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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 08-17-05, 10:57 AM   #1
richardmasoner
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Cycle mower

How's this for a chopped bike?

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Old 08-17-05, 12:08 PM   #2
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There is a lawnmower repair shop near me, in Greece, NY that has something just like that outside their shop. Does this really work to mow your lawn?
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Old 08-17-05, 12:33 PM   #3
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I'd be a lot more inclined to mow my lawn on a regular basis if my lawnmower was like that!
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Old 08-17-05, 01:08 PM   #4
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No kidding... Looks like they just welded the mower's handle between the fork tubes, no?

Almost a no-brainer to build, if you're handy with that sort of stuff.
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Old 08-17-05, 01:54 PM   #5
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yeah but turning.... Needs a rack and pinion system...
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Old 08-17-05, 03:49 PM   #6
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Cool idea, but I think it would tear up your lawn with all of that weight on the front wheels when you went to turn. Plus it would be harder to duck under tree limbs, maybe a lowrider trike variant?
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Old 08-17-05, 04:01 PM   #7
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Does this really work to mow your lawn?
Not mine; found the photo on Flickr. The caption says it's used at a park. I thought the same thing as Tree that the wheels would tear up the lawn.

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Old 08-17-05, 09:28 PM   #8
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If I were to build a cycle mower, I'd use an upright trike ad put a spinning blade between the rear wheels. It would be more complicated, but it's more likely to work.
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Old 08-21-05, 01:47 AM   #9
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I seem to recall a joke about someone getting their wife a ride-on mower...

You guys have obviously never used a reel-type mower. You need a bit of weight on the wheels to get some traction, in order for the reel to spin. From the looks of it, I'd say the biggest problem would be getting it to move at all. On damp or lush grass, you'd probably just get wheelspin from the back wheel.
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Old 08-21-05, 04:45 AM   #10
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This bike could work using a dual chain system. A high gear ratio to the front to get the blades spinning fast, and an excruciatingly low gear ratio in the back that would push the bike forward at about 3 mph at 100 rpm. The trike idea with the same gear ratio concept would work better though, since you could even out the weight over a larger area to avoid damaging the lawn.
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Old 08-21-05, 04:50 AM   #11
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The only thing you need to get the blades spinning fast is to get those little front wheels moving. The gears inside that attach to the front wheels do the rest.
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Old 09-18-07, 09:48 PM   #12
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We had one of those mowers when I was a kid. One thing that's not obvious is that grass varies greatly. With the St. Augustine grass in our back yard, we'd get the mower back, take a run at the grass and make it a few feet before it plowed to a stop. It was well night impossible to actually mow the yard. But when we lived in Colorado, the grass was much thinner (and air cooler) and something like that might be workable there.

This does not look like a working sample. Wouldn't it raise one wheel off the ground if you steered? And you'd need to gear it a lot slower, more or less walking pace. Most of your energy would go into the mowing, not the motion.
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Old 09-19-07, 10:25 AM   #13
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Haha I would totally volunteer to mow the lawn if I got to ride a bike to do it. But yeah it doesn't look as if it would be the most efficient lawnmower.
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Old 09-20-07, 08:24 AM   #14
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I think if you're one of those people who fertilizes, sprays against "weeds," waters the lawn regularly, etc., this mower ain't for you. On the other hand, that's not us, is it? My lawn looks best if I mow it frequently, before anything gets very tall; and if the mower is sharp, it cuts best if it's spinning really fast, so I go really fast, sometimes almost running behind it. So under certain conditions a bike powered mower like this might work quite well. I agree with everyone who pointed out steering problems; indeed steering is probably not an option, which means balance is going to be problematic too. But all in all, I bet it's worth a try if you have a very flat yard, i.e. neither sloped nor lumpy; you'd need a large open area where you can do long straight cuts; and you'd have to do it on a dry day. As for the mower itself... the weight has to be distributed more or less evenly between the back wheel, to move the thing, and the front wheels, to turn the reel; and you'd want a nice low gear, so you spin out at 10 mph or so.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:51 PM   #15
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Don't let my wife see that or I'll have to mow the lawn every week.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:13 PM   #16
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If I were to build a cycle mower, I'd use an upright trike ad put a spinning blade between the rear wheels. It would be more complicated, but it's more likely to work.
I saw a working model of one like that in an old IHPVA magazine. Cut a swath 12" wide.
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Old 09-22-07, 07:42 AM   #17
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Here is one for sale http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/427731886.html
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Old 09-22-07, 11:42 AM   #18
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I saw a John Deere version of the same thing.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:13 PM   #19
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I wander if it would work better if the reel mower wheels did not touch the ground but instead one of the wheels was a cog driven by the crank. The mower assembly could be mounted in front of the front tire so you could mow up close to things and have caster wheels on it that function as training wheels or be a trike. It would have to be a fixed gear so you could back the thing up and geared to go 3mph or less at a cadence of 75. Even cooler if you could go in reverse and shift out of the reel mower cog on to a freewheel and then pedal the bike forward without powering the mower assembly. OK, don't steal my idea unless you make me one of course.
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Old 09-24-07, 01:35 PM   #20
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http://cgi.ebay.com/SK-Cycle-Lawn-Mo...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 09-24-07, 02:10 PM   #21
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That would be cool just for the funny looks from the neighbors. Wish I had the spare change right now for that.
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Old 10-02-07, 10:23 AM   #22
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Here's a collection of more mowers.

Also note the reference to the Specialized/Google Innovate or Die human powered device competition, which might be interesting, though it might be challenging to actually come up with something truly unique.
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Old 10-02-07, 06:15 PM   #23
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That would be cool just for the funny looks from the neighbors. Wish I had the spare change right now for that.
me too $100 for shipping is Bull****
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Old 10-05-07, 05:03 PM   #24
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I seem to recall a joke about someone getting their wife a ride-on mower...

You guys have obviously never used a reel-type mower. You need a bit of weight on the wheels to get some traction, in order for the reel to spin. From the looks of it, I'd say the biggest problem would be getting it to move at all. On damp or lush grass, you'd probably just get wheelspin from the back wheel.
Not to mention that if the bike isn't a fixie, you can't back up to go over a patch again, which the reel mowers occasionally need.
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Old 10-06-07, 05:20 PM   #25
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