Designed by Ben Wilson the monowheel looks like IT from one Southpark episode only it’s more comfortable. The cycle was made for the XXIst Century Man exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo. This bike, I mean cycle looks really cool but I doubt it’s comfortable, your arms would go to sleep if you keep them up like that.


{ 43 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Odd that none of the pictures show him actually riding that thing. He’s leaning against the wall so I’m assuming it’s not stable.

  2. Wow, i want one :D :)

    @ Ruby: That type of monowheel can be very stable, assuming you know how to ride it right, and can deal with the balancing. I’d say it was simply easier to take a photo that looked profesional like that.

    A few years ago, Scrapheap Challenge had a challenge to make a motorised version of one of these.. Looked pretty hard to control, but given more than 10 hours i’m sure it could be done better :)

  3. well, yeah
    whats the problem of making the foto of `tis `tingy in motion

  4. Ruby is right…the thing doesn’t look too stable at all.

    What prevents it from wobbling from side to side? And if this contraption leans forward even a foot or so while you’re riding, the pedals will hit the ground.

  5. Don’t be silly, even normal bicycles have to lean against something if they are standing still. That alone tells us nothing about the stability.

    The real question is what happens when you try to brake? Since it is all wheel, braking would only lock the rider in place, and it would continue to roll. Brake hard enough, and it would overcome his weight and flip him completely around.

  6. Does this remind anyone else of the “It” that Mr. Garrison made on South Park?

  7. Haha, my bad. I didn’t read the first paragraph til now.

  8. The gearing shown will require some very fast legwork to attain enough speed to ride it. Anyway.. Maybe the gearing on the schematics is different than the prototype, and maybe the it will work better. Just a hunch..

  9. Can you maintain balance on low speed? It should have some sort of little wheels attached to the sides :)

  10. I surprised more people haven’t said that it looks like the invention Mr. Garrison made in South Park. That was such a messed up episode…

  11. Probably because that was mentioned in the first paragraph of the article :P

  12. photoshopped

  13. IT’s better than flying!

  14. i agree with dcoop.

  15. “Does this remind anyone else of the “It” that Mr. Garrison made on South Park?”

    Yes it is, minus the dongs

  16. wow these people r stupid…the reason it will not tip from side to side is rotational inertia. when u first get on a bike, it is really wobbly, since ur not rotating the wheels. but once u get going, the bike stays pretty stable, as long as you keep rotating the wheels. the same effect would happen w/ this guy’s invention, the only problem would be getting started

  17. I doubt it would be stable.

    Gyroscopic effect is highly dependant on angular velocity (I did my honours thesis on gyroscopes). And since the wheel is so large, it’s only going to have a small angular velocity. So what this means is that precession velocity is only going to be quite low, so it won’t have that self correcting nature that a standard bicycle will have.

    However once it does get up to a decent speed it will become quite stable. Though it would be as stable as a penny farthing, which as we all know aren’t particularly stable. Alternatively if the rims are made to be quite heavy then the mass moment of inertia will be increased.

    But as someone quite rightly pointed out, it’s going to be difficult to stop since it can’t apply any external torque. without flipping over.

  18. very nice design
    but at that hight cars probably won’t see you and run you over

  19. Well once in motion the balance is obtained by gyroscopic effect, so that takes care of that (try to old in your hands your detached front wheel and make it spin you’ll see what this means) about braking: the force required to lift a man is equal to his weight, in this instance there is a bit of disadvantage lever so braking too would not be a problem the thing would not flip and keep rolling unless going down a slope but i wouldn’t try that.

    my only doubt would be at start up, when braking you can star putting your foot down to keep balance and use the other to slow down, but when you are starting up you must use both feet on the pedals and the gyroscopic effect has not kicked in yet, so i think that would be the hardest part.

