Make your own little e-bike using scrap parts

This little e-bike is fun to make and actually works.
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can watch the video from this alternative link.

If you have some free time, why not invest it in making your own little working e-bike model? 

diy mini e-bike complete
Source: Interesting Engineering

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Plastic lids
  • DC motor
  • Foam
  • Pencils
  • Pulley wheel
  • 3.7V battery
  • Battery charger module
  • Soda can
  • Wooden skewers
  • Switch
  • Superglue or hot glue gun

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.

Step 1: Make the wheels

The first step is to take the plastic containers and remove the caps. Drill a hole through the center of the caps to make the halves of the wheels. 

diy mini e-bike wheels
Source: Interesting Engineering

Rinse and repeat with three more caps. With that done, superglue, or hot glue, the plastic caps together to make the wheels of the mini e-bike. 

With that done, take your foam and cut it into thin strips the same width as the wheels. Glue and wrap these around the outside circumference of the wheels to add the tread to the wheels. 

diy mini e-bike foam
Source: Interesting Engineering

Cut off any excess as needed. 

Step 2: Make the frame of the bike

Next, take your pencils and drill a series of holes through their length. With that done, take your wooden skewers and cut them down into shorter lengths ready to make the frame for the bike and axles for the wheels. 

diy mini e-bike axles
Source: Interesting Engineering

With that done, connect the wheels and drilled pencils together to make the basic frame of the e-bike as shown. Glue the skewers into place against the pencils as needed to keep them held firmly together. When doing this, ensure the wheels can spin freely about their axles. 

Trim off the excess. 

Step 3: Build the rear wheel assembly

With the back wheel, which will be the drive wheel, add a short length of plastic straw into the hole in its hub. Next, take a small plastic pulley wheel and drill a hole through its center. 

With that done, drill two smaller holes on either side of the main hole as shown below. 

diy e-bike pulley
Source: Interesting Engineering

With that done, glue this into place to one side of the rear wheel. Now, drill two more pencils as shown and assemble the rear wheel frame as shown in the video. Trim off excess skewer lengths as before. 

With that done, take a rubber band and wrap it around the pulley wheel on the rear wheel.

Step 4: Complete the main body of the e-bike

Next, take a small rectangle of wood and glue that into position partway up the pencil frame above the rear wheel. 

With that done, cut some more edge shapes of wood and glue these into position against the rectangle of wood you just installed. 

diy mini e-bike rear wheel
Source: Interesting Engineering

Next, glue the two main halves of the e-bike together to make the main body of the bike. Build up the rest of the "footplate" of the bike with more pieces of wood as needed too. 

Step 5: Install the motor and build up the body of the e-bike

With the main bike assembly now complete, the next step is to install the motor. Glue the motor to the footplate of the e-bike and ensure that the small pulley on the motor's rotor is in line with the pulley on the rear wheel. 

With that done, you can connect the two pulleys together using the rubber band. Next, add yet another length of wood above the motor at an angle and connect this to the wooden supports of the front wheel. 

diy mini e-bike wooden frame
Source: Interesting Engineering

Build up the wooden frame some more with cross members and end plates as shown. 

Next, take your old soda can and cut a strip of it to make the rear wheel arch. Glue this into position above the rear wheel as needed. Rinse and repeat for the front wheel arch/mudguard of the e-bike.

Step 6: Complete the mini e-bike

Next, cut another small piece of foam and glue this to the middle of the mainframe of the bike to make a cushioned seat. 

With that done, drill a hole through the wooden frame of the bike just in front of the foam seat. Next, take your battery and feed the wires through the hole you just drill. Glue the battery into position just in front of the seat. 

If desired, make a housing for the battery using another piece of a soda can, and glue this into place as required. 

diy e-bike battery
Source: Interesting Engineering

Next, take your 3.7V charging board and wire the battery wires to the board as needed. With that done, wire up the motor and battery charging board as shown below. 

diy mini e-bike wiring
Source: Interesting Engineering

Glue the control board and switch it into place underneath the main seat as needed.

With that, your mini e-bike is now complete. You can now give your e-bike a test drive. You may need to add counterweights and balancing weights to the bike to keep it upright, but suck it and see.

If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy making another little vehicle?

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