Four reinvented wheels


Bureau of reinvention: Don't reinvent the wheel, they might say. Well, these people are going to try anyway

11th September 2014
By Jeremy Kingsley


Shark Wheel

The cube-like SharkWheel

Helix-shaped, with an alternating pattern and minimal ground contact, the SharkWheel limits its ‘dig’ into the ground – making it faster and more grippy. Invented by avid skateboarder David Patrick – inspired, he says, by a cube (it looks square from the side) – and Kickstarted to the tune of $79,350, eight times its goal.



The Loopwheel's circular springs, in place of spokes, build suspension into the wheel itself

Loopwheels swap bike-wheel spokes for circular springs, building suspension into the wheel itself – ideal for lightweight or folding bikes. The suspension works in 360 degrees, too – not just up and down. Their Nottingham-based inventor met his Kickstarter goal last year and is producing the wheels with an archery bow manufacturer.


The Copenhagen Wheel

The smart Copenhagen Wheel

Developed by MIT’s Senseable City Lab, captures cycling and breaking energy, and assists the bike when extra power is needed. Smartphone-controlled, you can lock the wheel, change gears and control the motor remotely. Inbuilt sensors monitor road conditions and take atmospheric readings to inform your route planning.



The SoftWheel's three compression cylinders give wheelchairs the suspension they've previously lacked

Designed to give wheelchairs the suspension they lack, SoftWheel’s three compression cylinders absorb shocks and effectively suspend the hub while evenly distributing the chair’s mass. It acts only on impact over a defined threshold, so can be rigid when necessary but still smooth out shocks. Israeli inventor Gilad Wolf has fitted the technology for bicycles too.


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