Peter Queckenstedt is a Canadian designer currently studying for his master’s degree in transportation design at the Umea Institute of Design in Sweden. He sent me sketches and renderings for a project that he recently worked on, a trials bike driven by a rotary air engine. Normally, I don’t post bike designs that are not pedal powered, but I really liked his development sketches so I decided to pass this along. The more I think about it, the compressed air engine, which is much lighter than an electric one, seems like a possible sustainable solution as a supplemental assist on a pedal powered bike. It could make a nice reserve power engine on a pedal driven commuting bike. Peter explained that “the air tank in the frame is a scaled up concept from the fiber composite tanks currently used in paintball, transport, and industry etc.” He goes on to give a little more insight into the reasoning behind his decision to design an air powered bike:
“I chose to use air power because it is a very lightweight power source when compared to electric drive. Compressed air is also an intriguing possibility for sustainable vehicles, obviously compressing air requires power, but the storage of that air requires no toxic chemicals or rare metals. Air engines like to rev quite high as well, so it seemed like a bike was the perfect showcase for this technology. I chose a trials bike because they have a very lean build, yet dramatic stance. They also do not need to travel long distances, which fit in with the air engine’s shorter range than petrol or electric (though in hindsight I’d be confident that this bike could have very functional ranges for traveling).”
Interesting project; thanks to Peter for sharing it.