Lean, Mean, Green Machine

This racing bike is sure to turn heads whether you’re tearing up the asphalt or carrying it in-hand. This concept by Allen Chester G. Zhang was designed to be easily transported between work and play. It can be stowed quickly as it folds at the center to create a barely-there yet aesthetically pleasing accessory. Unfold to expose it’s natural suspension shape and gear-to-gear spokeless wheels. Fluorescent copper-zinc components add not only to it’s aesthetic appeal but the rider’s safety. The color choices on this model are a beautiful combination.

Designer: Allen Chester G. Zhang

136 Comments

  • Pyrocatharsis says:

    I would buy that

  • Yuri says:

    Wonderful! another lettuce drier. The design is nice looking, at least to my eyes of course, but it's something that would not work on earth. It's a concept of an engine-less spaceship. I would buy a spaceship too, if it served me when tossed into space.

  • Mitch Kesek says:

    i don't know what you mean by 'lettuce drier,' Yuri, but it looks like it's simple and would work to me.
    I'd pay a few hundred USD for one of these

    • Yuri says:

      All these hubless designs are expensive exercises of taking a brilliant and proven design and then regressing it to what is basically a dream of taking the mechanism of lettuce driers and incorporating that into all-things-wheels for aesthetic reasons. There's nothing wrong with that, but in the process it seems all designers involved are subject to forgetting the physical problems that the original design solves, or maybe it doesn't matter as much when you have a cool rendition. I'm happy for your financial situation.

  • x11d says:

    nice looking, but will be tough making it ridable (because of bike geometry no-go's … fx. the steering angle and trail of the front wheel)

  • Could you tell me where center of gravity of rider is? And isn't it just too close to back axis? And if it is too close, what will happen when you're going uphill? (I like the looks, but I am concerned about functionality of this).

  • Erlandsen says:

    For real? A racer with no gears, and what on earth is preventing the front wheel from wobbling all over the place (a single point of contact)? Neat lines and spiffy renders, though, but do we really need another spokeless construction that doesn’t really solve any problem (but adding a bunch of new and shiny ones)?
    Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself from balking over this…

  • Erlandsen says:

    For real? A racer with no gears, and what on earth is preventing the front wheel from wobbling all over the place (a single point of contact)? Neat lines and spiffy renders, though, but do we really need another spokeless construction that doesn’t really solve any problem (but adding a bunch of new and shiny ones)?
    Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself from balking over this…

    • Allen Zhang says:

      The plan on the front wheels is to have ball bearings for mobility and like a train rail system as the contact point . the wheels would probably be made from titanium with 2 bending curves in its inner core, allowing it to be sturdy and straight as possible:)

      • Allen Zhang says:

        Thank you for your comment:) I am open to all possible suggestions on how to improve the design:) thank you.

  • Coolest bicycle design ever! Looks like a bicycle version of the Tron Lightcycle. Would absolutely buy this (if it was possible to build). However, I do agree that the spokeless design might not work and the fact that the user is too close to the back-wheel and that the front-wheel is too close to the legs when turning. Id's say keep the design, move the front-wheel more forward and use 3 strong big spokes in every wheel, then you might pull this one off.

    • Allen Zhang says:

      Regarding the front wheels on turning, no its not too close at all, the dimensions of the bike regarding the position of the wheels are base on a real racer bike, so it would function just fine. As to the back-wheel, it was really design that way to have it portable as possible while not sacrificing its function

  • Aaron says:

    The bike would provide two discussions if built as shown above:
    1) wow! What an interesting bike. I wonder if it is fun to ride?
    2) wow! Is that the rider of the bike crumpled on the ground in pain?

  • plr says:

    Stupidest thing I have ever seen. The bicycle is a perfect machine, they can be purpose built, some can preform better than others at different tasks, but on the whole “The Bicycle” can not be improved upon. And when do you see “folding” and “race bike” in the same right up? It's a daunting task to try to be the one guy since Davinci to find a fresh take on it, so I give these guys credit, but there are a lot of silly misses in the construction that a frame builder, or even dedicated recreational cyclist, could have helped them avoid.

