What is a Loopwheel?
A Loopwheel is a wheel with integral suspension, designed for better shock-absorbing performance and greater comfort.
Loopwheels give you a smoother ride. They are more comfortable than standard wheels: the carbon springs absorb tiring vibration, as well as bumps and shocks. They’re extremely strong and durable.
How do loopwheels help on wheelchairs?
Our loopwheels for wheelchairs help the user push over uneven streets, rough tracks and gravel paths, with less effort, and the carbon springs give you extra power to get up or down kerbs. They reduce jolting and vibration. With standard quick release axles, a choice between 12mm or ½ inch bearings and available in 24″ and 25″ sizes, loopwheels fit most manual wheelchairs.
What about loopwheels for bikes and trikes?
Our loopwheels for bikes can be used with or without suspension forks. Unlike suspension forks, which only work in one plane, Loopwheels provide tangential suspension, meaning 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 below.
We launched 20 inch wheels for commuter and mini-mountain bikes in 2013, and for recumbent trikes in 2015. These products have drum brakes. We designed a loopwheel for disk brakes too: a bigger mountain bike loopwheel is in the pipeline.
We reinvented the wheel – so you can enjoy a smoother ride.
Loopwheels are different from spoked wheels. They look, feel and perform differently. You will be used to a wheel being a rigid thing – Loopwheels have flexibility in them in order to provide shock absorption and suspension. The hub moves within the rim; the springs flex. The whole wheel acts as a flexible moving system which constantly adjusts to the load it carries and the obstacles it encounters.
This means that you may have to throw away your usual expectations of what a wheel should do and look like, and how it works. You may need to conceive afresh what a wheel can be. You’re not just buying a wheel – you’re buying a shock-absorbing wheel . . .
You may notice some differences:
A loopwheel doesn’t have the rigidity and stiffness that’s necessary in a spoked wheel. The spokes on a normal wheel hold it in tension: if the spokes lose tension, they start to break and the rim may buckle. A Loopwheel is not held in tension by its springs – the rim is strong and doesn’t suffer from buckling. You don’t need to tune any spokes, either!
You may notice your loopwheel doesn’t run as true as a spoked wheel, both on and off your bike or wheelchair, and there is slight lateral movement. As soon as the springs are loaded, they compress and further change their concentricity. This is what gives you comfort and shock absorption. A spoked wheel will be more rigid and if tuned correctly will run more true than a loopwheel – but it won’t provide shock absorption like the loopwheel does.
Standard wheels have many spoke holes in the rim. Each spoke hole is a potential stress or fracture point. Our rims do have holes in them, (e.g. for the tyre valve), but they are double-walled strong rims and loopwheels are much less likely to fracture at the rim than spoked wheels.
- In the first few miles of use, your Loopwheel may creak slightly. This is the system bedding in and is quite normal so please do not be concerned. It is a well known characteristic of composite materials. (However if your loopwheels suddenly start to creak later on, or you hear clicking, this is NOT normal so do get in touch and we will fix the problem for you!).
The Loopwheel is a different beast. When you have spent your whole life with rigid spoked wheels, they may seem strange to you at first. But we believe you’ll soon love the differences of the Loopwheel.
Enjoy the difference!