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We've reinvented the wheel!

Apr 17, 2013

Prototype metal springs and connectors for Loopwheel

Introducing the loopwheel

For the last four years we've been working with Sam Pearce from Jelly Products to help him prototype and produce a revolutionary new bicycle wheel. Featuring an innovative three spring suspension system, the loopwheel is designed to make cycling more comfortable.

The springs are made from a carbon composite and sit between the hub and the rim of the wheel, providing 45mm suspension and an incredibly smooth ride. Unlike traditional suspension forks, loopwheels provide tangential suspension, i.e. they work in every direction. That means they respond to a head on force such as a kerb in the same way they would do a force from above or below, such as a pothole.

The loopwheel was officially launched at the Bespoked bike show in Bristol on the 12th April and was launched as a Kickstarter campaign the following week. Jelly Products hopes the Kickstarter campaign will generate the £40k required to upscale production from individual wheels to batch production. Plunkett Associates has a long standing relationship with Jelly Products and has been heavily involved in the production of the loopwheel.

"Basically I've been using Plunkett Associates' services every month for the last four years. I tell Tim what parts I need and what my timescales and budget are and he sources an appropriate supplier from his extensive supplier base." Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd


Plunkett Associates and Jelly Products work together on Loopwheels design

How does the loopwheel technology work?

The carbon composite springs were carefully developed and tested to give optimum compression and lateral stability, as well as strength and durability. Especially designed connectors attach the springs to the hub and rim and the three springs work together as a self-correcting system. The spring configuration allows for the torque to be transferred smoothly between the hub and the rim.



Prototype, pre-production and production parts

Four years of testing and development

Jelly Products has worked closely with Plunkett Associates to produce prototype and pre-production, and now production parts. The project kicked off with a requirement for prototype metal springs and connectors. Whilst the springs are now being produced from a carbon composite, Sam from Jelly Products has relied on Plunkett Associates to produce a low pressure plastic mould tool from which they can be manufactured.

Sam comments, "I've relied on Tim from Plunkett Associates to source suppliers for parts and tools throughout this four year process. Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground. Together we've worked really hard on the design and the parts, and to get the components, production, assembly time and cost down, so that we could produce a wheel of exceptional quality within our target price range."

He adds, "Putting the product on Kickstarter in order to raise the funds for tooling has meant we've had to be very accurate with our costings. Tim's been as essential part of the process from prototyping to helping us nail the production and costs. We now have an accurate price for supplying all the non-off-the-shelf components and costs for tooling to produce the specialist parts in-house."

Loopwheels prototype now in full productionA SMOOTH RIDE

Plunkett Associates has been delighted to have been involved in the loopwheel from its initial concept to its official launch. Working with Sam we have been able to guide and advise him on the most appropriate methods and materials for prototype and production parts and tools. Taking into consideration budget and timescales throughout the process, we have been able to source suppliers from within the UK and China to produce parts and tooling to help bring the loopwheel into production.

  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
  • Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
  • Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
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    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.
    Simon Ryder, Artist
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    Naim Audio
  • We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio

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