Behold the Incredible Folding Bike Wheel

February 6, 2013 | Andy Cush

“It turns out that, while a folding wheel is useful for cyclists, it can actually be life changing for wheelchair users,” says Vitamins Design’s Adam Westaway of his company’s brand new fold-up wheel. “There are so many problems associated with storing and transporting wheelchairs, and the biggest problem is the wheel size.”

Westaway and the rest of the team at Vitamins have been working towards a folding wheel since 2007, and this year, they were finally successful. And though they initially figured their creation would appeal only to serious cyclists, they’re happy to see their audience expand.

Evidently, their first few prototypes led to rapidly popping tires, and when they decided to switch to a solid tire, things moved more quickly. Co. Design explains how the contraption works:

With the new tire in place, the way the Folding Wheel works could be relatively simple: A pair of spokes folds out like a Hoberman sphere, giving the wheel shape and bearing weight, while a third, solid spoke actually serves as a lock to guarantee the wheel stays open.

(Photos: Vitamins Design)