Teen pushes clever pedal with chainless bicycle idea
MOSSMAN State High School student Joshua Riccio has invented and designed a “chainless” bicycle and is gearing up to open his new business Rock Solid Bicycle Engines in Craiglie.
The 15-year-old from Adelaide has struggled with severe dyslexia all his life but has pioneered an ingenious design to create the Rock Solid chainless drive system, to create a chainless bicycle and as well as a road-legal 200-watt motorised bicycle engine kit.
“I developed a love for mechanics from my father when I was in Year 6 and together we developed a bike which has similar qualities to a normal push bike, but when it comes down to the cranks and gears there is no chain or sprockets,” he said. “And everything is totally sealed. “Many riders find the chain to be very annoying when riding down hills or when wearing long pants so I thought why not get rid of the whole thing.
“So I have built a chainless bicycle and a four-stroke engine kit which allows riders to attach the engine to their push bike.”
The youngster struggles to read and write but has an extensive knowledge for motor assembly after working after school until 1am each night on his projects.
He undertook Year 12 mechanics in Year 9 and completed a TAFE course for a Certificate 1 in engineering, while developing his business and attending school five days a week.
His passion and hunger for drag racing and working in the tool room was handed down by his father Tony, who has a lifetime experience of working with drag racing teams such as F &M Cylinder Heads in Adelaide.
Joshua specialises in building motorised bicycle engine kits and single cylinder alcohol motors destined for junior dragsters, along with blue-printing many title-winning go kart engines.
In his first year of racing in 2010 Joshua took out two club championship titles and finished third in the SA Festival Cup Series.
“He started the designs for the bikes by just playing around with parts - that’s how he does things,” Tony said.
“He finds it hard sometimes to write down his ideas but he knows exactly what he wants in his head so he builds his ideas out of balsa wood first and then machines his prototypes using acrylics on the machines, before creating his jigs for production.
“He comes up with all the designs and inventions and then I assist him with what needs to be done to bring those inventions to life.”
In the last three years the youngster has designed two bike models and developed a two and four stroke engine kit so clients have everything they need to convert their regular bicycle into a motorised pedal-assisted bike if they wish.
“He had designed his very own four-stroke engine kit that does 64km/h on 650mL of fuel,” Tony said.
Rock Solid Bicycle Engine kits are being sold globally to customers in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore and even Abu Dhabi.
Joshua’s love for the machines has encouraged him to save enough money to build 40 chainless bikes in Port Douglas to rent out to the locals and tourists.
He has also saved his money to buy an engine dynamometer which was especially made for Rock Solid engines in America, the only “dyno” to be used in Australia.
Joshua is eager to expand the business when he completes Year 12.
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No more squeaks: Joshua Riccio hard at work on his chainless bicycle