A Spokeless Bicycle

For a class project, nine mechanical engineering majors at Yale built a bicycle with a spokeless back wheel. One of them, redditor zhoalander, described the design in a thread at reddit:

It's a single speed setup. We used two cranks and two bottom brackets in the front to gear up the ratio. It goes from (IIRC) 53 to a 13, which is connected to the second crank and another 53 which connects to the rear hub. The rear hub is just a normal ratcheting rear hub that we mated to our belt pulley. Not sure if all these bike terms are right, but that's the general idea.

The front wheel would be almost exactly the same as the rear wheel except that it could be a little lighter. Some of the aluminum can be shaved off since there's no powertrain to connect to.

At the top of the thread, there are imgur links to more pictures of the bike.

Link via CrunchGear

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Maybe not as pretty (as the virtual rendering!) but it looks like a better design from what I can see. The rear load is centered over the wheel, rather than the rendered design which would put a pretty significant prying force on the wheel. I would love to see these in action. Maybe not an immediate benefit over a spoked wheel, but Rome wasn't built in a day. nice job!
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This is a class-project. So they did it for school and it was mainly done just to prove that they could make a working model instead of only the umptenth virtual rendering. So it lacks a bit on the design. So it lacks a bit on the refinement. But they did it and it works. And they are a mechanical engineering class. Not a design-class.

So I take my hat off for these people. Neat!
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OH NO, Someone had an idea that wasn't OMG %100 ORIGINAL (tm)! That makes them a HACK. MY DAY IS RUINED!

people should never do anything I guess.
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