hungarian company stringbike has developed a bicycle that uses a rope and pulley drive system instead of a traditional bicycle chain and sprockets. back in 2011, designboom reported on its initial sketch and prototype phase, which has now been realised in four various models: the e line carbon, a line aluminium, s line single speed, and d signers limited series. ‘say goodbye to the greasy chain, the dangerously sharp sprockets or delicate derailleurs.’ explains the bike company. ‘no more greasy palms, greasy wrists, cuts, scrapes or soiled clothes.’

designed by herczeg zoltán, the ultra light carbon frame is carefully wrapped in snake skin textured leather



the benefits of using the stringbike is that the strings are transferring the leg power to the rear wheel on a silky, smooth way, while filtering all vibrancy. the pedalling experience is improved by the symmetrically balanced drive system. the ‘string drive’ system has 19 different non-overlapping transmission ratios within an integrated gearbox. gears are selected by moving the rope wheels up and down. the upper position gives maximum and the lower gives minimum transmission ratio.

the E line carbon bike



the asymmetrical characteristic of stringdrive increases the usable gear during the power portion of the pedal stroke between the 1 and 5 o’clock positions of the crank. stringdrive is highly efficient, as the power transmission between the pedals and the rear wheel is a pure rolling motion with the smallest possible friction loss. the ‘string’ is made of a high density polyethylene cord (HDPE). the efficiency is not affected by the actual position of the gears, thereby retaining its’ high value in all gear positions.

designed by alligator designers, this model is painted with a dark gray alligator skin motif

inspired by spring nature, this bike features highly detailed hand painting with vivid colors
the D signer bike model is painted in the colors of the hungarian flag

the bike’s mechanism

  • Rather gorgeous – would love to have a blast on one

    Adam Brocklehurst says:
  • The way gear shifting is achieved is lovely. Took me by surprise. Can’t wait for it to show up in my local bike shop for a test drive.

    James says:
  • While I appreciate the creativity, I wonder how long the strings lasts compared to a chain.

    Miel says:
  • I order for the string to reload on the hub surely there must be a spring. I which case am I not wasting energy every stroke coiling and uncoiling a spring which is not actually driving me forwards?

    jonny says:
  • That said the innovation of the drive itself is beautiful.

    jonny says:
  • It seems that the gearing can only be changed when stopped, not while under way.

    mj says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news