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A new spokeless bicycle

In the nearly 150 years since the bicycle debuted, its operation has remained remarkably consistent. That is, until this year, when a group of mechanical engineering students at Yale created what might be the first spokeless bicycle.

Redesigning something so fundamental was bound to be difficult. So Vern Van Fleet, a Sikorsky test engineer who taught the course, broke his students into three groups (frame, drivetrain and wheel) to tackle the challenge.

The result? An 8-pound frame, made from sheet aluminum, which holds the spokeless rear wheel in place. Inside the wheel housing, rollers fit into grooves carved into the wheel rim to prevent wobbling and to provide support. In place of the normal rear hub, the team added


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