It seems like hardly a day passes, without yet another bike designer trying to reinvent the wheel. While most are little more than a designer’s fantasy, some like this hubless design called the Lunartic actually make it to the working prototype stage.
The basic design for a typical street bike has remained pretty stable for about 120 years, so you’ve got to hand it to anyone who thinks they can do better than Starley’s 1885 Safety Bicycle. Sure there have been huge advances in materials and components, but Starley’s basic layout has withstood the test of time.
In the video, designer Luke Douglas provides several reasons why his hubless Lunartic is better that a conventional bike, but most of them don’t stand up too well to careful scrutiny. For example, he says that ‘large wheels travel faster’, when in fact the opposite is true. I also wonder about the friction generated by the rear wheel support mechanism, not to mention the difficulty of changing a tire. Still, I’m sure it does turn heads.
Douglas has submitted the Lunartic for a James Dyson Award, so perhaps he will have the last laugh.