the hubless wheel, first created by italian mechanical engineer franco sbarra for motorized
vehicles, has also been seen in the application of many bicycle prototypes over the years.
it is characterized by the lack of a center hub and a hollow axle usually part of the anatomy
of a conventional bike. while many may argue that efficiency is compromised in using
hubless and spokeless wheels, others see its advantages as it claims to make the bike lighter.
however striking in appearance, not many prototype have actually become commercially viable.
here is a compilation of hubless and spokeless bicycle experimentations put together by designboom.
'lunartic' is a loughborough university design and technology final year project
by luke douglas. the aim was to use a hubless wheel to create a compact bicycle,
with the benefits of a large wheel and belt drive.
demonstration of 'lunartic' prototype
detail of hubless and spokeless bike
via james dyson award
'zero bike' by makota makita
dubbed the 'zero bike', it was designed twenty years ago by makota makita
and hiroshi tsuzaki from japan, who at the time were students at
art center college of design in los angeles. as you can see there are no spokes
or hubs and the rims are suspended and cradled by magnets. the concept
is based on magnetic superconductivity, just like what one would see
in the high speed rail trains in japan.
hubless bicycle project by thdudesign
hubless bicycle project part 1
hubless bicycle project part 2
hubless bicycle project part 3
hubless bicycle project part 4
'futurist bicycle design' by john villareal
'blackhole' hubless wheel system by wear and tear
image © damon rinard
hubless bicycle wheel by karl kammelzel
to read more on designboom's coverage of spokeless bicycles, click here.