Trippy Bicycle Uses Multiple Partial Wheels

Bicycles need at least two wheels to be rideable, but [The Q] realized you don’t necessarily need the wheels to be in one piece. As long as you have at least two points of rolling contact with the ground, you can spread the load across multiple partial wheels. He demonstrated this by splitting the rear wheel of his bike first in half and then thirds to create an absolute head turner.

Since a conventional bicycle wheel with tensioned spokes would collapse if cut apart, [The Q] used single-piece aluminum wheels instead. The tires were cut into pieces, and the inner tubes were replaced with sections of thick-walled HDPE pipe that won’t collapse under the weight of a human. The tires and the HDPE “inner tubes” were riveted to the wheels.

To mount the additional wheels on the frame, [The Q] welded a set of extensions to the back with mounting points for the partial wheels. To keep them synced, timing is done with chains running on sprockets welded to the disc brakes. In the second video, he tries to also split the front wheels, but found the front forks can’t handle the torque and would flex dangerously when the contact point is too far forward. Instead, he settled for three wheels on the back.

Much like his hubless bicycle, it’s not designed to be better than a standard bicycle, but is excellent for attracting attention. Though at least in some situations, the all-wheel drive bike he built last year might come in handy.

17 thoughts on “Trippy Bicycle Uses Multiple Partial Wheels

  1. the bigger issue (i’d think) with doing this on the front wheel is that if you attempt to turn while the frontmost tyre section is in contact, you’re effectively having to drag this across the ground instead of pivot on a contact point.

    1. “Buy our NFT and join us in the Metaverse!”

      What are those words that I don’t really understand? And how do I throw real money at them?

      (Says the Hackaday editor sarcastically, although he drives exactly zero Lambos.)

      But agreed that the random shilling seems really out of place in the video.

  2. I saw a rather better execution of this idea in a motorcycle magazine many years ago. (It made a real impression, it was at least 30 years ago)
    It was an article about a “show your project” day at a Honda plant in Japan.
    Someone had arranged two quarter-wheels somewhat like this article, but on the same axle and geared so that the top segment moved faster than the bottom one. So a wheel segment would roll out of contact with the road, then run quickly round the top to butt up against the current working segment in time to take over the job.

    This one had wacky wheels at both ends.

    I have no idea how it was geared, it was a still photo in a magazine.

    1. You know. It is one sort of hack to do something utterly useless yet amusing (like this). Sort of like driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco by way of Houston Texas. There must be money in Youtube since everyone seems to be scrambling to do stuff like this that grabs peoples attention.

      And then there are hacks that are actually useful.

  3. The idea started with curb jumping but is limited like “strand-beasts” to flat surfaces and no turns. There is another video on bikes that tried to prove something (I don’t know what) by limiting steering to left or right when at slow speeds when in fact you correct L & R when going slow in a wide turn. The slower the more correction is needed.

    Motorists often think a bicyclist is drunk when going slow uphill. Clement Ader’s batwing steam powered plane had hand-wheels to set wing angle etc. It was the first to take off under it’s own power, it just wasn’t controllable. It took bicyclists to figure out how to fly a plane.

  4. I feel like this is actually making the bike worse overall. Like I can kinda get making something different and it working on the same level but making something that works worse than what’s out there? Seems silly. Lso, anyone who has used run flats on a bike know this is absolutely uncomfortable as all heck.

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