Made On Earth — Beer Wheel Drive

Craft & Design


Caz Sienkiewicz’s City Cycle has bike chains, bike saddles, crank sets, and no engine. And yet, it’s really more of a car project than a bike project. Designed to hold fourteen 250lb people and their beverage of choice, it’s built to support more weight than a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, and the motor vehicle similarities don’t end there.

The front end was designed for a Ford Mustang II and the rear suspension system for a Ford Crown Victoria. Explains Sienkiewicz, “Even though it tops out at 5 miles an hour, the chassis is built for 100 miles an hour. It’s a hot-rodder chassis.”

Building it in his garage in Minneapolis over one winter meant working in tight conditions, especially with TIG and MIG welders, chop saws, and CAD workstations lining the walls.

Massachusetts-born Sienkiewicz is an experienced machinist and engineer. His firm Caztek makes machinery for the biomedical and computer industries. In his spare time, he’s working on a valveless pulsejet.

So what’s the City Cycle experience like? “One early design was geared differently, and we could get it up to nearly 20 miles an hour,” recalls Sienkiewicz. But that was too fast, so he opted to change the gearing, to make it easier to pedal up hills. “Believe me, 5 miles an hour is plenty fast,” he says. “And the automotive suspension provides a comfortable ride, with surprisingly good handling.”

City Cycle riders can enjoy a brew or two during the journey, supplied from a midships beer tap hooked up to an insulated keg cooler in the back. Sienkiewicz hopes to sell his invention commercially. Before too long, a City Cycle might be pedaling around your neighborhood.

Pedal-Powered Party:

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William Gurstelle

William Gurstelle is a contributing editor of Make: magazine. His new book, ReMaking History: Early Makers is now available.

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