This New Hubless-Wheel Electric Penny Farthing Is Something Out Of This World

In the world of unconventional bike designs, YouTuber Christopher Terpstra has brought together the classic charm of a penny farthing with the futuristic allure of hubless-wheel technology.

Terpstra, recognized for his eclectic projects, including a four-wheel-steering electric off-road skateboard and a six-wheeled garden tractor, has added another gem to his portfolio — the penn-E-farthing. This singular creation merges the iconic penny farthing bicycle with a hubless front wheel and a motorized rear wheel sourced from a children’s electric motorbike.

The penn-E-farthing boasts a custom tubular steel frame, a unique laminated maple/oak plywood front wheel with a diameter of 52 inches, and a 350-watt motor accompanied by a battery scavenged from a Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket. The unpowered front wheel is secured by three sets of frame-mounted rubber rollers, allowing its rim to pass through smoothly. The solid rubber tire comprises cut-apart V-belts, intricately glued and nailed to the rim.

Reflecting on the design process, Terpstra remarked, “I knew that making the wheel in a layered ply construction would be the strongest approach, but I didn’t fully grasp how much time it would take to do.” Despite the challenges of being an amateur woodworker with homemade tools, the unconventional fusion came to life after being meticulously designed in CAD.

In a nod to his inspiration, Terpstra shared, “My inspiration for the bike is a mix of Dr. Seuss creations as well as the movie Wild Wild West.” The whimsical design, reminiscent of steam-powered highwheel bikes, aligns with Terpstra’s creative vision. Although the penn-E-farthing doesn’t take flight like its movie counterpart, Terpstra’s creation has successfully combined artistic inspiration with functional innovation.

The entire build process, from conception to the first exhilarating ride, is documented in a captivating video on Terpstra’s YouTube channel, showcasing the convergence of classic aesthetics and modern ingenuity in this one-of-a-kind creation.

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