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We’ll Be Honest: We Have No Idea How This Bike Works With A Rope Instead Of A Chain

Does a bike with a rope work any better than one with a chain?

In what appears to be the result of an engineering student’s — or a team of students’ — class project, a bicycle has been made that works off of a rope instead of a chain.

It’s a strange if elegant contraption that looks like what would result if you had Rube Goldberg take a crack at the tried-and-true bicycle design. How does it work exactly?


The video posted by the popular Auto Technology account is quite short, but it features a rather polished end product of a student project of some sort. We know this because the bike has been laminated with a sticker that reads, “Senior Project 2021” on its base.

So, how does it work? These kids are clearly experts in the science and technology of locomotion, generating a similar amount of friction and force from several coils in the rope through a pulley-like system throughout. We’ve counted eight different pulleys along which the rope is pulled to generate the friction necessary to push the rear wheel.

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What’s the point? Again, we have no idea — we’ll just say for the sake of science.

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