Loopwheels – for a smoother ride.

Want to see some Loopwheels in action? Not sure of the benefits? Unclear how the suspension works?

Take a look at this short film.

Or keep scrolling down for more information about the Loopwheel and the team behind reinventing the wheel.

And here’s a pdf copy of our Loopwheels leaflet

What exactly are loopwheels?

Loopwheels are a new type of bicycle wheel that have been designed to make cycling more comfortable. Loopwheels have suspension within the wheel itself: in place of rigid spokes, they have three loop-shaped springs made with carbon.

How do they make cycling more comfortable?

Loopwheels have a spring system between the hub and the rim of the wheel which provides suspension – cushioning the rider from bumps and potholes in the road. The springs also absorb road noise, reducing vibration through the frame and into the rider’s arms. Because of the suspension within the wheel, you can use high-pressure or puncture-resist tyres. So you don’t need to rely on fat (and sluggish) tyres to cushion your ride.

How does loopwheel technology work?

Loopwheel springs are made from a carbon composite material, carefully developed and tested to give optimum compression and lateral stability as well as strength and durability. Specially-designed connectors attach the springs to the hub and rim. There are three springs in each wheel, which work together as a self-correcting system. The spring configuration allows for the torque to be transferred smoothly between the hub and the rim.

Front and rear loopwheels have different spring rates. Most of the weight of the rider is at the rear of the bicycle, so the rear loopwheel is stiffer. A front and rear loopwheel can be used together as a set, or you can use a single loopwheel alongside a conventional spoked wheel. So Loopwheels provide suspension on a bike which has none, or can be fitted in addition to suspension forks. Either way, you get a smoother, more comfortable ride.

What are the benefits for the rider?

In short, Loopwheels give you 3 big benefits over spoked wheels:

1.  You get up to 50mm suspension in the wheel, whether or not your bike had any suspension before you fitted loopwheels.  So that’s a really comfortable ride.

2.  The loopwheel springs isolate the rider from road noise (the vibration up from the road through the bike frame and into your wrists, arms and shoulders).  So you don’t feel the same level of vibration through your arms as you do with spoked wheels.  That’s a much smoother ride.

3.  Loopwheels are really fun to ride.  The slight give in the springs and the tangential suspension is a new experience, and one we believe you’re going to love.

Loopwheels are not just wheels.  Loopwheels are wheels with suspension.  So you’re getting wheels and suspension in one: and a fantastic new riding experience to boot.

Tangential suspension

Unlike suspension forks, which only work in one plane, loopwheels provide tangential suspension.  That is, they work in every direction. So they respond to a force hit head-on in the same way as they do to a force from above or below.

Tangential suspension

This gives you confidence in a really smooth ride. People find they can tackle bumps, kerbs and cobbles much more easily on loopwheels than on normal, spoked wheels.

Standard Spoke WheelLoopwheels smooth ride

Less vibration, increased comfort

Because the springs in loopwheels absorb shocks and isolate the rider from the vibration of the road (or road noise), one of the first things that new riders comment on is that they don’t experience the usual vibration through the frame and up their arms.  So you’ll get less wrist and shoulder ache on long rides.

Commuting should be fun

The other thing most people say when they ride on loopwheels for the first time is “WOW! This is FUN!”

Comfort shouldn’t be buying a huge padded seat and wearing padded shorts, it should be solving the issues that cause this: the road. Removing the road vibration from the equation solves a lot of comfort issues, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with loopwheels.

Can loopwheels be fitted to any bike?

Currently we just make 20” loopwheels, which is a small wheel size. Many 20” wheeled folding commuter bikes don’t have any suspension so loopwheels are ideal for them.

Because of the movement from the hub, you need clearance between the top of the tyre and the front forks. This isn’t a problem on many bikes – they have this much space for those fat cushioning tyres (which, with loopwheels, you don’t need any more). Loopwheels give about 45mm-50mm of travel, so you must allow this distance between the top of the tyre and the underside of your forks. On both the front and rear, if using our recommended skinny tyres,you need at least 260mm between the centre of the hub and any part of the frame (or a mudguard) to give enough clearance for the movement of the wheel without it hitting. If you fit fatter tyres, remember to check there is still 45 – 50 mm clearance.

We fit our original 3-speed loopwheels to a Dahon Mu, and the derailleur version to the Dahon Vigor. You get the same compact fold as a normal folding bike, but now with a more comfortable loopwheels ride. The rear loopwheel slots into the existing Mu frame. We replace the Dahon front fork with one with wider drop-out centre, because loopwheels have a 100mm wide hub, whereas the conventional spoked wheel on a Dahon has a hub which is just 76mm wide.

Find out more in our “technical information and fitting guides” section, on the scroll-down menu under “About”.

Are loopwheels UK-designed and made?

Loopwheels are a UK invention. The springs are made in small batches near where we live in Nottinghamshire and we make the wheels here too. But we do import some components, as we can’t get hold of everything from UK sources as yet. We’re working on it though!

What about UK-made bikes?

Dahon make good bikes, but in the future we’d also like to be fitting loopwheels to a UK frame, because we believe strongly in UK creativity, design, and manufacturing.

 

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