    I see something i’m not sure of right behind the seat, are those weights? or is it a big spring?

    personally i would add some protection to the chain, in that position it’s a bit too exposed in my opinion.

    other than that it’s pretty cool, and it would also be easy to motorize.

    keep up the good work, and nothing can beat test runs, so do a lot of those ^_^

  20. i gotta say the 1st thing i thought of was the mr. garrison thing from south park too!!! LOL

  21. It just seems to me like the only way to brake without going head over heels would be putting your feet on the ground. Also it looks like if you tried to ride uphill or come out of a dip at high speed that sprocket on the pedals would catch the ground. You can see at the bottom there’s an illustration for a sprocket guard but all it will take is hitting one sharp bump at high speed and you’re going airborne. I think I’ll stick to a normal bike, nothing wrong with a 10-speed if you’re going to pedal….

  22. Umm, if I understand the physics properly, moderate deceleration should cause the inner ring to rotate in the direction that the outer ring is traveling. There is not much room for such action until a pedal meets the pavement….. then the contraption starts catapulting by launching upwards off the pedal crank as the pedal contacts the surface of the road. From there, the rider might be so fortunate as to remain inside the passenger area, but I believe odds would be the rider gets tossed, even if only partially.

  23. can i have one with dildos included

  24. I just saw the video, when he try’s to turn he has to reduce the speed and put his feet on the ground, maybe he could put on some skates? That way he could turn easier.
    Does anyone know if that would work?

  25. Any body see the South Park episode where Mr. Garrison invents something very similar to this?

  26. It’s stupid and would never work, that’s why you don’t see any pics of someone riding it. The center of gravity would cause it to tip forward and make the pedals hit the ground. Yes while in motion it wouldn’t fall over, same as a bicycle, but it’s unridable. plus it’s a 1/1 ratio since there are no gears, just pedaling to turn the wheel.

  27. Just don’t ask me to ride one of these things, stable or unstable, where there are puddles.

  28. I’ve seen something like this on Daily Planet. Only motorized.

  29. uhmm.

    i guess i’m the only one who noticed this but,

    if you look right behind the seat,
    there’s that thing.

    iunno what it is but it looks like if you had long arms and were leaning back it wouldn’t be too comfortable.

  30. How would you turn that thing?

  31. For everyone talking crap about physics – this is a unicycle, and would be at least as stable (possibly more so because of the lower centre of gravity) as a regular one. Just because you aren’t able to ride one, doesn’t mean it’s not stable.

  32. All this talk about balance, inertia, gyroscopic effect, etc, etc, but does nobady see the real issue? The only practicle issue with it? You can’t steer it. Its one solid frame with no means of steering, thus no way to control it or regain balance. It wouldn’t work in a million years

  33. I just looked this up on YouTube. I take back everything I said. This is the coolest thing ever

  34. HAHA, all these people seeing something ‘wrong’ with it, without any evidence except their poorly explained intuition. I guess most of you don’t know how to ride a pushbike either. Did you know you can ride one without using your hands? Probably impossible either. You are all invited to get a life, and stop arguing on the internets.
    If you run a wheel on it’s side, it will move in a curve. The ‘centrifugal force’ that results tries to right the bike again, thus stabilizing its balance. So the trick to steer with this thing is the same how you steer a bike without using your hands: you lean into the corner. But as pointed out, it will be a steep learning curve to keep your balance from starting. The disturbances from shifting your weight around to push the pedals will be relatively high, and the reacting force from leaning one way or the other will be small due to the low speed. But it can be done, the same as one can learn to ride a bike or a monowheel.

  35. I wonder what happens when he has to stop SUDDENLY.

    The wheel is rotating and his mass wants to keep it moving so the reaction should grind the pedals into the surface this is rolling over…. it’ll try to slow down until the whole show tries to climb over that wimpy attempt to halt forward motion and they all go cartwheeling into the nearest solid object. Rube Goldberg would be proud.

  36. please tell me what wheel you are using

  37. I’d like to see one like this with a brake on the wheel, making a sudden stop.

  38. Please help out a dumb old farm kid out here & explain the amount of gyroscopic effect involved with a bike traveling at say, 3 miles per hour.

  39. Centripetal force keeps it balanced, same concept is used for bicycles. As long as it is in motion, its center of gravity is changing therefore forcing it to stay up right.

  40. Looks very uncomfortable without back support, but the guy is kinda hot, so I say “woof!”

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