Instructables

Propane Powered Bike

video Propane Powered Bike
This is a video of my propane powered bike. I chose propane as the fuel for several reasons. First i didn't want to deal with having to charge a battery on an electric bike. Also, I didn't want to deal with the yearly maintenance of a gas powered bike. I have enough of that with my lawn mower and snow blower. Propane gave me many benefits. It runs on the 1lb propane tanks which makes it easy for me to carry additional fuel. I refill my 1lb bottles from a 20lb propane tank, so I am not wasting the empty tanks. The end of year maintenance is as simple as disconnecting the propane tank and running the engine until its out of gas. This usually takes about 15 seconds. To prepare it for use after storage is check the oil and attach the propane tank. I have had this for 3 seasons now with no problems. I love this little work horse. I bought most of the parts need to build this from "Staton-inc". They were a great company and helped me with many of my questions.  The whole build took me 1 weekend and then a little bit of tweaking the following weekend.  I am entering this in the Bike Contest, so please vote if you like it. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
Wow, Nice build; I was actually thinking about doing something similar, but steam-punk (tanks and piping already built in!).
tamasic11 year ago
Great build. Very cool. I could see adapting this to a tadpole style trike. I'm interested in seeing a step by step if you ever get time to do one. Thanks for the video.
The ford pinto was a car that when hit exploded. This seems like the bicycle version of that. If a full or semi full propane tank is hit in a bicyle/car crash are you saying it won't explode? I have been hit and the bicycle as just a hunk of metal does enough damage to your body.
ClayChip (author)  veryrealperson1 year ago
Propane tanks are extremely safe. Unless you toss it in a fire or intentionally try to explode the tank it just wont happen. The propane tank is made of a heavier gauge steel than the ones you find on gas bikes. The propane cylinders are designed to be safe. I appreciate your concern on this matter, but the only real danger with riding this bike would losing control while riding at a high speed, and hitting the ground.  That is why I try to keep the speed under 20mph , and I wear a helmet.

The ford pinto of bicycles. This seems terribly unsafe
ClayChip (author)  veryrealperson1 year ago
Why do you believe this is unsafe? I have had both my car mechanic and the local bike shop check this out before I started riding it just to make sure it was safe. I have had no problems with the exception of having to relocate the kill switch with the bike, and I have dumped it a couple of times. Even if the motor is running it won't propel the bike unless I actuate the throttle. If you see something that looks unsafe, I am open for suggestions.
buddysjr1 year ago
Hi, you didn't mention how long a cylinder of propane last, or the distance traveled, could you, please?
Since you have videoed a couple of different models could you make one like the green model with spare propane storage for sale and at what price?
Obviously this could be a nice cottage business for you.
If there is not a sale model then what about "Instructable instructions"?
Thank you,
ClayChip (author)  buddysjr1 year ago
If I don't pedal assist I get around 20 miles per tank. I could make the propane tank storage containers and the mounting bracket for them, but I am not affiliated with the web site that makes the kits. I told them what I wanted, even though it wasn't listed on their site, and they sold me the parts I needed to build it. The only video I made was the one I posted here on instructables. I will make a step by step instructable later if enough are interested. ,
User11 year ago
I am dumfounded why you mount your kill switch there, like that. You don't have extra wire?

ClayChip (author)  User11 year ago
Great question. I had it on the handle bars, and broke the wire when I had to get off my bike fast to help my kid that fell. By having it where it is I can turn it off with my foot while I'm riding if needed. Also, I don't need to worry about over turning the front wheel and breaking the wire again. There were many other places where I could have mounted it, but where it's placed now is comfortable for me.
rimar20001 year ago
Very good work, congratulations.
ClayChip (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thank you very much!
That's a really neat machine, I'd be really interested if you were able to post more details about how you actually went about making it and the parts you used. I want one!
Thank you, I'll try to make a more detailed instructable on this at a later date. But if you are in a hurry the guys at stanton-inc can help you design what parts you will need to make the conversion. FYI the kit wasn't a simple install. there was quite a bit of modding needed.
imbm241 year ago
I like this also. It would be great if you could provide some idea of how much it cost to build and what parts you used, alone with sources if available.
ClayChip (author)  imbm241 year ago
I spent around $500.00 on everything not including the bike. I bought 99% of the material from www.staton-inc.com and some miscellaneous hardware from Lowes. I didn't find this kit on his site, but he helped me create it. They also have a friction drive kit instead of transmission which costs significantly less.