Moto : Sbarro's Designs

About Sbarro and the hubless wheel

Sbarro the italian inventor/ engineer who designed and built the first working hubless wheels (patent now held by Globeholding, in Geneva) produced this design sketch. Sbarro has built many working rim rider vehicles and at least two working rim rider motorcycles. A rim rider wheel is a wheel with no center hub, just a clean empty hole. The Wheel itself is in essence the outer race of a very large bearing.

I believe that Franco Sbarro is the only designer that has employed this type of hubless wheel. Globeholding (the current patent holder) appears to be agressively defending their intellectual property rights (even I have received emails from them), so lets hope that means they have some great plans in the works...

Working bikes

Here are some images of the actual working vehicles Sbarro has built (from his site).

bike parked from side

riding both bikes

bike parked 3/4 view

the design painting

Other Sbarro designs

Here's a simple design sketch I found in one of my motorcycle mags.

blueprint side image

Here's some Sbarro inspired work passed on to me by Scott Beale who found them during a search on

painting 3/4 view

painting of dirtbike side view

painting of racebike 3/4 view

painting of streetbike 3/4 view

painting of streetbike 3/4 view

painting of streetbike 3/4 view

painting of streetbike 3/4 view

painting of prototype 3/4 view

painting of prototype 3/4 view


I thought it would be interesting to include a quote (reformatted) about Sbarro's (Globeholding's) wheels from Ian Drysdale that I found on usenet:

I got howled down by most of my "foward" thinking friends when I expressed my opinion of these wheels when they first appeared. Bloody awful , useless...

Whilst they look pretty - very striking actually - they suffer from the slight draw back that they fail in every engineering principle you can apply to a wheel.

I've lost count of the number of posters of the bicycle version I have seen in bike shops. As to spoked wheels (please - no-one apply my eng. test to these) I think the test applied to democracy as a method of governing a country rings true :

" is the worst system (design) - apart from all the others."