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Loopwheels Move The Bicycle’s Suspension Directly Into The Wheel

loopwheels

People are fond of saying that you can’t reinvent the wheel, but if you take a look a the LoopWheel, you realize that’s not entirely true. The device uses a regular, off the shelf tire, rim and hub, but it replaces the common spokes with a flexible carbon-composite system that gives suspension directly to the wheel. By making the new loopy “spokes” flexible, the LoopWheel’s hub is able to go off-center by as much as 45mm (1.7 in.), effectively giving it a suspension with 1.7in of travel. Granted, that’s not mountain bike material, but the LoopWheel isn’t intended as such. Currently only being produced in a 20in. size (a small bicycle wheel size), they’re intended to be used in folding bikes or any other compact bikes that wouldn’t normally be able to fit a regular suspension system.

Like many innovative items, the LoopWheels are on Kickstarter, but they’re fully funded. If you still want to get in on the action, it’ll cost you 490£, or roughly $763.

Hit the jump for a video of the wheels in action, plus links.

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  • http://v3p.tv/ zeek

    the loop wheel onlymakes sense on the back wheel for financial reasons. it simplifies the frame in general. and can easily be bootstrapped onto an existing 26” wheel platform.

    loopwheels require special fork sizes and mess up the geometry of a bike as the forks lenght must be altered to accomodate the travel of the wheel, rather than the fork itself moving with the wheel in a conventional suspension fork design.

    i think the loop wheel would have been much much more succesful if they had built it into a 22-24” form factor that would be speficially fitted to the back frame triangle of a standard 26” bicycle ( with the extra 2” being necessary for the travel. ”

    that way the market would have been open for people who want back suspension on a standard hardtail. there’s a huge amount of those people. and the back integrated brake makes the install clean and perfect. and ultimately, a 2-3 inch smaller diameter wheel on the back frame of a 26” bike is going to have not a very big problem with changing the handling and geometery. the bike will handle with less sensitive steering which is less of a problem than putting a bigger wheel on the back ( i ride with a 700cc –28” wheel on the back of a 26” front wheel bike. and it’s not a big deal either to be honest. ) .

    making this for a 20” folding bike is/was SUPER limiting and as a result very few loopwheels have been sold.

    most people who commute by bike don’t use folding bikes because they are way too slow, let alone that they have problems at the joints and jerky steering because of the short wheelbase. the last thing people are usually worried about is ride bumpiness , as evidenced by the popularity of particularly bumpy 16” wheel bromptons . if people like folding bikes, they don’t really like suspension usually. so the loopwheel has been a kind of financial disaster so far. i wish it hadn’t been and i hope the attempts to create a loopwheel for wheelchairs meets with more success. i just don’t really think the financial managaer of loopwheels really thought this through when aiming for the size of the wheel.

  • http://v3p.tv/ zeek

    the loop wheel onlymakes sense on the back wheel for financial reasons. it simplifies the frame in general. and can easily be bootstrapped onto an existing 26” wheel platform.

    loopwheels require special fork sizes and mess up the geometry of a bike as the forks lenght must be altered to accomodate the travel of the wheel, rather than the fork itself moving with the wheel in a conventional suspension fork design.

    i think the loop wheel would have been much much more succesful if they had built it into a 22-24” form factor that would be speficially fitted to the back frame triangle of a standard 26” bicycle ( with the extra 2” being necessary for the travel. ”

    that way the market would have been open for people who want back suspension on a standard hardtail. there’s a huge amount of those people. and the back integrated brake makes the install clean and perfect. and ultimately, a 2-3 inch smaller diameter wheel on the back frame of a 26” bike is going to have not a very big problem with changing the handling and geometery. the bike will handle with less sensitive steering which is less of a problem than putting a bigger wheel on the back ( i ride with a 700cc –28” wheel on the back of a 26” front wheel bike. and it’s not a big deal either to be honest. ) .

    making this for a 20” folding bike is/was SUPER limiting and as a result very few loopwheels have been sold.

    most people who commute by bike don’t use folding bikes because they are way too slow, let alone that they have problems at the joints and jerky steering because of the short wheelbase. the last thing people are usually worried about is ride bumpiness , as evidenced by the popularity of particularly bumpy 16” wheel bromptons . if people like folding bikes, they don’t really like suspension usually. so the loopwheel has been a kind of financial disaster so far. i wish it hadn’t been and i hope the attempts to create a loopwheel for wheelchairs meets with more success. i just don’t really think the financial managaer of loopwheels really thought this through when aiming for the size of the wheel.

  • http://v3p.tv/ zeek

    the loop wheel onlymakes sense on the back wheel for financial reasons. it simplifies the frame in general. and can easily be bootstrapped onto an existing 26” wheel platform.

    loopwheels require special fork sizes and mess up the geometry of a bike as the forks lenght must be altered to accomodate the travel of the wheel, rather than the fork itself moving with the wheel in a conventional suspension fork design.

    i think the loop wheel would have been much much more succesful if they had built it into a 22-24” form factor that would be speficially fitted to the back frame triangle of a standard 26” bicycle ( with the extra 2” being necessary for the travel. ”

    that way the market would have been open for people who want back suspension on a standard hardtail. there’s a huge amount of those people. and the back integrated brake makes the install clean and perfect. and ultimately, a 2-3 inch smaller diameter wheel on the back frame of a 26” bike is going to have not a very big problem with changing the handling and geometery. the bike will handle with less sensitive steering which is less of a problem than putting a bigger wheel on the back ( i ride with a 700cc –28” wheel on the back of a 26” front wheel bike. and it’s not a big deal either to be honest. ) .

    making this for a 20” folding bike is/was SUPER limiting and as a result very few loopwheels have been sold.

    most people who commute by bike don’t use folding bikes because they are way too slow, let alone that they have problems at the joints and jerky steering because of the short wheelbase. the last thing people are usually worried about is ride bumpiness , as evidenced by the popularity of particularly bumpy 16” wheel bromptons . if people like folding bikes, they don’t really like suspension usually. so the loopwheel has been a kind of financial disaster so far. i wish it hadn’t been and i hope the attempts to create a loopwheel for wheelchairs meets with more success. i just don’t really think the financial managaer of loopwheels really thought this through when aiming for the size of the wheel.