistently maintain industrial growth would lead to an inevitable catastrophe.3

Figure 1. Decreasing oil discoveries

“One of the central themes of The Limits to Growth was precisely that modern civilization cannot turn on a dime. Changing from on energy resource to another isn't simply a matter of pouring something different into our gas tanks, because much of today's energy infrastructure is fuel-specific...It took 150 years and some of the biggest investments in history to build the industrial, economic and human infrastructure that turns petroleum from black goo in the ground to the key power source of modern society. To replace all that infrastructure with a new system designed to run on some other form of energy would take roughly the same level of investment, as well as a great deal of time.” (Greer, 2008, pp. 13)

The viability of oil-hungry mass production is dependent on this easily manageable, cheap form of energy. As it replaces manual forms of producing commodities to a great degree, the impending oil scarcity risks the demand-supply chain of the modern industrial society. For this

The Earth’s physical resources are by their nature finite. At the moment there is no sufficient means of providing renewable energy and minerals to meet the ongoing demands of the industry. Green technology is gaining popularity as energy prices continue to

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increase. These solution are designed for lower emissions, but they do not always offer a solution to the problem of resource depletion in the manufacturing end. Many technological fixes, for example the current generation of hybrid cars, do not suggest that real changes in infrastructure and behaviour are really necessary. It would be beneficial to reflect upon how to lighten up the energy hungry framework of the society, rather than seeking to find a greener way to sustain its inefficiency. “We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide, and unless we change course that number will grow very fast – by 2030, even two planets will not be enough.” (WWF, Living Planet Report 20124)

Figure 3. Ecological footprint, source 8020vision.com

“European economy uses huge amounts of natural resources to function. Demand for materials is so intense that between 20 and 30 % of the resources we use are now imported. At the other end of the materials chain, the EU economy generates more than five tons of waste per person every year. With the boom in international trade, EU consumption and production damage ecosystems and human health far beyond Europe’s borders.” (EEA, Material Resources and Waste - 2012 Update 5 )

5.1.2 Looking Beyond the Industrial Society Figure 2. Earth's Carrying Capacity, source steadystaterevolution.org

The growing population in developed countries must become more efficient in using the depleting resources. Assuming no new technological solution can be conceived to to solve this problem, the only available solution is to live with less. In this case countries must develop energy frugality within their own borders and be considerate of imports.

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The biggest obstacle to growth is the fact, that the industrial society is currently feeding off it’s own foundation. In the struggle to sustain growth in economy, the physical limitations that grant its sustainability are easily forgotten. A profit-based economy will continue to extract resources in such manner, until the last profitable drop of oil and crum of valuable mineral have been extracted from the ground and turned to waste. Should it remain faithful to the predictions of the Limits to Growth report, it would be a recipe for catastrophe.


As an alternative, a resource-based economy offers an optimistic future projection for development. The modern industrial society can be seen as a transition towards such a model, as it becomes more sophisticated in handling its resources. Rather than incessantly extracting new resources, a resource-based economy develops by multiplying the benefit of already existing resources, e.g. by reusing and recycling to the greatest degree possible. Current EU waste policy6 suggests a transition towards the behavioural changes required for a resource-based economy. The EU resource roadmap is now proposing incentives for resource efficient products, promoting responsible consumerism and creating market for industry that uses secondary materials.7 Such a behavioural transition would be ideal, yet the roadmap has already been condemned as “useless” and “vague”, without adequate tightening of waste legislation to force compliance with the new values.8

5.1.3 Facilitating a Transition Under the Current Economic Reality / Social Entrepreneurship The world is going through an era of global capitalism. A strong argument could be made that its fault lines are starting to show9, yet no instant remedy exists. In addition to pressure on the environment, tremors are felt with increasing unemployment and rising demands for social justice, as demonstrated by the unified force behind the wall street protests. It is a prerequisite for equality in a capitalist economy, to be able to provide jobs for the unemployed10. Unemployment and poverty are stepping stones to social exclusion. Corporations are only responsible for all legal measures of maximising profit to the 10

shareholders, therefore the paramount social responsibility is left for the central government; to aid those who have been left behind.

Figure 4. Misery Index combines rising living cost of living and unemployment

Europe’s anti-poverty targets for 2020 are proving to be ineffectively met, with unemployment increasing by 2 million from 2010.11 It is alarming how many people struggle now, to meet the quality of life that is considered a norm in today’s society. 2010 EU statistics show, that 40 million people were considered severely materially deprived, and nearly 116 million at risk of poverty or social exclusion.12 Oil dependency of the modern infrastructure is due to push the cost of living and poverty even higher, if the resource inefficiency continues dictate the sole means of the society. Social enterprises have started to create services by swiftly responding to arising needs of the society and environment locally. Social enterprises have a good stance in responding to social needs faster than state-run services. Where state-run services concentrate in serving a mass society, social enterprises can tackle problems locally and treat its challenges as a unique case. They can concentrate at the grass


roots level, creating frameworks to empower and inspire people locally to serve themselves.

Figure 5. Growing number of community interest companies in the UK, source CIC Regulator

Essentially social enterprises are self-sufficient charities that pursue their environmental and social goals using business methods. What makes a social enterprise different from a traditional capitalist company, is that it gains profit by developing existing resources and uses them to maximise its positive impact, whereas a capitalist company consumes resources to maximise its profit that benefits shareholders. Social enterprises aim to create independence, which essentially provides people with the knowledge and skills to develop to tackle their own problems locally, and as an ultimate outcome removes the need for the social enterprise altogether. Social enterprises hold a promise of allocating unemployed in more sustainable work, that seems not to be greatly affected by the current recession13. For example, the abundance of material waste makes it possible create work that feeds from the very inefficiency of the modern society. Employment has successfully been created in recycling and repairing14, finding ways to use waste that cannot be used as an efficient resource for the refined needs of

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the industry. Reused and repaired products can then be sold as an affordable service locally. The manual labour intensity required15 is beneficial for job creation16. Reusing and recycling also promotes and rekindles useful manual skills that are beneficial for frugality in both hard economic times, and a more resource-efficient culture. The resource base of discarded technology develops as quality technology is kept in circulation. It offers a good value alternative to brand new cheap production models that are unrepairable and have a very short lifespan. The sophistication of consumer behaviour can be developed as a resource by promoting the idea of maintaining higher quality and positive impact of reusing items. Social enterprise hubs can provide sheltering environments for communities to safely embrace and develop the behavioural changes required by the transition. Growing quality of the resource base and higher sophistication of consumer behaviour develop in return the social enterprise itself. As an optimistic future projection, social enterprises can be seen as building blocks that help form the foundation of more sustainable local economies.

5.1.4 Open Source Technology "That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot,


in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody...." (Thomas Jefferson, 1813) “The conventional design process of industrial technology tends to be autocratic, needing professional designers and generating specialized products which are aimed at short-term profitability in a mass market. The structural preferences of post-industrial technology, however, are for democratic, non hierarchical, participatory processes, open to everyone, and taking into consideration the long-term needs of the environment and society.” (Cross, pp.5) Competition and safeguarding know-how are ingrained in capitalism. Patents were originally conceived as stimuli for useful innovations, but the way they are now utilised, in connection with short-lived consumer products, can hinder and distort technological development17. Now every design solution must consider the risk of patent infringement. Corporations are reluctant share significant information that might grant users and developers a greater freedom of using and modifying the technology. Understandably this tendency is also apparent in the concern that driving the development of technology is costly, and it is arguable that such work deserves an appropriate reward. Creating aftermarket dependency is also profitable in the long-run. A rational argument is, that the inability of sustaining profitable compensation would eliminate the development of technology altogether, as the economic reality would not be facilitated. For some reason, though, the success of open 12

source development rises as an example against this traditional train of thought. It can be observed through human history, that capital is not the only aspect fuelling technological development. It is an inherent part of human nature to cope with the wretched nature of existence by developing technology to ease the toil of living. The tendency to develop technology and improve life, considering future prospects, is what has crafted culture since the very first tools and techniques were conceived. It is also fundamental aspect that separates humans from other species that simply submit closely to the realities of their natural physical limitations and live in the simplicity of the moment. The current technological trends are most certainly just another short step towards change. “One of the things that’s changing our world and disrupting our industry... is the falling cost for like-minded people to locate each other, share information, pool what they know, collaborate, and publish the results back to the world. This is what makes open-source culture possible.” (A Talk by Jay Rosen, TEDxNYED, 30.6.2010) With the increasing ease of knowledge sharing via the internet, a new notion has emerged, that the creation of beneficial technology for everyone can be guided by an open, collaborative effort. When resources can be pooled from a wide range of participants, all working for common goals, claims for intellectual property are out of place. The success of open source can be explained by the possibility that participants are eager to give their time to reach a better result, because the act of giving, and the following merit can grant a sense of satisfaction. Such gift, or solidarity economy is not based on maximising personal


gain, but to accumulate non-monetary wealth inside a community. Open source technology encourages its users to explore it more intimately. It holds an inspiring promise of independence, as many solutions are technically possible to be maintained and customised to the needs of the user. Users of the Linux operating system can receive abundant information and assistance from more experienced people on how to solve specific problems and how to find the right type of software to customise the operating system to their needs. The amount of information available enables the users, if they are willing to learn, to master the tool they are using, and in return contribute to the community in developing the technology. In fact, anyone at any skill level can give a valuable insight to make it more accessible and functional. There is evidence of a rising maker, and open design movement. For example, Group N55 in Denmark develops instructions for users fabricate things, like greenhouses (Figure 7.) and utility bicycles (Figure 6.)18. Open Structures Project19 develops modular universal pieces, like in the MECCANO20 kits, and encourages users to contribute to the development of new parts, and create open design solutions using them. Websites, like the Forums of Make Magazine21 and Instructables22 are online platforms, where makers and developers can pool knowledge and develop instructions to provide for the growing open source and do-it-yourself culture.

Figure 6. XYZ spaceframe vehicles, source N55.dk

Figure 7. Spaceplates Greenhouse, source N55.dk The rising notion that open source and operating in a solidarity economy promotes, encourages to think outside the bubble of an egocentric notion of maximising personal gain. Such a shift of values suggests the idea that personal benefit, or well-being might be inseparable from the society’s. A healthy society fosters healthy individuals, and further, a collective consciousness is growing, that a healthy ecosystem is fundamentally the source of all human prosperity. A sustainable future projection could certainly be seen as a wider implementation of the values of open source across the field of technology, backed up by a resource-based

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economy. Promoting independence by distributing knowledge and skills in using, maintaining and developing sustainable technology for everyone is where the ethos of open source and social entrepreneurship come so close, that they can almost touch hands. “[O]penness is more than a commercial and cultural issue, it's a matter of survival. Open design is one of the preconditions for the continuous, collaborative, social modes of enquiry and action that are needed.”(Van Abel et al. pp. 44)

5.1.5 Revival of Handicraft in a Deskilled Modern Society “Every activity requires a certain amount of skill, the activity of cleaning and cooking no less than the writing of a book or the building of a house. [...] It could acquire certain importance through the modern division of labor, where tasks formerly assigned to the young and inexperienced were frozen into lifelong occupations. But this consequence of the division of labor, where one activity is divided into so many parts that each specialized performer needs but a minimum of skill, tends to abolish skilled labor altogether, as Marx rightly predicted.” (Arendt, pp. 90) Industrial mass production does not benefit from harbouring generalist workforce. The very efficiency comes from fragmenting skills and training specialists to specific small tasks. For the cost-efficiency of production, these small pieces play a crucial part, but for the individual workers it often has very little to offer in terms of practical skills for providing for oneself outside the working world. Profitability

