PR - Loopwheel Urban Review

This has definitely been a well requested blog. I was lucky enough to get to try the only pair of Loopwheel Urban's in the world at the moment before their release later this year. I certainly put them through their paces, taking them out in the city and off-road on sand, so, I wanted to share my thoughts with you! 


About Loopwheels

What Is A Loopwheel?
A Loopwheel is a wheel with integral suspension, designed to reduce vibration, increase performance and provide greater comfort. Giving you a smoother ride, they are more comfortable than standard wheels: the carbon springs absorb tiring vibration, as well as bumps and shocks. They’re designed for everyday use and are strong and durable. Loopwheels are not just a wheel, they’re a suspension system.

The Problem With Vibration
Studies have shown that wheelchair users are exposed to levels of vibration that are considered unsafe and that this can affect health and life quality.  This is a risk factor for all wheelchair users, increasing the amount of muscle fatigue and potentially damaging connecting nerves. For me, vibration causes a huge increase in pain which is why I was first interested in the product. 

The Solution
Loopwheels solved this problem by using carbon composites to create an ‘in-wheel‘ spring that can absorb vibration, without the weight penalties of a suspension chair or the cost penalties of a full carbon frame. The Loopwheels reduce vibration by 68% at 7Hz, 52% at 10Hz and 76% at 13Hz.
Overall Loopwheels significantly reduce the amount of harmful whole body vibrations a wheelchair user will experience, this is turn reduces pain and fatigue and therefore allows a wheelchair user to travel further.

The 'Classic' Loopwheel

Getting the wheels
I signed up for the 'Try Before You Buy' Scheme for the classic Loopwheels. For £20, this allows you to have the loopwheels for 21 days. This fantastic scheme enables people to see whether the product would be right for them. 

Transport
My loopwheels were black and fitted with ease to my manual wheelchair. I was travelling a lot when I first got my loopwheels and I found them easy to store in the car or on the plane. You can get a specially made bag to put them in if you travel a lot which I like!

The Weight
One thing which a number of people contacted me about is the weight of the Loopwheels. They are 1.8kg without the push rim/tyre/axle. Looking at a leading competitor, X-Core, their wheels are 1.5kg without tyres. They aren't as lightweight as I would have liked and for me, I need to take the wheels off individually and use 2 hands to lift one (I am a weakling though!). You would have to make a decision about whether you could manage the weight of the wheels independently and also if you're willing to have that extra bit of weight in return for extra comfort; it's completely individual.

The Look
Short and sweet, I love the look of the classic. Wherever I go, people ask about them and I always used them for my photoshoots. Having a 'pretty' chair gives me such a confidence boost so having wheels which reflect this is so special.

The Ride
I have very small front castors which absorb a lot of vibration on my wheelchair. Even with the Loopwheels on, my castors at the front were still an issue. For you to get the best out of this equipment, I would thoroughly recommend using it with something like a Tri-Ride or Freewheel. This elevates the small castors and allows the weight to go through the loopwheels, giving you the best possible result. I used them a lot in the dance studios and loved the glide on the solid floor. But, because I didn't have any add-on equipment to try, I don't feel like I felt the full potential of the Loopwheels outdoors, but I still felt a difference.

Price
At £872, with payment plans available, they are certainly an investment. Other wheelchair wheels on the market cost around £250 mark, so you are looking at an extra £600. With the new personal budget for wheelchairs just released, there could be some hope that equipment like this could be provided as 'top ups' if a good enough case was made, but in the meantime, you might have to save your pennies.

The 'Urban'Loopwheel

About The Urban
Have one set of wheels for all occasions – from the streets to the park to the forest. Lighter; an everyday wheel that is light enough to lift easily with one hand. Deliver all-important comfort and pain relief whilst being efficient to push and roll. Wheels that look great, and look technical – and perform brilliantly. Different spring ratings dependant on speed and weight.

The Weight
At 1.36 they are lighter than one of their leading competitors, X-Core, who's wheels are 1.5kg without tyres. They were much easier to lift, meaning putting them in the car and attaching them to the chair was simple.

The Look
Modern, slick, beautiful. You know the drill. I adore the look of these wheels.

The Ride
I felt a significant difference from my 'classics'. Because they were so much lighter, I could self-propel for a significantly longer time which was fantastic. I also tried the wheels out on the sand whilst I was on holiday, and despite having no add on for my front wheels, they managed really well! The wheels are designed to tackle a multitude of surfaces and they certainly excelled in that. I also like the fact there are 3 different spring ratings. Because I'm so light, I didn't feel like I was getting the full spring potential in the classic sometime but on these I can opt for the soft so I can feel more benefit.

Price
All those positive reviews do come at a price and that is £1,800. It's difficult when equipment that could potentially benefit your quality of life is so out of your price range, honestly I know, but I also have got to know the company well now and know how much they've invested so this is priced for the quality of the product. 


Overall

I love Loopwheels because they genuinely want to help people live better. The brand is good, the people are good and the products are good. Personally, the Loopwheel Classics didn't have as much benefit to me as I'd hoped because I didn't have a piece of equipment to lift my front castors off the ground. If you want the full potential of them, as I've said before, I'd recommend giving them a go with a Tri-Ride, Freewheel or investing in some suspension front castors. However, the Urban for me was a game changer. I really felt the benefit from these wheels, especially with them being lighter and cannot wait for their official launch so I can get my hands on them!

If you'd like to learn more about Loopwheels, try or order some, visit their website https://www.loopwheels.com

I am an ambassador for Loopwheels, because of my love for the product, so the wheels discussed in these reviews were either #Gifted or PR trial. But, I certainly am honest with my review of them!

Kate x







No comments

Post a comment