Monowheel by Ben Wilson



Designer Ben Wilson has produced a monowheel - a cycle where the rider sits inside a large, spokeless wheel.


The cycle was commissioned for the XXIst Century Man exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo.


"As part of the exhibition the 21st century man (showing at 21-21 tokyo midtown until july) I was comissioned to create a new piece of work," says Wilson.


"Ever since cycling for the first time without stablisers I have been fascinated by human propulsion. Over the years the myth of the monowheel has become an equal fascination."


"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."


"We don’'t suggest for one moment that a functioning human powered monowheel could ever provide an improvement on the modern bicycle. Instead its value comes from the discourse and ideas generated as a result of this research."

Posted on Monday April 21st 2008 at 5:12 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • yung

    Can it really work? I think he is leaning the bike against the wall…

  • South Park!

  • aktu1

    so.. you cannot actually ride it?
    dissappointing, cause it looks so good

    • I’ve seen him ride it on a TV show. It’s leaning on the wall now because it’s standing still.

  • […] an amazing concept […]

  • The bike looks good but it’s totally impractical: there’s nowhere to put a shopping basket!

  • i want to see him ride it without falling over.

  • Davide

    but, is it comfortable???
    anyway, check out the one which is currently exhibited at the Triennale, in Milan, in the exhibition about italian design… designed a few years ago


  • This is the best new (concept)bike i’ve seen in years!
    keep on rollin’..

  • can we see a video of it in action?

  • Yes, a video is the only thing that can help. Anyway it’s still far away from the traditional bicycle perfect concept

  • john graham

    how does it turn?

  • Crusty the Clown

    Monowheels have been around and around. See here for video of a better functioning design:

    There are also monowheel motorbikes which can be difficult to ride at first.

    The above design is nice and clean, but seems like you would scrape your ass on a hard turn…

  • William

    all the loose change would fall out your pocket if you sit like that!

  • tiffany

    wow roll on….

  • Chad

    He is leaning against the wall so they can take a photo – I suppose they wanted a good photo, so they didn’t want the fuss of getting him at just the right moment while he’s moving. Dunno – that’s just what I thought.
    And yes, assuming the bike itself (mechanisms) actually works, then he could easily ride it without falling over. Essentially it’s a unicycle with the center of gravity lower than the axle – which makes it easier to ride than a unicycle.

    • Pancho

      I dare you ride a unicycle 1 mile to work everyday.

      Being able to maintain balance on a unicycle has nothing to do with riding it as a form of transport, furthermore, its size would make it difficult even to do that.

  • Dan

    Wouldn’t want to have to slam on the brakes!

  • em

    I agree with Daniel: all I can think of is a South Park episode!

  • Xtevan

    Kerry McLean has been building them for years

  • very interesting。。。 this design

  • Név*

    It! :D

  • Suggest moving the hand grips closer to the centre to avoid scuffing.
    Clive R.

  • Caesar

    No chance of riding it with that gear ratio!!

  • Binky

    And the point is what?

    No luggage capacity, no way of staying dry in the wet, how do you stop quickly without rolling head over heels?

    Visibility of the road is terrible, visiblity from other road users is poor, how can you fix lights?

    A solution looking for a problem I think…..

    • Crakrjack

      Lights could easily be fixed to the internal hub. I’ve seen similar where the internal hub was lit up with neon tubing.

  • dspring

    Wow… can any of you people read? or do you just look at the pictures? Monowheels have been around since the end of the 19th century… and as far as practicality… did you even read his quote? “We don’’t suggest for one moment that a functioning human powered monowheel could ever provide an improvement on the modern bicycle. Instead its value comes from the discourse and ideas generated as a result of this research.” He is saying it isn’t practical… READ people before stating your stupid opinions…

  • him

    needs drops

  • master brewer

    Great… I love it.
    Are you going to make the plans available?
    Love the idea of gerbilling at the traffic lights…lol
    Wont that make car drivers notice you?

  • we made a drag bike went in the guinness world record book
    it was no big deal but now i went to make one of these

    or even one with a motor try one you will like it chaz

  • we know kerry mclean and seen his wheels fore years ago

    now i want to make some,,,
    one with a motor

    try one out you will like it chaz

  • Achim Brauweiler

    I want one, with pink ribbons and a basket with purple daisy flowers…. YEAH!!!!

  • mravka

    moi aussi, moi aussi!!


  • Monowheel + Engine (V8) + Speed = ???

    Well take a look:

  • Barrat


    It is possible to buy the Monowheel of Ben Wilson ?

  • badr

    yes it’s so feaky

  • Patron Zero

    I think the concept would likely work better with a larger diameter wheel and the rider in a more ‘traditional’ recombinant bicycle arrangement for both mechanical and ergonomic reasons.

  • omg ;D

  • internautas