    • Allen Zhang says:

      We are exploring ways of inventing and designing new bikes for the future, And we can not attain that if we didn't try. If you seen racer bikes being transported one place to another, it is usually carried on top on the roof of the car, if not disassembled. Point is that high performance bike are not mobile enough. The objective of the concept is to make bikes portable for less hassle and burden of space specially in the growth of population here and beyond. On the engineering aspect, suggestions on how to improve the designs function is open. Thank you.

      • otfon says:

        Allen, it's a beautiful design! My first instinct was, where do I buy this?

        Please don't waste your time justifying your nice efforts to someone that says, quote: “The Bicycle” can not be improved upon. ” or “Stupidest thing….” Instead, gives more cool stuff!

    • BaoTu says:

      plr – Your poor use of the English language can be 'improved upon'.

  • Harrie says:

    Een voordeel is dat je niet met je tas of voet tussen de spaken kan komen.

  • Harrie says:

    Een voordeel is dat je niet met je tas of voet tussen de spaken kan komen.

  • Allen Zhang says:

    Regarding the front wheels on turning, no its not too close at all, the dimensions of the bike regarding the position of the wheels are base on a real racer bike, so it would function just fine. As to the back-wheel, it was really design that way to have it portable as possible while not sacrificing its function

  • Allen Zhang says:

    We are exploring ways of inventing and designing new bikes for the future, And we can not attain that if we didn't try. If you seen racer bikes being transported one place to another, it is usually carried on top on the roof of the car, if not disassembled. Point is that high performance bike are not mobile enough. The objective of the concept is to make bikes portable for less hassle and burden of space specially in the growth of population here and beyond. On the engineering aspect, suggestions on how to improve the designs function is open. Thank you.

  • Troy Turner says:

    Everything can be improved upon. Awareness and sensitivity to problems is key in design.

  • Corey says:

    Looks nice but you wont be going anywhere fast. You have a single, unchangeable gear that would be a very low gear. Might be good for climbing hills, but with the riders weight so far back, you will be doing a wheelie when your not falling over backwards.

    • Allen Zhang says:

      Ill keep that in mind for my next design or improvement:) Thanks for pointing that out:D

  • otfon says:

    Allen, it's a beautiful design! My first instinct was, where do I buy this?

    Please don't waste your time justifying your nice efforts to someone that says, quote: “The Bicycle” can not be improved upon. ” or “Stupidest thing….” Instead, gives more cool stuff!

  • Ha_riden_real_bikes says:

    Everything can be improved upon, but why does every “cutting edge” bike designer thing that hub-less wheels are a great idea? Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don't reinvent the wheel?” And, having ridden a few actual bikes, I'll agree with the posts above that there are some serious geometry issues with this design. In short, it looks very cool, but it would never work in presence of gravity.

  • Wytze says:

    A structural hopeless hubless wheel design, is analysis no longer a part of the design process?

    But I like the fact that you are awaiting constructive criticism, Allen, so here is a point how to improve your design:
    Ask yourself what kind of forces act on the bicycle while riding and cornering and especially on the wheels of the bicycle, draw them, or you know what, just cut your design at scale out of a piece of cardboard and ride it around on your desk. You will come to realise that the top of the wheel is the worst place to 'hold' the wheel. The rim would have to be so strong that you'd almost have to make it out of a train rails section. And then still: the long 'arm' of the wheel diameter would crumble your tiny frame tubes.
    Instead look at the more logic places to divert the forces from the ground, yes, near the ground. The only advantage that these useless hubless wheel designs could ever hold over conventional wheels is that you can get a more direct road feel by letting the bicycle frame take up the forces directly near the tire contact point with the ground.
    This design here is nothing more than a rendering practice. So please if you really have the intention to change the world with your designs, put your time and energy in some small scale models, mockups, proto's instead and feel your design. And do some research!! Wrong: http://tinyurl.com/y8kdj53 wrong: http://tinyurl.com/4azsfx9 OK-ish: http://tinyurl.com/4qaklr8

    • Allen Zhang says:

      haha. thank you sir for your suggestion, I will take note of this as i improve my designs. thank you:)

  • Fturue says:

    So kind of like the iF Mode by Mark Sanders, except this one is not useful & will never pass the concept stage

  • BaoTu says:

    plr – Your poor use of the English language can be 'improved upon'.

