In response to the scratch-built kid racer piece I blogged about, Nik Schulz sent us a link to this site celebrating CycleKarts. CycleKarting? Who knew? I love that you’re not allow to buy one. To race it, you have to build it.

This is where we get to introduce everyone to the inordinately fun world of CycleKarts! We’ve built a lot of projects over the years, most of which people ride around in. We’ve become pretty good at reading people’s expressions to gauge how much fun the machine really is as they take off in something for the first time. The CycleKarts rate right at the top; absolute whooping-out-loud fun.

CycleKarts are small, lightweight, nimble machines made by their drivers for the pursuit of motoring sport. They’re not serious speed-machines or status-generating show cars. They’re purely for the gritty fun and satisfaction of tearing around in a machine you’ve built yourself. As a class of driving machine, the CycleKart formula limits certain aspects of the machines (for reasons we elaborate on elsewhere) to maintain good sporting performance without jeopardising the light-hearted nature of these machines. CycleKarts and their builder/drivers don’t like to take things too seriously, and certainly not themselves or each other, so overzealous competitiveness is frowned upon, and a win-at-any-cost attitude is not invited back. We do encourage good, sporting competitions for fun, to which end the cars are kept reasonably similar in performance.

First off: these cars are not for sale –here or anywhere else! This is not a mercenary proposition; we do this for our pleasure, and we’ve found over the years that trying to make money from hobbies takes the fun out of things. Besides, as you’ll read below, there are some very good reasons why mercantilism is kept out of this sport.

An Introduction to CycleKarting

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


    Quite cool, but not at all what I was hoping to see when I arrived here.

    Now I have to try and make a pedal-power CycleKart…

  • John

    This is absolutely cool. I find myself instantly online looking for a local CycleKart association (sadly none)

  • Clayton

    I was waiting to see how long it take for Make to pick this up after the pedal car article.

    These things are right down the alley of a maker, and I would love to see some new efforts on a cycle kart from readers.

    I’ve been obsessed since I found the link. Scrounging up parts etc etc. Cant wait to get started building.

    There are some other good links for cyclekarts on the metalshapers website.

  • rolandblais

    It’s nice to see the Stevensons linked to here. They are true Makers, and have inspired many, many DIY’rs. After you’ve been inspired by the Cycle-Carts, go up to the top of the site, and read about building your own sailboat. I built a Weekender, and not only was it a great experience to build, but lots of fun to sail.