Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

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Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

Lunartic is a capstone project from Loughborough Design School student Luke Douglas:

The aim was to use a hubless wheel to create a compact bicycle, with the benefits of a large wheel and belt drive.Hubless wheels have appeared in bicycle concepts already, and were first invented by Sbarro. However, few concepts have made it to prototype and when only used for aesthetic purposes, the disadvantage of extra cost out weights the visual gain. Lunartic uses the hubless for a reason; to house the working parts, reducing the wheel base but not sacrificing conventional riding geometry. Lunartic is supposed to be as compact as possible without folding or being awkward to ride, however there is the potential for the front wheel to fold up into the rear or for that space to be used for a laptop back, motor or dynamo.

[via nerdstink]

48 thoughts on “Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

  1. Lynne Whitehorn says:

    Can’t find a reference to your assertion regarding Sbarro and the hubless wheel. Perhaps someone else’s google fu is stronger, or you have a citation please?

    1. John DuPree says:

      I think the only person claiming Sbarro invented the hubless wheel is Sbarro. A link, tho:

      Sbarro’s system is a solution in search of a problem.

      1. Scott Saunders says:

        There’s definitely some prior art.

        I can’t imagine there are many new ways to reinvent the actual Wheel at this point.

  2. David McGowan says:

    I just want to know if it uses a solid tire/insert, or whether the tube’s valve stem has been re-routed.

  3. Adam Eyring says:

    Wouldn’t the gear wear down eventually and be a source of noise/skipping? If there are many bearings facilitating the smooth movement of the larger wheel around a groove, those may mean more maintenance than in a regular bike with a couple of sealed bearings in a hub.

  4. MikeR says:

    Totally see the “aesthetics” issues. FUGLY !!!

  5. the man says:

    Why was necessary to use a belt? Looks like the pedals are right next to the wheel, so you could connected the gear that rotates the wheel directly to the pedals.

  6. Zachary Maier says:

    I would totally but that..

  7. mark says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this concept would be great for the next
    Schwinn Stingray Crate? Add ape hangers and remove the long stem.

  8. Rahere says:

    Direct pedal drive wouldn’t get the torque up on the wheel to get the momentuum into the gyroscopic stabilisation fast enough.
    The rig shown has just four bearings on the wheel, one drive and three guide.
    I still ride the bike I bought to cross that campus thirty-three years ago…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Doesnt Sbarro make pizza?

  10. War Eagle says:

    are there rear brakes?

  11. Bruce Miller says:

    Yankee Doodle, his head stuffed completely up his ass, works through the mists of very much pot-smoke, cocaine, saliva, to ‘perfect’ the already perfect bicycle designs used for decades, the world over. (see: Holland, Denmark, China) Meanwhile, China develops whole, thorium fueled, nuclear/electric train networks and their nuclear electric powered infrastructures, and inter-connects them, like daisy-chains, in a pan-Asian empire, from the European eastern borders to China’s ocean shores. Good luck Yankee Doodle! Hope you win big on this one!

  12. Dan Thompson says:

    There is one problem he expects you to turn with the handle bars, when you actually more steer with you legs on a bike. Also I think if he made the bottom bracket more up-sloping it would give you more stability that looks a little wobbly. 

    1. redshift says:

      No, you don’t (ever hear of ‘countersteering’?)

  13. peter says:

    great concept ! looks cool. Unfortunately alot of people with good ideas have to put music
    on their videos. First on youtube for example UMG is pissing and moaning about Copyrights
    and therefore in germany i cant watch them. And sometimes if the Copyright Cops werent
    there alrady the music is annoying often. I think there is no need for that. 

  14. zoomdooce ku says:

    saludos a todos, esperamos sus comentarios sobre este proyecto que traemos actualmente, unas ruedas ++hubless wheel++ by hand made motor club cozumel mexico, en una sccoter,

  15. » Blog Archive » Modern take on an old idea says:

    […] Belt/hub driven bike This shows a brand new modern take on an old idea […]

  16. Art says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have to take the bike apart in order to change the rear tire/tube? It’s totally trapped by the frame!

  17. says:

    Very cool never saw a bicycle version… there is a motorcycle called the HUBLESS MONSTER on youtube check it out very similar.

  18. So many gorgeous alternative bike ideas out there. This is sexy as hell. | scot hacker's foobar blog says:

    […] Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle Lunartic is a capstone project from Loughborough Design School student Luke Douglas: The aim was to use a hubless wheel to create a compact bicycle,… […]

  19. Will Bain says:

    It’s a clever design, but it seems that having bearings and gears so low to the ground would mean that they would collect more road grit and grime, and probably wear out faster.

  20. garagebuild says:


    Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle | MAKE

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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