Picture of The SteamRoller Riding Contraption
This a self balancing two wheel, two person vehicle. It self balances because the center of gravity is located below the center of the wheels.

Each rider controls one wheel. Pedal together and you move in a straight line forward or backward. Anything else is a turn including a spin in place by pedaling in opposite directions. I guessed a top speed of around 7mph would be a good start. I set the gear ratio accordingly. It was designed for kids around 5' tall, but it can easily handle taller. I am 5'6" and about 160lbs. I rode it with my daughter and it worked well.

This instructable details how to make a basic version. I designed everything in Pro/E. I have exported all the parts to DXF format so you can access with free software like QCAD. The drawings have basic dimensions for overall reference. They are 1:1 so you can scale off them or add additional dimensions. There are also PDFs too. I used my homemade CNC router so I added a lot of details that are not required. Need more info, detail, pictures...just ask.

The project took me about 16-20 hours over 3 weeks to build. A lot of that was design and testing, so it could take you less time. I had a lot of left over and found material that I used. If you started from scratch this could cost $150 to $200 to build. The bearings and drive train parts are the most expensive. I bought them at a surplus store. Hopefully you can find them cheaper.

The design worked pretty much as intended without any major problems. I did learn a few things along the way. I added "possible improvements" sections to each step that might make your version better and easier to build.

The working name is SteamRoller due to the steampunk look. The kids like Wheels of Doom and Portable Porch Swing. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

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did someone already buy it?

have u thought abut puting a tiller on so 1 person can control it

Coachfrank2 years ago
My dad has two antique 54" steel hay machine wheels taht I am going to try to use for this.
ecsaul232 years ago
This looks like sooooo much fun. totally awesome!
Wow! Really great! Thank you for the Inspiration! That would be great for my little kids :-)
Ricram22 years ago
Hi ! soo i saw your steampunk design and i think is awesome .... would you mind if i try some different style for the design ?
Fred826645 years ago
Admin on this site must be smoking Meth this should of made in the top five of  09. it did make it as 13  out of 50  still not bad ! but still yet it should be in the top 5
ilpug Fred826643 years ago
agreed. except for the meth smoking part. i dont think they do that.
louis.m4 years ago
What about "Weird Wheeler" as a name?
richie_1144 years ago
Awesome! I made something similar (3 wheeled) several years ago, nowhere near as cool though!
bdring (author) 4 years ago
It is still going strong after two years!

I am looking to clear it out of my garage. It takes up too much room. If someone in the Chicago area wants it, make me an offer.

The kids are going to be a little upset :-(
ehudwill4 years ago
Great design!
mr_rigo4 years ago
This is really cool and very nice wood project.
For the one person version we could use a a V- belt drive with a Variable speed pulley to change the speed of one wheel, so we can control the direction by adjusting the pulley.
The V-Belt variable speed pulley are not expensive and it is available for a range of torques and dimensions.
I wonder if there could be some sort of geared steering system for single rider use... I may have to research this...
You could use an individual brake on each wheel and put a diferental between them.
rustymia4 years ago
we had to design the bike of the future for my science class, and this is almost the exact same as my design, except mine was a little taller and was only one person. The pedals werent attached to the axle directly, the go to a differential, so to turn you would pull a brake lever or handle, and it would slow down the tire.

Your design is AWESOME!!
yggdrazil4 years ago
So so cool! And beautiful as well!
It's looks like something you would need to wait in line and pay to ride. The worry-wart in me is afraid of any little fingers or arms going into those spokes. Perhaps a little netting or wire would prevent that?
Keep building cool stuff!
good job! hey all i have to suggest is make some sort of steel reinforcment that has spokes on each wheel that would meet up and be connected to where the wheel connects to the shaft, i noticed alot of warping between the wheels and the chassis. but still an awsome way to get around!
I noticed the flex too. Maybe thicker axle and perhaps an extra ply or two when making the wheels? Hrm, maybe even a mud guard and make the axle held on both sides?
And yeah, still awesome even with the flexing.

I'd love to do a single seater version, hand cranked. Would then fit in bike lanes and also be suitable for disabled use as a bonus. I can almost see it but the models I've tried to generate in the PC so far suck.

Plus a hand cranked idea adds the option of hybrid human/electric - batteries under the seat for stability
Kasm2795 years ago
I wonder what the neighbors think of all the crazy inventions rolling down the street xD
JKibs956 years ago
the legway's scary older brother...
pie R []ed5 years ago
I love this! I will probably build one over the summer. one thing that I might change would be the two person part. I figure with the right gear box and some hand levers it could be converted to work with the same two wheel pedal powered design but could be much more efficient and could turn without the second person.
sniffydogs6 years ago
This looks like something Government Motors might be interested in.
bdring (author)  sniffydogs6 years ago
Yes, someone said this is the Steampunk version of the G.M./Segway Puma.
jeff-o bdring6 years ago
Yeah, except the Puma is a totally lame electric wheelchair with a windscreen. The SteamRoller is awesome!
DeusVult9115 years ago
For Non-Eccentric bearings.  Try this place.  There a bit cheaper but you will have to use larger shaft diameters.

corsi5 years ago
what was the diamiter of the 30 tooth sprocket. i can't find 1-2123-30-4B on surpluscenter.com
What was the total cost of this project?
sir-zeke6 years ago
this is completely Epic!
cryophile6 years ago
Do you think it's possible to add a transmission so you could have variable speeds? What I'm thinking of is something similar to what they have on mountain bikes. Also, I would like to see a rack-and-pinion steering setup, but I don't know if you could make the contraption that complex. I'm probably asking for too much. I'm going to have to try to build one of these.
corsi6 years ago
When you say surplus center what kind of store was it and what was the name of the store. I need to find all the "tricky" thing first the other stuff is easy to find
bdring (author)  corsi6 years ago
corsi bdring6 years ago
thank you. you were right the surplus parts are alot
deemax6 years ago
How do you install the pedal gear, shaft collar and bearing into the wood? I've never used these before and am not sure how everything stays in place.
bdring (author)  deemax6 years ago
The bearings are not as thick as the wood. Drill a hole the outside diameter of the bearing with a spade or forstner bit only as deep as the thickness of the bearing, so you have a flat bottom hole. Then drill through about 1/4" diameter less than the outside diameter of the bearing to create a step about 1/8" all the way around. The bearings should press fit into the wood and sit on the step created. Use some tape to build up the diameter if it is not a press fit. The collars prevent the pedal shaft from sliding laterally in the bearings. Put a collar against the bearing on each side. You could actually use the gear as one collar if your steps are setup to install the bearings from the gear side.
deemax bdring6 years ago
Awesome, thanks again.
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