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encourages specialisation, and equally specialisation is dependent on profit. “Man is a generalist -it is his extensions (tools and environments) that are designed that help him to achieve specialisalization. But by misdesigning such tools or environments we often achieve a closed feedback loop, the tools and environments in turn affect men and groups in a way that turns them into permanent specialists themselves.” (Papanek, pp. 326) Some hundred years ago, people were still locally producing most of what they consumed. Having a wide range of general skills was the key to adaptability and supply for needs even in hard times. Now the economy works by providing money to purchase such commodities from the global market of mass produced goods. Assuming a substantial rise of production costs in the oil-based economy would put pressure on corporations, they would behave rationally by cutting jobs as necessary to sustain, leading to increasing unemployment, poverty and a growing population with insufficient skills and means for providing for themselves. “The disappearance of tools from our common education is the first step toward a wider ignorance of the world of artefacts we inhabit.” (Crawford, pp.1) Reduction of crafts studies has become a popular progression in the compulsory education system. In the developed world, emphasis is shifting on exploring the built world through technology, rather than hands23. It has become questionable to prepare the youth for manual work, as the promise of future appears to lie in high technology and brain power rather than manual dexterity. The


paramount responsibility of institutions seems now to lie in guiding a smooth transition to a future of high-paying specialised jobs. It is a rational aim, as the modern day is primarily technology driven, and the paramount aim of corporations now is to boost global competitiveness and managing the manual work of mainly cheap labour overseas. “And, in fact an engineering culture has developed in recent years in which the object is to “hide the works”, rendering many of the devices we depend on every day unintelligible to direct inspection.” (Crawford, pp.1) Technology that promotes user independence and self-sufficiency is entirely opposite of what is offered to the modern consumer. Interfaces no longer encourage the user to engage with the internal workings of machines. The function is not externalised, but rather hidden behind plastic covers and lcd screens, that give an impression of ‘user friendliness’, but generally do not grant comprehensive information about maintenance. Undoubtedly today’s technology has a helpful function, but its status is dominant. Users are dependent on a network of services, and abandoned if they don’t upgrade, when the tools they use become obsolete. “There seems to be an ideology of freedom at the heart of consumerist material culture; a promise to disburden us of mental and bodily involvement with our own stuff so we can pursue ends we have freely chosen. Yet this disburdening gives us fewer occasions for the experience of direct responsibility. I believe the appeal of freedonism, as a marketing hook, is due to the fact that it nonetheless captures something true. It points to a paradox in our experience of

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agency: to be a master of your own stuff entails also being mastered by it.” ( Crawford pp. 56)

5.1.6 A Frugal Society “In hard economic times, we want to be frugal. Frugality requires some measure of self-reliance – the ability to take care of your own stuff. But the new interest in self-reliance seems to have arisen before the specter of hard times. Frugality may be only a thin economic rationalization for a movement that really answers to a deeper need: We want to feel that our world is intelligible, so we can be responsible for it. This seems to require that the provenance of our things be brought closer to home. Many people are trying to recover a field of vision that is basically human in scale, and extricate themselves from dependence on the obscure forces of a global economy.” (Crawford, pp. 8) A society that can provide for its needs locally is resilient in hard economic times. Developing self-sufficiency on local scale is an alternative to trying to stimulate the struggling economy by consuming more and searching for profit from the global market. Spending more money is unlikely to relieve the fundamental problem of deficit: of capital and natural resources. Outsourcing cheaper skilled labour from overseas will not solve the problem of growing unemployment and an unskilled society. Being resource frugal is the right answer to the problems of overconsumption, and it can be achieved by starting to change the tools and techniques of the modern society, to such that promote the consciousness of the current physical limitations. “Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man. As opposed to a


motorcyclist, the runner is always present in his body, forever required to think about his blisters, his exhaustion; when he runs his age, more conscious than ever of himself and of his time of life. This all changes when man delegates the faculty of speed to a machine: from there, his own body is outside the process, and he gives over to a speed that is non-corporeal, nonmaterial, pure speed, speed itself, ecstasy speed.” (Milan Kundera, Slowness, 1995) A direct physical connection to the world of material is essentially natural. There is a long heritage of naturally sustainable and more energy efficient tools and techniques that were developed before the society became fixed on the benefits of motorisation. A reference point in physical anabolic effort is a clear reference to weigh consumption. It was due to motorisation, that sustaining such inefficiency became possible. Manual effort is slow and laborious compared to the speed of industrial mass production, but the intrinsic value of its fruit is easier to grasp than anything that is machine made. It is possible to comprehend such value, as it can be directly referred to human effort and skill.

commodities does not promote the consciousness of the resources required to produce them. It is more difficult to be frugal, and easier to overindulge, like in the speed of a motorised vehicle. Humans can regulate their efforts when they become exhausted, but machines are never-tiring, always excited entities that will continue to produce without the sensitivity to the same physical limitations. Delegating the faculty of judgement to what motorised technology can achieve, therefore, cannot answer the question of what is enough, or how much does it take to make the society content. Machines will simply run until there is nothing left in their tanks. “We do most certainly need happiness in our daily work, content in our daily rest; and all this cannot be if we hand over the whole responsibility of the details of our daily life to machines and their drivers. We are right to long for intelligent handicraft to come back to the world which it once made tolerable amidst war and turmoil and uncertainty of life, and which it should, one would think, make happy now we have grown so peaceful, so considerate of each other's temporal welfare.” (Morris, 1988)

“Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.” (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776, Book I, Chapter V, pp.38)

Distribution of skills and open forms of developing technology promote the solidarity that will carry a society through difficult times. In the race for progress, a sense of purpose has become obscure. It is hard to understand how the value of work is derived in the global economy. Why is the society busy struggling to generate economic profit for personal gain, rather than concentrating in supplying for collaboration and solidarity?

Consider water, that runs directly from a tap, and electricity that is simply switched on. Although it is convenient, using such

“Open design is more than just a new way to create products. As a process, and as a culture, open design also changes relationships among

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the people who make, use and look after things. Unlike proprietary or branded products, open solutions tend to be easy to maintain and repair locally. They are the opposite of the short-lived, use-and-discard, two-wash-two-wear model of mainstream consumer products.” (Van Abel et al., pp. 50)

5.1.7 Sustainable Technology “...durability, independence, replicability, and transparency --make good criteria for any technology meant to outlast the industrial age.” (Greer, pp. 172) Long-lasting technology can be maintained by the user with generalist knowledge. Consumables and crucial components to function should be of widely used standards, so that acquiring them is easy, even after the product becomes obsolete. Making the way the product functions and is constructed obvious makes it possible to replicate. Externalising such information works as an encouraging message to builders, developers and repairmen. It is difficult to repair and reuse new technology. The machines are often very complex and offer no obvious information about their maintenance. There is a lack of standards across different brands and product generations, and because of their relatively short life-cycles, replacement parts for obsolete models are expensive and hard to come by. It is now more expensive to repair products, than to buy new. Due to the withering repair culture, user maintenance and repairability are no longer important design features. Reusing and upcycling older technology is easier. It has been built with the simple repair 17

and maintenance tasks in mind. Such was the culture, and there were times when the society was living more frugally. In the absence of cheap products, it made sense to mend things, and sustain commodities as long as possible. Old technology is less complex, and therefore more open to users without specialist knowledge. Because of the material quality, reliability, and simplicity, there are many old products that can be upcycled today, to offer a viable, or even better alternative to modern mass produced commodities. “...the revitalization of old technologies can be done successfully by individuals working on their own. It's precisely those technologies that can be built, maintained, and used by individuals that formed the mainstay of the economy in the days before cheap, abundant energy made a global economy seem to make sense. These same technologies -if they're recovered can make use of the abundant salvage of industrial civilization, help cushion the descent into deindustrial future, and lay foundations for the sustainable cultures that will rise out of the ruins of our age.” (Greer, pp. 169)

5.2 Practical framework Energy crisis is, in effect, a transportation crisis. Trade networks shrink if sustaining longdistance logistics becomes unprofitable. In the absence of functional global trade, economy will have to concentrate locally. The predicament of transportation moves towards local mobility; access to local services and goods. The growing majority of the world’s population is already concentrating in cities, where the most of trade and opportunities reside24.


5.2.1 Bicycle, the Most Efficient Means of Transportation Utilitarian use of the bicycle and its applications holds great potential aid for an energy poor future. The benefits of bicycles in such societies can be seen in developing countries. They empower people to access what is scarce. Even the necessities of food and water, or employment, social opportunities and education are considerably easier to reach on a bicycle over foot. What differs the western society in its impending energy poverty, is the availability of this simple technology. As people in developing countries currently struggle to gain access to such luxuries, heaps of bicycles lie unused and unappreciated elsewhere25. In most of Europe, cycling as a social construction has fallen under the category of leisure, and bicycle is seen as a toy of sorts, rather than fulfilling the original purpose it was invented for. What can easily be rekindled is the use of bicycles once again as a utilitarian tool. Along with continent curtailing railways, it still ought to be the long cheered invention that liberated man and woman equally, in the turn of the 19th century. As mentioned, the technology of pedal powered propulsion is readily available. Many types of bicycles have been manufactured, yet the vast majority of them carry an identical principle; similar frame, set of components and riding posture. The type form of a bicycle, therefore is fairly standardised, and most components are easily interchangeable. Even between models from different decades, so upcycling is straightforward. The only variation that is not yet so common is the extended utilitarian application of it. There is scope for adding to this existing technology, solutions that require not much more further production, 18

nor high energy usage. Something that complies with the common type form of the bicycle and is capable of adding new dimensions to it, so that it aims to meet the needs of people who are looking for a sustainable option to transfer to, from the convenience of motorised transportation.

5.2.2 The Past of Utilitarian Cycling The benefit of utility bicycles was acknowledged in the dawn of the safety bicycle, in fact, the industrial tricycle was developed in England as early as the 1870’s (the safety bicycle became popular in the 1880’s). It was the choice of tradesmen; providing mobility to grocers, druggists, bakers and various other professions.26 These tricycles, along with some other later typeforms of utility bicycles were copied, modified and produced by various factories in different corners of the world. Utilitarian bicycles were a hit, until the disruptive technology of internal combustion engines in personal transportation became available to the common man. The advantage was simply too big, fuel was cheap and made it effortless to carry considerably larger loads over longer distances. The popularity of delivery bicycles was struck a fatal blow along with the utility bicycle manufacturers, who moved onto other types of production. The bicycles were left rotting without adequate service plans and support. The boom of motorisation lead quickly to excess, and it became a symbol of convenience in the western world, to an extent where even the lightest duty applications boasted with this advantage. Simultaneously the acknowledgement of the potential of human powered applications started withering away.


Popularity of adult cycling had a minor comeback in the periods of post-war energy poverty, as well as during the 1970’s oil crisis, but with the rapid recovery and manipulation of oil prices, the popularity was never sustained. (See figures 8, 9 and 10) Sharing the faith with many other alternative sustainable technologies, the demand crashed again and the solutions were left to linger in a niche market to this day. Thanks to these short spells of crisis, and the visionaries who continued working with the promise of utilitarian cycling, the knowledge and development have been sustained in almost a hibernating state. Despite the current rising fuel prices, the scarcity of the service and around utility bicycles has made it difficult to adapt as an alternative form of transportation. In places where it is more established, though, the benefit of cycle-powered haulage can be observed to offer a considerable alternative, even in supporting the logistics of massproduced goods.27 Research indicates, that a quarter of all deliveries in urban areas could be replaced by cargo bicycles.28 The post 1950’s depreciation in bicycle transportation can be observed more recently in China, where the bicycle has persisted to be a popular mode of transportation.29 With the recent economic development, the option of personal motorised transportation is becoming available to a wider audience. In correlation the use of human power and manual labour is waning with increasing automation across the field of technology.30 With already high population densities in the growing urban areas of the world, the increase in the use of traditionally inefficient motorised vehicles is likely to add to the already existing issues of increasing pollution, traffic congestion, and

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rising health problems due to the lack of physical exercise.

