Article Spokeless wheels

Aug 27, 2012
London, UK
Fascinating idea but not sure how you get the wheels strong enough without the tension of spokes? Potentially a far stronger carbon rim, that is around the thickness of a mountain bike wheel with an inner semi-hollow hexagonal matrix (like a honeycombe) might work?!? I suspect it would still flex a great deal more than a current wheel, but fine for cycling around town


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
It's an interesting design study... As for the wheels --- a composite rim would be strong enough - however the rolling surface is a challenge - it would need to be a rail with 'bogeys' that keep the wheel aligned and firmly attached to the frame. On the crank mech - something more than the ratio shown would be nice --- assuming one tooth/in would give roughly a 50x88 ?? Aerodynamics would not be much a concern on a bike that would barely reach 5-10kph at 150 cadence
Likes: Caryakine


Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
Setagaya, Tokyo
I thought the same about how the wheel would be held in place - it would have to be be constructed like ball bearings with a rotating rim with tyre on the outside and an inner rim firmly linked to the frame on the inside. That's not going to be any lighter than a hub and spokes. And how would you lubricate it and keep dirt out? How would you fix a puncture?

The transmission ratio is not the only problem about the direct drive - most people would also want variable gear ratios and a freewheel. There would have to be something like an IGH in the center of the crank.


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
His invention is a bicycle that has no spokes, folds to a fraction of its full size, and is a speed demon. The glistening green colors makes the bike look like a perfect addition for the Green Lantern’s superhero gear.
I really had to force myself to keep reading after that.

Basically it's a concept that has been doing the rounds from various designers for some time now and basically it will never take off. Frame flex is going to be a huge issue here especially where the front wheel joins the frame.

Frame geometry is all over the place and the wheel base is seriously risky.

There is a reason why the bicycle has changed very little in the past 100 years.


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
Well an unobtanium, frictionless slide rail at the front ... and similarly at the rear with a zero-loss planetary gear xmission and you'd be getting closer. There is a pretty good introduction to hubless wheels on the Osmos site .. One of the best examples of an actual working hubless wheel is right in our backyard at the Tokyo Dome Ferris Wheel!


Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
Somewhat tangentially-related, but this reminds me of a conversation with a guy in Tokyo who was convinced his friends at some fancy tech university in the US had developed a perpetuum-mobile device. My bullshit alarm went off only marginally harder at that time than when I read through the article in the original post.

Those rims just need some Bose-Einstein condensate superfluidity going on and you'll be in business.