The Infinity Bike isn’t yet a rideable bicycle, existing only as a 3D Printed model, and of course inside the mind of its creator, Stephan Henrich. Considered by many as the pioneer of additive design, Stephan has introduced to the world an all-wheel drive concept in the form of a beach and city cruiser. It centers around what Stephan terms a “continuous structural element”. 

Infinity Bike Concept

“The infinity beach and city cruiser is driven by a revolutionary monotyre clip chain construction that automatically forms a temporary rim in the wheel area and a dented belt-drive in the interior area. This monotyre is propulsed by a central wheel getting its force by a crank over a short chain and an 8-speed gearbox,’ explains Stephan Henrich.

stephan henrich all wheel drive infinity bicycle

Stephan says he is yet to come across “any killer argument” that would present this design becoming a reality – an actual rideable bicycle, conceding only that it would require a lot of investment. But, it seems he is convinced it could one day become a sell-able product.

A central chain wheel, driven by an offset bottom bracket, if you will, drives the “tooth bed” at the interior of the rim area. A centrally positioned, fixed “frame” houses the chain wheel, with four linkage arms extending off this – two fore, and two aft. These provide support for the belt drive, given the name “tyre guide rails”.

infinity bike 3d printed model stephan henrich

Stephan’s Infinity Bike Concept was given physical form thanks to a 3D Printing technology company, Sintratec, who specialize in Selective Laser Sintering solutions.

I have a number of questions, the most pressing of which is, how on earth does it steer? Seems to me the design would prevent the front portion of what is essentially a unicycle, from moving independently to its rear portion.

Stephan also imagines the Infinity Bike to have front and rear suspension, as demonstrated by the shock absorbers positioned. Each shock looks to be driven by the lower “swingarm”, which doubles up as a tyre guide rail to give the belt drive its structure. I’m no engineer, but it seems this element would be more implementable than a steering element, requiring the drive belt to deform only in the vertical plane. I shan’t hypothesize as to how the “front” and “rear” brakes work.

What are you thoughts on this? Could it be engineered into a rideable bicycle? How much travel should it have? Should it be an eBike? Should it have a kickstand? Rear rack? Dropper seat post? Have at it in the comments.

StephanHenrich.de

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Paul Barton
Paul Barton
3 months ago

You can see how it steers by… well, looking at it.

Jaap
Jaap
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul Barton

Really? I can’t. Could you explain it?

Milessio
Milessio
3 months ago
Reply to  Jaap

The track with tyre+tube can articulate left/right as well as forming a loop.

Seems like something Robert Egger might have designed.

Gerald
Gerald
3 months ago
Reply to  Milessio

I was thinking H R Giger

xalt
xalt
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul Barton

When you steer the bar, the centre of the bike flex and your bottom also steers the saddle to the same direction. So both front and read wheels become directional.
I also think the whole bottom of the track could stay in contact with the ground, reducing the pressure and roll on soft ground.

Adam
Adam
3 months ago
Reply to  xalt

ok

Fergus
Fergus
3 months ago

Wouldn’t work , bicycle are complicated gyroscope machines so they can corner. this is just a tracked vehicle

Peter
Peter
3 months ago
Reply to  Fergus

No that has been debunked. Gyroscopic effect may help but is not at all needed to design a stable riding bicycle. It is just a question of steering towards the direction you are about to fall; keep doing that and you will stay upright. For it to work the geometry must be correct, but other than that there are many more stable single track bicycles designs possible than what we see right now. For instance rear wheel steering or two wheel steering is well possible. Whether it will result in a practical bike, that’s an whole other question, but you can’t say this wouldn’t work just for the lack of gyroscopic effect.

Dinger
Dinger
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter

While there doesn’t seem to be an allowance for it in the mechanism, I could envision this thing steering in a differential “tilt” manner, whereby the front and rear “wheels” tilt to create turning radii to create an arc.

Getting enough drag out of a system like this to make it tolerable to pedal is another matter.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
3 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

The inherent drag in system like this would be brutal.

elphil
elphil
3 months ago
Reply to  Fergus

Common misconception, the gyroscope has nothing to do with the steerability of a bike, it’s just center of mass moving left and right of the contact points through the steerable front wheel. That aside, I don’t see how the above bike might steer well considering the contact point of the front wheel, and of course: rollong friction :S

Zee
Zee
3 months ago
Reply to  Fergus

Pretty sure he also forgot to think that in turns, especially slow sharper turns, the front and rear wheels of a bike will turn at different speeds. That ain’t gonna work here.

