Many riders and entrepreneurs have long considered derailleurs and chains to to be the weak point of today’s modern bicycles. Most would be innovators have ventured towards belt drives and gearboxes but the quest to eradicate chains has led designer Josh Bechtel here – to the Bicymple.

Using readily available components the project has come up with an elegant reinvention of an existing concept. The short frame consists of a two headsets connected via a short top tube. The front end is standard while the rear end is all funk. The riders lays the power down by sitting on a stem modified to accept a saddle and cranks on a (freewheel) unicycle hub.

Skid past the break for more details and video…

The design looks similar to other concept bikes we’ve featured in the past, but this one will actually be available for purchase. The company is using a freewheel unicycle hub, found most commonly on Toys R Us drift trikes and penny farthing projects, but it wouldn’t be difficult to create a version using a standard fixed unicycle hub….So you can astound all the neighborhood fixie kids. Steel frame. No brakes. No chain. You will blow minds.

The first 37 seconds show the Bicymple with the rear steering in the locked position. When unlocked,  the rear swings freely.  The company is currently working on a “overdrive” hub, because without a chain drive, it would be difficult to achieve comparable gearing to a normal single speed.

The bike will be available in 26″ and 29″ versions. No word on pricing, delivery dates, or 650b variations.


  1. If it’s got a freewheel, it’s obviously not a unicycle hub. But yes, I want one. For gearing, there is already a unicycle edition of the Schlumpf 2-speed drive, if you don’t mind losing the freewheel, and a lot of money. (No brakes? Obvious front disc is obvious.)

  2. There are several versions of freewheel “unicycle” hubs available on the market but are very rare. They are most commonly used in cheap department store drift trikes or on penny farthing projects. Coker Wheelman makes a really nice one.

    It would be very simple, not to mention probably being cheaper and more reliable, to create a version of this using a standard fixed unicycle hub…at which point brakes are just an option.

  3. you are all missing the point about “no brakes”. The author didn’t say it has no brakes, they are saying that with a unicycle (fixed) hub, there won’t be a need for a brake. Currently it runs a hub with a coaster.

  4. I’m surprised no one’s commented about the fact that the rear hub/crank-equivalent is BEHIND the saddle. Even the most aggressive TT setup (ignoring the UCI positioning rules), one’s hips are behind the crank. Seems like a horrible endo-prone position to be in.

  5. @peter Now the article says so, yes. Bikerumor tends to listen to comments and clean up articles accordingly.

    It’s still talking about freewheel unicycle hubs, which makes less sense than a brakeless derailer geared road bike – unrideable. Well, it would theoretically be possible to ride a freewheeling unicycle, especially if it has a brake, but it would be unsafe, require extreme concentration and be much more tiring than a normal fixed one.

    A better term might be “freewheel tricycle/ordinary hub” since that’s what it’s generally used for, or “freewheeling hub/crank unit” – FWHCU (TM)

  6. @Sean – that was my first reaction too. The efficiency would be terrible, and if you watch the video he rarely pedals, and that’s only a soft pedal. And could you imagine the pressure that saddle would put right where you don’t want it? Especially nose up like in the pictures…. ouch.

    It’s a cool concept, but I don’t see how it could be practical at all in it’s current incarnation.

  7. He is doing a lot of work to keep the bike stabilized.
    Generally one does not want work that much just commuting.
    Especially when you are focused on traffic and not getting run over.
    Innovative but not practical.

  8. I think it’s a great ‘toy,’ but could you get your foot caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. ??? (When I was a kid I stupidly rode on the rear rack of my cousin’s bike and got my foot caught in the rear wheel -my foot was ok, but as you can see, I’ve been mentally scarred for life!)

  9. this has to be some kind of scam or front operation. no overt reason for this to exist at all. just get a segway if this seems like a form of transportation.

  10. This would be nice if it was a recumbent bike with electric assist. My idea is to put a 29″ pedal wheel at the front with a 26″ electric hub motor kit at the back.

  11. I build swingbikes, which this is just another overpriced variation of. I also have owned highwheel “repros” with the freewheeling direct drive hubs. The hubs used on this bicymple had better be engineered better than past incarnations of the same system. The internal freewheel systems are cheap and fragile. Because of the number of components that have to be packed into a small hub, there are several weak points. Also, the rear of this bike needs to be drawn in further, the trail on the rear fork should be no more than 20dgrs, but I’d stay under that. The trail they have may work fine when the rear tube is locked, but in swing mode it will cause problems. Bringing the rear fork in, while extending the seatpost/stem a bit will alleviate the issue of sitting forward of the pedals. The front fork rake is right on though. The frame is just a shortened version of the ones I build. But that rear tilt is going to kill someone, especially if the swinglock fails. Incorporate a return spring similar to 70’s swingbikes as a safety measure.

What do you think?