Machine Design

Tricycle or bicycle? Well, it all depends

A new bike for beginning riders may replace the parent who usually runs alongside.

An industrial design professor and two students at Purdue University created the bike, called Shift. Their design topped 853 entrants from 56 countries to win the $15,000 first prize in the 9th International Bicycle Design Conference in Taiwan. The 16-in.-wheel bicycle looks like a tricycle, but as the bike gains momentum and the child learns to balance, the two rear wheels shift inward to make one wheel, transferring balance from the bike to the child.

The 16-in.-wheel bicycle looks like a tricycle.


As the child gains momentum and learns to balance, the two rear wheels shift inward forming one wheel. Balance gradually shifts from the bicycle/tricycle to the child.


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