Figure 8. Use of motorised vehicles in negative correlation to oil price

Figure 9. Cyclist injury statistics show the decrease in the popularity of cycling in terms of kilometres travelled per year, source British Medical Journal

Figure 10. Bicycle boom during the 1970's oil crisis


5.2.3 The Rise of Utilitarian Cycling The average speed of travelling through London at peak hour is only 20 km/h.31 This is a leisurely pace on a bicycle, and it is unsurprising, that in the increasingly congested cities the bicycle is once again proving to be a fast and viable alternative. With the recent incentives to boost cycling, especially to avoid congestion during the olympics, London is now seeing a rising trend in commuting by bicycle. (Figure 11.) The rising cost of car ownership is putting many in a squeeze in the hard economic times32. It is now harder to justify sustaining inefficient use of costly resources, and sensible to convert to cycling for economic reasons.33 Bicycle is still the most efficient means of transportation known to man.34

Figure 11. Increase of cycling in London, source, UK department of transportation

Urban mobility does not only mean personal transportation. Motorists find with the convenience of cars comes the ability to transport goods and passengers at need. Being able to haul cargo is a prerequisite for flexible self-sufficient transportation. There is the requirement to go about the daily living, for example shopping, moving about young children, transporting material to work, and

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equipment to hobbies. Many trades are also reliant on transporting goods, tools and equipment, and some entrepreneurs are once again becoming aware of the possibilities of trade that can take place on a bicycle. Not having to pay for fuel, maintenance and insurance costs of a motorised vehicle cuts the overheads and makes business more profitable.35 It is not uncommon to see cargo bicycles of many different types on the streets in the capital cities of Netherlands and Denmark. The is a success that owes thanks to the government’s efforts to encourage cycling and take it seriously as a viable form of transportation despite the growing trend in motorised mobility since the 1950’s. The key to the success is, that cycling has been prioritised over cars in policy and city planning, enforcing the unattractiveness of using a car in urban transportation.36 Tightened regulations also favour bicycles over cars in traffic, enforcing the motorists to adopt a higher responsibility relative to the greater risk they pose. In order for cycling to be recognised and taken seriously amidst the motorised traffic, it needs to reach a critical mass. The development of safer cycling increases, as motorists get used to the presence of bicycles, and space is allocated for bicycle lanes. Figure 12. statistics from the Netherlands show an 80% decline in cycling fatalities as bicycle use increased between from the mid 1970’s to 2005.


vehicle. The predicament is, that utilitarian cycling is gaining popularity from bottom-up, and before the means visibly appear on the streets, it will not be taken seriously. Therefore, being able to provide an affordable cargo bicycle service locally is an important advantage to making it accessible, and hence faster increase its presence.

Figure 12. Cycling vs. fatalities in the Netherlands

With rising oil prices and growing environmental awareness undoubtedly playing a part, utilitarian cycling is once again resurfacing in the less cycling sophisticated cities of the Western world. There is a strong undercurrent in society, especially with young families, who are taking the possibilities of human powered haulage seriously. More means of utilitarian cycling are appearing on the streets, and the media is increasingly noting the presence of this rising movement. 37 The awareness of the benefits is creating demand around the utility bicycle business. For a converting motorist acquiring a cargo bicycle is not a relatively large investment, averaging around two and a half thousand Euros. For a poor household without a car, the cost is a large obstacle on the way of transition. With ever increasing poverty, the accessibility to the empowering benefits of cargo bicycles is not yet developed. Cargo bicycles are mostly produced in places where the demand and sophistication of cycling culture are already high, but where there is room for improvement, it is harder to acquire one. In many cases it requires very costly shipping from overseas, that brings up the price of the 21

Most cargo bicycles today are industrially produced from new resources, and their technical sophistication level is high. Because of the high amounts of embodied energy, such practice cannot be considered as sustainable as low energy manufacturing and reusing technology. Commercial cargo bicycle solutions have been produced in large quantities before motorisation became popular, and it is partially due to the specialist nature of the technology, that they have failed to sustain to this day. To ensure a long-lasting presence of this technology, the main concerns of sustainability and accessibility have to be taken into account. Technical solutions ought to be simple and reliable. Sometimes appropriate technology is better than high sophistication. Transparent, simple solutions can be adapted to local needs, and the components and materials can be tailored so, that they efficiently utilise local resources.


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6. Method This project is a practical research to the potential of upcycling the resource of old bicycle technology and common material waste to develop more sustainable alternatives for the needs of urban mobility. The technology is developed as open source to maximise user freedom and promote independence. The solutions are implemented as services through social entrepreneurship to secure the necessary economic sustainability and generate employment. The aim to promote long-lasting self-sufficiency and natural development of sustainable technology in urban humanpowered mobility. The project will generate ideas to utilise waste to build vehicles. Ideas will be prototyped and viable solutions will be developed further. The prototyping process will be documented in images and communicated openly. The functional solutions will be further documented in the form of easily distributable instructions that enable people to build their own vehicles and engage in the development process by exchanging information and sharing their own solutions and ideas. The results of material use, technique and structural solutions will be recorded and pooled in social media and online databases, where they are easily accessible. Local workshops for distributing knowledge of building vehicles will be developed in collaboration with a social enterprise. The financial viability of workshops will be evaluated. Employment opportunities of locally producing and supplying vehicles will be developed with a social enterprise. 23


6.1 Development Basis Three typeforms of cargo bicycles were selected for the evaluation of their suitability for post-industrial production methods: the box bike, Long John and a sociable cargo tandem. To narrow down the scope of the project, the utility bicycles were chosen based on the following criteria. They should be of a low-loading type, meaning that even large cargo becomes easier to handle because of the low centre of gravity. Having a reasonable alternative for a car must facilitate the transport of a passenger, as well as an amount of cargo that would fit in the trunk of a compact car. The ability to carry a child and groceries simultaneously, or a passenger with a bag was chosen to be the minimum criteria for capacity.

6.1.1 The Long John The original Long John cargo bicycle has been produced since the 1940's. It has a capacity of carrying a 100kg of cargo in the front and another 50kg on the back rack. It Is less carrying capacity than the box bike, but comes

Figure 13. Long John steering system 24

also in a more compact package. Being a twowheeled cargo bike, it is more agile and fits through tighter spaces. The long john also passes through a door, and can therefore be stored indoors, when needed. Where the box bike steering improves with load, the long john becomes more cumbersome to steer, especially in slow speeds. The lack of stability whilst loading and unloading is compensated by a robust double stand that folds out for parking. The Long John is like a stretched-out dutch 'omafiets' or a 'granny bike' with a structurally supporting basket frame in the middle. Modern adaptations exist, using essentially a similar principle. The most significant, and complex technical solution in the Long John is the steering linkage, as the steering from the rear must be linked to the front fork with a track rod. To ride a Long John is relatively similar to a traditional upright bicycle. Adapting to its steering is a fast process, and one must only account for a longer wheelbase in balancing and turning. Unlike in the industrial tricycle, a Long John’s manoeuvrability improves as the rider picks up speed.


Figure 14. Long John can handle 100kg of cargo load, source longjohn.org

Figure 15. Long John frame, source Monark manufacturer 25


6.1.2 The Industrial Tricycle The function of the front loading industrial tricycle has remained virtually unchanged since it was developed. The construction consists of a single wheel bicycle frame that pivots under a milk cart style box. The turning mechanism is very simple: turning the front box steers the bicycle. The whole load carried sits in the front box, that is supported on two wheels. It is a very stable and reliable construction, which makes loading and unloading easier and more secure, as the three wheels provide the stability. Image shows a modern adaptation produced by Christiania Bikes in Denmark. The Christiania bicycle was the model that modernised the old typeform of the industrial tricycle and revived the use of cargo bicycles in Denmark. The first model, that became a success, was developed in 1984. Older models of the Christiania bicycle usea simpler front cart, that supports both sides of the wheel axle and is compliant with standard 24� bicycle front wheels. The modern models have a cart that

supports the wheel on one side only, requiring substantially stronger axles and hence special wheel hubs. (Compare figures 16 and 17) The bicycle frame used to propel the front cart is suspended below it by using essentially a normalbicycle headset type bearing solution (marked blue). The specially fabricated bearing unit that contains the steerer tube bolts onto the cart frame. The stabilising struts that connect the lower end of the head tube to the cart frame stiffen and reinforce the connection, reducing the frameflex sideways and removing stress off the steerer tube. When this connection is done properly, it is mostly subjected to the stress forces produced by the rider, and affected less by the front load that rests supported on top of the front axle. (See figure 18) There are three features that affect the steering quality in this solution. One a slightly inclined steerer angle, which is to the opposite direction from a normal bicycle, to assist turning by tilting the rear bicycle frame

Figure 16. Classic Christiania bike, image source flickr, david_john 26


Figure 17. Modern Christiania bike frame, image source manufacturer towards the inside of a turn. The second one is achieved by placing the pivot point of the cart in front of the front axle, to produce a selfcentering caster effect for directional stability. Steering stability is also influenced by implementing a steering dampener, which considerably assists in eliminating uncontrolled steering wobble when reaching higher speeds and hitting bumps on one side.The box bike has a considerable learning curve, as tricycle steering and balancing differs considerably from two-wheeled bicycles. Like most tricycles, this type of bicycle is prone to tipping when ridden with high speed into a turn, therefore riding fast requires experience and the ability of the rider to physically lean towards the inside of the turn to balance 27

against the centrifugal force. It helps to have the frame compensate for this when turning. Adding weight by transporting cargo improves its controllability significantly.

Figure 18. Steering construction detail


6.1.3 The Sociable Cargo Bicycle The sociable cargo bicycle is the least common of the bunch. The unpopularity is possibly due to the physical size, that requires a lot more space in the traffic. Practicality is sacrificed for more capacity. A lot of the solutions seem to exist outside industrial production, either as experiments, or as special needs applications. (See figure 19) It offers the stability of four wheels and the power of two cyclists, and has great potential to be used for heavier duty utilitarian transport, as well as transporting more peoplesimultaneously. Its social nature offers an interesting aspect, as the riders can socialise better whilst pedalling, just like in a car. As the pictures show, it can be a straightforward modification: connecting two similar bicycles together. Adding space in the rear can facilitate passengers and cargo, and still propelling with ease because of a mutual effort. Assuming two identical bicycles are used for such construction, the significant technical solutions are the stabilising struts that support and hold the bicycles at an equal distance in the front and the back. The constructions does not necessarily have to be fully rigid, as a little

flex between the frames can work to the benefit of the vehicle, removing stress forces created by uneven road surface. Thesteering is linked with a track rod. The construction is also assumed to take into account Ackerman steering compensation. (See figure 20) This makes the wheel in the inside of a turn track a smaller radius than the outside. Without the compensation, wheel drag develops when turning, slowing the speed and unnaturally wearing down the tyres. In the box bike this compensation is not a concern, as turning the cart automatically sets the wheels to trace correct circles. In similar fashion as with a sidecar, the sociable cargo bicycle can be ridden alone or together. There is no considerable balancing difference, as the bicycle rests stable on all four wheels, exceptfor when a single driver is turning with the vacant bicycle in the inside curve. Centrifugal force is prone to lift the lighter side of the bicycle off the road surface. This is compensated by the rider leaning towards the inside curve, as one would when riding with a sidecar.

