Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Square wheel communal bike

Anti theft device
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

Communal bike schemes often fail because the bikes are all nicked. Even if the bikes are made ugly and unattractive they still get nicked.

I propose that the bikes have square wheels. The surface of the cycle tracks will be a hyperbolic cosine with an arc length of one side of the square (see link). Thus rendering the bicycle useless for any transportation off the tracks, but very usable on them.

pocmloc, Sep 20 2009

Square Wheel Tricycle http://www.youtube....watch?v=LgbWu8zJubo
on Youtube, from Texas A&M Physics Department [pocmloc, Sep 20 2009]


       // tracks //   

       The dedicated hyperbolic cosine cycleways will not be useful for anything much else, and stuff will accumulate in the bottom of the curves making them progressively less inviting.   

       If you're going to have "dedicated" bicycles, why not just have "tram rails" embedded in conventional cycleways, and design the (circular) wheels so they only work effectively on these rails (by profiling the circumference) ?
8th of 7, Sep 20 2009

       This reminds me of that time when I didn't have a lock for my bike and was forced to releasing the quik locks on both axles, renderring the bike dangerously unrideable to the unknowing potential thief.
jellydoughnut, Sep 20 2009

       Stupid idea.   

wagster, Sep 20 2009

       [8th] I think profiled rims would not make the bike useless, merely sub-optimal, which is not enough to deter casual theft.
pocmloc, Sep 20 2009

       // stuff will accumulate in the bottom of the curves making them progressively less inviting //   

       Just have openings there for it to fall out into a tray/gutter or onto a conveyor belt below. That's the least important part of the curve for ride smoothness, I think.   

       The real problem is that it seems to me that you'll have to ride perfectly straight to maintain a smooth ride. And, with steering and balance being interactive on a bicycle, this means that you'll soon fall over sideways, into the bumpy track, to be run over by the corners of other cyclists' wheels.
notexactly, Oct 01 2019

       Comically impractical [+]
DenholmRicshaw, Oct 01 2019


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