Hubless E-Bike Is Nostalgic

[Chris Makes Stuff] is an aptly named channel. His recent video shows how he took a kid’s electric motorcycle toy and built a “penny farthing” bicycle. You might not know the bike by that name, but when you see it in the video below, you’ll recognize it. These Victorian-era bikes used a single large wheel before chain drives on a bike became a thing.

Of course, the big part of this — literally and figuratively — is the giant front wheel. There’s a second video showing how it was built in layers using wood.

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The Hubless Horseman

hublessHorseman

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.