Welcome to the Future, The Penny Farthing Re-imagined
When Steampunk and the 21st century collide with a little help from the imagination of a team at BASF, the worlds largest chemical company, this centuries most highly over engineered penny farthing was born. The inspiration of the project originated from the chemical companies founding year – 1865, which is when Karl Drais first put pedals on “Dandy Horse” and introduced the world to the bicycle.
Using two dozen different polymers, BASF and design partner DING3000, have rethought and updated every facet of this historical marvel.
The original velocipede was limited because it used a direct drive system. The lack of gears meant the front wheel was often enlarged as close to the riders inseam as possible, which put the rider above the front wheel and made it difficult to dismount.
The e-velocipede remedies this issue by using an electric powered rear wheel, whose battery is stored in the detachable seat. The seat itself uses a special plastic to dissipate vibration, insulate the battery from the elements, and provide superior cushioning and wear life.
Integrated LEDs in the seatstays and fork provide ample light for night excursions. The carbon fiber reinforced fork is filled with two types of foam to ensure a pleasant ride. The rims are produced from a thermoplastic which is valued for it’s toughness, light weight, and ability to absorb energy. The material has been used to replace metals in places like battery carriers and crash absorbers.
Stopping power is provided by carbon fiber reinforced fabric embedded in a reinforced polymer, in order to withstand high heat and still offer a good braking surface.
If you can think of it, the BASF team already did it. Seriously. Want the full details? Check out their PDF on the Concept 1865 here for all the cool details.
Via Urban Velo