No Spokes Cycle

Seems to be a cycle fest on Yanko Design today, the second installment comes in the shape of the Lunartic Cycle. A bike that’s got a really unique combination of different wheel sizes, a toothed belt drive and hub less rear wheel! The USP being the gyroscopic effect of a large wheel aiding speed and more road-surface contact adding stability. The small front wheel saves space and enhances maneuverability. For a change, here is a concept that goes into a working prototype to prove its point, hope you enjoy the video!

The Lunartic Cycle is an entry for the James Dyson Awards.
The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.

Designer: Luke Douglas

81 Comments

  • Petr Šulc says:

    Isn't it dangerous with the small front wheel? Because when you hit a curb or something you fly over the handlebar, won't you?

    • ringo kan says:

      it is also dangerous that the rear wheel is too close to the seat. the bike is easy to fall back especially when climbing up a sloped road.

  • Petr Šulc says:

    Isn't it dangerous with the small front wheel? Because when you hit a curb or something you fly over the handlebar, won't you?

    • ringo kan says:

      it is also dangerous that the rear wheel is too close to the seat. the bike is easy to fall back especially when climbing up a sloped road.

  • Elvis says:

    The prototype look sweeet!

  • Elvis says:

    The prototype look sweeet!

  • Andy Davis says:

    It seems to me you are creating problems, not solving existing ones. This bike has no real world applications, small front wheel = dangerous to ride. From the video, you can see he wheels it along, and the pedals spin, so this is not a geared bike, and you cannot freewheel down hills, otherwise your pedals would spin wildly. The whole mechanism is much more complicated that it needs to be, the drive belt is much less efficient than a chain as chains cant jump if too much torque is applied, your belt will simply snap or spin out.

  • Andy Davis says:

    It seems to me you are creating problems, not solving existing ones. This bike has no real world applications, small front wheel = dangerous to ride. From the video, you can see he wheels it along, and the pedals spin, so this is not a geared bike, and you cannot freewheel down hills, otherwise your pedals would spin wildly. The whole mechanism is much more complicated that it needs to be, the drive belt is much less efficient than a chain as chains cant jump if too much torque is applied, your belt will simply snap or spin out.

  • Hartigan says:

    +1000 points for Luke Douglas Really nice fixed Gear bike!!

    @Andy: You have no idea what you are talking about. Front wheel comes from a folding bike. The fixed gear works better for the city. you dont need to use the brake. You slow down with your legs! Fixed gears are NOT FOR BEGINNERS

    I would like a sample prototype! Can I borrow one please 🙂 Seriously, can I become a dealer?

    • Will U says:

      This was made by my mate. Its not actually fixed wheel, just the freewheel bearing is a bit stiff. The joys of it being a prototype . . .

  • Hartigan says:

    +1000 points for Luke Douglas Really nice fixed Gear bike!!

    @Andy: You have no idea what you are talking about. Front wheel comes from a folding bike. The fixed gear works better for the city. you dont need to use the brake. You slow down with your legs! Fixed gears are NOT FOR BEGINNERS

    I would like a sample prototype! Can I borrow one please 🙂 Seriously, can I become a dealer?

    • Will U says:

      This was made by my mate. Its not actually fixed wheel, just the freewheel bearing is a bit stiff. The joys of it being a prototype . . .

  • Pedro M says:

    It must be a pain to repair a flat tire on the rear wheel…

  • Pedro M says:

    It must be a pain to repair a flat tire on the rear wheel…

  • vogelcube says:

    The back tire must be either impossible to change, or a non-tube wheel. Maybe the 'rubber honeycomb' idea that i've seen for offroad wheels. Not sure about the disc break on the front, 'cause that's not really necessary for fixed wheels… and even if it was, you'd want it on the back, not the front – the front wheel stops fast enough already.__I hope that the handlebars can extend higher, because that looks incredibly unstable/uncomfortable. __Design needs work, particularly from someone who knows about bike dynamics.

  • vogelcube says:

    The back tire must be either impossible to change, or a non-tube wheel. Maybe the 'rubber honeycomb' idea that i've seen for offroad wheels. Not sure about the disc break on the front, 'cause that's not really necessary for fixed wheels… and even if it was, you'd want it on the back, not the front – the front wheel stops fast enough already.__I hope that the handlebars can extend higher, because that looks incredibly unstable/uncomfortable. __Design needs work, particularly from someone who knows about bike dynamics.

  • mif991 says:

    I don't care what anybody says about this work-in-progress bike. Huge props for going on a different take for bikes and developing the prototype. You do have some more kinks to work out so good luck. Now, if you could design a steampunk bike version with this I think I would be interested….Good job.

  • mif991 says:

    I don't care what anybody says about this work-in-progress bike. Huge props for going on a different take for bikes and developing the prototype. You do have some more kinks to work out so good luck. Now, if you could design a steampunk bike version with this I think I would be interested….Good job.

  • Cj Jayamaha says:

    you could have moved the paddle to the inside of the wheel .. was that an idea you had and you thought that will not work?

