Picture of Air powered bicycle.
A hybrid pushbike / compressed air powered bike.
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Step 1: Find and modify an air tank.

Picture of find and modify an air tank.
this is an old propane tank. this turns out to be a very bad idea. although the propane was emptied out, the really heavy mercapton (stinnky sulfur based molecules) were left in the bottom of the tank. even after 20 odd air refills, it still smells awful to run air from this tank. hence the nickname - "stinkbike"

Step 2: First crazy tandem test

Picture of first crazy tandem test
for want of a better idea, Eric is going to sit on the pannier cage and rub the chuck of the air drill (friction drive) on the wheel, that way i (saul) can pedal and steer without thinking about other thingy..

Step 3: One person operation.

so it actually worked and moved eric and I along at about 4 miles perhour for about 1 minute. that's all we expected from a 100psi tank. what we really need is a 4500 psi carbon fiber scuba tank. in theory that should give 250 watts worth of power for about an hour. that would be way cool. also need more efficient motor directly in drive train to really accomplish this.

Step 4: Test it.

Picture of test it.
the one hand operation is difficult.
particularly when the brake handle is on the same side as the hand required for the throttle operation...
BuildIt60004 years ago
The proper way to do this would be to build an air turbine engine and connect that to your tank. Modified tesla turbine maybe?
You could use a big propane tank mounted to a trailer attached to the bike?
thats what i would do!
sjo2326 years ago
that is AWESOME
ngenius18 years ago
look for local government auctions of surplus fire department SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) tanks, AKA "Scott Air Packs". Can frequently be had for a song, after they are no longer usable for their intended purpose. Most city governments have such auctions, at least once a year. (CAUTION: You may end up with more useless stuff than you can possibly imagine! Some of it can be quite dangerous if misused...but then, misuse is just what happens when something goes horribly wrong!)
normanicus8 years ago
I hope you don't mind me suggesting a better way to make an air assisted bike. A compressor is a pump in reverse. So, why not build a compressor/pump into the bottom bracket. Then, when going down hill the unit would act as a pump and compress air. Where to store it? Right in the frame. When going up hill and in need of a boost then switch unit to work as a pump and get some energy back. If it would work then it would add little weight. The big disadvantage compared with your idea is that it means reconstructing the bike.
inchman8 years ago
I have access to scuba tanks and a means to refill them for free so I'll try the next step. My only question is, is the air drill modified in anyway to transmit the power to the wheel more efficently?