Bicycles

Sada hubless bike folds down to the size of an umbrella

Sada hubless bike folds down t...
The Sada Bike folds down small, but has full-size wheels
The Sada Bike folds down small, but has full-size wheels
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The Sada Bike folds down small, but has full-size wheels
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The Sada Bike folds down small, but has full-size wheels
Italian designer Gianluca Sada and his prototype
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Italian designer Gianluca Sada and his prototype
The Sada Bike has been in the works since 2008
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The Sada Bike has been in the works since 2008
Unlike other small-folding bikes, the Sada Bike features full-size 26-inch wheels
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Unlike other small-folding bikes, the Sada Bike features full-size 26-inch wheels
The wheels detach and aren't part of the umbrella-sized folded package
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The wheels detach and aren't part of the umbrella-sized folded package
Sada envisions the folded bike being carried in an included backpack, and the two wheels would serve as the supporting structure of that pack
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Sada envisions the folded bike being carried in an included backpack, and the two wheels would serve as the supporting structure of that pack
The folded bike (minus the wheels) is about the size of an umbrella
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The folded bike (minus the wheels) is about the size of an umbrella
Sada is now looking for investors to help bring the bike to production
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Sada is now looking for investors to help bring the bike to production

While we've already seen folding bicycles that pack down into a pretty tiny package, such small-folding bikes usually have at least one limiting factor – puny wheels that limit speed and road-worthiness, not to mention aesthetics. The Sada Bike, however, features full-size 26-inch hubless wheels, yet is about the size of an umbrella when folded.

Italian designer Gianluca Sada has been working on the bike since 2008. He completed construction of an aluminum alloy working prototype three years ago, and is now looking for investors to help bring it to production.

The folding action is initiated simply by pushing forward on the saddle. The wheels detach and aren't part of the umbrella-sized package, although Sada has plans for them.

The folded bike (minus the wheels) is about the size of an umbrella
The folded bike (minus the wheels) is about the size of an umbrella

He envisions the folded bike being carried in an included backpack, and the two wheels would serve as the supporting structure of that pack. Because they have no hubs or spokes, there would be room inside the backpack to carry other items, besides the folded bike frame.

Alternatively, the pack could be pulled like a wheeled suitcase – converting it to that configuration would involve releasing a central hinge to widen its stance, and extending an included handle. The bottoms of the bike's wheels would protrude through openings in the bottom of the backpack, allowing them to also serve as its wheels.

The prototype bike can be seen in action in the video below.

Source: Sada Bike via Gizmodo

Sada Gianluca - Hubless Foldable Sada Bike - Eurobike

18 comments
BigGoofyGuy
I think this is really neat since it has hubless wheels and it folds down to be really portable. Having regular wheels means it can ride like most bikes.
nicho
"The wheels detach and aren't part of the umbrella-sized package ...' So he solves the folding-bikes-have-puny-wheels problem by simply not including them in the package. Well done that man, well done.
EdC
How much does it weigh? Does it become a 30lb umbrella?
WileEScott
Very cool. Seriously this is one of the best designs I have seen. How much is the question. I really like some of these concept bikes but the 100K price tag for some of them is not inspiring. More like a crewel joke.
davem2
Strangely the video doesn't demonstrate the bike being folded.
T N Args
I admire the looks and style (Italians...how do they do it!), and the clever wheels. But I don't understand why small wheels need to be avoided. If you pay enough attention to style when designing a small-wheel bike, I am sure it too will look great.
benonabike
Hard to tell from the pictures but it looks like the rear rim is driven only via friction (ie there is no teeth cut into the inside of the rear rim). How will this perform if the rear rim gets wet (raining, ride through a puddle etc)? The drive chain also goes very close to the ground, so again if you ride after it has rained the chain is going to get filthy. Also is this effectively a fixie? Can't see any brakes. If these is only friction between the drive roller and the rim and it is the only way to slow down, then I would be very hesitant to ride it in the wet.
milliard
Hubless wheels go back at least thirty years. I remember seeing a Swiss prototype in 1984 in a cycling magazine. It had friction based gear chain drive to the rear wheel, with both rims rolling on three rollers.
Les Bennett
Think I shall stick to my Birdy ,,,,
Jay Gatto
The rims essentially become part of a very large bearing, many problems with friction, even when clean, but open to ingress of ..almost anything from litter, to squirrels, and beyond. Nice looking, tho'.