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Reverse Bicycle

Drive wheel in front; steering wheel in back
 
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Having ridden bicycles across decades of time, I can authoritatively say that to me, the most annoying thing about the most-common design is the fact that it is more difficult to change the tire on the rear wheel than the front wheel --and the rear tire tends to wear out faster, because more body weight is supported by it. (British spelling: "tyre")

So, stand back a bit an note that if the seat and the handlebars are removed, they could be swapped (to each other's post- mountings) as a first approximation for a Reverse Bicycle. A better approximation would add a connection between the seat and the bike frame, so the seat wouldn't rotate, and the handlebars would need fit loosely, so they could be twisted as normal.

Also, some sort of linkage needs to be added, so that the former- front and now-rear wheel can be twisted when the handlebars are twisted. More, this linkage needs to change the twist- direction, due to the way a twisted rear wheel affects the direction of a turn while the bike is moving. That is, if the handlebars are twisted clockwise, the rear wheel needs to twist counterclockwise.

Finally, the ratchet inside the chain-drive system needs to be reversed, in order to make the front drive wheel rotate the correct direction while pedaling. OR, the wheel and pedal- sprockets need to be "turned around". Normally they are on the right side of a normal bike, relative to the cyclist; they would be on the left side when the bike is Reversed. If turned around to again be on the right side with respect to the cyclist, the ratchet would be correct for driving the Reverse Bike in its new forward direction.

That second option would also require moving a typical derailleur system to the other side of the bike, too, requiring adjustments to the bike frame; it would be overall simpler just to reverse the ratchet action, as in the first option.

When done, a majority of the cyclist's body weight will now be over the wheel that steers, instead of the drive wheel. IT will have the tire that wears out faster! And it is also easier to replace!

Vernon, Mar 18 2016

Rear wheel steering https://en.m.wikipe...Rear-wheel_steering
Tried and failed. [8th of 7, Mar 18 2016]

Riding a bicycle backwards http://bicycles.sta...w-to-ride-backwards
[scad mientist, Mar 18 2016]

[link]






       [Ian Tindale], just about anything can be misinterpreted. Your own anno reminds me of a Keith Laumer science fiction novel ("Worlds of the Imperium", I think), in which there was a transport system between alternate Universes/time-lines, and Our Hero got stranded in a Universe where the transport system didn't exist. So he cobbled-together one, after which one of the other characters in the story said something like, "You left a trail across the time-lines I could have followed on a bicycle."
Vernon, Mar 18 2016
  

       This has been tried. The machine was unrideable.   

       [suggested-for-deletion] widely known to be unworkable.   

       <link>
8th of 7, Mar 18 2016
  

       [8th of 7], it certainly wasn't "widely known" to me! There is a fairly simple way to make it workable, though, which is to add a third wheel. (Or 4, as in "training wheels", heh!) It occurs to me that if the steered wheel was doubled, that would also divide the cyclist's weight between them, such that the tires would last longer.   

       It's kind-of humorous that a bike with training wheels is still called a "bicycle", while it is a "tricycle" if it has 3 main wheels.
Vernon, Mar 18 2016
  

       Does the rear tire on a standard bicycle wear out because of the extra weight, or because it is providing acceleration. Sometimes my rear wheel will spin slightly starting out if there is a slick spot of loose gravel. If the tire with less weight on it is used for acceleration, it will be even more likely to spin.
scad mientist, Mar 18 2016
  

       While riding a bicycle with rear steering is very difficult, it can be done <link>. Not practical for most people to learn, but this is the halfbakery.
scad mientist, Mar 18 2016
  

       Riding a bicycle backwards is not the same as a rear-wheel-steer bicycle.   

       // it certainly wasn't "widely known" to me! //   

       Since when are we responsible for your lamerntable ingnorance ? Please, tell us what we said that may have sounded like "We care" ...   

       A bicycle with two steering rear wheels would not be a bicycle, unless you removed the front wheel to compensate for the extra rear wheel.   

       A bicycle with training wheels would be a quadricycle, but only if all four wheels were constantly in contact with the supporting surface during normal operation. Fortunately this is not the case, since most bicycles with such wheels are ridden by immature humans, who exhibit poor control of their conveyance and frequently end up on the ground and their bike with all four wheels in the air. Sometimes, they get injured. Oh, how we laugh.
8th of 7, Mar 18 2016
  

       // Riding a bicycle backwards is not the same as a rear- wheel-steer bicycle //   

       Yes, most google hits for riding a bicycle backwards have the person backwards and the bike moving forward. The link I gave is a person sitting on a bicycle in the normal orientation, but going backwards: demonstrating that it is possible for a human to balance and somewhat control such an unstable configuration. Presumably a bicycle designed for this could be slightly more stable. Your link also mentions: "One documented example of someone successfully riding a rear-wheel steering bicycle is that of L. H. Laiterman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on a specially designed recumbent bike."   

       Definitely impractical, but I could bun such a half-baked solution if it was actually a solution. My first question is whether this is actually a solution to the problem.
scad mientist, Mar 18 2016
  

       The problem with rear-steering is the same for bicycles as for cars: the arse end swings out, setting up a collision with something unseen to the driver. This is not a problem with forklifts within the environment of a warehouse.
FlyingToaster, Mar 18 2016
  

       // the arse end swings out, //   

       That happens with regular bicycles too, tho.   

       Then again, if the rider is a shapely female, that's not entirely a bad thing (or so we are told).
8th of 7, Mar 18 2016
  
      
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