Rubber Tracked Bicycle Is Horribly Inefficient

Wheeled bikes are efficient machines, and most cycling speed and distance records are held by them. However, [The Q] has a taste for weirder creations that amuse perhaps more than they serve as viable transportation. His latest experiments revolve around tracked propulsion methods.

The build is a wheelless bike that relies on long thin tracks mounted to a mountain bike frame. The tracks carriers are fabricated using steel box section fitted with cogged rollers. The tracks themselves are made using a pair of bicycle chains joined with welded steel bars. They’re fitted with slices of rubber cut out of traditional bike tires for grip. The rear track is driven from the bike’s pedals, while the front is merely left to run freely.

By virtue of its wide, flat tracks, the bike actually stands up on its own. It’s capable of riding in a straight line at slow speed, albeit relatively noisily. Steering is limited by virtue of the flat tracks, which don’t operate well at an angle to the ground. Since the tracks only contact the ground at a point, too, the bike has very high ground pressure, which would make it likely to sink into anything less solid than asphalt.

The build is relatively similar to [The Q]’s previous efforts to build a supposedly square-wheeled bike. What we’d really love to see at this point is a tracked bicycle that actually made the best of the technology – by being both swift and capable of crossing soft, marshy terrain. Video after the break.

31 thoughts on “Rubber Tracked Bicycle Is Horribly Inefficient

  1. Great fabrication skills, and I suppose it achieved the goal of something bizarre to put on youtube (and even to get hackaday attention), but I couldn’t have said it better — not worth it.

    There seems to be a never ending urge to improve on the bicycle, without in fact improving upon it. The absolute worst thing of course is to replace the pedals with a motor.

    I’m looking forward to a nice ride (pedaling all the way) this evening.

  2. True and true. And True. This would run just as well, or as poorly, with tiny wheels on the end of fixed extensions to the front forks and diamond frame. At first I thought this was another silly Thomas Sanladerer idea.

    1. I didn’t mean the article was uninteresting, the “bicycle” was not worth the write up.
      My (tiny, dull, impoverished) kingdom for an edit button.

  3. It seems to be the same guy, and a quick browse through the channel confirms what you say. They’re projects with little merit other than making an attractive thumbnail. It’s unfortunate really, the guy could make some actually cool stuff, but doesn’t.

    1. I don’t think he’s smart enough to spot the bad ideas (the split wheel bike was a variable wheelbase bike, which means un-turnable).

      He might be playing stupid that for clicks from the stupids.
      Doubt it. Genuinely stupid.

      1. It’s just content creation. It doesn’t mean the content is good, you get paid regardless because there’s morons that watch :D Most of Youtube is based on this principle.

  4. How is this clickbait? He builds exactly what you see in the preview image. If you’re not into that kind of stuff, don’t watch the video. I thought it was a cool creation. Not every build has to be a useful leap in technology. I build things because I enjoy the process and enjoy exploring different design concepts. If I end up building something useful, that’s just a side benefit.

    1. I agree, this may not be the most useful invention but it’s interesting and entertaining to watch. Look at it as an art piece perhaps? After all, art of any form has no “practical” use most of the time but is admired by many and brings joy and/or provokes some thoughts.

    2. It’s not a clickbait in a misleading title sense. But it’s a useless content created only for the clicks. Nothinh useful, nothing interesting, nothing of a value. So, a clickbait. As others noted, if he used horizontal tracks, he might be onto something. But this is pointless.

    3. Since just about anyone with the ability to build it could have known ahead of time that it was never going to be a useful end result, the only thing that would have made it not pointless would be if there was something to learned from the effort. I fail to see where anything was learned that wasn’t obvious beforehand. A dumb idea implemented just to get clicks is still a dumb idea.

      1. I make model Starships, their end result is not useful, is it pointless? Perhaps. Do I enjoy it? Yes.
        If you can tell ahead of time that you don’t like the idea you can tell from the thumbnail that you don’t need to click the article… and yet you clicked anyway.

  5. I was surprised at the pic. I had expected wide horizontal tracks, like construction equipment or military tanks, so the item could go over rough terrain better than wheels. As others have pointed out, this looks pretty useless.
    With a proper track on the rear, the front could be replaced with a keyed ski (like snowmobile ski) for use in the snow.

    1. Isn’t something like that made, sold, and used. Don’t they call it a skidoo or some such?

      I don’t know. Those are mythical things. I am here in Tucson, Arizona with 110 degrees, so these snow vehicles are pretty much theoretical entities around here.

    1. A single point wheel has, by defenition, a zero circumference and this, at whatever speed you rotate the wheels, no speed around it’s circumference, so it can not make any speed unless it slides.

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