An Ingenious Bicycle-Powered Treehouse Elevator Lifts a Rider 30 Feet in Seconds
Categories: Tips & Tricks
We've all seen movies where an ambush from the trees comes down on top of the forest guests, but who would have thought a bicycle could make that all too easy!
Over the last few weeks Ethan Schlussler has been working on a beautifully designed 30-foot-high treehouse and quickly became tired of “climbing a ladder six and a half million times a day,” so he decided to build a human-powered elevator out of an old bicycle.
At first I was expecting something pretty tedious to pedal in order to lift the weight of a full-grown man, yet as soon as he starts pedaling in the video it seems to work almost like magic. It really is a clever idea!
Lugging a thirty foot ladder to the forest is an annoyance on its own, not to mention having to climb up and down the endless rungs anytime something is needed from the forest floor. Schussler’s solution not only gets him quickly into his treehouse perch, but also recycles an old bike that was laying around.
The pedal powered elevator started out as an old twenty speed bicycle. Schussler adjusted the bike’s gears by switching sprockets from the front wheel to the back, which gave enough tension to make a gear slow enough for hauling his own body weight up to the treehouse effectively. Anchored on the ground with a chain, the elevator is used by simply mounting the bike and pedaling. As the pedals turn, the user is lifted into air as if in flight. Once Schussler reaches the top, he can easily climb over the wooden guard into his treehouse hideaway, hooking the back along the side to hold tight until he’s ready to come down.
Getting back down is the easy part, with the gear tension tweaked so a slow, smooth descent makes for a safe return to the ground.