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Loopwheels – reinventing the wheel to make cycling more comfortable

loopwheel4

There’s nothing guaranteed to get a laugh quicker than accusing someone of trying to reinvent the wheel. Why? Well there have been lots of attempts over the years, and so far very few have succeeded in improving the basic design that started with Fred Caveman (or somebody like him).

However we’ve got to applaud this attempt at the record, because it’s quite ingenious. Loopwheels are a new design of bicycle wheel which features its own in-built suspension system. The idea is the brainchild of Brit designer, inventor and engineer Sam Pearce.

loopwheel2

The concept relies on a triad of carbon composite springs which flex as the wheel rolls over a surface. The flexing gives it a kind of suspension which the makers say ensures more comfort and less vibration as you cycle along. The video demonstrates just how effective the process is, although we do wonder whether all that lateral flexing makes it harder to pedal.

Anyhoo, the product is currently available for 20 inch wheels only (although there’s apparently a 26 inch version in the test stage) and you can either buy a set on their own for around £659 or buy a complete compact bicycle with the wheels fitted for £1439 and up. Very clever.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • Air

    Still no 26″

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