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planetary-gear-bike.jpgWhere do I start with this thing? It has some many elements of awesome! It’s a model of an old-fashion Penny-farthing bicycle that has been brought in to the modern world with the incorporation of 3 cutting-edge technologies:

  • It was built, layer-by-layer, using laser sintering (SLS) rapid prototyping. It’s a demonstration project by Italian firm CRP Technology to demonstrate their capabilities.
  • It’s made out of WindForm XT, a carbon-fiber reinforced polyimide material that’s usually used to craft high-performance motorsport racing parts.
  • It incorporates a planetary gearing system. Penny-Farthings have large front wheels so that they can travel further on one pedal stroke; by using this gearing, the front wheel can be a more-comfortable 20% smaller. Planetary gears are used in some 3-speed bicycles, but their beauty is hidden within the rear hub.

fig_5blore.jpgplanetary-gear-bike-handlebars.jpgI love the options that rapid prototyping allows the designer – these handlebars are simple, elegant, and formed as a single piece.

The material used was flexible enough to make the seat, suspension spring, and the body all one piece, too. Alas, it’s just a model – just 16 inches long. Here’s hoping that someone builds a rideable version.

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Comments

  1. torchtech.judgementgaming.com says:

    I wonder how a unicycle with a gearing system like this would behave (or how a human would react).

  2. Andre says:

    You can get unicycles with a planetary gear in the hub. They’re great because you can ride long distances with a reasonably sized unicycle :P

    See : http://www.unicycle.uk.com/shop/shopdisplayproduct.asp?catalogid=1062

    1. plumpy says:

      They’re also not limited to three speeds. I have a Shimano Nexus seven-speed hub with essentially the same gear range as a traditional ten-speed.

      http://www.sheldonbrown.com/nexus.html