Sada: No Hubs, No Spokes, No Worries, Collapsible Italian Style

Sada_Hubless_Foldable_Bike_ProfileUntil now there have been no obvious benefits to a “hubless” design. We have shown you multiple iterations in past years here and here. But beyond the novelty factor they served little practical purpose. Enter Italian engineer and designer Gianluca Sada. Sada has successfully created a folding bicycling with “spokeless wheels,” making this hubless design highly practical. See the Sada bike collapsed to nearly nothing, next…

Sada_Hubless_Bike_Collapsed_UmbrellaThe demand for bikes that collapse into storable dimensions is evident, especially in highly urbanized areas, but the unstable handling that tends to result from the small wheels found on most foldable bikes was Sada’s motivation for “reinventing the wheel.”

Sada_Hubless_Bike_Collapsed_W_Wheels copyNot only can the 26” wheeled Sada easily collapse into a remarkably diminutive package, but it appears to ride with the stability of a traditional bicycle. Additionally, the lack of spoke/hub assembly not only eliminates certain maintenance issues but also greatly decreases the required storage space — the wheels simply fit flush, side-by-side.

Sada appears to still be in the pre-production stage with no word on pricing, weights, or availability. While the promotional video shows projections of a handsome travel case that would fully utilize the Sada bike’s collapsed dimensions, even allowing for additional gear storage, details are scarce. For those interested, contact Mr. Sada here.


emily - 05/26/14 - 10:50pm


Chris - 05/26/14 - 11:31pm

Solid tires? I assume so. The valve would mess with the rollers.

Kyle - 05/26/14 - 11:42pm

There’s a valve shown in the picture. It’s next to the track for the roller, not in it.

WoofWoof - 05/27/14 - 12:15am

I would love to see a video of this machine being put through it’s paces in the average urban environment. How would those wheels stand up to a pothole hit?

Andre Szucs - 05/27/14 - 12:27am

The front rim needs to be waaaay strong! I got curious to see how these rims are made.

pepelepau - 05/27/14 - 1:43am

What’s the point of hubless wheels is you have to carry them separately anyways. Also the bike folded is not that compact.
Have seen better concepts.

Steve - 05/27/14 - 2:18am

brakeless fixie

SF - 05/27/14 - 3:32am

Where is the handlebar ?!

Steven - 05/27/14 - 4:07am

How do the wheels stay true?

Greg - 05/27/14 - 4:22am

Mix grit and water with those rollers and it’s not going to be pretty

Dork - 05/27/14 - 7:03am

Hubless wheel designs seem to be a step backwards from the standard tensioned-spoke wheel, which is already one of engineering’s strongest structures by weight. Absolutely novel, and briefly interesting, but the lack of support for the rim structure and inability to hold up to high lateral stress is probably too great a sacrifice for marginal portability. I can only imagine that the service for that component is the “straight-to-replacement” type.

I suspect it won’t be quite as revolutionary as that video soundtrack might want me to think.

Tomi - 05/27/14 - 7:14am

The fact the bike is not shown in the video in the folding/unfolding process is telling. Some nice ideas but a concept bike really. Nobody would want to remove handlebars and carrying the wheels separately.

Dave B - 05/27/14 - 9:06am

I see no brakes and there are no brake levers or cables on the handlebars. Assuming the designer isn’t completely nuts, this is a brakeless fixie or has a coaster brake incorporated into the rear freewheel/rim driver.

Cute but impractical. The answer to a question that has been asked but this isn’t the answer

Mark - 05/27/14 - 10:08am

Hubless wheels are inherently inefficient. So if you’re going to use them, you better have a really good reason.
I had to use them for my folding bike, because the wheels turned into storage space. That was in 2009 (if you’re curious click on my name to see the design)

F Almeida - 05/27/14 - 12:11pm

Yes, there is will considerably more friction in this type of design, especially on the front it seems with the rollers running on the tyre. Duplicates the hysteresis losses that on a standard wheel happen only between tyre and road. This is not much of a problem for short hops in town, but of course no double centuries with this one…

Mark - 05/27/14 - 2:43pm

I actually think that it’s even worse for short trips, because those are the ones you are doing to get something done quickly, rather than for fitness. So efficiency is key.
So despite designing a bike with hubless wheels, I actually think they are a poor alternative to what we use today.

nightfend - 05/27/14 - 2:46pm

Where does the handlebar go when it is folded?

dorkdisk - 05/27/14 - 4:13pm

I think the handlebar goes inside the umbrella. The fabric of the umbrella wraps around your trousers to keep the grease off while riding

ganglingman - 05/27/14 - 5:45pm

I think its cool and I love the way people try to resolve the whole where to put bikes in small spaces but I don’t think that small wheeled folders are that bad. I have 18in carbon wheels on my Birdy folding bike and it rides beautifully. If you want a compact fold look at a Brompton. But kudos for thinking outside the box.

Orrin - 05/28/14 - 10:36am

Pot holes!
There is a simple reason for spokes.
They are required so that you don’t fold your face into the curb.
or this guy is a genius and the strength of a spoke tensioned wheel has never been required.

have fun…oh and please sign the wavier.

August - 05/28/14 - 3:18pm

I think there are better concepts around there like at least they show the bike actually brief bride and the folding process.

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