SoftWheel has created the Fluent wheel, incorporating suspension tech to level out bumps and obstacles while keeping the ride efficient.
The wheels remain rigid while on tarmac, but when encountering obstacles the suspension mechanism comes into effect to absorb more than half of the impact energy, according to the manufacturer. The selective mechanism acts when impacted above a certain threshold and when the suspension kicks in, the wheel’s hub is shifted to create a cushioning effect without compromising comfort or performance, it said. The decreased suspension recovery time also allows for high frequency shock absorption.
The wheels are being pitched as ideal for most types of bikes, including e-bikes and urban machines.
Cycling is just one application for SoftWheel, with the firm working in the wheelchair market to help users negotiate curbs, uneven paths and even stairs.
The brand is planning to step into the bike market and forge new links at Eurobike, but in the meantime there's a video with the wheels in action.
UPDATE: We've been told that there is in fact a new updated model, which we've a pic of here: