Idea for a quick mockup

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about motors and really like the simplicity of having a motor embedded in the hub wheels.

E-Bike Wheel
E-Bike Wheel

Being able to use a solution like this would save a lot of engineering work in terms of building axles, hubs, and a method to transfer power from the motors to the wheels. You often see these hubs with 10″ wheels for mini-motos and e-bikes and the like. At present I think a 10″ wheel would be too small. I’ve also seen a lot these hubs embedded into bicycle wheels like this one which is for sale on and is available with a 16″, 18″ or 20″ wheel.

16-20 inch Alibaba wheel
16-20 inch Alibaba wheel


At the moment, I’m not wholly confident that a thin wheel like this would provide enough traction, however, whilst thinking about how the wheel could be attached to the frame, it did give rise to another prototyping idea…

It wouldn’t be too difficult to make a very quick but full scale mock-up using second-hand bicycle parts.

Not only is it alive, but it works, ish…

I woke up in the early hours of the morning and popped down stairs to see how the printers were doing. To my excitement all of the parts were finished so I sat at 2:00am constructing the prototype. Several hours later I went back to bed excited to wake up and show the family what I’d created:

It works! The prototype works! Well sort of…

The cheap motors I’m using seem to be slipping a lot which means that often the motors are turning but the wheels aren’t. There also doesn’t seem to be much grip in the tyres so often they just wheelspin instead of climbing over obstacles. I knew this was going to be an issue when I bought the motors but as a first working prototype it does at least show that the concept works.

This page was last updated on April 18th, 2018 by .
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