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April 16, 2017

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Chain-free bikes and a spherical Segway

by John_A


At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. So do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Chainless — chain-free, direct-drive bicycle

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Ever wished your bike didn’t have chains? No, that’s ridiculous, you say? Well whether you wanted it or not, the chain-free bicycle is finally here. So how exactly does the chainless technology work? As its creator explains, the Chainless bike replaces the traditional mechanism with a series of tungsten gears, which won’t rust or ever need to be oiled.

But just because there are no chains doesn’t mean this bike can’t compete with the best of them — the wheels are constructed from a high density magnesium alloy, and come in three sizes: 20-inch, 24-inch, and 26-inch. And thanks to both front and rear disc brakes, the Chainless is allegedly able to stop on a dime.

Then there’s that RTS stuff, which is activated via a Shimano lever. In the company’s words, “RTS activates the back wheel to turn freely allowing rider access to unparalleled maneuverability. Tight corners are no longer a problem.”

Finally, with the Lock-N-Go mechanism, you can fold your bike in half for storage in just 15 seconds, so you can take it anywhere you need to go.

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