  • Kebin says:

    This is not real

  • Kebin says:

    This is not real

  • Bizzo says:

    I hate student work like this. It shows that they did absolutely NO research on bicycle geometry or strength of materials, or even how gear ratios work. Ugh. waste of time!

    • Allen Zhang says:

      For your info SIR, I did research upon the physic concept of the bike, http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/2139/slide7s.j

      Just because not all my 49 pictures information related on the bike concept got posted in Yanko's site doesn't mean
      I'm ignorant on the geometry shape of the design.

      The material or the frame of the bike is Thermoplastic, Towflex, stronger than steel and eco friendly, allowing the frame of the bike to be a natural suspension in contact to the ground.

      Thank you very much.

      • Has_riden_real_bikes says:

        Where did you learn physics? If the rider's center of gravity gets behind the axle of the rear wheel, the front wheel comes off the ground. The steering angle is unworkable, and the gearing (see below).

        It looks great, but that's all. It would not work.

        Do design schools teach basic engineering principles? Human Factors and Ergonomics? Without those principles of reality guiding design, the only real-world jobs you are prepared for would be with Walt Disney animators and comic books.

        • Allen Zhang says:

          Regarding the Physics of the bike, i was looking at the forces acting on the bike, i wasn't able to take note of the center of gravity issue. Will do so on my next design. this is after all just my second entry in yanko:) still new with the people

        • Allen Zhang says:

          No sadly our design school just throw out the physic subjects in my curriculum. I understand your point (everybody is saying it:) I will design a new one with all the fields covered next time

        • Allen Zhang says:

          No sadly our design school just throw out the physic subjects in my curriculum. I understand your point (everybody is saying it:) I will design a new one with all the fields covered next time

  • andy says:

    1) Most single speed bikes made for street riding have around a 3 to 1 gear ratio. That bike looks like it has a 1 to 4 gear ratio. It would move forward maybe 6 inches for each revolution of the pedals. This shows a total failure of understanding of the basics of how bicycles work.

    2) The rake and trail of the fork shows a total lack of understanding of how bicycle steering works.

    3) If someone was on the bike as it appears in the rendering with the rider (aside from the seat post needing to be a foot longer) it would fall over backwards.

    Three strikes and you're out. You've created many more problems than you've solved. Bicycles, like any tool, must FUNCTION first and look pretty second. You've designed something that would be impossible to use for its intended purpose.

  • engineeringthoughts says:

    Looks like everyone has done a pretty good job at pointing out that not enough time was spent in the research phase of design.

    To add – circular tubes on a racing bike? If this were the 80's that would be state of the art.

    Hubless wheels on a racing bike… Even if feasible, you're going to have some aero penalties. Disk, tri-spoke, deep vee, etc. wheels are good places to start research as to why the current designs are the way they are.

    Folding? You're going to need to choose a demographic. Serious racers are not going to care about the bike's ability to fold. They also won't care about fenders (although I understand you were thinking of somehow supporting a hubless wheel.

    Aerobars…

    Rider position… You've shown a rider position that looks like a person is on a mountain bike. Not aerodynamically efficient for a racer.

    Rake, Trail, Radius of Gyration

    You need to do more time researching. You can't hope to innovate on the future if you don't understand the current state of the art. You also need to research customers – if it doesn't sell, it's not a product. Understand their needs.

    If you don't understand the system, you can't hope to change the system.

    Without that research – this isn't design, it's just art.

  • progressive thoughts says:

    I think it's an interesting concept. I doubt if it wil lead to a functional bike though.
    I hope the designer isn't put off by the negative remarks.

    There is a lot of truth in some about the shortcomings in this design as far as bike geometry and wishes of bike riders.
    I for example noticed that the front fender looks like it's too far to the front. The rain and mud will sling up in the riders face with the fender positioned like this.

