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It was really just a matter of time.
February 27, 2014 5:27 PM   Subscribe


 
No backstory or explanation of why this is interesting?
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:31 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I want to put these on my quad skates SO BAD.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:32 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]




If you read the comments in Pope Guilty's link, you'll see that the inventor shows up to defend his wheels. One thing that stands out in the PR material and in his reply is the emphasis on the wheel being "square" and "a perfect cube", neither of which are true. I don't get why he focuses so much on that part. It sounds vaguely cult-ish.
posted by ymgve at 5:50 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Not everybody is impressed.

It is good enough for the demographic who will ingest plastic-looking neon food, believe inks and dyes make them cool or different and can be talked into believing in goat eggs even if they are surgically attached to their smartphones. Every generation has their acceptable goofiness...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:52 PM on February 27


I really wish someone could get the message out that showing up to argue with trolls/haters and defend your own work basically NEVER EVER goes well.

Reminds me of the true detective thread, and the smug writer showing up to poop on the trolls.

You never convince anyone, and you just make an ass of yourself.
posted by emptythought at 5:53 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that… is true about the culty-soundingness. There seems to be a possibility that the inventor stumbled upon something that works but doesn't really know why, as well as a possibility that it doesn't necessarily work as well as he thinks and simply seems to because he (and the testers) are paying more attention to the wheels themselves than usual. It mostly just seemed fairly intriguing.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:53 PM on February 27


One thing that stands out in the PR material and in his reply is the emphasis on the wheel being "square" and "a perfect cube", neither of which are true.

I think he isn't so much re-inventing the wheel as reinventing the cube.


I am looking at a cube right now, and that thing is not a cube.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:58 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


A response to the inventor from the comments:
What you have created is a wheel with sine wave treads. It looks cool and it may even have some benefits. Can't that be enough? Why flout 9th-grade geometry along the way?

I basically think that's right. I mean, even if they work the same as, or slightly worse than, normal skateboard wheels, the fact that they look cool and bizarre and still work at all is going to be a selling point.

Just, I don't know, a cultish obsession with cubes seems worrisome. He seems basically sane and pretty down-to-earth otherwise, but if this guy turns out to be a kook, I hope he's the Dr. Bronner kind and that his product is legitimately good.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:03 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Looking at the people testing it on the boards it just looks.. sludgy. Slow. I don't know how this improves the wheel at all. I used to skate board a lot when I was younger and this takes a lot of fluidity away from the board.
posted by Malice at 6:04 PM on February 27


I don't skate. Is "cube" a meaningful term in general, or is it just the "perfect cube" claims about the SharkWheel, and the Christian Slater vehicle Gleaming the Cube?
posted by Riki tiki at 6:16 PM on February 27


It is good enough for the demographic who will ingest plastic-looking neon food, believe inks and dyes make them cool or different and can be talked into believing in goat eggs even if they are surgically attached to their smartphones.

At least the kids will be able to roll off your lawn faster.
posted by mhoye at 6:17 PM on February 27 [12 favorites]


Maybe the cubes are actually TIME CUBES and Gene Ray is trying to sneak into the skating community.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:21 PM on February 27 [9 favorites]


Hey Michelin Man! I want some for my car, tout de suite!
posted by surplus at 6:21 PM on February 27


Um, it's round. It's a round wheel with a tread pattern and wavy sidewalls. I don't even.
posted by The World Famous at 6:27 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


My 9 year-old nephew showed this to me over the summer. The video was great, all about how the inventor has re-invented the wheel. Maybe I'll get him a set for his birthday.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:38 PM on February 27


I don't skate. Is "cube" a meaningful term ...

A young Christian Slater would like to have a word with you.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:43 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I'm suprised to see that they are still making OJ's [Slow J's we used to call them] - Red Rider Fours, OCS 500 trucks with red rubbers sitting atop a Santa Cruz kicktail for me.

$79,350? For a cubic wheel? That faint whirring sound you hear is coming from the grave of P.T. Barnum.
posted by vapidave at 7:00 PM on February 27


It sounds vaguely cult-ish.

maybe the cubes are actually TIME CUBES and Gene Ray is trying to sneak into the skating community.

NEW! EXXXXTREME Timecube! Now with 4x4 simultaneous days same earth rotation! SK8R Man is paired, 2 half 4 self, 2 kewl 4 skool!
posted by KingEdRa at 7:05 PM on February 27 [7 favorites]


Um, it's round. It's a round wheel with a tread pattern and wavy sidewalls. I don't even.

perfect cube, sine wave tread
gettin' seen, perpetual motion machine

wavy sidewalls
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:09 PM on February 27


> I don't skate. Is "cube" a meaningful term in general, or is it just the "perfect cube" claims about the SharkWheel, and the Christian Slater vehicle Gleaming the Cube?

