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Ethan Schlussler of Sandpoint, Idaho, built this clever bicycle-powered treehouse elevator to make it easier to reach his nearly 30-foot-high treehouse.

“I got tired of climbing a ladder six and a half million times a day, so I made a bicycle powered elevator to solve this problem,” he writes.

“It was originally a 20-something speed bicycle, but first gear wasn’t slow enough, so I cut the large sprocket off the front, and welded it on the rear to get a lower gear. I also had to do away with the de-railers and make a new chain tensioner.”

The treehouse is not yet complete, but Ethan says, “I will be building walls and insulating it in the next few weeks, and eventually I intend to live (or at least sleep) in it. “

bicycle-powered treehouse elevator
A heavy chain keeps the bicycle from being pulled up by the counterweight.

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Ethan pedals his way to his treetop hideaway.

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Bike’s eye view.

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On the way down (feet off the pedals).

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Preparing for touchdown.

[Thanks, Phil!]

Laura Cochrane

I’m an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, and etymology.


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