Urban Transport

Behold the hubless wonder – the E'lution EVO scooter

Behold the hubless wonder – th...
The E'lution EVO, in black carbon fiber
The E'lution EVO, in black carbon fiber
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The 6-kg (13.2-lb) base model features a bent plywood deck
The 6-kg (13.2-lb) base model features a bent plywood deck
The patented hubless wheels
The patented hubless wheels
The EVO's handlebars fold down when not in use
The EVO's handlebars fold down when not in use
The E'lution EVO, in black carbon fiber
The E'lution EVO, in black carbon fiber
The EVO's wheels also feature incorporated mudguards
The EVO's wheels also feature incorporated mudguards
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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.

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.

The patented hubless wheels
The patented hubless wheels

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.

Sources: E'lution, Kickstarter

View gallery - 5 images
The Skud
Clever, but apart from the possible advantage of bigger bearings wearing more slowly, what is the point? Is it easier to ride? Does it shrug off the risk of grit and pollution from riding through a muddy puddle any better?
Am I the only one that is annoyed about calling a wheel with an oversized hollow hub "hubless".
Leon Van Rensburg
Indeed, Slowburn. All that has happened there is that they's increased the amount of rollers or balls in the bearing, creating a better dispersal of weight and having more material to cope with the weight, thus more robust. So far not a bad idea, but what they don't tell you is that the torque required to overcome both the additional rollers / balls as well as them being further outward, thus creating more resistance as well as applying it further outward = much torque against movement = heaps more rolling resistance. These scooters don't roll very far or fast as is, so this will be even worse that that? I say fail.
Matt Fletcher
The whole point of hubless wheels is to look cool but on a scooter you hardly notice. Plus this really isn't a hubless wheel it's a hollowed out hub with larger bearings, which will probably hinder performance. If your an adult with a fetish for push scooters then this is your boat, otherwise I don't think there's much of a market for this as shown at the price listed.
The good news is that hole in the middle of the hub will work great to hang this devise on a wall.
Dan Lewis
I recommend that collectors interested, get these quickly. I really really don't think this design is viable, and so will not be around for very long.
I'm not against new designs. I love new designs...but, again, I'm pretty sure this is specific specimen of design is bad and so will not be around long. I'm speaking specifically about this specific model we see in the photo. There might be hubless wonders to come that somehow manage to defeat road jetsam.
I think dust, grit, leaves, etc is going to make the rolling friction way too high. It's hard to beat a central axis...that's why it's been around so long.
six hundred bucks for a scooter? What's wrong with this picture? Is it powered? Gold plated? Signed by the pope? are people crazy? Do we have That much discretionary cash? So many questions....this thing really does boggle the mind...*IN PRICE!!!*
Michael Crumpton
Paying more than $500 for a scooter with rollerblade size wheels? Put this up against any of the Xootr models (7.1 inch wheels) available for half the price and you will see what a good looking and really functional adult scooter looks like. Even the $60 Razor A5 Lux would easily smoke this design exercise in a performance test (although admittedly the Razor is kind of ugly).
Dawar Saify
Very Cool, but this is NOT hubless, and hubless does not have advantages over a hub.
Leonard Foster Jr
Epic Fail
As an avid rollerblader I don't see an advantage to this. It's not like the smaller bearings are in any way overloaded; they take the weight easily. My blades have sixteen small bearings that are fairly cheap so should I go to eight that are very expensive? (I'm assuming the blader in the video was using these bearings) And just how expensive are these bearings? I'm glad to see someone using one large bearing instead of several smaller ones around the axis but how effective are the shields and how easily are they disassembled for cleaning.