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Thread: Spokeless Wheel

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    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Spokeless Wheel


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    Very similar wheels have been shown on some show motorcycles in Europe though I am not sure that any have reached production. Due to the rim not having the stiffening provided by tensioned wire spokes the wheel is normally considerably heavier for a given strength than a spoked wheel. The tensioned spoke bicycle wheel is normally considered to be the strongest wheel for a given weight available.
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    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Very similar wheels have been shown on some show motorcycles in Europe though I am not sure that any have reached production. Due to the rim not having the stiffening provided by tensioned wire spokes the wheel is normally considerably heavier for a given strength than a spoked wheel. The tensioned spoke bicycle wheel is normally considered to be the strongest wheel for a given weight available.

    billy lane has been using spokeless wheels on his bikes for a few years. different design concept but nonetheless...


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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Actually, the bicycle pictured does have spokes- see the front wheel?

    Looks like the first time you rode through a mudpuddle, that'd be the end of your riding, though. Getting rid of spokes (or more accurately, getting rid of the axle/hub) is fine, but if you have to have lots of little rollers instead, you've gone backwards instead of forwards in development.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Actually, the bicycle pictured does have spokes- see the front wheel?

    Looks like the first time you rode through a mudpuddle, that'd be the end of your riding, though. Getting rid of spokes (or more accurately, getting rid of the axle/hub) is fine, but if you have to have lots of little rollers instead, you've gone backwards instead of forwards in development.
    Could you expand upon your thoughts here, I don't really understand.
    Why does it matter that the front wheel has spokes?
    Why can't you ride through a mud puddle?
    And why are lots of little rollers a step backwards?

    I'm not saying this is in anyway superior to the wire wheel, just an item of curiousity.

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    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    billy lane has been using spokeless wheels on his bikes for a few years. different design concept but nonetheless...

    Thats a nice bike, would love to get a closer look at it.

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    Senior Member Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnnrmccloskey View Post
    Why does it matter that the front wheel has spokes?
    And why are lots of little rollers a step backwards?
    I can answer these two.

    I think he mis-read "Spokeless Wheel" for "Spokeless Bike" somehow?
    Lots of little rollers being a step backwards is because; it adds needless weight, complexity, and several more things to maintain and clean.

    It's an interesting concept, but in the end, value-less to anyone who cares about reliability, simplicity, or speed in their bicycle. It may appeal to those who want a custom look, or chopper bike, or something along those lines.

    I value the engineering effort that went into it.
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    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscuro View Post
    I can answer these two.

    I think he mis-read "Spokeless Wheel" for "Spokeless Bike" somehow?
    Lots of little rollers being a step backwards is because; it adds needless weight, complexity, and several more things to maintain and clean.

    It's an interesting concept, but in the end, value-less to anyone who cares about reliability, simplicity, or speed in their bicycle. It may appeal to those who want a custom look, or chopper bike, or something along those lines.

    I value the engineering effort that went into it.
    Ah, well I feel one could argue that lots of little rollers in analogous to bearing in a hub but otherwise indeed, the spoked wheel really is a masterpeice of engineering

  9. #9
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscuro View Post
    It's an interesting concept, but in the end, value-less to anyone who cares about reliability, simplicity, or speed in their bicycle.
    It looks pretty simple to me. Why do you think it would be unreliable?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oscuro's Avatar
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    In the end, more moving parts generally equals less reliability.

    And this, has many more moving parts than a traditional wheel.

    I'm not saying that it is going to be 6x more prone to breaking down than a traditional wheel, or that if one of the side-rollers breaks that the whole thing locks up and becomes dangerous. I am saing that there is a much higher chance of a bearing failing at one point or another, requiring a replacement for a return to the original efficiency.

    And cnnrmccloskey: They use a regular hub to drive the cog of the wheel. Plus, each of those rollers has bearings of its own.
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    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    To paraphrase the old crack: The spoked wheel is the worst design, except for all the other designs.

    I believe the proper name for the "hubless" wheel is Sbarro Wheel. Solves no problems, cause some new ones. Only advantage is different appearance
    Last edited by Flying Merkel; 02-17-10 at 11:19 AM. Reason: spelling, dude.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    When you click on the link, the title at the top of that page says "Spokeless Bicycle", which is where I got that part from.

    Looking at the pictures, the inside of the rim is a big gear, driven by the smaller gear that connects to the cranks. If you get crap in between those two gears, it looks like it could bring you to a very rapid halt (with, say, a pea-size rock), as well as wear out the workings in a hurry. That's where the mud puddle part comes from.

    With a standard hub, you have a fairly high rim speed, but the hub itself rotates fairly slowly, and you just need two bearings in there. When you put in those extra rollers, you have that many more bearings, and all that stuff has to rotate fast rather than slow. Also, due to the leverage, loads on those components will be higher than on a conventional rear axle. And higher loads at that point also adds more friction. I would bet that friction is noticeably higher when riding the bike, and it's hard to imagine that you could just go ride it a hundred miles without something breaking or falling off.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  13. #13
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Good points, StephenH.

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