Genius Engineering: Man Builds a Cycle with Square Wheels

You might think that a cycle with square wheels would be impossible to ride, but one inventive YouTuber has proved otherwise. In a video that has gone viral, the channel The Q shows how they built a custom bicycle with square tires that roll as smoothly as a bike with round ones. The secret is in the design of the wheels and the road.

How Does It Work?

The square wheels themselves don’t actually spin at all, but their rubber tires have been sliced up and paired with four sets of bike chains to create a continuous tread that rolls around the outside of each wheel. It’s essentially a pedal-powered tank, with the bottom edge of each wheel quietly gliding along the pavement as it’s ridden.

The design is inspired by military tanks, which use treads to move over rough terrain. However, unlike tanks, the bicycle has no suspension system or shock absorbers, so it might not be very comfortable to ride on bumpy roads.

Is It the First of Its Kind?

This is not the first time that someone has experimented with square wheels on a bicycle. In fact, there is a mathematical theory behind how a square wheel can roll smoothly over a special road that consists of evenly shaped inverted catenaries of the right size and curvature. A catenary is a curve that describes a rope or chain hanging loosely between two supports.

In 1997, Macalester College mathematics professor Stan Wagon constructed the first prototype of a catenary tricycle, which had square wheels that rolled over a series of bumps shaped like inverted catenaries. The bumps matched the shape of the wheel’s corners, allowing the axle to stay at a constant height and velocity.

Wagon’s tricycle was featured in several museums and exhibitions, and inspired other variations of non-circular wheels, such as triangular or Reuleaux triangle wheels.

Why Did They Do It?

The Q is a YouTube channel that specializes in creating unusual and innovative projects, such as bicycles that walk, bicycles with split wheels, bicycles with airless tires, bicycles with no hubs, and more. The channel has over 12 million subscribers and millions of views on each video.

The channel does not explain why they decided to build a bicycle with square wheels, other than to say “why not?” in the video description. Perhaps they did it for fun, for curiosity, or for challenge. Whatever their motivation, they have certainly demonstrated their creativity and engineering skills.

What Do You Think?

What do you think of this bicycle with square wheels? Would you like to try it out? Do you have any other ideas for unconventional bicycles or vehicles? Let us know in the comments below!

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