The current craze for e-bikes shows that mankind’s propensity to make literally everything lazier continues unabated. However we’re not new in our quest to eradicate all forms of exercise, as back in the late 1800s our forebears had the same idea, first creating the ‘steam powered velocipede‘ which we want based upon its name alone, and later strapping a steam engine to a penny farthing, to eliminate all that inconvenient pedalling. Remarkably they worked too.
Cue TLCB Master MOCer and all-round Technic-building genius Nico71, who has created his own ‘steam’ powered bicycle (or velocipede as we shall now call it), equipped with a single cylinder Lego Pneumatic Engine, that – when fed with ‘steam’ (compressed air) – powers the velocipede through a two speed gearbox.
Every element of Nico’s machine is LEGO, including an ingenious design that genuinely ‘throttles’ the amount of air entering the engine controlled via a handlebar-mounted lever, a flywheel for maintaining the engine’s smoothness, and a working rear brake.
It’s all preposterously clever and best of all Nico has made instructions available so that you can build you very own Steam Powered Velocipede at home, which we genuinely might do! Head to Brickshelf to see all the imagery, Nico’s excellent website for full details and building instructions, and you can watch this remarkable contraption in action via the video below.