Figure 19. A sociable snowplough bicycle, image coursesy of Frode Nielsen 28


Figure 20. The principle of Ackerman steering compensation

Figure 21. A modular sociable recumbent kit from Blackbird Bikes, source manufacturer 29


6.1.4 Evaluating the Potential for Production with Simple Tools and Lowenergy Manufacturing Methods In terms of its suitability for post industrial production, the frame of the box bicycle offers possibilities, as well as obstacles. The rear of the frame, including the drivetrain is identical to that of a normal bicycle, and is therefore easily obtainable technology. The function of the extended front of the frame is simply to suspend the bicycle and driver from the bottom of the cart. In the case of the industrial tricycle, the frame is extended with a steel beam that has the head tube mounted in the end. The extension of the frame is welded, and is therefore not a suitable application in terms of the necessity of using simple hand tools. Mounting the head tube rigidly by bolting steel together proves also to be a considerable problem. With such concerns, it is beneficial to steer away from the application of steel in this case. Using a wooden beam to extend the frame is a more viable option here, as sufficient rigidity can be obtained with the right type of profile. A secure mount of headset bearings in wood is also possible, as proved by structural testing of the Ironwood Bicycle Project.40 The project points out that bicycles can be engineered out of wood to meet similar structural requirements to that of a welded steel bicycle. The benefit of work on such structures is also its simplicity. The sufficient quality of production can be undertaken by a person with moderate knowledge in woodworking, and simple tools, whereas producing strong and reliable welds in steel requires considerable specialist knowledge and high energy usage. “The tensile strength of timber is 4 times greater than that of steel and 225 times greater than concrete. When the compressive strength of these three materials is compared, timber is 16 times stronger than steel and 400 times stronger than concrete. Timber is a superior structural material with many advantages not only in terms of its structural strength, but also in terms 30

of its environmental friendliness, its low embodied energy, and its contribution to its habitants’ health.” (KES Large Scale Timber structures, Japan.41) Using timber to extend the frame is a viable option for the industrial tricycle, as well as the Long John typeform. Glue lamination of timber is also a consideration, as it allows structures to be engineered specific to purpose. Although adding slightly more complexity to the process, such applications can add strength and potentially reduce weight and the amount of material needed. This method can add quality structural characteristics to poor quality wood. The Ironwood bicycles have been successfully manufactured even from glue-laminated recycled pallet wood, which is an ideal material in its availability and affordability. The cart of the box bicycle appears most often to be constructed from 25mm box section tubing. Such profile is very easy and fast to work with, yet does not offer as good strength to weight ratio as round profile tubing.42 For structural bolted joints, square profile is superior to round tubing, as round tubing has to be flattened in order for it to be used in firmly bolted joints. Although entirely possible, and a very easy process, flattening will reduce the essential structural properties of the tubing in an application like the front cart frame. Square tubing can also be used to create the structurally supporting box frame for the Long John typeform. In terms of availability, 25mm box section is a very commonly used type of tubing for light steel structures, and furniture. Because of its wide application and low value, it is also a common waste product and a suitable material for unrefined, non-destructive recycling. The sociable cargo bicycle requires very little in terms of adapting to the restricted production methods. It uses the most common technology of the typeforms. The bicycles do not necessarily have to be altered in any way to build the structure, therefore it is possible to use them unconnected also. Extending the


cargo space is a key aim in adding to the capability and flexibility of the vehicle. Having the power of two cyclists is definitely an advantage in terms of adding cargo capacity.

6.2 Making & Development The guiding criteria of sustainability was carried throughout the prototyping process to control the tools, techniques, structural solutions and material choices. The use of simple tools and that do not require specialist knowledge, high energy consumption and special facilities were prioritised. Such conditions were simulated to facilitate the right direction of development. Most of the material used was common waste and discarded technology that was scavenged and collected on bicycles. Structural development was mainly done by sketching with real materials, transferring indeas directly into prototypes rather than on paper, or 3D models. Material strengths and properties, when recycled are unpredictable and their application requires tacit knowledge. Especially in the absence of similar applications, structural properties of waste materials necessitate physical testing in real life. 31


Figure 22.

6.2.1 The Box Bike The rear end of an industrial tricycle is essentially identical to a traditional bicycle. The aim of the first prototype was to examine, how the frame could be extended using a wooden beam. The idea was also to utilise as much of the original bicycle frame tubing for the construction as possible. Figures 22. and 23. show how the beam could be aligned to reach a desired structure. A great deal of the building was done in living rooms, staircases and other limited facilities to influence the direction of development towards simple solutions. Practicing tool and facility restrictions in the beginning considerably helped sustaining such methods. When working in a workshop environment, it is easy to resort to the use of specialist tools. There are many things, even worktops and vices, one takes for granted in good facilities. 32

Figure 23.


The first prototype was built in the living room using a damaged mountain bicycle, waste CLS timber from a window joiner, a shopping cart found by the riverside, a steel frame from an

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old school table and a pipe from a domestic vacuum cleaner. The bearings and the steerer tube were directly mounted to wood.


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The prototype was tested by using it to collect more material for the next model. There were issues with the frame flex and the poor quality CLS timber, which was substituted with a more substantial, slower grown pine fence post. The timber was left untreated, and the

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bicycle was kept outside throughout the Glasgow winter to see if the structural stability would be affected. One year later the timber beam is still holding well. Steerer tube mounting style was changed from a wooden block to being clamped between tubing.


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A second prototype was constructed in Finland, using a ladies’ mountain bicycle frame to make tubing use more efficient. The frame was more stable and easier to step through. Laminated veneer lumber, a common material used in house construction, was used for the beam. A third cnnection point was added by flattening the bottom tube stump and bolting through it to the frame. Such lamination increases the structural stability of

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poor quality timber, hence making the construction lighter. Lamination also eliminates natural warping of timber in changing humidity. An old school table was used to build the front cart. M6 bolts used in the cart construction were substituted for M8 to strengthen the joints and enable the use of lower quality scavenged bolts.


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Glue lamination is used to build the wooden beam of the most recent Box Bike model. Construction was inspired by William Greensmith's and Robert Battersby's wooden bicycle project techniques.40 They construct rigid bicycle frames simply by glue laminating old pallette wood. Glue laminating old oak floorboards to a poor quality fast grown

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timber core can produce a frame that is as effective and as strong as a solid oak beam, without the natural warping, and considerably less weight. The strength to weight ratio of such a construction will superseed that of steel tubing. Long- and short wheelbase models (Mark 3 and 4) were produced in this fashion. The


boxes were built from 16mm costruction scrap plywood. Brackets and wood screws were used to hold the sides together. The box was stable enough, so that a handlebar could simply be bolted to the back panel.The difference between the models was the frame length and effectively the box capacity. In the long wheelbase model, the bottom of the box

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was additionally supperted with a caster wheel, an idea that was conceived by Alec Farmer. The Shifter levers were mounted to a piece of wooden doweling that fit in the top tube stump. The function, handling and structural stability met the set criteria for a successful model.


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6.2.2 The Doubler The basis for development of the sociable cargo bicycle; a large cargo platform module, was influenced by bicycle cargo rear extensions. Figure 24. shows such a construction from 1945. A rear extension increases the capacity of luggage that can be transported in the rear of the bicycle. A two-wheeled cargo module with similar attachments can be used to combine two bicycles together, supporting a large platform in between. Figure 25. sketches were the basis for this construction.

Figure 24.

Figure 3. A commercial extension from Xtracycle. 46

Figure 25.


The cargo module was built from old table frames. Same material was used to make struts to connect the bicycles together from seat tubes and head tubes. Car exhaust clamps (U-bolts) were used to connect the struts. The 10mm tubing steering linkage bar connected to the stems with track rod ends. Common bicycle handlebar ends worked as steering

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arms, fitting perfectly around the stem shaft. They were aligned to point to the middle of the rear axle to create the crucial ackermann steering compensation, and then connected with a right length rod.


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Alec Farmer, a friend and bag maker in Glasgow, was involved in building the second sociable cargo bicycle from an old highway sign frame. It was modified to suit his needs in transporting a stall, which required a larger platform. All together the bicycle was 1.2 meters wide. Steering linkage was modified to be built with simpler tools. A lower profile tube was used as a clamp to eliminate chain drag when using small chainring in the front. This allowed the use of a wider range of gears, which effectively enabled transporting even heavier loads in hilly Glasgow. This was an opportunity to follow someone else at work and judge the ease of the tools and techniques used. A lot of detailed material was documented of the process of building to help record the development and publish it on the internet. 50


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The third sociable cargo bicycle was built in four days by the Bike Station Glasgow staff members Paul and John. Both were skilled mechanics, who also had experience in fabricating. The build purpose was to help transform the process into a 'build your own cargo bicycle' course that could be taught as a service inside the Bike Station. The process was closely documented to get more information about the individual steps, so that they could be used for creating instructions. Accuracy was paramount in this process to ensure correct fit and bolt alignment. It greatly helps to get these measurements correct in the first place, so that nothing has to be forcefitted. The structural standard reach of the chainstay clamp was shortened, so that it would not obstruct pedalling. 54


Paul adviced about more reliable measuring techniques and suggested building jigs for the drilling process. It was agreed, that for inhouse productions, having jigs for the drilling processes was crucial. This would considerably speed up the production and make it more viable as a service. The buffered length taken for a workshop offered to an inexperienced builder was estimated to take a working week in any case. Offering such a course would prove difficult, as not many people have the time at hand to give a week, or a couple of weekends to such a project. To make the course more accessible, in general prefabricated parts should be used, so that the workshop could be offered in a shorter timeframe. It would then concentrate in assembling the bicycle and user specific mofifications. Already this would offer enough confidence to the user to be able to maintain and repair the bicycle at need. In-depth courses could still be offered to organisations, that want to manufacture the bicycles themselves.

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6.2.3 The Barrel Bike The challenge with the Long John typeform was finding a suitable frame extension. Unlike in the Christiania bike, the frame of the Long John is subjected to the stress forces created by the rider, as well as the dead weight of the cargo. An oil barrel was chosen as the cargo compartment. A space frame would be constructed to attach the barrel extension to the bicycle, transferring stress forces three dimensionally. A working mountain bicycle was used for the construction, with no permanent modifications to the frame. The good thing with this construction is, that like a module, it can also be removed and the original bicycle can be rebuilt as it was. A great amount of time was spent at a Helsinki bicycle recycling center, to

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Figure 26.


determine how different standards and types of bicycle components could be used to create the steering mechanism. This was the most complicated part of the structure, and very crucial to get correct, in terms of the rideability of the bicycle. Having a large capacity cargo bicycle considerably helped the logistics of the scavenged material. Scavenged materials were a destroyed children's bicycle frame, one meter piece of 1" steel gas pipe, tubing from a school table frame and an oil barrel. Garages happily donate old oil barrels, as such waste occupies considerable amounts of space and is inconvenient to dispose of. The barrel bike worked well from the beginning on. It was finished in October and stress tested by a friend, who rode it through the winter. Later, he went on to build a new model for himself, copying the structure by looking at it and making his personal modifications and improvements. The Mk 1 Barrel Bike is currently being used for personal transportation in Helsinki. 59


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6.3 Instructions When the prototypes have reached a functional stage, technical drawings of the construction, as well as step-by step instructions have been recorded and published on the internet. All vehicles were in hard use several times a week for at least half a year, before they were determined to be structurally sound and fit-for-purpose. Technical drawings are sufficient for experienced builders, who are most often eager to use information just as a basis and then modify it to their own needs. Step-by step instructions suit the inexperienced, and can give enough information and confidence to commence the first large scale building project. The instructions were produced in slightly different ways to evaluate the reception for further development. The instructions have been hand illustrated to simplify the visual appearance of the process. This was done, not only to remove visual disturbance, but also make it appear more 'human', and hence easier to approach. The figures presented in this section are the technical drawings of the current stage of the vehicles. They do not provide exact measurements of the entire geometry, as the donor bicycle measurements vary, but provide accurate information about how the parts for the conversion will be fabricated. The full instructions are included in the appendix. 65


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6.4 Utility Bicycles in Action The prototypes have gone through rigorous structural testing in practice and have been stored outside, constantly exposed to the elements. All of the bicycles are still on the road. Three bicycles are currently on display at the Glasgow Bike Station, where people can try them and, if they want, rent them out. The cargo bicycles built in Helsinki have been in shared use. Locks with identical combinations have been used, so that the bicycles can be picked up at need. This section presents in images, how some of the vehicles have been used. It is a display of the potential of human power, as it appears on the streets. 73


