Students Build Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel

Bikes Woodworking
Students Build Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel


June 1-5 is Bike Week, and although a monowheel isn’t technically within the category of bikes, here at Make:, we thought this one was definitely cool enough to share some of the Bike Week love. If you can’t afford a motorized version, get inspired by this pedal-powered wooden model.

As seen on Danielle Nutter’s blog post from 2010, RIT has a festival called “Imagine RIT” where in that particular year, “32,000 spectators witnessed the ingenuity of the RIT community.” There were over 300 interactive exhibits there, but the monowheel contraption made by the “Engineering House” fits in well for our bike theme.

To be technically correct, if “bike” is short for “BIcycle,” then I suppose it doesn’t fit in a bike theme. It does, however, borrow much from a traditional two-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicle, including, most obviously, the pedals and the chain drive system. The rubber on the wheel is reminiscent of a mountain bike, but how they sourced or made it is a mystery to me. Maybe they found a vendor of parts for very old-style bikes with the huge front and tiny back wheel.

Also of note on this monowheel is the beautiful woodwork. Everything is nicely stained, which makes sense considering how much time certainly went into it. The recumbent-style seat arrangement is interesting as well, with a vertical support and two crosses to keep a rider from rolling off to the left or right.

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If that design looks a little too intimidating, for something with two wheels that’s still exotic and pedal-powered, why not check out this DIY bamboo bicycle?

3 thoughts on “Students Build Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel

  1. Mystech says:

    Plans! Tell me there are plans!

  2. Monovelo monowheel says:

    Or just buy one at, ours is also pedal powered…

  3. Matthew Woods says:

    I cannot stop admiring our students. They are so young and inventing and I think that our future is in powerful hands. We should wait a little and they would invent everything we need for more convenient life. They know price for custom essay papers as they need assistance with assigned tasks when they lack time on homework spending their free time in laboratory working on their tasks or hobby. It is a real helping hand to them. IN other case they would hurry to do everything in time.

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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