Loopwheels - Integral Suspension Bike Wheels
People out there lucky in the sense that they know how to ride a bike but unlucky in the sense that doing so jars their spines and brains and generates great discomfort in the crotchal region, say hello to Loopwheels. Loopwheels are 20" bicycle wheels with built-in spring systems between their hubs and wheel rims that provide suspension and cushioning from road bumps and potholes. So that everyone who finishes a Loopwheeled bike jaunt does so with lumbar vertabrae, tailbone, and rectum as intact as they were before the ride began.
Loopwheels replace conventional bike spokes with a group of 3 springs made of carbon composites. Each wheel's spring trifecta works synchronously as a self-correcting system, with connectors that attach them to the hub and rim, and a configuration designed for optimum compression, lateral stability, and smooth torque transfer between wheel parts. The effects: increased comfort; reduced vibration; and easy riding. Also, they look pretty.
Rear Loopwheels are about twice as stiff as front installations, and wheels can be used both separately with a spoked wheel, or as a set, plus as the lone form of bike suspension, or in addition to suspension forks. At only around 0.7 pounds heavier than spoked equivalents, Loopwheels make for particularly appealing add-ons to folding bikes, most of which don't bother with suspension systems due to the weight and bulk they pile on.
Loopwheels' funding campaign runs on Kickstarter through May 15, 2013. Backer packages range from a single front or rear wheel to both wheels to a Dahon folding bike pre-pimped with its own set of 3-speed Loopwheels.
December 2013 Update: Loopwheels exceeded its crowdfunding goal, and individual tires, wheel sets, and the Loopwheels 3-speed folding bike are now available for direct purchase through the company's website--follow the link below.