Reinventing the wheel

Reinventing the wheel – again

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Every so often, someone comes along with an idea to re-invent the wheel – to revolutionise the already literally revolutionary (arf arf).

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Suspension wheels hey?

The Energy Return Wheel is one such idea. It essentially seeks to remove the requirement for a replaceable tyre, and prototypes replace it with a latticework system made of “carbon fiber, single wall nano tubes, Kevlar and titanium.” And rubber, presumably somewhere in there. The pictures on the site show alternative wheel/tyre constructions seemingly made of rubber and elastomers too. The video also shows a WTB Bronson tyre being used at one point. With gert big holes in it.

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The website here is not short of hyperbole (and Random Capitalisation). It talks about “Screw Force Accumulation and Return for 16% – 22% increase in Drive Train Efficiency” – We don’t know precisely what that means.

It speaks of ‘massive effects’, of being the ‘future of wheeled travel‘. Each tyre/wheel thing is handcrafted to your weight and your intended appliaction. Oh, and hoops (the rim/tyre replacements alone) will set you back just over $1600 per pair. Wheels start around $2,499.

Oh, there’s more. “World’s largest Utility wheeled patent portfolio in recorded history“. How do you get evidence of patents from before records began anyway?

Also, “Plus for the first time in History… “Wind Resistance”. ERW will Empower You against any form of resistance”.  *Any* form? Airway resistance? Antibiotic resistance? Resistance agains occupation? Crumbs.

And the video – in case you’re hard of thinking, this is the next big thing, people. The Next. Big. Thing.

We’re skeptical, but we’ll be monitoring progression with interest…

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Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 22 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running cycling magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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Comments (17)

    Let’s go bog trotting. Oh, wait…

    can you adjust the wheel size on the fly?

    the very first question I ask when buying a new pair of wheels is – please can you improve my screwforce accumulation – I’ve been lagging behind my mates for a while?

    Erm, aren’t “anti-bounce” and “in wheel suspension” contradictory?!

    At the prices stated I think I’ll stick with the oft patent copied pneumatic tube and tyre combo thanks.

    They look heavy and thats before the spaces get filled with good old UK mud —- one for the space cadets 😉

    oh and another thought given that I adjust my tire pressure for different conditions and ride lengths how do you do this with these odd ball wheels ?


    You need to buy more wheels.

    Where do I sign up?

    Awesome $2500 wheels held together with zip ties!


    There, I’ve said it! And that single word is crucial with regard to the rolling elements in a sprung wheel/tyre, and the reason pneumatic tyres are so widespread………

    Hysteresis —- I googled it, read the meaning a few times, shook my head, still didn’t understand so returned to thinking those wheels are silly with or without what ever Hysteresis.does or doesn’t do for them 🙂

    Paul I’m sending you an email that might explain it better 😉

    Still stupid tyres though.

    I have had *exchanges* with the people pushing these in the past.

    Cheers Nige, hopefully you have PB’d the info in to small, easy to digest bits, you know the score with old dogs and new tricks !

    “A characteristic of a deformable material such that the energy of deformation is greater than the energy of recovery. The rubber compound in a tire exhibits hysteresis. As the tire rotates under the weight of the vehicle, it experiences repeated cycles of deformation and recovery, and it dissipates the hysteresis energy loss as heat. Hysteresis is the main cause of energy loss associated with rolling resistance and is attributed to the viscoelastic characteristics of the rubber.”
    I’m enjoying reading about rolling resistance on Wiki. Those tyres might be good for a fatbike going across a desert, and nothing else.

    That video… oh my…

    These are betterer. The next big. ThinG. I reckon

    Those Loop wheels look to be a better bet

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