Geoff
Geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  Zee

That’s by far the most sound point made here. There has been a 2WD bicycle made by Christie (I think) and it had to have a freehub on the front wheel to allow the differential

Marcellus | Bombtrack
3 months ago
Reply to  Fergus

Gyroscoping forces are not mandatory to keep a self steering two wheeled vehicle upright. The TU Delft has released some very interesting papers on self stability: http://bicycle.tudelft.nl/schwab/Bicycle/
I would be interested in the amount of force necessary for a steering movement. However I also think that it is quiet hard to beat the current bicycle design on simplicity, cost, weight and versatility. But I greatly enjoy the out of the box thinking of this concept.

Geoff
Geoff
3 months ago

I agree about the simplicity argument.
But I think it’s interesting that it’s being assumed this wouldn’t have gyroscopic stability. It still has mass at the edge of the “wheels” which is rotating at the same speed as a conventional wheel, so I think it’d be reasonably comaprable.

Zee
Zee
3 months ago

That will be a pain to setup tubeless.

threeringcircus
threeringcircus
3 months ago
Reply to  Zee

Also painful to fix a flat.

David Redding
David Redding
3 months ago

Too much friction!

ATBScott
ATBScott
3 months ago

Hmmm…. While the tech-nerd in me thinks that parts of this are really cool, the practical side of my mind wonders how this compensates for the fact that front and rear wheels rotate at different speeds when in a turn. And how does the track deal with the front end turning out of alignment in a sharper turn? I can see dealing with a little flex to remain upright while in a straight line, but anything more than a few degrees will likely cause problems and then lock-up when the “rear wheel” tries to track inside the path the “front wheel” takes. Sorry, but those are valid arguments to me. Maybe this guy doesn’t actually ride bikes. Does look cool tho!

Angstrom
Angstrom
3 months ago

What’s the advantage? I’d think the losses from reversing the curve of the tire would be significant compared to a conventional wheel.

If the “wheel” diameters are similar to a conventional bike the contact patches will be of similar size, so you don’t get the low ground pressure advantage of a tracked vehicle.

pmurf
pmurf
3 months ago

Production feasibility & friction aside, this is pretty cool to see. At first glance I wasn’t expecting the steering to have been worked through, let alone the suspension. Seems better thought out than many hubless concepts I’ve seen. Well done.

Gordo
Gordo
3 months ago

Why anyone validates his designs is beyond me. It’s just concept art, nothing more. Impractical nonsense that just happens to be 100% buzzword compliant, so he’s able to hoodwink barely tech-literate writers to consider him a product designer… meh.

I don’t care how many support bearings he uses, this thing would be next to impossible to pedal from all the sources of drag…

B Barber
B Barber
3 months ago

When will there be a gravel version?

paolo
paolo
3 months ago

how much watt need for riding at 30km/h? maybe 1000 or 2000?

Victor Major
3 months ago

Fascinating, but what problem does it solve?

Bent64
Bent64
3 months ago
Reply to  Victor Major

Let’s say you’re frustrated with how inefficiently road debris transferred into your wheel bearings. This design will really help with that.

Seriously, it’s an interesting design study for its own sake, but I don’t think it solves any real problem.

Shannon
Shannon
3 months ago
Reply to  Victor Major

It will solve the problems it creates

sluck
sluck
3 months ago
Reply to  Victor Major

the same problem jewelry solves

Marco V ChB
Marco V ChB
3 months ago

Why google keep popping these articles about this bike BS design?
1. It has lots of unnecessary friction and an over all reduction of energy efficiency when compared to a regular bike.
2. It doesn’t resolve any real problem or doesn’t do it better than existing solutions.
3. The attached video is already 1 year old, why TF is this presented as novelty?

jez
jez
3 months ago

not so maintenamce friendly. too many moving parts exposed to the elements.

Sajuuk
Sajuuk
3 months ago

As cool as I think this is, perhaps given the difficulties of turning this design into a rideable bicycle (as well as the cyberpunk futuristic design being lost on a beach cruiser’s abilites), perhaps this would make a better velomobile or motorcycle concept? Especially with a fairing of sorts? Still, very sci-fi looking indeed!

steven anderson
steven anderson
3 months ago

What in the Nightmare before Christmas is this?

DavidRosenthal
DavidRosenthal
3 months ago

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

ranggapanji
ranggapanji
3 months ago

needs a Campagnolo seatpost. I mean, come on, even the 3D printed model got a ’92 Flite saddle on it!

Roxie
Roxie
2 months ago

Biker is pedaling. Tire is moving in between their legs. Hits unseen bump or rock and it causes odd leg movements. Biker is now bleeding from friction burns caused by tire moving between legs.

Anders
Anders
2 months ago

why does it even have two brake levers?