There's tons of different kinds of mountain bikes. FS, HT, ST, SS, 29er, etc., etc.. Despite their vast differences they are remarkably similar in many essential respects. I'm thinking here about fundamental parts like the chain, bottom bracket, rear cog(s), headset, possibly others. These parts are ubiquitous on every single bike i see out on the trails. This seemed odd to me, since there are no regulations regarding bicycle development (the way that there is for cars). Even with cars theres are some deviants out there. Most cars have piston engines. A few have both a piston engine and an electric motor. Fewer have a rotory engine (ah the beloved rx7/8).
Anyways, this led me to search for examples of bikes that break with tradition and do something totally different. I'm not talking about silly one-sided forks or wacky shaped handlebars here, I'm talking seriously different. I imagine lots of stuff has been tried, and either failed miserably and faded out of existence. Tradition is hard to break, especially when that tradition is propagated by the financial interests of large bike manufacturers and smaller component manufacturers.
I'm interested in what some of you that have been around the scene for longer have seen. Heres what I was able to find.Chainless MTB
:"The Outback’s 8-speeds offer a gear range comparable to 20 gears on a 24-gear chain bike, including some climbing gears for lots of off-road fun. With the tough, aluminum enclosed shaft drive and all-internal gearing, this bike also offers 13" of ground clearance and the durability to take crashes that would otherwise cripple fully exposed chains and derailleurs. In short, this bike offers the fun of a full-suspension mountain bike without the hassles of greasy, maintenance-prone chains and derailleurs. "Continuously-variable planetary-drive transmission
:"The NuVinci CVP delivers a totally unique riding experience. You'll never miss a gear again because there are no gears to miss. Instead, the NuVinci CVP uses a set of rotating spheres to transfer torque from the pedals to the road. Tilting the spheres changes their contact diameters, permitting an infinite progression of speed ratios. The result is that you are always pedaling at just the right speed. You can adjust ratios continuously as the terrain changes."
This hub/transmission is featured on the ellsworth 'ride': http://www.ellsworthride.com/
Obviously I'm bored