Pedal Go Kart: Making a Decent Pedal Go Kart For $20

Many are looking for a cheap go kart one that can be made out of bicycle parts and be a pedal go kart. The desire is to have a go kart that is pedal powered, uses a handbrake and is made out of everyday materials. The other requirement is that every day tools be used and that the overall budget for the go kart not exceed $20.

The basic construction of the go kart utilizes a center frame section made out of plywood and 2 x 4’s, an Axel support system, a steering support system, and the steering mechanism and obviously pedal crank system.

This book is broken up into four main sections, first the main body of the go kart, secondly the drive system for the go kart, thirdly the steering system for the go kart, and finally fourthly the braking system for the go kart.


Many of you were asking for a pedal powered go kart and I had to rack my brain on how to make a go kart out of everyday materials and use bicycle parts in the process. I quickly found out how many brick walls that I could run into for each and every step of the process. It truly is not easy, especially if you’re trying this on your own for the first time. I think that you’re going to be happy that you took a look at this book before you started diving in to make a pedal powered go kart.

The first difficulty was coming up with the go kart with a pedal system that would work properly. The amount of force required to make a go kart “go” can be an extremely large amount of force and actually cause the pedal cranks to bend. So some reengineering of the pedal system had to be incorporated.

The mounting of the wheels at first seemed to be a very difficult problem, but that was easily overcome by some good old common sense and every day materials. What seem to be a problem at first turned out to be a non-problem and was easily remedied by using bolts and nuts and the existing bearings.

The braking system turned out to be the most difficult and complicated parts of the go kart to design and incorporate. The natural desire is to have a freewheeling go kart with a back pedal or coaster brake system. The difficulty arises in that the coaster brake on a bike is not easily transferred to a live actual system. There’s no way you can actually couple, or mount the drive shaft easily on the rear coaster brake mechanism on a standard one speed bike. In order to actually use the coaster brake system a third bike is required and some extraordinary sprocket fabrication.

So be prepared for some interesting design challenges. A regular go kart relative to the pedal go kart is actually quite simple. The pedal go kart presses your imagination and your skill levels in fabricating parts, especially if you are trying to make it light and have all the bells and whistles of a regular 10 speed bike.

This book is based on the simplest pedal go kart and that is one with one speed, no coaster brake, no coaster system, and a rubbing of brake system. The steering system is very simple and is comparable to the wood go kart steering system found in the wood go kart books.

In the end section of the book we talk about how to make a coaster brake system and show how to put it together using the third bike coaster brake mechanism.

This book does not show you how to use a 10 speed bike system, in that a 10 speed bike derailer system requires detail and attention to its mounting. Additionally metal parts will have to be fabricated and that really is beyond the scope of what this whole pedal go kart book is about. The idea for this book is to make a $20 go kart using bike parts and wood. To use a 10 speed bike would cost over $50-$60 if not more.

Next time…..So let’s get on with the book and figure out how to make a pedal powered go kart.

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  1. First time visitor and happy to have found your blog. This is some great information here!

  2. Hi, where do I obtain a copy of the book on how to build a wooden pedal go kart? Tks

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