I was working in a skate shop when that came out, and as I recall it means absolutely nothing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:13 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


You don't get to call people trolls just because they bust your non-cubic bullshit claims with real physics and honest questions.

I think someone needs to gleam these cubes.

Re-title: It was really just a matter of dumb.
posted by varion at 7:13 PM on February 27


I'm really entertained by the bicycle wheel in Pope Guilty's link. Note well that you don't see the rider turn or lean. The difference between skateboard and bicycle wheels is that skateboard wheels track flat and level, so all that lateral wobble just produces a tread pattern, in effect. But you have to lean a bicycle wheel and I think there's a very good reason why they don't show that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:16 PM on February 27


And the last few pieces of the Snow Crash dystopia finally begin to fall into place.....
posted by schmod at 7:37 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Came for timecube references. Was not disappointed.
posted by pompomtom at 7:51 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


I see your Shark Wheels and raise you a ZTorque Bicycle Crank!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:28 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Still not as cool as a Squagel.
posted by symbioid at 8:44 PM on February 27


Squircles are pretty popular in car design. This guy should really get to selling his design to the tire companies before the trends move on to something else.
posted by The World Famous at 8:59 PM on February 27


Infinite Solutions for the win!
posted by Stu-Pendous at 9:37 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


How can they have less friction but more grip? I am confused.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:43 PM on February 27


"Here's a video demonstration of a new wheel which is a perfect CUBE!"

$79,350
pledged of $10,000 goal
posted by panaceanot at 2:58 AM on February 28


I thought it was a bit of a giveaway that they couldn't get actually good / professional skateboarders to help flog their product. Kids and some refugee from the 1980s doing shirtless powerslides...??

Is this a parody?
posted by mary8nne at 5:18 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I saw this awhile back. While not exactly a cube, it's definitely as cube-like as it can possibly be while still able to roll. As to this being an improvement over the regular wheel, it is unlikely, but in a youth-driven market into being "different" I can see this being a thing for a while at least.

Considering that huge marketing and manufacturing companies tout bland variations on sugar/corn as the next revolution in cereal, or launch "new" lines by recoloring a plastic figurine and slapping a different shaped accessory on it, I don't get the vitriol against this idea, or the need to pick it apart. Also, the $73,000+ kinda speaks for itself.
posted by Debaser626 at 5:47 AM on February 28


The question is would you feel Queeblo more or less if he was on a board equipped thusly?
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 8:02 AM on February 28


While not exactly a cube, it's definitely as cube-like as it can possibly be while still able to roll.

Which is to say that it is perfectly round.
posted by The World Famous at 10:08 AM on February 28


Nerdily enough, you can roll on objects that aren't perfectly round.

Here's one.
In general: curves of constant width.

The rolling isn't as smooth as a circle, but the un-smoothness is horizontal; there is no bouncing up-and-down.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:22 AM on February 28


You can roll objects that aren't perfectly round, yes. But these wheels are perfectly round. They just have a tread pattern and a wavy sidewall.
posted by The World Famous at 10:30 AM on February 28


Curves of constant width don't really work well as wheels because the center is not equidistant from the edge (except in a circle)-- meaning, if you try to use one as a wheel with an axle through its center, you're going to get up-and-down motion (see this video for example and watch how much work the bicycle's suspension system has to do).
posted by Pyry at 11:05 AM on February 28


Interim product, awaiting hover technology.

gnarly.
posted by mule98J at 11:40 AM on February 28


Considering that huge marketing and manufacturing companies tout bland variations on sugar/corn as the next revolution in cereal, or launch "new" lines by recoloring a plastic figurine and slapping a different shaped accessory on it, I don't get the vitriol against this idea, or the need to pick it apart.

The vitriol is not directed against the aesthetic qualities of the product. It's directed against the pseudoscientific claims being made about the product's performance capabilities.

You know how quacks sell miracle tonics that are supposed to cure cancer, but don't? Yeah. Same thing. It's not about whether the tonic is blue or red, or fizzy or still, or whether it comes in a can or a jar. It's about the fact that it doesn't work.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:15 PM on February 28


> How can they have less friction but more grip?

I think the claim is that it has less friction in the direction of travel than a conventional wheel, but more friction in the orthogonal direction.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:15 PM on February 28


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