You know what a bicycle looks like... right? Two wheels, handlebars, pedals, some crossbars. But get a piece of paper and try to draw one exactly, you might be surprised at the results.

Even for people who ride bikes regularly, it can be very hard to remember exactly how all of the parts fit together. (Not convinced? Go ahead and try drawing one from memory now -- no googling.)

Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini has asked hundreds of people to do just this. His project started in 2009, when he and a friend were chatting in a bar in Bologna, Gimini says. His friend was confident that anyone who had ridden a bike must know how it is designed. But then his friend tried to draw a bicycle on a napkin and “miserably failed,” says Gimini.

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Over the next six years, Gimini had friends, family and perfect strangers, from 3 years old to 88, to draw a man’s bicycle from memory. Some were able to draw it perfectly, but most ended up drawing ... something else.

Most people ended up creating strange contraptions with little hope of supporting their rider's weight or being ridden uphill. Some people attached the chain to the front wheel instead of the rear; many people drew strange cross-bars. Some forgot pedals entirely.

In 2016, Gimini decided to take some of the most interesting sketches and, using design software, rendered them as if they were real. Here are his renderings of the four images above.

Here are some of the other drawings and rendered designs, side by side:

Would you take any of these for a spin?

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