marketing picture of a Cyclotron bike, from their website

You've probably seen these weird hub-less bicycles, the Reevo and the Cyclotron; while they "look cool" I wonder if anyone has long term maintenance experience on these. Considering that normal hub/dérailleur systems ought to get re-greased and fixed, and any stripped cogs replaced, every 10 years or so, I am not sure I believe the "maintenance-free" claim.

Is this bicycle design too new to be familiar with any bike repair shops... or is the verdict still out on the long term reliability on this design?

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    Do these bikes actually exist? All I can find is pictures that look like raytracing renderings or photos of clay model, old Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns and complaints about manufacturer disappearing.
    – ojs
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:17
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    Bicycles are a very mature technology.Wire spoked wheels might be hundreds of years old but it turns out they are the best arrangement for light weight and strength. If hubless wheels were a better solution than spoked wheels they would be commonplace already. Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:23
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    The mechanics if these are nonsensical because of the large diameter wheels high leverage acts on the 'bearing' points. even more so through impacts on rougher roads.
    – Carel
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:24
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    The videos for Reevo look real to me. I guess the design works enough for shooting a promo video if you throw enough materials at it. No information about how much the bike weighs, so I guess it's extremely heavy. Maintenance is probably going to be tedious.
    – ojs
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:29
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    This isn't a "hubless" wheel. It simply has a gigantic hub that's nearly the same diameter as the wheelset itself.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 13:56

4 Answers 4


Verdict seems to be 'this is a scam'

Cyclotron is a scam https://cyclotronscam.boards.net/board/1/general-discussion

Reevo is suspiciously similar


Comments on there about sum it up: looks good to the gullible on Facebook/Kickstarter, in reality is much worse than existing solutions. Hubs & spokes work just great, spokes are fantastic things in that they are each in tension making the wheel strong and repairable.


The 'advantage' here seems to be 'not having basic physics on my side, but looks cool'.

One such bike was made an art school product; I suggest that is as far as this will get


Until these things are actually available and in people's hands, it's best to work on the basis that this is either an outright fraud, or at best will be a terrible piece of junk that works incredibly poorly.

I'm not going to hold my breath to see if my instincts are wrong. But I'm glad you posted this, because I saw these on Facebook and immediately thought 'lol, scam', and now I've done 10 minutes research I'm feeling pretty much confirmed about my theory. But then I am a very cynical person, so.

There is a bit on hubless wheels in general here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centreless_wheel Essentially they are a problem looking for a solution

Edit: I had a look at the technical names given here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/reevo-the-hubless-e-bike#/

CEO might have relevant experience https://www.linkedin.com/in/alec-lim-6877821b7/ but it doesn't appear to relate to bicycles or motor vehicles, maybe only robotics

Lead engineer seems to work on microchips in Italy https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-stona-87984739/

CTO seems to work for Osram as his day job on lighting, connected lightbulbs, etc. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chewivan/

I get the impression there are a few software people there; how much work they are doing is not clear, but there doesn't seem to be much if anything in the way of 'people who could reinvent the wheel'

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    From Wikipedia: "One real-life example of hubless wheels ... Tron " :) lol Wikipedia is great for disinformation but the other links are quite informative, thanks for the writeup.
    – NoBugs
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 18:25
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    There was a real hubless front wheel called the Black Hole. One problem with this design is that it's not hubless; instead, you wind up with a rim-sized hub. In the case of the Black Hole, I believe the rim rode on 4 rollers positioned around the circumference (which may have ridden on bearings, in turn).
    – Adam Rice
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 18:55
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    I can see a possible advantage of hubless wheels. You are riding your bike down the road in a warzone, someone fires a shoulder mounted rocket at you from the side. Hubless wheels have a big hole in the middle for the rocket to go though, so it has more chance of missing you. :)
    – mattnz
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 19:30
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    @NoBugs you didn't read the article very closely. The Tron bikes mentioned in the article are real street-legal motorcycles with hubless wheels, made to look like the ones in the movie Tron: Legacy, that were sold to the public.
    – rclocher3
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 2:14
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    @mattnz and that soldier would get a bollocking for wasting an expensive rocket round on a soft target that only requires a burst from a rifle. :)
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 2:23

I would think about these in terms of bearings: The hubless design moves the bearing of the wheel all the way out to its circumference. As such, you get

  • extremely long racetracks

  • a need for many more bearing balls/rollers

  • the bearing balls/rollers rotate much, much quicker

  • the seal for the bearings must be much larger

  • the bearings are much, much closer to the road with its water, dirt and grime

  • not bearing related: the forces from the ground are transmitted to the frame along the loops of the wheels, requiring more material for the same structural strength

This boils down to much more material being needed, much more wear on the bearing balls/rollers, much bigger headaches sealing the bearings, and thus much higher rolling resistance than what is achievable with a hub based design.

