Square-Wheeled Bike Is Actually An Amazing Tracked Build

The invention of the wheel is considered one of the crowning achievements of early humanity. Squares don’t roll, after all. [The Q] decided to build a square-wheeled bike anyway, with a neat tracked setup that makes for an awesome visual gag.

The wheels are made out of C-angle steel, making them both stout and incredibly heavy. While they don’t really need the additional structure for strength, they feature spokes which mount a central hub for attaching the “wheels” to a bicycle axle. The squares aren’t designed to roll, though. Instead, they are fitted with gears and rollers, upon which a track made of bicycle chain and tires is fitted. When the rider pedals, this turns the track, propelling the bike along. Cleverly, the track mechanism is neatly hidden by some framing, confusing passers-by.

The riding experience is noisy, thanks to the tracks. There’s also plenty of rolling resistance. It’s unlikely bikes like these will become mainstream transport anytime soon, nor will you see them at the velodrome. Regardless, it’s certainly a great way to turn heads at the park.

31 thoughts on “Square-Wheeled Bike Is Actually An Amazing Tracked Build

  1. Every dozen years or so, someone releases a rear track mechanism for allowing bikes to pedal relatively efficiently when in snow or mud, although they’re rubber belt based, and I feel like this could work well in those sorts of conditions — at least until the track gets all jammed up.
    This is a really great build and an excellent visual joke.

      1. And while they’re rarely useful for cooling now, the same concept can also be used as a gas fired heat pump and would be a way to produce heat without electricity with greater than 100% efficiency while keeping the house air quality high. Some places still have wood stoves; if this were cheap enough it would have its place.

          1. There is when you’re not working in a closed system.

            Heat pumps routinely have efficiency in the 300-400% range; that is, they add 4x as much energy in heat form to the air of your home as they pull in electrical form from the grid. The extra comes from outside the grid-home system we’re concerned with when analyzing a heater’s efficiency.

    1. That’s basically how AC works. A compressor heats up a gas by pressurizing it which heats it up, which allows it to loose its heat energy to the condenser. It then drops rapidly in temperature as goes through the restriction. It absorbs heat energy from the evaporator before being heated back up by being recompressed by the compressor.

      The only moving part of the system makes heat. And it has to because if it can’t raise the temperature of the refrigerant above the outside ambient air, it can’t get rid of the heat energy it absorbed from the evaporator.

  2. WTF, That is not how spokes are attached, they go full length through the holes then go into screw-holders at the rim
    If they clicked in like that they would pop out at the slightest bump.
    Or did he somehow put small nuts in that impossible to reach place? And if so, why?

    1. The spokes and center hub are for decoration. If you look at 6:06 in the video you can see where he mounts the track frame to the bike frame. If you look closely 10 seconds later when he is panning around the bike, the rear tracks are mounted to the frame at 4 points (2 points per side) and the front tracks are mounted at 4 points near the top of the forks.

  3. Wow ! Mind bending to see an illogical logical application. Flat tire ? Got 3 other sides. His video should have had some Huey Lewis playing in the background… “It’s Hip To Be Square”

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