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 Extremes were released alongside the Urbans in 2020, and are already one of the most popular Loopwheels available. They are designed for use with a chunky MTB (mountain bike) tyre, and are usually coupled with a wheelchair add on - either a front Track Wheel attachment at the front, or a handbike. They work particularly well with Triride handbikes such as the all-rounder Special Compact HT, or the off-road focused MadMax and T-Rocks.
They are the lightest Loopwheels at an amazing 1.33 kg per wheel. As with the Urbans, 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 - particularly important for off-roading. They also feature much improved lateral stiffness, overcoming a problem experienced with the Classics.
They are available in a choice of two different spring rates, allowing them to cater to people of different weights, from 50 kg to 120 kg (user plus wheelchair).
What they come with
The Loopwheels Urban come in a minimalist black carbon finish. This can be upgraded to have an anodised hub and rim hinge for an additional charge, with a choice of purple, red or blue. As standard they come as a pair of wheels in a 24" size.
The wheels can be supplied fitted with a range of handrim and tyres options at an additional charge. This includes Carbolife's 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.
If you want your Loopwheels for off-roading, the Extremes are the ones to pick. While the Urbans are capable of some off-road use, they are designed as an "all-rounder" so don't have the same tyre width and thus handling.
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.