  • Cj Jayamaha says:

    you could have moved the paddle to the inside of the wheel .. was that an idea you had and you thought that will not work?

  • Jim says:

    I agree that the front tire is too small. The rider is leaning way too far forward.

  • Jim says:

    I agree that the front tire is too small. The rider is leaning way too far forward.

  • Tom says:

    so narrow minded!

    i'm a graduate from that course and it's bloody hard. what comes out at the end is a PROTOTYPE. it's proof of various aspects of the design. the system works and the ergonomics work. can you not see that a freewheel could easily be put on the next prototype? can no one see that the hubless design creates a void that could be used for storage or to fold the front wheel into? can no one see outside the function and see that it actually looks awesome like it's floating along.

    if we as designers only see issues instead of potential, then nobody would push the boundaries and we'd have no cool designs.

    wisest is he who knows he does not know. none of us have slaved over this concept for a year so be careful doling out negativity after a quick glance

  • Tom says:

    so narrow minded!

    i'm a graduate from that course and it's bloody hard. what comes out at the end is a PROTOTYPE. it's proof of various aspects of the design. the system works and the ergonomics work. can you not see that a freewheel could easily be put on the next prototype? can no one see that the hubless design creates a void that could be used for storage or to fold the front wheel into? can no one see outside the function and see that it actually looks awesome like it's floating along.

    if we as designers only see issues instead of potential, then nobody would push the boundaries and we'd have no cool designs.

    wisest is he who knows he does not know. none of us have slaved over this concept for a year so be careful doling out negativity after a quick glance

  • highmountain4 says:

    Interesting from a design standpoint and I really like the fact that it has been taken to prototype but I'm not sure about the practicality of it. Ease of use and maintainability need to be key aspects of any successful real design.

  • highmountain4 says:

    Interesting from a design standpoint and I really like the fact that it has been taken to prototype but I'm not sure about the practicality of it. Ease of use and maintainability need to be key aspects of any successful real design.

  • IamQ says:

    Nice design and good job, especially for a senior project. Best of luck with the competition. Don't let the criticism get you down. Armchair critiques are always easier than actually doing something.

  • IamQ says:

    Nice design and good job, especially for a senior project. Best of luck with the competition. Don't let the criticism get you down. Armchair critiques are always easier than actually doing something.

  • Hanson says:

    @hartigan Fixed gear bikes are a fashion statement, not better for anywhere. They're fun to ride as a novelty, yes, but this aversion to brakes is probably the stupidest thing to ever come out of cycling culture. Fixed gear bike culture is all about having the most minimalistic, coolest looking bike, with the most vintage or most expensive components, and riding around so people see you on it.

    The idea for having hubless bikes has been around since bikes were invented. They aren't around for a reason. They're heavier, needlessly complicated, and they take part of the suspension out of the bike, the spokes. There is one advantage though, if you're chasing Indiana Jones, he won't be able to send you over the handlebars.

    In my opinion, industrial designers designing bikes need to stop with this needless hubless fixation, and focus on solving real problems with bikes.

  • Hanson says:

    @hartigan Fixed gear bikes are a fashion statement, not better for anywhere. They're fun to ride as a novelty, yes, but this aversion to brakes is probably the stupidest thing to ever come out of cycling culture. Fixed gear bike culture is all about having the most minimalistic, coolest looking bike, with the most vintage or most expensive components, and riding around so people see you on it.

    The idea for having hubless bikes has been around since bikes were invented. They aren't around for a reason. They're heavier, needlessly complicated, and they take part of the suspension out of the bike, the spokes. There is one advantage though, if you're chasing Indiana Jones, he won't be able to send you over the handlebars.

    In my opinion, industrial designers designing bikes need to stop with this needless hubless fixation, and focus on solving real problems with bikes.

  • Petr Šulc says:

    I can't agree more with Andy Davis.

    Hartigan: He's right. I think that braking with your legs is even more dangerous than the small front wheel. Imagine that you are riding slighty faster than you should and… oh wait you have not enough muscles in your legs to brake this. I know this is city bike and some downhill machine, but still. For me it's like "Flinstones car engine system' in real stock car 🙂 …

  • Petr Šulc says:

    I can't agree more with Andy Davis.

    Hartigan: He's right. I think that braking with your legs is even more dangerous than the small front wheel. Imagine that you are riding slighty faster than you should and… oh wait you have not enough muscles in your legs to brake this. I know this is city bike and some downhill machine, but still. For me it's like “Flinstones car engine system' in real stock car 🙂 …

  • Kenny Nguyen says:

    im in for it if it has a large front tire and an instruction booklet on what to do when you have a flat

  • Kenny Nguyen says:

    im in for it if it has a large front tire and an instruction booklet on what to do when you have a flat

  • Mark thomson says:

    To Andy Davis- you obviously do not know what you are talking about! Fixed gear bikes are very efficiant and ceate great bike handling skills-just spend an hour with a London courier to find out! Plus, chains streatch and do slip under load due to wear and friction. Smaller front with larger rear wheels were (and still are) used on many time trial bikes and those used to set world records.

