Everything changes with time and innovation; we have come a long way from an era of continuous experiment, development, and modification. Similar to any other invention, the bicycle world has seen its fair share of advancement.
Some of the trials gave out a better, effective, and practical product, whereas others turned out to be utterly hilarious. Here we have collected 6 Most Unique Bicycles Ever Designed in an attempt to reinvent the wheels.
Unique bicycles – Quick Summary
- Abici Velocino: tiny front wheel
- Viks Bicycle: no seat tube
- Dursley Pederson: vintage and cantilever frame design
- Fliz: a concept bike where YOU are the pedals
- Strida: the foldable and uber-portable bike frame
- Roundtail: stiff and head-turning frame
Unique but Strange bicycles- Explained
Tiny Front Wheel
In the early 40s, an old Velocino cycle was commissioned by Benito Mussolini. He intended to offer Italians with a vehicle that was light, compact and handy to store anywhere.
The Abici Velocino has a long lineage. Its handlebars are positioned very low close to your knees. With a curving tail-like seat post, this design is not ergonomic. However, this tiny-wheeled strange design allows a rider to throw their arms outwards which prevents chances of collision with a pedestrian.
It looks like a convenient ride option for city cycling and portable to carry on public transportation.
Lastly, the thought of transporting any children or cargo is foolish with such a compact vehicle. It never took off and the project got canceled when Italy joined World War II. The mechanic involved in the project was so devastated by the news that he took his own life.
No Seat Tube
This is a hand made, steel bike all the way from Estonia. The unique shape of a Viks bicycle is the combination of two identical tube frames that are joined alongside each other. It meets at a single head as well as seat tube, and bottom bracket.
This bicycle has a high-quality stainless steel tubes construction which makes it durable and lightweight. A deep cutaway for the wheels gives it a sleek, modern and minimalist look.
The first complete Viks bike weighed about 14 kgs (31 lbs) because of overly-thick tubes. The use of lighter components and thinner tubes can bring this weight down to about 10 kgs (22 lbs).
Vintage and Cantilever Frame Design
Around 1893, Mikael Pedersen of Denmark moved to Dursley, England where he acquired a patent for his heavily triangulated design for a bicycle.
One of the most unique of this bicycle is its hammock seat. This seating arrangement gave its rider a small suspension on rutted dirt roads. The bicycle was popular for its unique appearance and comfort. It was also faster in comparison to other bicycles of the day.
The original machines were built out of wood and weighed about 19 pounds. Later, Pedersen switched to steel tubing but it was expensive to produce so the company shut down after a 36-year run. About 20 years ago, the production was resumed by Dame Jesper Sølling with technological improvements.
A Concept Bike Where YOU are the Pedals
The designers tried to refine the Laufmaschine (also known as hobby-horse). So the fliz and the hobby-horse have a lot in common. Just like a hobby-horse, it has no pedals and relies on the rider to make a scooting motion.
The rider is attached to the mainframe with the help of a harness system and the bodyweight is distributed evenly between five points. This effectively prevents uncomfortable pressure in just one area.
Although it may seem no different than running, you can travel much faster than normal with the fliz. It was not designed as a replacement for the bicycle. It is just one of many alternatives to get around urban environments. However, this is only a concept and is not available for sale anywhere.
The Foldable and Uber-portable Bike Frame
This bike is one of the best portable solutions as it is smaller with a great A-shaped folding design. This makes it easier for cyclists to enjoy a ride anywhere they want. In addition, it is very easy to maintain.
The bike has a triangular frame and is made out of aluminum which makes it lightweight and easy to carry around from one place to another. The triangular frame makes the folding and unfolding process of the bike relatively quick. It can be done in seconds.
The Strida is light and compact but the upright riding position makes it unsuitable for long rides. However, you can always fold it and hop on a nearby bus or train.
Stiff and Head-turning Frame
The inventor of this bike, Lou Tortola claims a smoother ride with its circular tail end. It is supposed to provide more vertical compliance than any traditional dual diamond frame.
The seat tube of a Roundtail is replaced with twin hoops of tubing to give it a standard frame. The concept behind this is, instead of the seat stays transferring road buzz and impacts straight to your posterior, they are dispersed by these shock-absorbing rings.
However, any frame that absorbs road vibrations tends to soak up pedaling power. The added rings also add some extra weight to the frame. These bikes are available in road, mountain, and hybrid form.
Revolutionary Futuristic Bicycles – Facts from History
Some innovative machines changed the game for road bikes completely. Let’s take a quick look at these iconic bikes:
Legano Team Bike (1948)
Before this, riders needed to remove and flip the rear wheel in order to change gear. This bike had two levers on the right side of the right seat stay that would change gear.
TI-Raleigh Pro Team Bike (1980)
These bikes were built in Raleigh’s SBDU (Special Bike Development Unit). The experts focused on making the best race bikes the world had ever seen.
Look KG86 Tour de France (1986)
The use of carbon frames was proven to be difficult in a practical situation. Look produced a usable frame with carbon tubes made for racing.
Vitus 979 (1987)
In the early days, the use of aluminum resulted in a very flexible bike frame. Until the French company, Vitus, produced stiffer frames using 979 Dural tubes, naming it Duraluminium.
ONCE Giant-TCR (1999)
The very first mass-produced frame that was stiffer, lighter, and needed less material with a sloping tube and compact geometry.
Trek OCLV (1999 – 2005)
Trek pushed its OCLV (Optimum Compaction Low Void) carbon bikes with the help of the US Postal racing team. Later, Trek OCLV 5200 became one of the fastest-selling bikes in the states.
Cervelo Soloist (2001)
The Soloist was one of the very few aluminum frames to achieve success against carbon fiber road bicycles and its groundbreaking aerodynamics.
Specialized McLaren S-Works Venge (2011 – 2016)
It had special design tweaks for an aerodynamic frame. It didn’t compromise handling or added any weight.
Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc
Aero bikes changed the game because it is compliant, aerodynamic and lightweight. Trek included ISOSpeed technology that gives you a fast all-round bike with 17 % more compliance and 21 % stiffer.
The bicycle industry has many more astounding inventions. There are so many different cycle concepts that are impossible to list in one place. If you look in more deeply, you can find an endless supply of more amazing bicycles with extraordinary designs. A few of the mentions are Mobo Triton Tricycle, Schwinn Meridian, and more.
Table of Content
- Unique bicycles – Quick Summary
- Unique but Strange bicycles- Explained
- Revolutionary Futuristic Bicycles – Facts from History
- Final Words,