Cycling Degree Zero

Zero Bike

Makita and Tsuzaki's Zero Bike

In 1988, Makota Makita and Hiroshi Tsuzaki, who were both students at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, produced a bicycle prototype aimed at reducing weight, friction and drag to an absolute minimum. At the same time, they wanted to produce an object of beauty. The ZERO bike replaces the standard central hubs with magnetically suspended wheel rims. This eliminates hub friction and drag from air moving through the spokes. The pedals also propel the wheels magnetically, eliminating the chain, which is one of the most friction-causing elements in the standard bicycle. The principle of the hubless wheel was first developed by the Italian engineer Franco Sbarra, and used initially for motorcycles. Makita and Tsuzaki combined this with magnetic superconductivity, the principle that suspends high-speed rail vehicles.


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