The concept of the hubless wheel was in fact invented by Franco Sbarro (who has built a variety of working hubless wheel vehicles, including at least two motorcycles and a car, the 1989 Sbarro Osmos), and patented by Globeholding of Geneva.
“Sbarro” has since 1971 been a small Swiss high-performance replica and sports car company founded by Franco Sbarro. He also established the “A.C.A. Atelier d’Etude de constructions automobiles” and “Espace Sbarro Schule”, both in Switzerland, a research and education center, the “Espera Sbarro Montbéliard“, in France and “Créa”, a small production workshop in Casablanca, Morocco.
How It Works
In a so-called ‘hubless’ wheel, the hub is actually a large thin ring that fits just inside the rim of a large bearing with the tire on its outside. The inner ring itself attaches to the vehicle’s frame.
On a motorbike, the front wheel also has to handle the steering. With such an unconventional design, one of the challenges is getting power to the rear wheel. This can be done through a specially adapted chain or belt.
Next Generation Bicycle
After four years of development, Reevo Bikes has unveiled its hubless electric bike. Developed by Beno Technologies, the sleek, ultra-futuristic design seems to be taken straight out of a sci-fi movie. With its avant-garde aesthetic, the Reevo bike claims to be the electric bike of the future, boasting a sort-of-novel design – Wheels that have no hubs of spokes. So instead of relying on central hub and spokes, the tires spin on a bearing along the fixed rim.
The Skatecycle, also known as the “Freerider Skatecycle”, is the world’s first mass-produced hubless, self-propelled skate. Invented and patented by Alon Karpman, the Skatecycle was manufactured by Brooklyn Workshop, Inc. based at that time in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Unlike most traditional skateboards, the user does not need to continuously push off the ground to gain and maintain speed. The Skatecycle marks the first time a hub-less machine has been mass-produced, and it is now part of the permanent collection at the Henry Ford Museum and the Bicycle Museum of America.
The Skatecycle contains a double-jointed twisting axle connected to two standing platforms surrounded by polyurethane wheels. A hubless wheel is present on both sides of the axle. In order to engage the unit, the rider needs to twist their feet inwards and outwards.