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The Bicymple Seeks To Reinvent The Bicycle

The current design for the bicycle has held pretty steady for the last little bit: two wheels, a frame, a chain, gears and a pedal. It’s stayed that way because it’s a good design; why mess with it? For fun, that’s why. A few weeks ago we looked at the Fliz, a two-wheeled contraption that made you feel like you were flying, strapped into a harness. And today we bring news of the Bicymple, or as Josh Bechtel of Scalyfish Designs wants you to think of it: the bicycle, simplified. It features a direct drive system, which means that the pedals are on the back wheel, and you turn it directly. It’s a little bit like a unicycle, only there’s a second wheel and handlebars. The second wheel is in front and is joined to the propelling wheel by a simple metal arm that allows them to run in different tracks from each other. This means you can go forward, but place your directional wheel offset from where you’re sitting, making you look like you’re traveling sideways, even when you’re not. Crab-ridin’. It’s… a little convoluted to explain and better understood in video form. The point is that it looks kind of fun, if only a little dangerous. Still, that never stopped anyone before.

The Bicymple is just a working prototype at the moment and there’s no pricing or availability information. But there’s a considerable amount of interest, so you never know when this could turn into a reality.

Hit the jump for more pictures and that video.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]







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  • http://www.facebook.com/devinmcginty Devin McGinty

    This is pretty much a swing bike, which is a bicycle design that has been around for a long time. However, I don’t believe any company currently produces swing bicycles (most are custom made). Also, it’s interesting to see a swing bike with a rear freewheel, rather than a fixed wheel. (Contrary to what this article says, the wheel isn’t completely direct drive as it allows you to coast. Typical swing bikes are more like a unicycle where if you pedal backwards the rear wheel goes backwards.) This is certainly a neat design, and a good way to transition from a street bike to a unicycle, as one of the learning hurdles of a unicycle is getting used to the pedals being directly under the seat.

  • logan

    What he said.

    The swing bike was patented in 1974 and made until 1978. There’s a
    company making a slightly different version currently. Both of those
    aren’t as much like a unicycle as this one, they have a chain and pedals
    forward of the rear wheel, but there have been a lot of custom made
    bikes with a unicycle in the rear over the years.

    The only thing that might make this more viable now than in the past is
    the availability of the two speed Schlumpf unicycle hub, so it could
    have a 1:1 gear and a 1.5:1 gear.

    Like all concept bikes, though, it has an obvious fatal flaw. Not having
    a rear brake, if you use the front brake at speed when the wheels aren’t perfectly lined up the rear wheel will want to continue moving off to the side.That’ll result in a handlebar to the gut and/or the frame hitting your leg. Before you hit the ground.