Mike Chino

21st Century Monocycle by Ben Wilson

by , 06/30/08

Ben Wilson Monocycle, Ben Wilson Design UK, Ben Wilson Design, XXIst Century Man Exhibition, XXIst Century Man Exhibit Tokyo, monowheel, monocycle, human powered transportation, pedal powered transportation, bicycles, bike transportation

Are traditional bikes a bit too pedestrian for you? Ben Wilson recently unveiled a sleek monocycle at this year’s XXIst Century Man Exhibition in Tokyo. Wilson’s pedal-powered prototype one-ups those tendentious “bi-cycles” with a single center-seated wheel. The elegant nimbus may not provide for the smoothest ride, but it more than makes up for it via its pure awesome appeal.

Ben Wilson Monocycle, Ben Wilson Design UK, Ben Wilson Design, XXIst Century Man Exhibition, XXIst Century Man Exhibit Tokyo, monowheel, monocycle, human powered transportation, pedal powered transportation, bicycles, bike transportation

Wilson has worked in transportation design ever since he studied at the Royal College of Art. His projects frequently explore innovative applications for pedal powered transport: “Ever since cycling for the first time without stabilizers I have been fascinated by human propulsion. Over the years the myth of the monowheel has become an equal fascination.”

His search for the elusive monocycle eventually brought him to create his own: “Since the 1860’s many patents have been filed in the monowheel’’s name and today there are even rumors of a production monowheel in China, but as it stands there is nothing currently available. As we couldn’t buy a monowheel we made one.” Wilson doesn’t intend his one wheeled cycle as an improvement upon the bicycle; he states that “its value comes from the discourse and ideas generated as a result of this research.” We still want one.

+ Ben Wilson Design
+ XXIst Century Man Exhibition

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5 Comments

  1. OneWheelLunatic August 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    That is so indie… I want it so bad… The uncomfortable-looking seating position just makes it cooler. Impractical is called awesome in this decade.

  2. medicineman20 July 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Though I think the monocycle is impractical, I also find it very beautiful. Ben Wilson impresses me. Designing something that nice really requires some know how. Also, you should watch out where you’re flinging those commas! You could hurt someone… You could hurt yourself. (btw, the joke is all in fun. Just a joke. I love commas and all they stand for.)

  3. earthsmile July 1, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Bad design. Get the seat up higher. Puddles and rain will soak the rider the way it is now. It also seems at the right height, now, to enable the rider to suck in car exhaust rather nicely. So time for a redesign please. The Wired Magazine ‘Nexfest’ in 2006 showed the ‘Wheelsurf’ … which is a monocycle that’s powered and has a seemingly better seat locatation. See: wheelsurf.nl power a ‘Wheelsurf’ type design with a removable, quick charge, battery pack and maybe you’ve got something there ?

  4. leafpure July 1, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Wouldn\’t this bike be a tad uncomfortable? Looks great btw, puristic and minimalistic, but I doubt riding it would be a walk in a park.

  5. clairseach June 30, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I really like this monocycle for it’s simplicity. See also the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue for a 4-stroke gas powered one.

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