Spinning Wheel Design (Idea)

An idea for converting an old bicycle frame to a spinning wheel.
An idea for converting an old bicycle frame to a spinning wheel.

Was just pondering spinning wheels since my housemate’s boyfriend built her an electric one that works pretty good. However, it IS electric which means it is still post-industrial revolution and requires a 110V 60Hz power hookup.

What if you cut a bicycle frame (see photo) such that the sprocket, gears, rear wheel, and seat were all still intact. You could attach a treadle to where the crank-shafts once were and make sure the rear hub couldn’t rotate freely. You could run the gear changers (if it’s a multi-speec bike) up near the seat post allowing the spinner to change speeds. With the wheel no longer on free-rotate, the break would be unecessary.

The flyer, bobbin, and other-parts-I-don’t-know-the-names-of could be attached to the seat post and the quick-release used to quickly adjust distance from the wheel or to remove that section for necessary repairs, loading, etc (again I don’t know enough about spinning wheels to judge what is necessary there).

One thing the boyfriend mentioned was the difficulty of keeping costs down… I’m sure you can find part of a bike to use for around $20 and it comes with so much built in. If anyone ever implements (or has already implemented) a design like this, please let me know. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Spinning Wheel Design (Idea)”

  • darrell,

    great idea!

    i’m not a spinner but i believe it requires at least one hand free to moderate the flow of fiber. so, i would take this design in two directions.

    1. chances are in the third world a stationary bicycle is already used extensively to power micro-businesses that spin fiber into thread or yarn. try googling for images (lacking broadband, i suggest someone else search the net). this covers the small scale semi-automated production pattern.

    2. for the solo spinner, a foot treadle leaving both hands free to moderate the flow of fiber is probably optimal for a human powered spinning operation.

    see also


    love, dad

  • I had an idea for this just a little while ago!

    I AM a spinner so I will tell you a few basic things- When someone starts spinning yarn, it is called a singles-never a 1-ply yarn! If the spinner decides to ply it, it needs to be spun in the opposite direction of the singles that make it up. One big problem is that a derailleur will only turn the wheel in one direction. Now it IS possible to have a wheel simply for spinning singles or plying, it’s just slightly less economical. My boyfriend has a Trek mountain bike fitted with a gear shifting system that is just a lever, and tht is what gave me the idea, being able to “increase the throttle” with just a lever. If I ever come across the parts for cheap, I certainly would build it!! 😀

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