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6.5 Outside Involvement This section presents experiences of some of the people who have been making utility bicycles, using them, and the purposes they have found for them. Noteworthy credit for contributing to expanding the scope of the development go to Alec Farmer, Martin Campbell, William Greensmith and James Ring from Glasgow, and Jussi Peltokangas from Finland. Their interest and support, assistance in problem solving, prototype testing and new development has been significant in terms of the current results. 95


The TRAKKE Mobile "My name is Alec Farmer. I own Trakke Messenger Bags in Glasgow. We have always tried to run our business using bicycles wherever possible. We ride to work, we use bicycle couriers to deliver our bags locally but the problem has always been moving bulky items around the city - delivering large orders to shops or moving stock and displays to exhibition venues. We used to have to rent a van for that kind of thing - until the Trakke Cargo Bike came along. Having seen a prototype of the Sociable Tandem design by Uula Jero, it became clear that this could be a perfect alternative to a van for our company. We rarely cover large distances, we don’t need the full capacity of a van to move equipment and frankly, as a startup company we don’t have the money to spare to rent a van and fill it with fuel. A cargo-bike solved all of these problems. We could build the bike at very little cost, and it runs using pedals, not petrol. Not only that, but using the sociable tandem always attracts attention - guerilla marketing at its best! I headed down to Uula’s workshop and we 96

sketched out our design. I had requested a few changes based on the kind of usage the Trakke bike would get. Unlike the original prototype, the Trakke bike needed a wider load platform on the back to accomodate our display system for exhibitions. It also needed to be able to carry 2.4 metre poles, also for the display system, so the platform needed a longer platform to support this. With a plan in mind, we set about building the chassis that would connect the two bicycle frames. Using a salvaged motorway maintenance sign as the main body, we used standard school table legs in 1” box profile to create the extra metalwork we required to fasten everything together. A bit of drilling, bolting and a few coffees later, we had our basic frame, and set about cutting the platform from 18mm plywood. Before setting up the bikes completely, we dismantled our work and spray-painted the entire thing to give a unified finish. Once the paint was dry, we re-assembled the bike and routed brake and gear cables through the bodywork to make a functioning bicycle. The only job left was the steering connection. At first, this seemed complex due


to the differential system that Uula had developed using mountain bike bar-ends. However, a simple jig using string allowed us mark out the correct angle to connect the steering tube, and the bike was finished! Since building the bike, it has been used to ferry fabric across the city, deliver to shops, move display systems to exhibitions such as the Scottish Bike show and even been used as a mobile shop display, allowing us to ride to an event, step of the bike and begin selling with no setup required. The kudos we have received from the cycling community for using a bicycle to run our business has been amazing - reinforcing the ethos of our brand, and creating some great dialogue between us and our customers. The beauty of the design really comes across when it is in use. With two cyclists sat side-byside, enough power is generated to move some really heavy loads, and yet you can have a chat with your fellow cyclist the whole time. The dual steering works exceptionally well,

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allowing one cyclist to pedal hands-free while the other steers - perfect for early morning starts when coffee has to be passed back and forth to fuel the riders! In many ways, the sociable tandem feels like a close relative of the car. When the platform is empty, you can pick up friends en route - the can hang out on the cargo platform while you do the driving. We’ve been out with two people cycling and four on the back - this bike can take some serious weight, and with the right gearing, pedals like a dream. The potential for the sociable tandem is endless. With a couple of seats bolted onto the platform, it becomes a rickshaw. A table and a blender makes it a pedal powered smoothie bike. Fix some speakers and and amp on there, and you have a portable soundsystem. And the beginnings of all of this potential is just some simple hand-tools, a bit of space to work and someone else’s junk. It doesn’t get more open source than that!" (Story by Alec Farmer)


The Wooden Cargo Bicycle William Greensmith is developing easy-to build wooden bicycles from recycled wood based on Robert Battersby's original wooden bicycle prototype. The People's Utility Bicycle Project and William Greensmith's Glasgow Wooden Bicycle Project collaboration lead to the creation of two entirely wooden Box Bikes. Currently William is working on a prototype for an all-wooden Long John-type cargo bicycle. He writes about the collaboration: "I think the wooden bike and peoples utility bike is a perfect collaboration - over the past months I have been developing a bicycle frame made out of scrap wood and through collaboration with the utility bike project I was inspired to make an all wood cargo bike. The idea behind the wooden project is to design a bike which can be easily constructed with basic skills so it was great to try out this construction method for a different kind of bike - helping to refine the construction method and show how it could be an alternative to steel bikes. The only problem

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with mark 1 was that the main beam (down tube?) was not stiff enough. I have finished number 2 now with a chunkier and shorted down tube which seems to have sorted it more testing will show up any more problems I am sure. I also plan to make a wooden sub frame for the box and have started making a wooden long john. CI hope also the bikes I have made will contribute to the utility bike project by displaying more possibilities for utility bikes and therefore making utility bikes even more accessible. Since there are no mass produced, cheap to buy utility bikes available yet i think the peoples utility bike project is a great idea and will show people that there is an alternative to mass produced items which can be cheaper and a lot more exciting. I have used the bike loads for shifting material around - back and forth from the workshop and also have had friends borrow it a couple times for moving flats / moving around amps and band stuff. Thanks for having me be part of the project!" (Story by William Greensmith)


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James' Long Back Loader James Ring built a long back cargo bicycle using a modified half of the sociable cargo bicycle construction. He needed more space to transport his equipment and skateboard around. This model is the first prototype of a bicycle that he would like to use for touring in the mountains. The top platform was designed to be replaceable with a skateboard. The slot in the left side platform was made to attach a bicycle front wheel to. This meant, that a bicycle could be towed behind. This bicycle is currently still at a prototype stage, waiting for the Mk 2 build with better components and lighter materials, to make it more convenient to disassemble and transport, for example in a train or an airplane. 102


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Jussi's Barrel Bike After test riding the Barrel Bike Mk 1 through the winter 2011-12, Jussi Peltokangas built his own cargo bicycle. He used the Mk 1 as the istructions, replicating the construction using his own methods alongside to modify the outcome. Jussi reduced the dimensions and improved the fit and quality of steering components. He documented his process carefully and published it on the People's Utility Bicycle Project facebook page.

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"I received the Barrel Bike built by Uula to be ridden in December 2011. It was especially useful in establishing the do-it-yourself bicycle workshop. I transported for example tools, storage drawers, a tool wall made from two doors, other bicycles and spare parts. I made my ten kilometre commute several times with it on icy and snowy bicycle lanes. The bicycle worked well. Parts for my own bike, even rod ends, were gradualy found in skips. The only things I spent money in were a couple of bolts and


drill bits. I was wondering whether to weld the frame, but the bolted structural joints that had proven to work were easy to copy. The hardest part was drilling large holes without a pillar drill. I used thinner wall tubing than what the original Barrel Bike frame extension was made of. I left out the support struts that connect the barrel to the bicycle frame. For these reasons, the bottom tube gave out a little." (Quotes from Jussi Peltokangas) Jussi has now fixed the initial structural problems, and is currently actively using his Barrel Bike. Jussi is running an open and free, not for profit bicycle workshop in Helsinki called Pyöräpaja Ry. Anyone can come there and build themselves a bicycle, or fix one at no 107

cost. Currently it is operating with donations, but constructing and selling cargo bicycles in the premises has been discussed to generate income as a part of improving the workshop's self-sufficiency and hence securing its existence. "Pyöräpaja is public space for reparing and building bicycles. No one is reparing other people's bikes, so everyone does it by themself (D.I.Y). There is help and advice available. Pyöräpaja runs with volunteers and no one gets paid, so all help and donations are needed (tools, spare parts, money for rent)." The vehicles constructed in Helsinki have mostly been in the shared use of those affiliated with the Pyöräpaja Ry. Some interest is also gaining in Helsinki, and currently there are two cargo bicycle projects under construction at the workshop.


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The Babu Bike One Box Bike was commissioned by Rachna from Babu Kitchen. She saw the Box Bike Mk 1, the one with the shopping trolley, parked on the street and left a note. She is running an indian food takeaway kitchen, and wanted a bicycle for delivering chilled food in tiffin boxes around Glasgow. Babu kitchen Box Bike was built with a laminated frame, like the Mk 3 and 4. An old refridgerator was used as the fron box. The compressor had been removed, and it was actually lighter than the plywood boxes. Despite being old, the seals were fine and it insulated well, making it possible to keep transported food cold using frozen salt solution blocks. The box was made lockable. She could transport 50 tiffin boxes and some extra indian bread in one run with this bicycle. On a busy day she would normally transport around one hundred tiffin boxes around Glasgow, which she could fit in a car boot in one go, but at a much higher cost. The box was painted in Babu Kitchen yellow to prepare it for advertisement illustrations that would be added on later. 110


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6.6 Work with the Glasgow Bike Station 6.6.1 The Vision of Glasgow Bike Station and the Future of the People's Utility Bicycle Project Gregory Chauvet, the manager of Bike Station Glasgow quit his career in business for moral reasons soon after he was taught how to ride a bicycle in the Edinburgh Bike Station. Whilst riding his bicycle, he discovered another perspective to operating in the society. The traditional profit-based economy made less sense to him, as it ran in an alarmingly unsustainable manner. To Gregory, the model of social enterprise seemed like a more responsible and sustainable manner of serving the society: rather than having paramount interest in the shareholders and profit, and consuming new resources, social enterprise model manages existing resources respectfully, and uses them to empower people in a more efficient manner. Gregory started ‘The Bike Shed’ from scratch with Richard Kidd, the workshop manager, with a boxful of tools and a couple of grubby bicycles. It expanded rapidly, filling a void in Glasgow: there were underlying unmet needs, that the Bike Shed conveniently stepped in to serve. Sharing the vision, the Bike Shed soon united in strength with Bike Station and became its Glasgow franchise. According to Gregory, the key is in providing people with quality recycled bicycles and services, which in exchange improves the quality of the resource base. Healthier resource base means healthier ways of managing it. Supporting and encouraging people to cycle and enhancing the 112

means translates to a more cycle-friendly environment and more sophisticated ways of serving in it. Social enterprises develop in return for the service they give, not the profit they take. Gregory sees that the challenge of charitable organisations is to sustain themselves. He says this is exactly where a social enterprise can succeed, as it can receive boost from grants, but just to develop into a self-sustaining service. Making profit is necessary for existing without grants, as wages an facilities must be paid for, but the benefit of such profit will remain in the community and excess will be used to extend its positive impact. Sometimes the existence of the service is also its responsibility. People come to rely on the sheltering environments provided by charities, and the threat of funding cuts is a risk of leaving them abandoned. Gregory sees the future mobility concentrating locally in large cities, and hence cargo bicycles could serve as an ideal tool for supporting small-scale logistics, and especially personal utilitarian transportation in such environments. Population in cities continues to grow, and its concentration will make proprietary motorised transportation physically unsuitable, as the traffic congestion in several cities already drastically reduces its viability. Gregory sees staying in the forefront of developing the services around utilitarian cycling, as well as the applications of human power in machines as the very heart of developing the benefit of the service. Pushing into such new frontiers responds to the arising needs of the people. Because of the scarcity of physical examples of the potential of utilitarian transportation, such solutions are still unrecognised. Displaying the cargo bicycles in the Bike Station facilities, as


well as on the streets has potential of creating demand, and therefore expanding the scope and sophistication of the service to the community. (Information based on an interview with Gregory Chauvet)

6.6.2 The collaboration A considerable part of the project was conducted in collaboration with the Glasgow Bike Station. The project has been tailored to meet the demands of operating under such structure: providing a service of prefabricated cargo bicycles requires detailed cost estimates and anchoring to the local resource base. Educating the community by running do-ityourself workshops under umbrella of the Bike Station necessitates also calculating such costs, the development of functioning teaching plans and estimating viable scopes for the length of the course. The development through the collaboration has lead to establishing the People’s Utility Bicycle project as a part of Glasgow Bike Station’s services, starting in the cycling season 2012.41 Currently space for fabrication and running courses is being organised in Bike Station's new premises.

