Loopwheels – shock-absorbing suspension for wheelchairs

Successful bicycle wheels company is running a Kickstarter campaign to move their product to wheelchairs.

Sam Pearce had the idea for a wheel with integrated suspension in 2007 and built the first prototype in 2009. The idea was born after Pearce saw a child jostled by the impact of her stroller hitting a curb. He came up with the idea of a wheel that could have suspension inside it and lessen impact from any direction. By 2013 he had successfully funded his Loopwheels for bicycles through Kickstarter.

Partnering with KG Archery, developers of the world’s first all carbon bow handle, Pearce developed the springs and suspension for the Loopwheels. With the technology for Loopwheels already proven and in production, the team is now running another Kickstarter campaign to fund the first round of production component orders.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1205277475/loopwheels-shock-absorbing-suspension-for-wheelcha/description

Building on the knowledge from the current bicycle wheels Pearce has run more prototype tests and completed more development. Production tooling for carbon composite springs, die casting and plastic components is already purchased.

The wheel hubs are aluminum die cast, anodized with a grey color. The rims are twenty four and twenty five inch MBL DW5 racing rims, aluminum with black powder coating. The axle for the wheels is one half inch diameter and uses precision bearings.

Funding for this project will run until April 6, 2015. Wheels are expected to ship in two waves, in July and September 2015. Kickstarter campaigns run by an already established company always look better to me and feel more likely to succeed. The video is well done, the prototypes look like production quality materials, and the testimonials show that real testing has been done with the real end users of the wheels. Taking existing products and applying them to accessibility issues is a great thing.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1205277475/loopwheels-shock-absorbing-suspension-for-wheelcha/description