One-day build – Cargo bed for my e-bike made from scrap wood

I bought a cargo e-bike this weekend and am elated about it. It’s so much fun to ride and it’s so easy to move such a big bike. Everything about it makes me think of it as a station wagon.

Comparison of a product photo of a Yuba FastRack Compact Cargo eBike to a station wagon with wooden panels and a load of suitcases strapped to the roof

Photo of station wagon by Zlatko Đurić on Unsplash

The bike isn’t sporty or fast, but it’s capable and comfortable. I ran a few grocery runs on it with a simple cargo net over the shopping bags and it worked pretty well. However, I wanted something a little easier to load an unload, and also keep things from sliding off the back of the bed.

Fortunately, I had a bunch of serendipitously-sized scrap wood in my workshop, so I puzzled together a reasonably lightweight wooden cargo bed.

Photo of a sheet of plywood clamped to the bed of the bike

I had a nearly-ideal sheet of 1/2” plywood leftover from the indoor plant stand I built a few months ago. Clamping it to the bike and riding around confirmed that it would fit the bike and stay out of the way when pedalling.

Photos showing the use of a speed square to transfer the positions of mounting bolts to a scrap piece of plywood

I used a low-quality scrap of 1/4” plywood to mark the positions of each of the mounting bolts on the frame using my speed square. My goal was to build something good enough with minimal fuss over measurements, and to my delight this worked very well.

Photos showing the assembly of blocks of wood into U-shaped pieces to sit at the front and back of the bed; the blocks are clamped into place and drilled; there is a view of the U-shaped piece being test fit on the bike

I found two more serendipitously-sized blocks of wood left over from removing some old shelving and screwed them to supporting blocks to make the front and back of the bed. The heights of the blocks didn’t matter much to me, so the back of the bed is slightly taller than the front, which works out reasonably well for hauling stuff.

Photo of completed bed showing mounting bolts

I transferred the mounting holes from the scrap to the bed and countersunk the heads because the bolts themselves were only about 1/2” and needed to reach the frame.

Photo of bike lock mounted in holes in the front of the cargo bed

Finally, I wanted a convenient place to put my bike lock where it wouldn’t rattle around or get in the way of pedalling. I realized I could just drill holes through the front of the bed and clasp the lock around the seat post with the lock body inside the bed. This delighted me 🥰

Photo of full view of bike with new cargo bed attached

It works, it looks pretty good, and I made it with stuff laying around my workshop. Quite a satisfying way to spend an afternoon.