Vehicle: Bicycle: Power
Recumbent Street Surfing   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Recumbent bike with front-wheel drive and skateboard steering

Bikes mostly have rear-wheel drive, but as the pedals sit in the middle, it needs a chain, and ickiness ensues. Recumbent bikes sometimes have the pedals in front of or over the front wheel, but still the chain goes all the way to the rear wheel, because the front wheel is used for steering, and therefore can not be simply attached to the drive chain. I propose a recumbent bike where the pedals sit on the same axis as does the front wheel, with a hub gear. Steering is done via the rear wheel(s), which are mounted like skateboard wheels, ie shifting of the center of gravitiy to the left will make the bike turn left . Front wheel would be of normal size, not as in usual recumbent bikes, so the feet are safely off the ground.
-- loonquawl, Feb 05 2009

Front wheel drive http://www.rad-span...nt/upload/qbike.jpg
Front wheel drive with front wheel steering, for what reason soever [loonquawl, Feb 05 2009]

Rear Wheel Steered Bike (RWSB) page
[phoenix, Feb 05 2009]

The idea of rear wheel steering
[phoenix, Feb 05 2009]

Max Skate Bike - bike in back, skate in front.
Commercial from 1989 -- Warning! 80s styles. [baconbrain, Feb 05 2009]

Unitriking in the UK
Scroll down to 4th row of pictures for a backwards Unitrike. [baconbrain, Feb 05 2009]

Most people are able to *somewhat* control a bike hands-free using only weight-shift... but not well enough to do it fulltime. I'll [+] it but I really think you should put some sort of manual steering in there.
-- FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2009

The hands free steering on a normal bike is difficult and dangerous - Front wheels are notoriously unstable, so after the first few degrees, there is a notable danger of flipping. Rear wheels do not have this inherent instability. But for a bun, i'm willing to compromise.
-- loonquawl, Feb 05 2009

Are you proposing the rear wheel(s) be skateboard wheels?
-- phoenix, Feb 05 2009

We built a recumbent trike with 2 rear wheel steering. It was almost uncontrollable, but extremely fun. My brother is a pilot and flies tail-draggers, and he said, "of course it's hard to control" Once the rear starts to swing around, it wants to keep swinging around, a "ground loop" +
-- n81641, Feb 05 2009

I like the idea of hub-geared direct power... maybe a 3-wheel inline design (front and rear steering)... but then it wouldn't be recumbent anymore... or skateboard-y.
-- FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2009

I've seen adverts for "bikes" with rear-drive and a skateboard truck with two wheels out front, steered by leaning. See link, or search for "skatebike".

I like the idea of this bike, with a skateboard truck out back. I'd argue for direct drive on the front wheel, no chain at all.

As for the thing tightening up into a ground-loop, I'd say that as soon as centrifugal force kicks in, the rider's body will lean out and stop the turn. It should be controllable.
-- baconbrain, Feb 05 2009

I don't think it's a front or steering issue so much as you're putting the most weight (the operator) into the biggest arc for the turn.
-- FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2009

I found a backwards Unitrike (see link). It is not a recumbent, but cobbled up out of a unicycle.

Recumbency should make things better.
-- baconbrain, Feb 05 2009

random, halfbakery