Bowhead Reach Lift and Transit Rack

So you have a badass adaptive mountain bike but it’s 6ft long and 85lbs so how do you transport it? And how do you get in and out of something when the seat is only 8″ off the ground?

Well how about a bike rack that can not only pick the bike up, but pick you up too?

As soon as I put down a deposit on the bike, I got to work. I knew something like a miniature lift-gate would be the right kind of mechanism but what to power it? Ah! An automatic car jack that fits a hydraulic pump, ram, and reservoir in a shoebox sized package, plus it’s already designed to work off 12VDC. The arms of the mechanism started as steel rectangular tubes and I welded in steel bushings and pressed in sintered bronze bearings to make low-friction pivot points. The lathe got a lot of use making all the shafts that make up the joints and I even ground my own snap ring tool.

I wasn’t quite sure how the bike would attach until it arrived. After a solid night of just looking at the frame I realized there was enough space to have little locking fingers that pivot into place and capture the main frame rails. This allows me to simply pull a lever from the driver’s seat to lock and unlock the bike into place.

I’m always prepared to make adjustments when the CAD ends and the real world building begins but in the end it all came together like the Solidworks model. It’s a real testament to what can be built when a good design can be realized in the right parts.