Monowheels Then and Now

Monowheel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A monowheel is a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, instead of sitting above the wheel, the rider sits either within it or next to it. The wheel is a ring, usually driven by smaller wheels pressing against its inner rim. Most are single-passenger vehicles, though multi-passenger models have been built.

Pedal-powered monowheels were built in the late 19th century; most built in the 20th century have been motorized. Some modern builders refer to these vehicles as monocycles, though that term is also sometimes used to describe motorized unicycles.

Today, monowheels are generally built and used for fun and entertainment purposes, though from the 1860s through to the 1930s, they were proposed for use as serious transportation.

The First Monowheel?
This elegant monowheel cycle- the word "bicycle" seems somehow inappropriate, though there are certainly two wheels involved- dates back to 1869. It was built by Rousseau of Marseilles.
Collected from: Motorwheels monowheels

The Dynosphere (or Dynasphere, in some sources) was invented Dr J H Purves. It differed from the other monowheel designs in that it was wide enough to stand up by itself, without the need for continuous balancing. The outside of the wheel was part of the surface of a sphere.

In the picture below, the son of the inventor is at the controls, and apparently having some difficulties in steering; leaning this monowheel to one side is clearly not going to be easy. The Dynosphere was reported to have reached 30 mph on this run, powered by a 2.5 hp petrol engine. Since the wheel was said to have weighed 1000 pounds, I have some doubts about these figures.

Collected from: Monowheels: Page 3

The Cover of "La Science et la Vie" N°69 - Mar 1923

While it is unconfirmed, this cover painting is probably of the Cislaghi machine, given the date of 1923. The top picture in this section is from a much later issue of "La Science et la Vie"- they were recycling their old material, no doubt.

The table of contents describes it as "Un curieux monocycle automobile".

Collected from: Monowheels: Page 2

Welcome to Kerry McLean’s Machines | Inventor of the McLean Monocycle | Contact Us Today About Customizing Your Toy!

Kerry McLean is probably best known for his one wheel monocycle, the McLean Wheel and the Rocket Roadster.  In 2001, Kerry was fortunate to have survived a horrific crash with his V8 monocycle when on its virgin test run it began to wobble out of control and flipped through the air slamming Kerry into the pavement.  Afterwards, Kerry determined the cause of the crash, made numerous design changes and completely rebuilt the machine.  Today, Kerry continues to make improvements to the monocycle and he enjoys inventing and building other very cool things.

Ben Wilson Design

Ben Wilson is a 3D Industrial designer working with mass produced products and one off hand made commissions. His work has been extensively published and exhibited worldwide. 

[...] Over the years the myth of the monowheel has become an equal fascination. Since the 1860's many patents have been filed in the monowheel's name and today there are even rumors of a production monowheel in China, but as it stands there is nothing currently available. As we can't buy a monowheel we made one,The attraction of this project is venturing into the unknown. [...]
Collected from: Ben Wilson Design

Collected from: WheelSurf

monovelo - Home

Welcome to monovelo.com

We are happy that we can offer the newest and first human powered Monowheel.
It was used at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympia 2008.

Collected from: monovelo - Home