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Springs Replace Spokes in New Shock-Absorbing Bike Wheel

• http://www.wired.com, By Keith Barry
 The Loopwheel, a project from UK designer Sam Pearce, surrounds a traditional wheel hub with three folded leaf springs instead of spokes. The setup keeps the rim rigid, but allows the hub to travel more than 1.75 inches to absorb shocks such as hitting uneven pavement or a riding over a curb. The result is a ride that’s less jarring, and that transmits fewer vibrations to the rider’s body.

Pearce got the idea for the Loopwheel while waiting for a flight and watching parents pushing children in strollers over a gap in the flooring. Every time a stroller hit that patch of floor, the child would be jostled forward. A cycling enthusiast, Pearce knew that cyclists had a similar problem to those kids in the airport, so he started drawing up ideas for in-wheel shock absorbers.

After the first wheels came a Kickstarter. With more than a week left to the Loopwheel campaign, Pearce has already raised more than $7,500 over the goal, money that will be used to fund expanded production, including a new system for manufacturing the “loops” more efficiently.

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