Video: Direct drive Bicymple

A chainless bike that builds on the unicycle concept

“Is it possible to evolve from the established bicycle design while adhering to the basic principles of simplicity, functionality, style and excitement?”


That’s the question American designer Josh Bechtel of Scalyfish Designs has tried to answer with the Bicymple. With a direct drive pedalling system on the back wheel, the bike has more in common with a unicycle, but with the addition of a frame, front wheel, brakes and handlebars.

The minimalist design (there’s no chain, gears or many moving parts) means the Bicymple lives up to its name. Bechtel says it’s “comfortable, easy to ride and brilliantly simple to maintain. The lightweight design and short wheelbase make for a nimble ride.”

While steering is managed via the handlebars, there’s an optional rear-steer mode that’s meant to allow for tighter turns and “crab-riding”. Bechtel says the compact design makes it “effortless to get in and out of tight spaces and easily squeezes into stairwells, hallways, fire escapes, nooks and crannies”. An alternative to the folding bike for commuters or those with little bike storage space?

The bicycmple has 29in wheels but a radically shortened wheelbase (31in) and top tube (23in):

The spec is a mix of traditional and radical design. It has a CroMo steel frame and fork, 29in wheels and freewheeling hub but its dimensions are more unusual, with a 31in wheelbase and 23in top tube.

According to Bechtel, he’s had considerable interest in the bike and is currently looking at options for larger scale production and distribution. Pricing and availability will be revealed in the coming weeks.


Check out the video below for a demo of the Bicymple in action. What do you think? An evolution of the bike or a fun alternative?