spokeless wheels/ no axle

does anyone know how these work, the wheels that are not driven by the axle, infact they have no axle just an attachment to the top of the wheel. Any info would be helpful or a link to a description of its workings.

what you’re looking for is also called a “hubless wheel”.

the basic operation is relatively simple…it essentially consists of a smaller gear that meshes with the inside diameter of the drive wheel. but it all depends on who’s making it. the engineering that goes into making it work, however, is where the complexity lies.

the first time it was successfully made was in france.
you can see more concept applications here:


link to how it works:

it’s the stuff that many car / motorcycle designers dream of. but for some good, homegrown concepts, ya gotta go with billy lane. he’s got a shop in melbourne, florida. i’d say he’s the best bike customizer on the east coast. he put the “sweet” in “damn that bike is SWEET!”:


and, lastly, a link to an off-road concept:


and the overall benefit is… ?

ground clearance?
less unsprung weight?
lessened gyroscopic effect?

thanks a lot jerry those links were really good i’ve only started reading but im already imagining applications, i question the weight and strength positives if there are any. i would love to see this concept applied to one of these www.mbs.com

ground clearance?

in the case of the neo cosmic voyager:

having hubless wheels gives the concept a greater range of ground clearance. the larger the wheel, the greater the ground clearance.

less unsprung weight?

i would imagine that the wheel itself has less mass. but you can’t really get something for nothing. so, i’m assuming that mass gets transferred to the structural component of the hubless wheel concept. this does allow that component to essentially be lowered, thus lowering the center of mass / gravity making the vehicle more stable.

lessened gyroscopic effect?

maybe a hubless wheel does lessen the gyroscopic effect which is how 2-wheeled vehicles achieve their stability but as mentioned earlier, the reduced wheel mass can be compensated for by lowering the mass of the structural components making a bike less top heavy. in addition, the absence of mass in the wheel would also reduce the negative effects of strong crosswinds.



some other design possibilities with a hubless wheel concept is that it would present the opportunity to create a more robust vehicle security device:


substitute the dog for a bike lock integrated into some street furniture and i doubt that your motorycycle could be stolen in less than a minute.

honda put the engine IN the back wheel here


also, the Bombardier Embrio concept uses the space inside of the wheel to house the engine and gyroscopes, while these last two examples do not look hubless at first glance, they are and they utilize the space that has been created by the elimination of the hub

yes, putting an electric motor IN the wheel itself can dramatically improve
not only traction but also aids in lowering the center of mass giving the transportation vehicle added driver control.

a hubless wheel isn’t the end-all design of wheels but, as a designer, it does give us an option when creating achievable concept ideas. cost, as always, is a factor.

how would a hubless wheel influence the overall design of this concept:


don’t mind my drool and be sure to check out the video link.