6.6.3 Fabrication Fabricating is currently taking place in a separate workshop, and is not working as optimally as being in the same premises with the Bike Station, and the material supply. For offering prebuilt cargo bicycles as a service to the community, the costs have been calculated, so that it is financially viable. Such estimates 42 have been produced with the presumption of

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working in the same premises with the Bike Station and do not take into account the current problem of logistics. One custom-built bicycle has been sold so far to a Babu Kitchen, which delivers Indian food around Glasgow. A fabrication space inside the new Bike Station premises is currently being prepared. When interest for cargo bicycles picks up, vehicles can be efficiently produced in-house. If there is enough demand, new employment opportunities can be created around fabrication. There is an overflowing resource of used bicycle technology that is ready to be used for such purpose. Not all bicycles will be refurbished by the Bike Station, and a lot of material still gets scrapped for metal recycling, or sent to developing countries. The process can be made more efficient by utilising a considerable amount of this waste to build utility bicycles. Currently what the People's Utility Bicycle Project provides, is the developing knowledge to create useful solutions from it. The calculated price for a utility bicycle purchased through the Bike Station ranges from £400 to £450. Price for custom orders is calculated by an addition of £10 per hour of extra work required. The cost estimate figures take into account the possibility of having to buy new square tubing, for example, if sufficient quantities cannot be found recycles. The Bike Station can currently provide for all the needs of discarded bicycle technology, but the resources for discarded steel tubing and scrap wood are still to be secured. Such connections will form over time, as more people become aware of the project.


6.6.4 Workshops After test driving a vehicle at the Bike Station, an interested customer can either commission such a bicycle from the People's Utility Bicycle Project, or sign up for a periodically arranged workshop, that can take place when enough interest has been gathered. A workshop, where three bicycles are built can be supervised by a single person. For this, three sets of necessary tools will be required. Currently funding is being applied to kickstart the workshops. Workshops will be offered to people, who are interested in learning more about their vehicles. The purpose of such workshops is to rekindle self-sufficiency and distributing knowledge of sustaining such technology. When the workshop and fabrication space is ready at the Bike Station, such courses can be offered at a cost of additional ÂŁ200. This cost is formed by the necessity for supervising staff presence and the use of fabricating tools and consumables. In the perfect scenario, such cost could be eliminated and the bicycles could be offered at a discount price to those who fabricate them themselves. This would be more encouraging for enrolling, but would require first economic development or additional supporting funding. Currently such an option is more accessible to organisations, who want to gain knowledge in producing and maintaining such vehicles. Those who cannot afford a course can still access the information provided by the instructions, that are distributed for free at the Bike Station. The structuring of teaching plans was assisted by the Bike Station workshop manager Richard Kidd. He has experience in running courses and workshops, and has acquired good knowledge in planning lessons. A pilot workshop was run 114

at the Bike Station to help gain an understanding of an instructed building process. The results of time estimates and mapped stages of the process was then formed into a possible teaching plan43.


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7. Aesthetics and Visual Communication of Values Environmental and social factors, as well as moral responsibility have been the main driver for the development of the vehicles. Ornaments add to the cost and complexity of the construction, and are therefore left to the user's discretion. There has been relatively little emphasis put on the honing of aesthetic attributes, other than what the material honesty and functional appearance grant. The vehicles are appropriate technology, and aim to provide more of a 'blank canvas' for users' and developers' decoration needs. Such approach encourages involvement and deepens the users' relationship to the products they use. “[O]nly a small part of our responsibility lies in the area of aesthetics.” (Victor Papanek, 198444) With raising ecological awareness and longing for long-lasting technology, there is a growing appreciation and acceptance towards imperfection in the objects surrounding everyday life. Terms like 'shabby chic' and rustic are more often considered synonyms of beauty; indicators of unpolished honesty and hidden stories. Objects that have 'grown up', showing signs of appreciation and attachment become more human and withhold a different value than the perfection of objects that come off the mass production line. “[P]roducts must evolve alongside users, sustaining value by revealing their true beauty only through the slow passing of time… Modern products are too precise, removing all possible surprise, mystery and, perhaps above 117


all, charm from the process of engaging with them.” (Chapman, 2005, pp. 48) Some prefer not to polish off the patina, as it signifies maturity, and value that accumulates with age. When recycling and reusing is considered a virtue, the reality of secondary materials does not have to be hidden away. All of the built vehicles consist mainly of recycled materials which hold aesthetic value in their own right. What has been done to improve superficial appearance, is due to practical reasons. Varnishing wood not only protects the wood from the elements, but adds depth and tone to the grain. The deep earthy red coat of rust inhibitive primer does not leave the colour disagreeable, and enables any coat to be applied by the user afterwards. Often just removing the plastic brand and model decals, that had been added solely to add imaginary trend value, off the old bicycle frames makes them look much more functional and agreeable. Consider, for example labels, like “Apollo RAPID REACTOR 21 SPEED SHIMANO INDEX SHIFTING” or “UNIVERSAL RAMPAGE” written all over the frame. It is advantageous to give the user an opportunity to give their vehicles names that are more appealing and easier to relate to, that express their own values. 'Branding' stickers have been printed for the People's Utility Bicycle Project, and they can be applied on the bicycles if the user decides so, to advertise and promote access to the open source information on the internet. Visual identity material, included in the appendix45, has been produced for the People's Utility Bicycle Project by illustrator Eva 118

Dolgyra. Logos and images used to communicate the project employ the symbol of a raised fist of emancipation, in conjunction with a spanner that stands for returning the tools into the hands of people.


8. Results 119


Produced vehicles:

Vehicles developed and produced independently:

Industrial tricycle type / 'The Box Bike': Box bike Mk 1, Glasgow Box bike Mk 2, Donated to Occupy Helsinki

William Greensmith's wooden Box Bikes: Mk 1 and Mk 2, necessary information gathered from instructions and replicated from prebuilt components.

Box bike Mk 3, produced for Bike Station Glasgow. Used for testing, rental and Dr. Bike mobile bicycle mechanic.

Martin Campbell Rag n' Bone Workshop Box Bike, modified from the Mk 1 Box Bike.

Boxbike Mk 4, currently a test / rental bike at the Bike Station Glasgow

One box bike under construction from instructions, currently in Helsinki, at the open bicycle workshop of Pyöräpaja Ry

Boxbike Mk 5, a delivery bicycle made for Babu Kitchen Indian food takeaway.

Jussi Peltokangas' Barrel Bike replicated from the physical construction of the Barrel Bike Mk 1.

Sociable cargo bicycle type / 'The doubler':

One Barrel Bike currently under construction in Helsinki, at the open bicycle workshop of Pyöräpaja Ry

Doubler Mk 1, in shared use in Helsinki, mainly by the organisation Pyöräpaja Ry. Doubler Mk 2, Trakke bicycle built for Alec Farmer's bag company. Doubler Mk 3, Built in the Bike Station Glasgow, currently there for renting / testing.

Long John type / 'The Barrel Bike' Mk 1, produced in Helsinki. In use as personal transportation.

Total: 9 vehicles 120

James Ring's long back cargo bicycle. Replicated and modified from the Sociable cargo bicycle frame extension.

Total: 4 vehicles on the road and 2 under construction


Project exposure: Web site traffic: (http://www.toolsforasimplelife.org) 5 361 hits between Oct 2011 – Oct 2012

Featured at Pinso.co.uk: http://www.pinso.co.uk/2012/09/bikebuilder-uula-jero/ http://www.pinso.co.uk/2012/09/build-abike-instructions/

(Global traffic, with United States the primary source)

Featured on the Trakke website:

Facebook:

http://trakke.vaesite.com/article/july-202012--peoples-utility-bicycle-project

(http://www.facebook.com/ThePeoples UtilityBicycleProject) 891 reached inside the first month Sept – Oct 2012

Two bicycles for rent at the Glasgow Bike Station. Fabrication service advertised at the Bike Station, and on their website: http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/cargo-bikes/

Project exhibited (two vehicles on display) at the Scottish Bike Show alongside The Bike Station Glasgow, spring 2012

Scottish Television (STV Glasgow) article: 'Can broomsticks, bolts and wood change the way we travel?' http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/magazine/98610could-a-broomstick-some-bolts-and-abroomstick-change-the-way-we-travel/

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9. Conclusion The results confirm, that it is possible to create fit-for-purpose utility bicycles using the waste of this society, generate collaboration in building and developing them, and operate viably in the current economic reality, within a social enterprise framework. The project has received considerable interest locally, and globally. The development has gained enough momentum, that it can be considered self-sustaining, without the necessity for the input of the originator. The process has thoroughly tested the viability of the original hypothesis, concluding that the potential of utilising bicycle technology for personal transportation under an energy crisis is possible.

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10. Bibliography

1. Arendt, Hannah, 'The Human Condition', (The University of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 1998) 2. Bas Van Abel, Lucas Evers, Roel Klaassen, Peter Troxler 'Open Design Now – Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive' (BIS Publishers, 2011) 3. Chapman, Jonathan, Emotionally Durable Design, (Earthscan, 2005) 4. Corfe, Robert, Social Capitalism in Theory and Practice, Vol 3, (Arena books, 2008) 5. Crawford, Matthew B., 'Shop Class as Soulcraft – an Inquiry into the Value of Work' (Penguin Books, 2010) 6. Cross, Nigel, 'The Coming of Post-Industrial Design' (Design Studies, Vol. 2, 1981) 7. Greer, John Michael, 'The Long Descent' (New Society Publishers, 2008,) 8. Morris, William, 'The Revival of Handicraft', (Fortnightly Review, 1988) 9. Papanek, Victor, 'Design for the Real World', (Thames & Hudson, 2nd edition, 1985) 10. Sennett, Richard, 'The Craftsman', (Penguin Books, 2009)

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1

“changes in oil market conditions have direct and indirect effects on the global economy, including on growth, inflation, external balances, and poverty. Since the late 1990s, oil prices have generally risen—notwithstanding cyclical fluctuations—and supply constraints are widely perceived to have contributed to this trend. This has raised concerns that the oil market is entering a period of increased scarcity.” (IMF, April 2011, Oil Scarcity, Growth and Global Imbalances, Chapter III, pp. 90-91, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2011/01/pdf/c3.pdf) 2

http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Modal_Shift_Study_-_Technical_Report.pdf, pp. 4

3

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~wggray/Teaching/His300/Illustrations/Limits-to-Growth.pdf

4

http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/1_lpr_2012_online_full_size_single_pages_final_120516.pdf, pp.6

5

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/material-resources-and-waste-2014

6

“EU waste management policies aim to reduce the environmental and health impacts of waste and improve Europe’s resource efficiency. The long-term goal is to turn Europe into a recycling society, avoiding waste and using unavoidable waste as a resource wherever possible. The aim is to achieve much higher levels of recycling and to minimise the extraction of additional natural resources. Proper waste management is a key element in ensuring resource efficiency and the sustainable growth of European economies.” (Being wise with waste: the EU’s approach to waste management, pp.2, 2010, ISBN 978-92-79-14297-0) 7 http://www.mrw.co.uk/news/eu-resource-roadmap-will-propose-incentives-for-resource-efficientproducts/8613485.article 8

http://www.mrw.co.uk/news/caroline-jackson-condemns-eu-waste-roadmap/8620315.article

9

Karliner as quoted by Corfe, 2008, pp. 28 “the model of growth currently in force in the world economy is creating, not alleviating poverty, and environmental destruction.” 10

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1394467

11

The European Anti-Poverty Network, http://www.eapn.eu/en/news-and-publications/press-room/eapn-pressreleases/europe-2020s-poverty-target-will-not-be-met-with-current-approach 12

Eurostat, Europe 2020 Indicators, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/Euro_2020/E2020_EN_banner.html

