Steam Bike Rocks It Old-School

Petrol engines dominate the world of the automobile, while electric propulsion races to take an ever larger market share. Despite this, some still hold a flame for steam power. Such aficionados would hold this build in high regard, from the recent past of 2014.

In steampunk, finish is everything.

The bike is of a recumbent design, featuring a relaxed riding position well suited to the sophisticated nature of a steam-powered vehicle. Sporting a wooden frame, the build carries a strong steampunk aesthetic. The flash boiler packs 100 feet of copper pipe, and there’s an electric pump and controller to handle water delivery from the stylish brass tank. The setup is capable of producing steam within 30 seconds of startup. Motive power is courtesy of a 1.5 inch bore single-cylinder steam engine, connected to the rear wheel via a belt drive.

There’s something intoxicating about the sounds and smells of a working steam engine, though the threat of catastrophic burns does temper the excitement just a touch. Steam power isn’t going away any time soon – and it’s not just limited to transport applications, either. Video after the break.

[Thanks to sangimmie for the tip!]

21 thoughts on “Steam Bike Rocks It Old-School

    1. Is it just illegal to use on public roadways? In Canada, private off road use only for modified gas, overpowered electric bikes. I use mine on local logging roads.

      Awesome looking project, I love the wood frame.

  1. That’s amazing. Using bended ply for the frame is beautiful. I’ve been wanting to build a tad-pole trike for years now. Great, so I have one more option to consider. This isn’t getting any easier!

    I wonder how this frame compares to a steel and aluminium in weight and strength. Those font wings look like they could also act like a bit of front wheel shocks.

  2. Anyone notice the clearance of the gas line? Seems like it would be likely to hit a rock while steaming along. Seems like some risk that could be mitigated with a shield, raising the boiler, or rerouting the gas to the burner.

    1. I don’t think its as bad as it looks – where you get the clearest view of it is on the grass and that makes it look very low, but seems to have OK clearance on the road. Some extra shielding wouldn’t be a bad idea though.

      For me just a slight tilt in the boiler so it follows the lines of the bike better would naturally raise the burner a touch, a touch safer and neater apperance. Don’t think it is at all needed though. Not like its designed for off road use.

  3. Uh oh, combining two of my favorite things – bicycles and steam engines. I’m going to need to learn more about flash boilers. Also, would it be allowed on the bike trails? I mean yes it’s motorized, but I’m not sure the law specifically calls out steam powered :-)

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