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China Re-invents the Bicycle Wheel

Move over Japan. China is making huge strides in the field of weird and wacky. Check out this crazy bicycle with a pentagonal wheel on the the front and a triangular one on the back. It was developed by Chinese inventor Guan Baihua who believes that people will want to ride the bike because it requires more effort than a conventional bike, and thus provides a greater workout for the rider.

Alternatively for those of you who can't order one of these bad boys all the way from China, you can try peddling a regular bikes with the brakes on.

Polygonal & Triangular WheelsPolygonal & Triangular Wheels 

As silly as it looks and sounds, there might actually be some intelligence behind this crazy bike. The edges are not straight, but rather bent in such a way that the diameter across both shapes is the same no matter where it is measured. Gao explains:

"This means that as I cycle, although the wheel itself does not have a fixed centre of rotation, the saddle of the bike doesn’t bob up and down as you might expect but stays a fixed distance from the ground. To get the exact contours for the shapes, the curved edges are drawn so that they are part of a circle centred on the vertex opposite the edge. They are called Reuleaux polygons after the 19th-century German engineer Franz Reuleaux, who did pioneering work on machines that turn one type of motion into another." 

If nothing else, the math is certainly cute. I'd love to see a video of this bike in action, so if anybody comes across one please let me know in the comments.

Rick Martin
Innovations in China
InventorSpot.com