13

Wates: “Despite the recession, Social Enterprise (SE) saw strong growth in 2010 with 56% increasing their turnover from the previous year, compared to only 28% for SMEsiii. This is a strong message, proving that SEs can contribute to the economic growth of the UK and business, and the public sector needs to be encouraged to work more closely with them.” http://www.wates.co.uk/thought-leadership/social-enterprise-can-driveeconomic-growth-668 14

Social Enterprise London: “Social enterprises are at the forefront of this move towards a more sustainable society. Over 7002 community businesses, social firms, co-operatives and other social enterprises already deliver a growing range of sustainable waste management services across the UK. This number is set to grow, with

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new legislation and funding creating opportunities in every part of the country. ” (www.sel.org.uk/uploads/Social-Enterprise-Guide-to-Recycling.pdf) pp. 4 15

ACRR: “Recycling activities are labour intensive. For this reason, recycling is one of the most interesting and important sectors in the development and growth of social enterprises, which main role is the reinsertion, through work, of people affected by any sort of exclusion. Recycling becomes a source of jobs for unskilled or long-term unemployed people.” (http://resourcities.acrplus.org/recycling/good_business.htm)

16

“In "Creating Wealth from Waste" (1999) Robin Murray estimates that an intensive programme of recycling in the UK could create between 10.000 and 55.000 new jobs, taking into account those who would be lost in the process.” (http://resourcities.acrplus.org/recycling/good_business.htm)

17

Paul A. David: “As the nature of new technologies changes, however, it has become evident that the familiar legal contraptions of "patents" and "copyrights" are rather ill-suited to the realities of some of the situations in which they are being put to work...They continue to be looked to as stimuli for the generation of useful innovations, but, while enabling the private appropriation of economic benefits from new scientific and engineering knowledge, the familiar devices for protection intellectual property are known to have a variety of untoward side-effects that may be distorting and even impeding the progress of technology.” (http://ecohist.history.ox.ac.uk/readings/ip/david1.doc) pp.6 18

http://www.n55.dk

19

http://www.openstructures.net/

20

Meccano is a modular children's toy that enables building various devices from a universal set of components. http://www.meccano.com/ 21

http://forums.makezine.com/

22

http://www.instructables.com/

23

Robert Paajanen & Janne Rastas, 2010, pp.15 “[In many high technology countries, it has happened, that crafts education, or equivalent has changed into technology education...]” (Translated from Finnish, http://www.doria.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/63089/graduPaajanenRastas.pdf?sequence=1) 24

“The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion, with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. While mega-cities have captured much public attention, most of the new growth will occur in smaller towns and cities, which have fewer resources to respond to the magnitude of the change. In principle, cities offer a more favourable setting for the resolution of

social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income. With good governance, they can deliver education, health care and other services more efficiently than less densely settled areas simply because of their advantages of scale and proximity.” Source: UNFPA (http://www.unfpa.org/pds/urbanization.htm)

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25

“In the US, 15-20 million bikes are purchased each year, and it's estimated that around 10 million bikes are discarded. The figures are similar in other Western countries. Even if only half of the West's discarded bikes are still usable it represents an enormous untapped resource.” Source: Bicycles for humanity (http://www.bicycles-

for-humanity.org/Solutions.php) In 2000, the number of bicycles produced reached 104 million, in comparison to 40 million cars. Source: Historical data series compiled by Worldwatch Institute, Vital Signs 1996, 2002, 2005 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996, 2002) 26

Source: Museum of Tradesman's Delivery Bikes (http://tradesmansbike.wordpress.com/working-bicyclestricycles-and-hand-carts/) 27

“In some cities, the role of the bicycle is being expanded to include certain types of hauling. Bicycles will never displace trucks for carrying heavy freight, but the small loads and frequent stops required of some urban deliveries often favor use of a bike. This was the experience of the largest industrial bakery in Bogotá, which replaced 200 delivery trucks with 800 tricycles a few years ago—a move that substantially lowered the cost of deliveries to its 22,000 daily customers. Similarly, a Pepsi distributor in San Salvador found that a bicycle and trailer could deliver 900 cases of soda per month—as many as the previous delivery vehicle, a 5-ton truck, but at a fraction of the expense.” Source: Gary Gardner, World Watch Institute: When Cities Take Bicycles Seriously, 1998 (http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/EP115A.pdf) 28

EU-funded project Cycle Logistics baseline study, http://www.cyclelogistics.eu

29

“While the bicycle is still an essential form of transportation in China, the country has recently seen a rapid decrease in bike ownership as its population becomes wealthier and turns to cars. From 1995 to 2005, China’s bike fleet declined by 35 percent, from 670 million to 435 million, while private car ownership more than doubled, from 4.2 million to 8.9 million. Blaming cyclists for increasing accidents and congestion, some city governments have closed bike lanes. Shanghai even banned bicycles from certain downtown roads in 2004. This deterioration in Chinese bike culture emerges even as the country’s share of world bicycle production continues to rise: China now turns out more than four fifths of the 130 million bikes produced each year.” Source: J. Matthew Roney, Bicycles Pedaling into Spotlight (http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C48) 30

Credit Suisse Report (http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-chinese-automation-boom-2012-8?op=1)

31

UK Parliament data (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/olympic-britain/transport/arewe-nearly-there-yet/) 32

Source: The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/jul/25/majority-car-owners-struggling-costs)

33

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2458/biking_saves_us_riders_billions

34

Research shows that cycling uses 35 calories per passenger mile compared to the 1,860 calories burned by a modern car with an internal combustion engine. The energy used by cycling is nearly a thirtieth of that of public transportation, and a third of the effort for walking. Source: Worldwatch Institute, Matter of Scale – Bicycle Frame (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4057)

127


35

Source: Low Tech Magazine (http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2012/09/jobs-of-the-future-cargo-cyclist.html)

36

http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/Irresistible.pdf http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/734/cycling/cycling-rates-by-country/ http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5462 37

An example collection of recent articles:

http://gizmodo.com/cargo-bike/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/may/05/cargo-trailer-bikes-kids?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/bikes-and-gear-features/coolest-bike-ever-made http://momentummag.com/articles/the-cargo-bike-a-vehicle-that-will-change-your-life http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/may/02/cargo-bike-city-courier-truck http://www.opb.org/news/article/cargo-bikes-could-play-key-role-crisis/ http://www.bikehub.co.uk/news/bike-to-work/cargo-bikes-can-be-last-mile-delivery-solution-for-cities-hearsnew-lobby-group/ 38

Ironwood bicycle is a design by the architect Robert Battersby, that has been developed in collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department in the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. The purpose of the project is to prove that wood is a viable and flexible material for bicycle construction. The bicycle itself is aimed for production in developing countries, with simple tools and improvisation, where the use of non standardised components is necessary. http://www.ironwoodbicycle.com 39

Experiments conducted by the Japan Housing and Wood Technology Center, HOWTEC, documented in the book `Timber and Japanese houses’ (http://structure.kes.ne.jp/KesTechnicalArchitecture/architecture/index.html) 40

41

42

43

John Zabriskie, 1995: Tubing Selection for Recumbent frames (http://mnhpva.org/tech/frame_tubes.html)

http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/cargo-bikes/ See appendix, iv: cargo bike cost estimate form. See appendix, v: sociable cargo teaching plan

44

Source: Victor Papanek, Design ford the Real World Ebook, pp. 23 (http//playpen.icomtek.csir.co.za/education/Dr_Anvind_Gupa/Learners_Library_7_March_2007/Resources/book s/designvictor.pdf) 45

See appendix, i: People's Utility Bicycle Project visual identity material

Internet sources checked 15.10.2012

128


12. Appendix

129


People's Utility Bicycle Project Visual Identity Material

Main logo

Head tube emblem

i

Stamp / small logo


Recommended tools and consumables: D4 rated exterior wood glue/marine epoxy, yacht varnish, metal paint, panel saw for cutting wood, saw for cutting metal, plane or surform plane, sandpaper (coarse and fine), metal file, wood rasp, cutting fluid for drilling, 32mm drill bit for wood, HSS or cobalt metal bits: 10, 8, 6 & 4mm, center punch, set square, measuring tape, side cutter pliers, pair of adjustable wrenches, drill, clamps with at least 80mm reach, mallet and hammer.


Tools for the project starting from the top, going left to right: D4 rated wood glue, yacht varnish, paint for protecting metal, panel saw, hacksaw with 24tpi blades, surform plane (cheap tool for 'grating' down wood surfaces), sandpaper (P60 and P150 grit), metal file, half round wood rasp, cutting fluid (for using when drilling metal, cools down and prevents drill bits from wearing out when drilling metal), drill bits: 32mm flat bit for wood, 10, 8, 6, 3mm bits for metal (use cobalt bits if you have the option), centre punch (for marking holes), tape measure, side cutting pliers (for cutting and installing shifter and brake cables), 2 adjustable wrenches (going up to 17mm, or a set of spanners: 8,9,10,13, 15 and 17mm), drill, a set of clamps (or an improvised clamp from wood with two bolts), plastic or leather mallet and a hammer.


Parts and hardware for the bike: Two 20" wheels with 36 spokes and 10mm axles, a fork from a children's bicycle with 1" steerer tube (The unthreaded section in the steerer tube should be no longer than 100mm, or alternatively the height of the wooden beam) and a full set of fitting headset bearings. Hardware: Three M6 x 70 bolts with two washers and a nylock nut each Twelve M8 x 60 bolts with two washers and a nylock nut each Four M10 x 100 bolts with two washers and a nylock nut each Two M10 x 150 bolts with two washers an a nylock nut each Stem that fits in the steerer tube of the fork. (the angle must be 90 degrees or less) Two rear-length (approximately 1,2m long) shifter cables and housings Two thumb shifters: front and rear shifter (if the project bicycle does not come with them) Top clamp from a kickstand Two front long reach calliper brakes (the bolt must be longer 30mm) Two rear-length brake cables and housings (approximately 1,2m long) Two wide riser handlebars (and brake levers for one)


There are two options for the wooden frame. One is just to use a good quality slowly grown timber beam, in size 3" x 4" or similar with minimum dimensions of 75mm width, 80mm height and 1200mm length. The second option is to glue laminate the beam using layers of good quality timber on the surfaces with a core of lighter, poorer quality timber. Such glue laminated beam will produce a stiffer and stronger frame that weighs less than the first option. Skip the next four steps if you are not glue laminating. Glue laminating considerations: placing the boards in a stack should produce a profile at least 80mm high, so choose the height of the core board accordingly. Example: the floorboards are 20mm each, and the core 40, which yields the required result. The width of the beam should be no less than 80mm. All pieces should be cut to a length of 1200 mm. For glue laminating, sand or plane the joining surfaces even to prepare for gluing.


Use strong, preferably D4 rated waterproof wood glue.


With a brush, spread glue evenly to all surfaces that are joined.


I f you d on ' t h a ve c l a m ps, you c a n i m provi se som e u si n g sc ra p pi ec es of wood th a t c l a m p tog eth er wi th 1 5 0m m l on g bol ts.


Clamp the pieces together, applying pressure evenly. The more clamps, the better the result. Recommended minimum is 6.


Strip a complete donor bicycle down. Both front and rear derailleur can remain attached. The crankset can be left on if the extractor tool is not available, but removing it makes the building process a bit easier. Clean the frame and the components of dirt and grease to prevent it from contaminating wood.


Mark and cut the the tubes as shown here, leaving approximately 100mm stumps in the top and bottom tube, and splitting the head tube as close to the top tube as possible.


Flatten the bottom tube stump against a wooden surface with a mallet, bending it parallel to the chainstays.


Drill a 10mm hole in the middle of the flattened stump. It is good to file the end round like shown. File off anything that protrudes from the bottom bracket shell and the chainstays. This includes cable guides and the corners of the kickstand mount which are often folded down. The bottom of the frame should be as smooth as shown in the picture.


