There’s been no shortage of attempts to build a workable two wheel drive bicycle over the years, but this latest effort from Double of Japan looks like one of the most compelling yet.
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The crazy two wheel drive arrangement uses a custom hub — with a regular freehub on the drive side and a fixed cog sitting behind the rotor — to drive a chain that is protected by a length of tubing all the way to the front of the bike.
This then drives what we assume is a CV joint, which in turn is connected to another chain on the non-driveside of the front wheel, where a freewheel is fitted.
If you followed that, congrats! For those who can’t wrap their head around that slightly opaque description of how (we think) the Double works, check out this Japanese language user manual, which helps to sort of clear things up.
While a lot of effort has clearly gone in to designing this system — and in all seriousness, despite it’s slightly jarring looks, it actually appears to be pretty slick compared to other 2WD bikes we’ve seen in the past — the promotional videos for the Double have not had the same treatment.
Highlights of this rather endearing collection of videos include footage of a man riding up a river with remarkable ease, residents of an ice hotel scooting around a frozen lake on the bike and this rad dude hucking the Double in tennis shoes.
And just for good measure, here’s a video of someone doing rad wheelies on the bike.
Through the magic of Google Translate we discovered via a Japanese blog that the bike costs ¥97,200 (approx’ £685 / €755 / $885 / AU$1,200) and weighs around 19kg.
The ‘Double’ is distributed by Interjet, but is only available in Japan for the time being, which is a real shame as we’d love to try riding one over all sorts of ridiculous terrain.
Do you like the idea of a 2WD bike or are you happy with your single drivetrain thank-you-very-much? Leave your thoughts and any other examples of 2WD bikes you can think of in the comments below.