A new design allows the use of full-size, 26-inch wheels on all types of foldable vehicles
Folding bicycles have become more popular of late, especially with commuters, who often use them to bridge the distance between the train station and work or home. However, folding bicycles use small, 16- or 20-inch wheels in order to allow them to be folded small enough for carrying, which makes them impractical for cycling longer distances or over rough roads. Now, a German designer has created a full-size, 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third of its diameter and back again in an instant.
Andrea Mocellin, founder of Revolve spent three years working by himself on his folding wheels. In the process, he created hundreds of 3D models and dozens of prototypes. It was important to Mocellin that the finished product would be beautiful to look at when closed, as he anticipates that many people will be storing their folded vehicles in their living space. Mocellin also points out that the wheels are not designed only for bicycles. In fact, he envisions that the most important use for the wheels will be in folding wheelchairs, which are often cumbersome and difficult to transport. In fact, helping people with disabilities is one of the key goals of the project, and Mocellin hopes that the wheels will soon lead to ways to improve the lives of those with movement limitations.
We have seen a number of innovations in bicycle design recently, including a bike that rides on water and an airless tire. This latest innovation could prove to be a major disrupter to all types of wheeled products, including trolleys, scooters, wheeled drones and robots. The wheel is patented and production-ready, and Mocellin’s immediate aim is to find investors to take the product to the manufacturing stage. What other uses could there be for folding wheels?