Gizmodo just released an article on a “hip” combi: a mixture between a fixed gear and a unicycle.

My first impression, (upon seeing the video in that linked page), is this thing is quiet. No chains and derailleurs makes for a sneaky quiet machine, and on that basis alone I’m starting to like this thing.

I don’t think having the seat that low is good, (extremely bent legs throughout the pedal stroke), so I wonder what the range of adjustments are for seat and handlebar height.

I’m curious, and will be watching to see if this thing comes out at a price I want to pay…

Well it’s interesting… With the wheels so close together, I guess the front brake wouldn’t be so bad, and also cuz that it doesn’t look like it goes very fast.

I’m guessing it’s really designed for big city commuting?

That’s a pretty cool idea and very practicle. Throw in a Schlumpf hub (to maintain the fixed gear approach) or a Rohlhoff or other multi-gear internal hub and you’d really have a screaming machine! Fascinating that nothing like this has been done before (or has it?).

Looks like an incredibly uncomfortable riding position.

Yes, it needs a much higher saddle and handlebars. Then it would look less ‘minimal’, but would be more ridable.

I bet it feels quite odd compared to a normal bike, but less strange than a penny farthing with steering going on at your feet. I’d be keen to have a go on one if I ever came across one.


Ah, another designer attempts to improve something that was perfected decades ago.

Talking of more comfortable positions,
Here’s another direct drive bicyle, and this one is a semi-recumbent design:

Oneybike (design study)

Since this one has a wheel that is both driven and steered,
it should feel rather more similar to a unicycle than that dual 36er
(steering and pedaling are not independent).

Personally, I’d make it a rear steerer to avoid this…
and put the seat lower (for better traction at hills)…
but then again, it’s just a design study.:wink:

It’s designed purely for fashion.

Well I meant by it’s compact form. But yes, I would have to agree that I think it is designed more to be “Different” than compact, especially since there are bikes much more compact.

So…it’s a 36er with a training wheel?

Yup, but less comfortable.

And without the difficulty of balance, or fixed wheel

I had EXACTLY all the same thoughts!

I think that’s more a reason to want it at the rear…

Amen. That thing is magic.

I don’t think it’s really a unique design, but as it’s basicly a pennyfarthing with equal wheels reverced I do think an improvement, depending on type of use. For a very long time I did city-commuting on a 24" (non-folding) bike, just to be able to make quicker manouvres. This one would be very alike, but direct driven even without chain. Never dirty hands anymore. Some nice diagonal or horizontal needle bearings at the fork… yummie (except the too low seat, especially for my length). Still an interresting concept I would love to try.

Well it doesn’t look like it goes too fast, and I would think that having the front brake closer to your center mass than a normal bike would be less dangerous? I’m a photographer not an engineer haha.

Hmmm, well, hard to explain in English, but the position of the front-brake is irrelevant; it’s about wether the wheel block or not.
Combined with your bodyweight and the distance you’re devided from the front hub completes the calculation of physic laws that rule wether you’re going to fly a little, or a little too fast - such that you end up at the other side of the wheel…

Ah yes, I see what was wrong now. In my mind I was thinking that if the front brake were simply closer to the back wheel, that that would mean it would be more stable, since the rear brake is stable. Strange how my mind can play tricks on me sometimes.

maybe if it was a fixed wheel you could just ride it like a unicycle, and wheelie forever?

I like this idea, imagine the looks on peoples faces!

Why are you talking about bicycle gearing systems?
I don’t see the relevance. This thing is a unicycle on the backside. So the only geared hub that will fit, if any, is the one by Schlumpf.

No! :astonished: It’s not.
The “closer” (lengthwise) the centre of mass is to the front wheel’s point of contact, and the further up it is, the less braking power you will be able to apply without tilting over and continuing the braking process by means of your face (not desirable for most… for some it may be an improvement :p).

On very loose or muddy ground, yes… but this is a special case.
But for tarmac or other usual ground, and assuming that your tyre is not made of soap, this is what counts: