Man builds ingenious treehouse elevator using a bike (Video)

Ethan Schlussler
Video screen capture Ethan Schlussler

There's often an element of magic and fantasy when it comes to building treehouses, but probably not so much when it comes to climbing up all those steps to get into a treehouse, day in and day out... oof! Fatigued of scaling up the ladder to the 30-foot high treehouse that he is currently constructing, Sandpoint, Idaho resident Ethan Schlussler created this neat bicycle-powered treehouse elevator. See it in action:

Schlussler explains in his words why and how he made this contraption:

I got tired of climbing a ladder six and a half million times a day, so I made a bicycle powered elevator to solve this problem.

It was originally a 20-something speed bicycle, but first gear wasn’t slow enough, so I cut the large sprocket off the front, and welded it on the rear to get a lower gear. I also had to do away with the de-railers and make a new chain tensioner.

Ethan Schlussler/Video screen capture
Ethan Schlussler/Video screen capture

Schlussler has since cut out part of the temporary railing for easier access to the platform, and answers the question of whether it's safe or not:

Of course it's not "safe", but neither is walking across the street. That said, almost every part of the system is many times stronger than necessary, and there is no single part that would make it free fall if it broke. And even if it did fall, I would most likely survive; it's only 28 feet (at most).

Nevertheless, from the number of views so far, there's a lot of interest from others who want to replicate this nifty device. Check out the comments on YouTube; hat-tip to MAKE.

Tags: Architecture | Bike-Friendly World | Biking