    I think its probibly a good idea when a designer without 'understanding the system'' takes a look at the bicycle. Cause in knowing the system, lies the danger of not being able to think outside of it. To come to completely new concepts it might be good to have a fresh look on things.

    • Allen Zhang says:

      The people's comments have there points:) despite the negative feed back, i did learn alot from there “constructive criticism”

      Hopefully on my next design, ill be able to apply both the aesthetic and engineering aspects of it

      • James says:

        The bike looks awesome. I love the spokeless design, but as said before the gear would be way too low to be efficient. And also the center of gravity for the rider is too far back so it would be awkward riding it. If possible place the wheels farther apart, especially try and move the back wheel farther back, that would help a lot. and i would also recommend making the contact points and the rail on the front tire larger so that it would be more stable and smooth. and also, maybe not market it as a racing bike, but just as a touring bike or city bike, cuz thats what it really is. As i biker, i look forward to seeing what else you come out with in the future. thanks for showing, good work

  • lewis says:

    hey man… your design looks good huh…also the rendering, the lens flares… ๐Ÿ˜€ but if a person rides this bike he would fall off the ground through the back part of your bike because the seat is above the half of your back wheel. some adjustments on the seat would work… ๐Ÿ˜€
    i think you don't need a lot of research. just a few knowledge about physics and a common sense would help you in creating your concepts.

    • lewis says:

      also, i want to add..think out of the box man. but you should not go beyond the standards. that's what industrial design is all about.

      and aren't those handles too close to each other?? problem with the turning.
      too much problems with your handles. the shape, the position of the breaks…
      keep trying. you're very close to the spot. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Mike Barnard says:

    I agree with the majority of the comments above, but there is an entire fixed gear culture and set of races. I don't personally find it appealing — the bike I did a single 4000Km trip on had 63 speeds — but I know that it's there and appreciate the geeky appeal. That said, fixed gear bikes are relentlessly traditional. People that ride fixed gear bikes are aiming for a Platonic ideal (whether they know what that is or not). The intersection of that Platonic ideal of BICYCLE and your folding, spokeless design is exceedingly small so economical delivery is unlikely (however, you did find one buyer above if you could get the price down to his level… also unlikely).
    http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2005/http://www.oldskooltrack.com/files/fg.manifesto.fhttp://www.laurenceking.com/product/Fixed%3A+Glob

    Keep designing,
    Mike

  • aihots says:

    So cool, I like

  • dave says:

    Having a small cog on the pedals and that massive one around the rim of the back wheel would make it the worst racing bike ever.

    And if you did manage to get a decent amount of torque, wouldn’t you pop a wheelie straight off the back due to the position of rider being right over the top or even slightly aft of the center of the back wheel?

  • dave says:

    Having a small cog on the pedals and that massive one around the rim of the back wheel would make it the worst racing bike ever.

    And if you did manage to get a decent amount of torque, wouldn’t you pop a wheelie straight off the back due to the position of rider being right over the top or even slightly aft of the center of the back wheel?

  • Yuri says:

    All these hubless designs are expensive exercises of taking a brilliant and proven design and then regressing it to what is basically a dream of taking the mechanism of lettuce driers and incorporating that into all-things-wheels for aesthetic reasons. There's nothing wrong with that, but in the process it seems all designers involved are subject to forgetting the physical problems that the original design solves, or maybe it doesn't matter as much when you have a cool rendition. I'm happy for your financial situation.

  • Smit P. says:

    Is it just me or does some one else also see's that his would be he slowest cycle ever.

  • Jeff says:

    Allen,

    While a lot of these comments are very good engineering and right on. The founder of Google said something along the lines of it's easier to be wildly successful when you are creating what everyone thinks is impossible. My advice – think outside of the box, recreate the wheel, and challenge the norm.

    For the record – I'm avid biker and I'd buy one of these (for big bucks) if I could stick it in my luggage and take it with me. Even if it only had one speed it would be a blast to ride this around cities as long as it would hold together and give a reasonable ride.

