What Loopwheels Are
A Loopwheel is a wheel with integral suspension - it reduces vibration, increases performance, and provides you with greater comfort. The carbon springs absorb vibrations and bumps, are strong and durable, and are designed for everyday use. The three loops in each wheel act as a self-correcting system, constantly adjusting to uneven terrain; in effect the hub floats within the rim. The springs also give you a practical advantage of helping to get up kerbs.
They don't run quite as true as a standard spoked wheel, and you will notice some sideways movement, although much less so than the Classics. Loopwheels are different to standard spoked wheels - you will feel a difference to them as a result of their flexibility. While there is a trade-off in rigidity, you will also notice a massive increase in comfort.
Designed and made in the UK, the Loopwheel springs are made from a carbon composite material. Carefully developed and tested, they give optimum compression and lateral stability, as well as strength and resilience. Each Loopwheel is crafted by hand in Nottinghamshire.
They will fit most manual wheelchairs that use standard quick release axles. Designed for adults, those under 50 kg won't feel so much benefit from the suspension - the softer springed Loopwheels Urban would be worth trying instead.
The Urbans were only released in 2020 and are rapidly becoming the most popular Loopwheels version. They are designed for use everywhere - from pavements to off-roading. They are ultra light at 1.36 kg per wheel, compared to 1.8 kg for a Classic wheel. Their vibration reduction is also massively increased to 109% over a Spinergy Day wheel, providing you with the ultimate protection from damaging all-body vibration. They also feature much improved lateral stiffness, overcoming a problem experienced with the Classics. Finally, the Urbans are available with a choice of three spring rates - Soft, Regular and Stiff, allowing them to provide a personalised ride to those of different weights, from 35 kg up to 120 kg (user plus wheelchair).
What they come with
The Loopwheels Urban come in a minimalist black carbon finish. As standard they come as a pair of wheels with a black aluminium handrim. This can be mounted narrow (11 mm) or wide (19 mm) depending on your preferred grip. The wheels come only in a 24" size.
The wheels can be supplied fitted with the popular Marathon Plus puncture-resistant tyres for a £90 upcharge.
Alternate Carbolife handrims are also available at an additional cost; this includes the Curve and popular Gekko handrims.
There is increasing concern about the long-term damage done by vibrations through using a wheelchair, and Loopwheels are a great way of protecting yourself from this. They also provide a much smoother ride than standard wheels, massively increasing your comfort.
The Urban Loopwheels are the ultimate evolution of the Loopwheels. The offer improved comfort, vibration dampening and lateral stiffness, whilst also being lighter than the original Loopwheels. The only other model of Loopwheels we would suggest considering are the Loopwheels Extreme - those are designed for off-roading, so if you are wanting a pair exclusively for off-roading (particularly if using them with a handbike) we would suggest the Extremes instead; otherwise the Urbans will serve you best.
There are other options for reducing vibration - Frogs Legs castor forks are well-known in the industry, but do tend to make your wheelchair front-heavy. Titanium framed wheelchairs do also help to reduce vibration, but don't have the same suspension, and it does limit your choice of wheelchair. Ki Mobility's Ethos has a new suspension system that reduces vibration and smooths out your ride - this is worth considering if you are looking to get a new wheelchair.