Prototype bicycle compressor

bicycle compressor
(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)



I am trying to build a prototype which needs to have a compressor as one of the parts. I want to mount a compressor to a bicycle wheel (the wheel being the prime mover) So I need the compressor to be either a vane, screw or gear pump/compressor.


It will need to be light and cheap structurally (hopefully plastic).

I am wondering if I can use an existing pump like an auto fuel pump or something like that to compress air. It would seem as long as the pump is positive displacement I would be able to compress air with it. What is your thought on this?





Bill stumbles with a reply…

Hi Rodney….whew, very interesting issue. Glad you took the time to write in.

The issue, as I see it, and one that I don’t see the answer to in your question is, how much air at what pressure do you need to generate with the bicycle driven compressor?

Can you use a positive displacement pump as a compressor? Sure.

Can you drive the shaft of that pump from any rotary drive source (including a bicycle wheel)? Sure.

I don’t have any concrete suggestions except that you need to narrow down flow and pressure requirements to help determine whatever style of compressor you ultimately decide on.

Anyone out there have any thoughts for Rodney?

Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.


  1. hi can you tell me what the pic at the top of this page came from im looking for something just like that

    thanks andy

  2. I am looking for a simular very low cost pump to run backward without a motor. The input would be low pressure water at about 1 qt per min. The output is the shaft rotation.

    • Victor. aside the water pump on my car and the well pump that brings us water from our well, specifying a water pump for you application is beyond me. However, there are folks out there that know about water pumps and stuff, and if one of them reads this, I sure hope they will post for you. Now, what do you need to know about compressor pumps? Just visit for tons of info.



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