The basic design for pedal-powered bicycles hasn’t changed much in over 150 years. We’ve improved their performance and the materials they’re made from, but a frame with two round wheels is a recipe that’s worked for decades. Some disagree, however, and continue to try to reinvent the wheel: literally.
A while back, the YouTube channel The Q (no, not that ‘Q’) shared a video of a completely unorthodox custom bike they’d designed and built featuring completely square wheels. At first glance, the bike looked completely unrideable, requiring seemingly impossible amounts of pedal power to get the wheels to roll. But it turned out the square wheels employed a clever design and didn’t have to actually roll at all. Instead, their tires function as treads, propelling the bike forward in a similar fashion to how a military tank functions.
Why stop at square wheels? After the success of the channel’s square-wheeled bike design, The Q went back to the drawing board to see if they could come up with a bike design featuring triangular wheels. They succeeded, and unlike the square-wheeled bike, these triangular wheels actually roll like round ones. It’s an idea that seems either impossible, or at least like it would be incredibly uncomfortable to ride.
But by slightly curving each side of the triangular wheels and engineering a pair of articulating (but limiter-equipped) arms allowing the centre of each wheel to move up and down, the bike can be ridden without the rider experiencing hardly any up and down movements at all. It does appear as if the rider maybe experiences a subtle surge in forward speed every time the triangular wheels transition from their apex points to their flat sides, but this otherwise appears to be a remarkably rideable design, and one that would probably be quite adept at navigating uneven terrain.
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