The Hubless Horseman


Of all the free parts up for grabs at a friend’s house, nobody wanted the scrap wheelchair wheels: including [Eric]. That is, of course, until he spontaneously decided to try something a bit crazy and take on a bizarre yet remarkably imaginative hubless wheel bike build.

After attaching the wheelchair’s rim and its affixed handrail to the rim on his bike, [Eric] mounted pairs of rollerblade wheels to a separate piece of metal that essentially act as bearings. As the build progresses, the bike is further refined. More rollerblade wheels, a giant sprocket, and a pile of machined aluminum pieces. The valve stem for the tire had to be relocated to allow the wheel to spin freely.

The finished product is a stunning bicycle, which [Eric] later revisited, updating the rollerblade wheels to precision-lathed plastic (specifically UHMWPE) rollers. Make sure you watch the video of the Hubless Horseman in action. If, for some reason, your only prior exposure to hubless wheels is the TRON light cycle or [Kirk’s] motorcycle from the Star Trek reboot, do yourself a favor and check out their inventor, Franco Sbarro.

31 thoughts on “The Hubless Horseman

    1. Until you encapsulate the drive mechanism(motor) in the hub nothing. It’s actually mostly drawbacks: small tolerances, parts exposed to grime, complicates drive train, complicates suspension, &c.

  1. The wheel is cool, even with the added drag that coaster wheels will add to it. The bike concept itself is massively flawed though. With a turning circle half a parking lot wide, this bike will only get to to one place, an early grave.

      1. True, although a Harley is deliberately crippled in order to make it sound like a extremely loud continues bowel movement, notifying anybody in a 3 mile radius that somewhere some fat bearded tattoo chimp may cross ones path.

        1. Umm no they are not. They use a 45 degree v to keep the motor smaller and a single pin crank for simplicity. The latest bikes do have balance shafts to smooth out vibrations a well. Exhaust note is an oddly personal thing. I am not a Harley rider. I ride an FZ-1 but I wouldn’t mind an XR1200 or a Road King. Both are good bikes in their segments.

      1. The wheel still revolves around an axle, but the axle in this case is large and hollow.
        I think the hub is still there because the wheel still has a bearing unit at it’s centre; even if the bearings are much closer to the rim than traditional.

        Nice build and looks cool though.

  2. Regardless of any negative comments left, this is a beautiful build. I would gladly build a bike based on this design for my son, daughter, wife or self to ride. Keep up the improvements, I would not be suprised to see bikes like this cruising for the boardwalks before soon.

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