In addition, you loose the slight suspension effect from the spokes.

So, all in all, its just a lot of cons for essentially no pros. I wouldn't buy such a bike.

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    The other issue is that a normal bicycle wheel gets its strength from tensioned spokes. If the inner hoop of the hubless wheel is built to similar strength as traditional wheel, it is going to be heavy.
    – ojs
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 9:03
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    @ojs Right. I have added that to my answer. Thank you. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 9:43

I agree with thelawnet that the hub&spoke design is actually really great for a wheel, and hubless throws that away somewhat needlessly.

However, if you look at hubless as essentially a big passive hoop around a smaller wheel at the bottom, it's clear that it can in principle work just fine. As in e.g. roller skates, very small wheels are in principle enough to carry a person – the disadvantages are

  1. very small wheels won't roll over any sizeable obstacle
  2. lack of cushioning by an air tyre
  3. smaller wheels rotate at higher RPM, and would therefore require a higher transmission ratio for same speed at same cadence.

Points 1. and 2. are addressed by the hoop-wheel. As for point 3., while that is a disadvantage for a bicycle, it is actually a significant advantage for an electric vehicle: whereas humans need long transmission to get good speed out of the low cadences the legs can achieve (whilst having plenty of force/torque), electric motors have no problem with high RPMs at all and instead need very short transmissions to get decent acceleration/climb out of the low motor torque. Thus, for an e-bike, starting with a big wheel and long transmission and then gearing it back in a mid-motor is actually pretty stupid. The hubless design does largely remove this back-and-forth conversion.

  • As someone whose preferred bicycle brand is extremely fond of 16" and 20" wheels, this is me looking at you sideways for point 3 -- small (conventional spoked) wheels' worst downside is that they're worse at handling potholes. The gearing ratio changes are great for hill-climbing and cargo-hauling; and modern internally-geared hubs have a wide enough range that top speed isn't really a problem either. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 14:45
  • @CharlesDuffy "worse at handling potholes." That was point #1. Also you and OP both missed my main small-wheels gripe: less deceleration is required to faceplant over the bars. And I say this as a regular 20" rider. You're right, though, about the gear ratios; they're easily tuned. My current 20" has a 52t chainring. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 18:34
  • @Michael “less deceleration is required to faceplant over the bars” – that's not really a function of wheel size, as much as of bike geometry. It just so happens that a) bikes with bigger wheels tend to have (for obvious reasons) longer reach too, and b) bigger wheels are better at avoiding such big decelerations in the first place. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 20:32
  • nod. Part of what makes Bike Friday interesting is their custom frames -- have a full-size bike with a given handlebar/pedal/seat geometry? They'll replicate that in a folder. And the "better at avoiding big decelerations" is a two-edged sword; having more angular momentum also means slower starting and stopping. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:16
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    The Cyclotron is actually worse than small wheels at handling obstacles: If you look at the video where the clay model is ridden, you'll see that there is a fixed fairing around the entire wheel with small hole at the bottom. If you hit any kind of bump, it's the fairing that's both damaged in the impact and is stuck to ground.
    – ojs
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 13:59

Hubless, spokeless wheels force the designer to make a lot of compromises.

the front wheel and fork needs a lot of additional material and weight to be able to handle the increased torsional forces.

The driving mechanism for the back wheel becomes a lot more complicated, in the case of the Reevo this ended up forcing the designer to make a frame out of a solid block of aluminium, produce a custom motor, again adding a lot of weight.

and, there are no gears ! any kind of suspension would be very hard to design, the Reevo has no suspension

finally, these wheels require rim brakes, totaly inadequate to stop such a heavy and supposedly fast bike.

so, it's bad going up or down, it's 10 kilo's (a whole bike !) heavier than first claimed, it's unreliable, even dangerous because of the weakness of the front fork and wheel, it's uncomfortable, and it's super loud because of the design of the transmission.

most of those flaws are inherent to a bike with a hub-less wheel.

  • 1
    note that this comment replaces my previous one that was just a rant against Reevo, thanks Michael for editing it, but i think it was unsavable, it's nice to have a discussion like this on the merits of hub-less bikes, but i think someone should also state that the Reevo is a SCAM !! , a dangerous bike that does not deliver what it promised (i didn't buy one, but many did, and that's a shame) Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 7:59

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