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15.10.11


The days of getting a puncture look to be well and truly over.

That's if this  with wheels made of sprung steel takes off.

Designed by Ron Arad, at first glance the Soft-Wheel Bike promises to be an uncomfortable ride.

But 25 years after his Well-Tempered Chair, Mr Arad has overcome that problem using a similar process.

Each wheel has 18 individual strips of steel that are bolted together to act as a single whole.

Like the phenomenon of his late-70s chair, Mr Arad has taken advantage of the naturally-sprung properties of tempered steel.

When pinned together in tension, a natural softness occurs that gives the wheels a cushion that improves with speed.


Quite simply, the faster the bike is travelling, then the more comfortable it will prove to be.

Marcus Hearst, director of the design department of Mr Arad's studio, tells website Co.Design: 'We've actually done very little with the material.

'When you bend that steel, the way you pin it, you create natural curves. It's almost like a flower.'


Quite incredibly, Mr Arad built the bicycle in just two weeks, from design to the end of manufacture.

So swift was the process that he didn't even get time to road-test it.

Mr Hearst said: 'The ultimate surprise was that it worked the first time.'

Guests at the W Hotel in London's Leicester Square will be to take the Soft-Wheel Bike for a spin from October 29.

After that, it will be auctioned to raise funds for the Elton John Aids foundation.

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