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...
Here are some images of the actual working vehicles Sbarro has built (from his site).
Here's a simple design sketch I found in one of my motorcycle mags.
Here's some Sbarro inspired work passed on to me by Scott Beale who found them during a search on www.search.com.
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.
- The rollerbearing and seal speeds are almost as high as the road speed.
- The brg & seals are "in the muck".
- The wheel is no longer a entire "structure" - relying on the bearings to prevent distortion.
- rotating interia is much higher - bearing / seals / drive being almost at tyre diameter.
- very small amount of damage results in a jammed wheel.
- And other reasons I can't think of at the moment.
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 :
"...it is the worst system (design) - apart from all the others."