festivals * parades * school gyms * rec centers * shriners * street fairs * carnivals * money-making * birthday parties * fun at home!

Design & Safety


Buy A Set

Make Your Own

Other Incarnations

Hire the Bumper Cars: johnnypayphone@yahoo.com

Traditional bumper fun without the giant electric floor! Pedal Powered Bumper Bikes go anywhere! Bump and spin under your own power. Raid the town with bumping mayhem. Make cash at events and festivals. Experience the true joy of ramming your friends. These front-wheel-drive, rear-castered bumper spinbikes are super heavy duty to withstand the action. They cost nothing to operate and can be ridden almost anywhere, on pavement or grass. Years of safety testing have made them injury-resistant. They come in flat-floor, hybrid, or offroad versions and can be made kiddie-size or adult sized. The ultimate birthday party amusement!

Off-road: The low gearing of the bumper bike makes it an excellent off-road performer, although the spin-out action is lost on grass or gravel. The examples shown are from a client who wanted to be able to ride them on grass, and so 6" pneumatic casters were chosen. A harder caster will perform better on a concrete court, and a larger-tired version can be built for use in a field (such as for bumper car soccer).

Design & Safety

In 2008, I received an artist-in-residency at a brand new festival in Canberra, Australia, called Corinbank. I built about a dozen bikes of various wacky design for the festival. But when I added bumpers to a rear-castered spinbike, the result was incredible! With Johnny Payphone's Pedal Powered Bumper Cars, each collision results in an out-of-control spinout! Experienced riders soon learned to respond with a tail-whip that turns the bump you receive into a bump on your opponent! You can also do a "bootlegger's turn" by gaining speed, whipping the tail around, applying the brakes, and whipping the front around into a complete 360!

The Pedal Powered Bumper Cars were so fun they represented an entirely next level in bumper bike design. Unfortunately, those early prototypes made from bicycle parts resulted in a number of injuries. Bicycle parts just aren't designed for ramming into things. I spent months with my intrepid crew of test dummies pilots learning what caused these injuries and how to eliminate them. They went into operation in 2008 at Corinbank and enjoyed years of safe operation.

The Pedal Powered Bumper Cars feature these safety improvements:

-construction from 1/8" thick wall 3" x 1" box steel for durability, with 3/16" x 3" flat steel under the bumper.

-head tube is made from two industrial 1.5" flange bearings

-steering column is a solid 1.5" rod

-wheel is an aluminum mag from a Currie scooter (to prevent wheel folding)

-a round, padded steering wheel prevents any poking injuries from handlebars

-no part of the bike or rider can extend beyond the bumpers

-raised pedals to keep feet out of the bumper zone, with a lowered center of gravity for your kiester.

-raised pedals also allow bumper support to go under, rather than around, the legs

-wide stance to prevent tipping with a heavy, on-the-ground build.

The Dodg'em Myth

Remember how the carny would tell you to try and dodge your buddies and not to ram them? Yeah, right. That's the fun part! In order to reduce injury, the carnies had a trick: The course was an oval with a barricade running down the middle. This prevents the riders from getting enough steam to ram each other head-on with enough force to cause injury. It's an old trick, a simple one, and it works. My Pedal Powered Bumper Car course uses this old carny trick. The same set of bikes can be set to adult or child use by constraining them in a small space.


Check out my Youtube Channel!


Buy A Set of Pedal Powered Bumper Cars

These custom bicycles are built in Nevada, USA and shipped to you on pallets. Your own specifications may be used such as offroad, hybrid, or pavement use. Specify adult or "kiddie" size.

One pedal powered bumper car, unpainted and unassembled: $1995

One pedal powered bumper car, custom painted to your colors and assembled: $2200


Set of four pedal powered bumper cars, unpainted and unassembled: $7100

Set of four pedal powered bumper cars, custom painted to your colors and assembled: $7900


Set of ten pedal powered bumper cars, unpainted and unassembled: $15000

Set of ten pedal powered bumper cars, custom painted to your colors and assembled (operating franchise): $18000


-Wheels can be hard or pneumatic, flat free, and large or small for pavement or offroad use

-mark-free casters are available

-bumpers in black or white

-trike wheels: Mounts for non-castering trike wheels can be added on the sides to enable you to ride the bike to a location, quick-release the wheels, and engage in bump & spin action.

these options may affect the price, contact me for a fixed quote

Hire the Bumper cars

Johnny Payphone's Pedal Powered Bumper Cars can come to your festival or event! Their excellent safety record makes them able to be offered to your participants without fear of liability and injury. They require no electricity and ride on pavement or grass. They send and environmental message with their lack of and engine or electrical requirement. Kids love 'em! Adults pretend they don't until they try 'em!

Contact johnnypayphone@yahoo.com for booking information.

Build Your Own

The Pedal Powered Bumper Cars are made from thickwall 3" box steel & industrial scooter parts in order to withstand the brutal abuse they receive in operation. This also makes them safer, as structural failure can result in injury. However, for your own personal use, it is a relatively simple operation to construct a standard spinbike with two rear casters and add bumpers. This is what my original prototypes were before I discovered the Five Fatal Flaws in that design that can lead to rider injury. Those flaws have been eliminated in my design. For this reason, I recommend that you only construct and ride bumper spinbikes if you fully understand that ramming your friends with tricycles will result in contusions and possibly lacerations. Do not unleash them on the unsuspecting public. What you will find is that, when built with bicycle parts, these bikes take about 8-10 hours to construct and about 30 minutes to break. Bring spare wheels!

For detailed instructions on how to make a spinbike, I recommend the excellent book Atomic Zombie's Bicycle Builder's Bonanza. Then refer to my bicycle-based prototypes for ideas on how to add bumpers.

Other Bumper Incarnations

Pedalbump A burning man camp with a four-wheel, pedal-car style ride.

A patent for a rear-steered, pedal-powered bumper car. I can find no proof that one of these was ever built.

A patent for a bumper car that moves by "flinstoning". Seems like your feet would get caught. Again, I think this one existed on paper only.

A carnival amusement where you bump in little boxes, sort of like office chair derby.