Ta per d own a 3 00m m sec ti on of both si d es i n th e en d of th e bea m , n a rrowi n g i t d own to 60m m to fa c i l i ta te c ra n k c l ea ra n c e. I f th e bea m h a s been g l u e l a m i n a ted , sc ra pe off th e extra g l u e a n d tri m a l l su rfa c es even .


Mark the outline for a round groove that is approximately 40mm wide and 15mm deep. Leave a distance of 100mm from the middle of the groove to the end of the frame. An indent will be made here to sink the protruding bottom bracket shell into the frame.


To m a ke th e g roove, a rou g h ' v' c u t c a n be m a d e wi th a pa n el sa w, a n d th en g rou n d rou n d wi th a sem i c i rc u l a r wood ra sp or c oa rse sa n d pa per a rou n d a pi ec e of d owel or pi pe. On c e th e fra m e c a n be sa t fl u sh a g a i n st th e bea m , proj ec t d own th e h ol es for th e rea r ( wh ere th e ki c ksta n d m ou n t h ol e i s, or a pproxi m a tel y 2 0m m from th e en d ) a n d d own d i rec tl y from th e fl a tten ed stu m p. I t i s h a rd er to m a rk th e h ol e for th e stu m p, so u se a n en g i n eer' s sq u a re ( a n yth i n g sq u a re wi l l d o) to c h ec k th a t th e a l i g n m en t of th e m a rki n g i s ri g h t. U se th e sq u a re to proj ec t th e h ol es to th e opposi n g si d e a n d m a ke su re th ey a l i g n , too.


Drill one surface at a time, halfway through. When you drill the opposing side, the holes will join. It will help in aligning the drilled hole. First pilot drill with 6mm, and afterwards go through with a 10mm bit.


Use a 150mm M10 bolt and the top clamp of a kickstand to fasten the frame down against the beam in the back. The front requires a spacer block as shown. Find a suitable height piece of wood, cut it and drill through with a 10mm bit. Fasten the flattened tube down, bolting through the spacer block and the beam. Make sure the frame sits straight on the beam. When the rear of the frame is aligned and fastened, slot the cut bottom tube over the top tube stump as shown. Rest the tube on the side of the frame and trace its middle across the top face. Make another line parallel to the beam its middle. Making these lines will assist in maintaining the alignment in the hole to be drilled for the strut. Start by drilling a 6mm pilot hole following the direction carefully. Next drill with a 32mm bit, starting with a slightly milder angle as shown to cut into the wood, and then slowly align it to the marks.


If the angle turns out squint, you can use a round wood rasp to adjust and open up the hole a bit, so that the frame sits as straight as possible. Disassemble the frame.


Measure 200mm from the end of the frame and mark a hole to be drilled as shown. Project it to the other side again, making sure the markings are aligned. Pilot drill halfway through with a 6mm bit, one side at a time, making sure the drilled holes align. Afterwards drill halfway through with a 32mm bit, again one side at a time.


Finish the wooden beam by sanding the all the surfaces smooth to prepare it for varnishing. Round off sharp corners (except for the drilled hole edges) A minimum of 3 coats of yacht varnish will give an adequate protection for the wooden frame when the bicycle is stored outdoors throughout the year.


Th i s d ra wi n g sh ows th e pl a c em en t of th e h ol es. I t i s a top vi ew, m ea n i n g th e h ol es m a rked wi th d a sh ed l i n es a re to be d ri l l ed th rou g h from th e si d e a n d th e h ol es m a rked wi th d ots a re to be d ri l l ed from th e top.

Th e d a sh ed l i n es a re a l l d ri l l ed 1 0m m . Th e d ots a re d ri l l ed 8 m m , exept for th e on es m a rked a t 7 5 a n d 7 2 5 : th ese h ol es a re for m ou n ti n g th e c a l l i per bra kes.

Th e m ea su ri n g l i n e on th e top i s for th e two l on g tu bi n g sec ti on s a n d th e m ea su ri n g l i n e on th e si d e i s for th e fou r sh ort sec ti on s.


Even furniture grade (at least 1.5mm wall thickness) 25mm tubing is sufficient for this construction. Metal table frames are often a good source for such material. Source and cut the necessary lengths: four 600mm, and two 800mm sections. Each tube should have one perfectly square end. Use a metal file to square them off. For accuracy, all the measurements should be done from the square end, so mark it well in each tube.


Mark the tubing as indicated by the measuring lines. Do this identically on the facing sides of the tubing. Also remembering to take measurements from the same end. Be careful in getting the marks exactly in the center of the tubing. Indent the marks with a center punch. It helps to align the drill bit exactly, without it slipping off. Drill the holes, starting with 4mm and drilling larger 2mm at a time. Leave the indicated 10mm holes drilled to 8mm. They will be drilled larger later. Drill one face at a time (facing sides should be marked identically), not all the way through to ensure that holes do not go crooked. Take care not to drill the brake mounting holes larger than 6mm.


Enlargin the 8mm hole, drill the marked 10mm holes in the four short tubes that only have a single hole in the middle. The short tubes with three 10mm holes each will be drilled later.


Mark a line through the middle of the fork crown brake hole, ensuring it is perpendicular to the steerer tube. Do this identically on the opposing faces of the fork.


Cut the fork legs off approximately 20mm below this line.


Drilling into a curved surface is a bit tricky. Center punch the marked holes carefully. Align the drill bit against the surface as indicated top right. Drill first on face at a time, and then afterwards once through the whole tube. Drill these holes on the sides to 8mm, and the middle hole to 10mm.


Drill the middle holes of the two short pieces marked with a group of three holes from 8 to 10mm. You will use three of the M10 x 100 bolts for this.


Clamp the fork between the two tubes, align the steerer tube exactly perpendicular to the tubing, and fastening the 10mm bolt tight.


Next drill once through the 8mm holes in the whole assembly, going through both of the tubes and the fork. This ensures the alignment is right. Make sure that the steerer tube does not change alignment. Drill through the assembly with a 10mm bit next, and bolt the sides.


Assemble the tubing as indicated, but do not bolt yet.


Drill through the pairs of overlapping tubes once to correct any misalignment in holes. Bolt the prepared tubing together, only lightly tightening and leaving two corners still unbolted as indicated in the next step.


Mount the wheel axles through the 10mm holes in the middle. Clamp the wheels by bolting the corners together. Tighten all bolts lightly.


Square off the assembly by measuring the diagonal length between corner bolts as indicated. Tilt the assembly to correct the alignment, until both measurements are identical.


Press the headset bearing cups into the 32mm hole in the frame. The order of the bearings is changed in this case, so the bottom part of the headset will now be on the top surface (right) of the wooden beam.


Attach the bicycle frame onto the wooden beam again and mount the front cart on to the frame.


Tighten the bearings and trim off any extra length in steerer tube to fit on the locknut.


Use a stem to make the mount for a stabilising strut underneath the cart. Shorten the stem shaft as shown. There are two ways to make it. Use a cut shaft as shown on the left to bolt the strut onto, or the stem itself with a shortened shaft to hold the strut in place.


A large riser handlebar is good for making the stabilising strut. Cut it to match the width of the cart as shown.


In this example the strut is bolted onto the mount. Align the strut and mark holes to be drilled in the ends. Drill matching 6mm holes in the cart frame.


Use the M6 x 70 bolts to secure the strut ends.


Attach brakes.


The box can basically be anything that is sturdy enough and you can attach some sort of a handlebar to. An easy way is just to bolt a high riser handlebar off a bmx bike or similar with 3 M6 bolts as shown. Both brake handles will operate the two front brakes independently. Altough it takes a bit of getting used to, so that the bike doesn't steer too much when braking, it is an easy to build solution. Dual cable brake levers and other mechanisms for splitting one brake lever to control two brakes simultaneously are possible. Gear shifters can be mounted in several places, like the seatpost or the frame, but attaching them to the box may place the cables a bit in the way of steering. The rest is just sorting out the brakes and gears, which is pretty much straightforward bike mehcanics. Enjoy!


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Cargo Bicycle Cost Sheet Produced for Bike Station Cost sheet for cargo bikes

Frame materials

25/02/12

Description

Quantity

Cost ÂŁ

Numbers are for toolstation qotes 73604 High Tensile Set Screw M6 x 40

100

3.58

92971 High Tensile Set Screw M6 x 60

100

4.22

34018 High Tensile Set Screw M8 x 60

100

6.98

16878 High Tensile Set Screw M8 x 70

100

7.83

26426 High Tensile Set Screw M10 x 30

50

3.98

66816 High Tensile Set Screw M10 x 100

50

7.84

74965 Coach Bolt & Nut M10 x 150

10

2.08

21480 Nylon Lock Nut M6

100

1.98

73258 Nylon Lock Nut M8

100

2.26

30119 Nylon Lock Nut M10

10

0.54

14652 Heavy Washer M6

100

0.82

91738 Heavy Washer M8

100

1.1

83844 Heavy Washer M10

100

2.08

36mm U-Bolt

1

1

www.kartpartsuk.com

M8 x 1.25mm Male Right Hand Rod End Bearing

1

3.42

Simpson Steel

25 x 25 x 2.0 Box Section Steel Tubing (one length 7,6m)

1

12.5

Smith & Rodger Glasgow

Titebond 3 wood glue 3,8L

1

35.3

iv


Screwfix, 48712

No Nonsense Red Oxide Primer 750ml

1

6.89

Screwfix, 23164

No Nonsense Yacht Varnish 750ml

1

8.49

Angle Iron for 25 x 25 brackets

0

1” Plastic Plugs

100

19.95

Cost for one box bike frame

29.5

Cost for one sociable cargo bike frame

23

Standard Box Materials

Description

Quantity

Cost £

WISA Twin Plywood (Jewson)

2440 x 1220mm sheet

1

30.9

90230 (Toolstation)

Garden Furniture Oil Teak (liter)

1

14.82

34919 (Toolstation)

Angle Braces 19 x 19mm

10

0.33

12180 (Screwfix)

3,5 x 12 Turbo Gold Wood Screw

200

2.02

14617 (screwfix)

5 x 60 Turbo Gold Wood Screw

100

4.68

Material cost for one standard box

£21

New bike parts for sociable cargo bike

4m brake cable cover 4 x brake cable

1.75 1

2,5m shifter cable cover

2.3

2 x shifter cable

0.5

3 8-speed chains

11

iv


Cost total

16.55

New bike parts for box bike

3m brake cable cover

1.32

2 x brake cable

0.5

2,5m shifter cable cover

2.3

2 x shifter cable

0.5

Cost total

4.62

Tools and Consumables

Description

Quantity

75018 Cutting fluid

1

3.26

10

19.06

16851 3mm Cobalt drill bit

2

1.32

42541 6mm Cobalt drill bit

2

2.72

70666 8mm Cobalt drill bit

2

4.04

77012 10mm Cobalt drill bit

2

5.98

21258 32mm wood drill bit

1

5.44

65257 24tpi Hacksaw blades

Consumables estimate for one bike

Labour estimates for prefab

Standard Box (box)

iv

Cost ÂŁ

4

Time taken to fabricate / hrs (by a trained person)

3


Box bike frame preparation

6

Box bike frame assembly

3

Box bike mechanical assembly

2

Sourcing materials

1

Total time

14

Sociable cargo frame preparation

5

Sociable cargo frame assembly

3

Sociable cargo mechanical assy

2

Sourcing materials

1

Total time

Total costs for complete bikes

11

Material costs ÂŁ

Labour hrs

Sociable cargo bike w/ box

60

15

Sociable cargo bike without box

39

12

Box bike w/ box

77

14

Box bike without box

56

11

Additional options

iv

Total ÂŁ

450

400


Steering damper

30

Dual pull brake lever

30

Powder coating

96

Box ordered

60

iv


Worshop Plan Prepared for Bike Station

v


People's Utility Bicycle Project