Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Bikes: Giant OCR2, Bridgestone RB-T, Bike-E, Vision R-40, Novara Safari
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In the bearings of a standard wheel, the bearings rotate a few times for each rotation of the tire since they're so close to the center of the wheel. Each bearing moves a few inches per tire revolution ...
But for spokeless wheels, the bearings would be near the outside edge. Each one would move almost the same distance that the bicycle did for each rotation of the wheel.
So, there would be some aerodynamic advantages to doing this, but I'm guessing that it would weigh more, and the losses in the bearings would jump massively -- perhaps more than enough to offset and more the savings due to the improved aerodynamics.
Perhaps if the wheel was hovering in a magnetic field like a mag-train?
Either way, it looks cool ...