    Back in your box andy and tighten the bolts on your stabalisers !

  • Mark thomson says:

    To Andy Davis- you obviously do not know what you are talking about! Fixed gear bikes are very efficiant and ceate great bike handling skills-just spend an hour with a London courier to find out! Plus, chains streatch and do slip under load due to wear and friction. Smaller front with larger rear wheels were (and still are) used on many time trial bikes and those used to set world records.
    Back in your box andy and tighten the bolts on your stabalisers !

  • Jan Erlandsen says:

    I admit it looks cool, but I guess that is mostly because it is an unusual sight, a hubless wheel… Makes me wonder what advantages a hubless wheel has compared to a conventional one. Does anyone here know? Again, I realise the bike is a prototype, a design competition entry, but still I can't help wondering why… One of the first things that baffled me was the use of a belt drive. Why on earth? The pedal axle seems to be pretty well positioned at the rim of the weel to accomodate a more direct gear drive, saving both moving parts (the belt wears down) and visual clutter… I'm no designer, nor am I an engineer, so I really might not have a say in these matters, but nevertheless one would wish that intelligent and talented designers like e.g. Luke Douglas here, would focus their talent at solving more interesting problems, driving the evolution *forward* and not just in a fancy sideways pirouette. =)

  • Jan Erlandsen says:

    I admit it looks cool, but I guess that is mostly because it is an unusual sight, a hubless wheel… Makes me wonder what advantages a hubless wheel has compared to a conventional one. Does anyone here know? Again, I realise the bike is a prototype, a design competition entry, but still I can't help wondering why… One of the first things that baffled me was the use of a belt drive. Why on earth? The pedal axle seems to be pretty well positioned at the rim of the weel to accomodate a more direct gear drive, saving both moving parts (the belt wears down) and visual clutter… I'm no designer, nor am I an engineer, so I really might not have a say in these matters, but nevertheless one would wish that intelligent and talented designers like e.g. Luke Douglas here, would focus their talent at solving more interesting problems, driving the evolution *forward* and not just in a fancy sideways pirouette. =)

  • NorbinCanada says:

    I agree with an earlier comment regarding bike geometry… The fact that the riders weight is directly above the rear 'axle' creates a very unstable weight distribution — it should be forward of the rear axle to eliminate 'wheelies'…

  • NorbinCanada says:

    I agree with an earlier comment regarding bike geometry… The fact that the riders weight is directly above the rear 'axle' creates a very unstable weight distribution — it should be forward of the rear axle to eliminate 'wheelies'…

  • thewebdesign says:

    wow it's a new invention of giving such a great ride without cub's, but it's only looks for official ride. their is nothing to gain speed

  • thewebdesign says:

    wow it's a new invention of giving such a great ride without cub's, but it's only looks for official ride. their is nothing to gain speed

  • What a nonsense research saying it it is smaller it is only smaller with the small front wheel. Plus a small front wheel is far to un stable riding at higher speeds. Should learn some cycling geometry, having short wheelbase does not help in speed having longer one does, shorter wheelbase helps cornering but a too short one is dangerous unstable at high speed cornering. Also its not solving any problem cause ti make it harder to replace tyres and also its not a lighter contruction than having spokes its havier. Only good thing about not having spokes able place somthing in the open space but the problem with this geometry is that it becomes dangerously unstable and bike wants to tilt backwards.

  • What a nonsense research saying it it is smaller it is only smaller with the small front wheel. Plus a small front wheel is far to un stable riding at higher speeds. Should learn some cycling geometry, having short wheelbase does not help in speed having longer one does, shorter wheelbase helps cornering but a too short one is dangerous unstable at high speed cornering. Also its not solving any problem cause ti make it harder to replace tyres and also its not a lighter contruction than having spokes its havier. Only good thing about not having spokes able place somthing in the open space but the problem with this geometry is that it becomes dangerously unstable and bike wants to tilt backwards.

  • LLL says:

    SO GREAT!

  • LLL says:

    SO GREAT!

  • Armin says:

    Hi Luke,
    It is good enough but just for really flat streets.

  • Armin says:

    Hi Luke,
    It is good enough but just for really flat streets.

  • Armin says:

    Hi Luke,

    your bike has a problem: It is useful but just in very flat streets.

    Keep going…

  • Armin says:

    Hi Luke,
    your bike has a problem: It is useful but just in very flat streets.
    Keep going…

  • Melvin says:

    Just want one !

    Do you think about beta tester ?

    I CSN be one if u need…

  • Melvin says:

    Just want one !
    Do you think about beta tester ?
    I CSN be one if u need…

  • lee says:

    that have few problem ,but his idea is very nice and hi made real prototype bicycle …. so~~~many deisgners make only graphic image by computer program. but this product is not.!!!! seems, this design will change.
    His product is deserve respect .

  • lee says:

    that have few problem ,but his idea is very nice and hi made real prototype bicycle …. so~~~many deisgners make only graphic image by computer program. but this product is not.!!!! seems, this design will change.
    His product is deserve respect .

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