Whether they're on a motorcycle from Star Trek or a far-out concept bike, hubless wheels are generally one of those futuristic things that we don't encounter much in the real world – yet. Soon, however, you may be able to buy an E'lution EVO folding kick scooter, that comes equipped with a set.
First of all, a quick Googling shows that there are already a few hubless-wheeled scooters out there, although they appear to mostly be fairly cheap novelties. E'lution's scooter, is intended to be more of an upscale, less toy-like form of human-powered transportation.
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The 6-kg (13.2-lb) base model features things like a bent plywood deck, a unique vented braking system that is said to minimize brake pedal overheating, and built-in mudguards. The 4.5-kg (9.9-lb) deluxe version adds a carbon fiber deck and handlebar, protective polymer edge rails, and a spring-loaded kickstand.
Both models, however, feature the patented hubless wheels. While they do indeed look pretty snazzy, the designers state that they also offer a practical advantage. "Our hubless wheels use large 85-mm diameter bearings as opposed to the much smaller 22-mm diameter bearings used on standard scooter wheels," E'lution's Denise Ora told us. "As a result, our bearings are far more robust and durable."
The Sydney-based company is now raising production funds for the EVO, on Kickstarter. A pledge of AUD$275 (about US$246) will get you the wood-decked Metro model, while AUD$399 ($358) is required for the Black carbon fiber scooter – assuming the funding goal is met. Planned retail prices are AUD$499 ($447) for the Metro and AUD$699 ($626) for the Black.
You can see the scooters in use, in the pitch video below. And if you just can't wait to ride something with hubless wheels, you might also want to check out the Freerider Skatecycle.