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Pedal-Powered Snowplow

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Some of you may have already seen this picture of a pedal powered snowplow on Trek’s “1 World 2 Wheels” blog a few weeks ago. This machine looks pretty interesting in the still picture, but you really need to see it in action to get the full effect (click the video link from this story on a Wisconsin news station’s website). It was designed and built by Kevin Blake, who works by day as an engineer at Trek. In the video, he talks a bit about the construction of his recumbent snowplow bike, which has a handbuilt steel frame but is also made from old bike parts, a salvaged Craftsman riding lawnmower, and a couple of snow shovels. Pretty cool idea; it almost makes me wish I lived somewhere that gets some snowfall …almost. I should also mention that Kevin was a runner up in the “Innovate or Die” contest with this machine. He didn’t get the $5,000 grand prize, but apparently he did win a Specialized bike (just what every Trek engineer needs I am sure).

While I am posting, I want to mention bike content that I spotted on a couple of Industrial Design websites this morning. Core 77 has gallery coverage of the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show. It is great to see that the show is growing and being covered at sites like Core this year. I also saw an interesting bike rack design in a recent designboom post. It looks like the lock hole lines up pretty well with the top tube on the bike in the photos, but I wonder how well it would work with variety of bikes of different types and sizes.

Photo credit: Trek “1 World 2 Wheels” blog.

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  1. Fritz February 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

    That bike rack looks sharp, but who in the world locks only a top tube to the rack?

    Love that irony of the Trek engineer winning a Spesh bike 🙂 He can always call it competitive analysis!

  2. Paulo @ undercurrents February 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Could you tell the world about our new online video series about the couple who cycled 17,000k from england to australia?
    Watch it on for free at

  3. AW February 26, 2008 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    The bicycle rack is nice looking, but designed by someone who has never left a bike somewhere. Cyclists need to be able to lock their wheels up. That rack, I’d need probably two cable or chain locks, one to lock the top tube to the rack, the other to attach the wheels to the bike.

    You can only lock one bike to each rack.

    Manufacturing costs look significantly higher than other bike rack ideas that are more functional.

    A steel loop sticking out of the ground is better — cheaper, more functional, you can lock a bike to each side of it.

  4. bikesgonewild February 27, 2008 at 5:01 am -  Reply

    …gee, i don’t think i need a snowplow bike here in sunny california (hey, despite the rain what cha saw on versus) but i think thats a pretty cool idea…

    …bike rack, not so much, for the reasons others stated…
    …& the construction leads me to believe, kids being kids, some a’ them are gonna wanna bend those big flat bars down to the ground…

  5. James February 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

    fritz, aw, and wild, Good points about the bike rack. There are many visually appealing designs out there, but I think the good old inverted-U is still the best solution.

    and paulo, a bit off topic, but I guess you just told the world about your video.

  6. Bicycle Tutor March 13, 2008 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    What a great idea, sure would make winter work more fun!

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