How’d You Do It?

~Ryan wrote…..

So there are several questions people ask me when they see the bike blender and the delicious smoothies it can make.

What no battery?

How’d You Do it?

Why & what got you thinking about doing something like this?

How do you make your smoothies and why isn’t their any artificial anything’s in it?

So… I’m going to attempt to describe a little bit better on the “How’d I do it”.

Firstly, if…not if but when you come down to the Fulton St. Artisan market on Sunday, and I know you will, you will see us using blender mark III. The two previous iterations just didn’t hold up to the pressure. The first version was quite pathetic and gave up the ghost maybe into the 4th smoothie. The 2nd generation was far better. It was a solid 1/2″ piece of steel that I cemented to the drive shaft that remained in the blender housing. That ran through an aluminum tray we found at Goodwill. The rod ultimately tied off to a rubber stopper much like a large sink/drain stopper. Unfortunately the stoppers were not nearly rugged enough to cope with the many smoothies we do weekly at the market, not to mention they truly are our snack of choice during the summer months. Unfortunately this blender died due to complications during cleaning. We stripped the blender and it just wouldn’t hold no matter what I tried. So… On to a better design.

This took me sometime to come up with. I tried other designs online to see what works and I’ll tell you the first two versions just aren’t worth the time. So anyone out there looking to build their own bike blender here’s the template I used. Maya pedals has a design that requires two bikes that you weld together. This is far more than I had time for not to mention I didn’t have the equipment. If you see how they built just the blender you will see what I got out of it. It came down to important ingredients, as always. Firstly, and let me say this loudly enough…START WITH THE RIGHT BLENDER. I wish I had a flux capacitor to learn that lesson. Oh well. Oster Osterizer blender. Find an old one that has a removable top base. It doesn’t have to work, but I’m guessing it will. The new ones seem to break far faster than the old. You need the base to give the canisters somewhere to sit snuggly. Canisters are easy to find but the base has been somewhat difficult and we’ve only found one useable one thus far. Then you need a platform or tray. You will need some washers most likely to span the gap between your platform and the base so the canister is very snug.

Next a bike wheel hub. This was a major part of the missing ingredient list. Firstly the blender then the hub. This is crucial as it gave me something that was very strong and reliable, with easy maintenance and worked quietly and smoothly. (Was that a run on sentence?) Then I made a whole in the base roughly in the center of the platform so the hub would fit through. Then attached the hub with wood screws. I then ground down the hub so it would match the receiving end of the blender canister. Don’t go to far you can’t go back. After that it was a matter of lining up where to drill the holes for the base of the old blender through the platform. I sketched it on paper then overlaid it on the platform and drill through the paper. The video does it differently. Once that’s done I simply found a good spot to make two bolt sized holes through the platform and through my bike rack so I could attach the two together strongly. I guess I should have mentioned that these are not designer bikes, these are re-purposed. I ride this thing to the market every week. It’s completely useable. I have a 700c x 28 tire on the rear wheel and I bring my trainer to the market to get it up off the ground safely. (Thus no welding)

The last part is friction. We started with a rubber stopper, what a joke. We have finally settled on a roller skate wheel. It won’t last forever but it’s strong enough for this and has lasted us for weeks now. Remember that this is being attached to the hub. One side is grounded down and is where the canister attaches. The other side is untouched and is ready for bolting. I have a locking nut I use and the roller skate wheel goes on and off so I can ride it. There’s no other adjustment needed. Sometimes we adjust tire pressure but that’s easy. All told this took a lot of time, measuring, cutting, re-measuring, failing, and failing better. But we’ve got it running well. It’s much stronger, quieter, and far more reliable than the last version. I took no pictures because this took me more time then just sitting and doing it. But if you have questions stop by the market and I’ll show you or feel free to drop us a line.


(Update 7.29.11) Forgot to mention the blender in the image is Mark II, may it rest in peace. No tears as Mark III is WAY better.!!!!

Week Two

photo by my friend Rhiannon!

We had another beautiful day at the market. We still have just one flavor at a time due to blender limitations. This will hopefully change soon, but in the mean time, the Strawberry Lady Chaser has been a big hit. With just three ingredients, it is pretty easy for this sweet, cold treat to fit into most diets.

Special thanks for our friend Rhiannon, who came and took some lovely pictures of our smoothies in action. They turned out lovely, I do say. We also made a place for friends to post pictures of our smoothie stand in action. Look for us on flickr, twitter, and facebook. 🙂

first day

Well friends, we made it through our first event: opening day at the Fulton Street Artisan’s Market. The day was cooler than we would have liked (and I’m not so sure about making hot smoothies) but we had a successful first run.
(Yes, for some unknown reason, Ryan did sport his bike helmet throughout the entire day, but I did some of the riding too!)

We have some new ideas for future events so we are busy to work this evening already. Overall: we did not forget anything, nothing broke, we made a lot of people smile and maybe think about bike power, and we shared smoothies with a lot of people.

Many thanks to everyone who visited our booth, bought smoothies, asked questions, and even tried pedaling. A special shout-out to the rad bicyclist who has the distinct honor of being our first-ever customer. Thanks Luke!

Introducing smoothie flavor number one: Strawberry Lady Chaser. We plan to include bike-love in all our names. This one has just three sweet ingredients: strawberries, banana, and apple juice. Yum yum yum.

Hello bike blender world!

Tonight, we took some smoothie samples to a Fulton Street Artisan Market meeting and wouldn’t you know, they loved our first creation. We are so excited to be pedaling bike-blended smoothies for this season’s opening market day. So when you come to check out local artisans and craftspeople, be sure to stop by and say hi. Hey, we might even let you pedal.

The Fulton Street Farmers Market (1147 E. Fulton) becomes an ART mARkeT every Sunday from 11am – 3pm. Opening day is this Sunday, June 12. See you there!

PS: We will be starting out our season with “Strawberry Lady Chaser,” a nice cold smoothie made with just three ingredients.

Not to worry, we’ll leave the blending to other bikes.