So you’re an adult building a treehouse, about thirty feet up in the air, and you’re getting a little tired of climbing a ladder. And who can blame you? So, to make his life easier, and win the approval of the Internet, one treehouse builder, Ethan Schlussler of Sandpoint, Idaho, created a bicycle elevator.

Also there’s a kitty in the video. Hee, kitty!


Simple, But Effective

Schlussler’s elevator is about as basic as elevators get, if you can’t see the video up top: As he pedals the bicycle, it acts on a pulley system to raise and lower a counterweight. So, as you pedal, the weight pulls up the bicycle and the rider. In other words, it’s, quite literally, an elevator, just made out of unconventional parts and more likely to get you some decent exercise.

Of course, sending the bicycle down requires just gravity, so that may not be the most safe part of this design.

Some Modification Required

That said, it wasn’t as simple as stringing up some cable and stripping the tires off the bike. In fact, Schlussler had to re-engineer the bike to some degree; while it was originally a twenty-speed bike, he literally couldn’t find a gear low enough to do what he wanted. He was ultimately forced to remove the large front sprocket and put it on the back wheel, add a new chain tensioner, and get rid of the derailers.

A Treehouse As A Home


If you’re wondering why Schlussler is putting so much time and energy into his arboreal abode, the short answer is that he’s planning on doing a lot more than just hanging out in it. Next on Schlussler’s list is adding walls and insulating the treehouse, making it a more permanent structure and possibly one he can live out of.

In other words, he wants a house with a bicycle elevator. Hey, can’t blame him.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.