i would like to creat a large steam engine, big enough to power a vehicle made of bikes that seats 3.

the vehicle would be pedaled until some speed was reached, then the engine would be switched on.

the bike contraption would consist of two bikes side by side, held together by lumber. two of the seats would be mounted in the bikes original seat holes, on the side, and the third would be in the middle, the driver. the front wheels of the side bikes would be removed and he front end of a third will be used in the front. the vehicle will be like a giant, steam powered tricycle.

Other engine ideas, other than gas powered, would be greatly appreciated, the cheaper the better.

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CrLz6 years ago
Be careful with steam power- explosions are a working risk and very serious. Thus problematic for people seated around the steam engine.
skaar CrLz6 years ago
using a monotube, a catastrophic failure would produce a whoosh, not a boom, without proper insulation, there wouldn't be legs removed, there would be legs scalded, or steam inhalation(i've heard it's an agonising death). so, building the shell to vent steam out the exhaust when/if something goes bad, would be a good idea.
a steam engine powerfull enough to propel you on a bike would probably be too big for you to pedal yourself, not to mention dangerous. theres a reason nothing is steam powered anymore, and thats because there are much more effecient and practical and safer ways of transportation. i would suggest doing something electric. if you scrounge for parts they can be built relatively cheaply and they are much more powerfull that anything else you can get your hands on. try going to scrapyards and garage sales if money is an issue. i have a bike that is powered by a wheelchair motor via friction drive that makes 20mph, and am desighning a new direct drive bike that will top 40mph!
honestly, small steam power for a bike is easy, and depending on boiler design... safer than gasoline. in my estimation, the problem is not the steam, it's the bikes, the wheels are designed for down direction force, in other words, meant to lean, it'd probably collapse when someone needs to do an emergency turn, unless the wheels are upgraded.

be aware though, that in many places, there's a road speed limits on bikes, since they're not designed to go as fast as a motorcycle, the wheels again, and tires. a bike designed for fat bike tires could potentially fit slim retro style motorcycle tires.
three bikes would be sawed up and welded together(with some metal support ) making a tricycle like frame. The two back wheels woul be two back bike halves, the front wheel would be the front of a bike. The two back people would pedal to give it some speed, so the engine wouldn't have to accelerate the vehicle, only maintain it's current speed.
Burf6 years ago
Wind power. Put a sail on it like a wind surfer. Cheap, safe and you don't have to register it with the DMV.
poozipotti (author)  Burf6 years ago
A turbosailmight work...