    ~Jeff

    • Kevin says:

      Hey, Jeff,

      You are NOT an avid biker. How do I know?
      1) You would buy this design, despite EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM MENTIONED.
      2) Avid bikers don't buy bikes solely on looks alone. They RIDE them first, considering RIDING is the whole point of owning a bike.
      3) You would spend bags of money on a prototype design that has incorporated more issues and problems than it has fixed.

      In the future, Jeff, don't put things like “I'm an avid and I'd buy one of these (for big bucks)” in your comments. It makes you look daft when actual bikers spot it, and it makes actual bikers looks like bumbling idiots who would throw money at a heap of metal and rubber just because bikes can be made from it. True avid bikers don't like people like you, stop trying to act like one of them.

  • mike says:

    I think this is more of a designs student project of “what if you could break all the rules of the norm. ” Personally I think it looks awesome and was designed to promote creativity and not be an actual product.

  • mike says:

    I think this is more of a designs student project of “what if you could break all the rules of the norm. ” Personally I think it looks awesome and was designed to promote creativity and not be an actual product.

  • sfmike says:

    I think this is more of a designs student project of “what if you could break all the rules of the norm. ” Personally I think it looks awesome and was designed to promote creativity and not be an actual product.

  • sfmike says:

    I think this is more of a designs student project of “what if you could break all the rules of the norm. ” Personally I think it looks awesome and was designed to promote creativity and not be an actual product.

  • Walter Ezell says:

    Early bikes, the Penny Farthings, had fixed gears that depended on the diameter of the wheel. You can change the gear ratio by changing the size of your chainring or the size of your wheel, or both. You can introduce variable gears by modifying your crank mechanism. If you move the rear wheel back to get a workable center of gravity, the pedals will move back also. Thus the constraints of this concept will probably force you to adopt a more prone rider position than we are accustomed to. The saddled position and shape will change.

  • Walter Ezell says:

    Another option might be to go recumbant, with the pedals on the front wheel, thought this introduces complications in steering. Could you steer the rear wheel? Turn the rider around on this design, lengthen the frame, reduce the size of the rear wheel, and put the handlebar under the rider. Some people are scoffing at the hubless wheels, but I think that is the most exciting part of this design. Improvements in materials may make a hubless wheel practical in our lifetimes, when it was not before.

  • Walter Ezell says:

    I suggest talking to open-minded frame-builders and also call Michelin R&D folks in Greenville, SC, as they are probably experimenting with hubless wheels and would be fascinated with your project and willing to help a creative guy like you without being scoffers.

  • Blugyblug says:

    Looks way too hard to steer. Centre of gravity would be behind the back wheel if the rider sits up and the bike would topple backwards unless some weight was put on the front wheel which is pointless when you can just move the seat forward.

  • Rab says:

    With the gearing the way it is, pedaling forward would make the bike move backwards. Also, the gear ratio is reversed from a normal bike so you would never be able to move more than a few inches…backwards. Think about it, for every complete turn of the pedals the wheel would only move about 3 inches.

  • Kevin says:

    It looks fancy and I like it, but it simply wouldn't work. The rider's center of gravity is WAY too far back; The saddle shouldn't be directly over the center of the rear wheel. Also, the handle bars, oh the handle bars… If this is meant to be a race bike, which it claims to be, the spacing between each of the brake hoods needs to be quite a bit larger. Also, how exactly do you adjust the angle of the bars on this bike? It looks like it's built right into the steer tube of the fork… These are just the things that strike me off the bat.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the concept, but this bike puts “form” way before “function.”

  • ringo says:

    the seat is too close to the rear wheel……the user will follow back easily~ it is very dangerous~!!!

  • 2046 says:

    how much weight it can support??

  • WOW! nice it must be one for me !

  • jed says:

    awesome…china will produce it..

  • Freddie says:

    It's a pitty that many designers don't inform themselves adequately before they start spending time (and/or budget) on designing and rendering. I'm sorry but this is just a waste of energy and it appears clumsy to those who know a bit about bicycles…

Comments are closed.