Folding-wheel Tuck Bike heads into production
Last year we told you about the prototype Tuck Bike, which featured both a folding frame and folding full-size 700c wheels. Well, you may soon be able to own one, as it's the subject of a just-launched Kickstarter campaign.
The single-speed Tuck Bike was created by California-based chartered mechanical engineer Alex Animashaun, who previously helped develop hybrid cars for Jaguar Land Rover in London. Both the original and the production version can reportedly be folded or unfolded in under two minutes – and that includes the wheels, which feature airless foam tires. Once folded, the bike can be pulled along on an integrated set of caster wheels.
Circling back to the wheel-folding thing, though … just how does that work?
"Imagine you have a pizza in front of you, cut in three slices," Animashaun previously told us. "The Tuck Bike wheel folds by lifting one piece, twisting it around and stacking it on the other. Do that again and you three slices stacked together. The wheel is locked at each rim joint and at the hub. The rim joints have a clamp that you slide in and out of place then tighten. The hub has a simple clamp."
The production model can actually be folded in one of three ways, depending on how compact you need it to be.
If you're storing it in a hallway and just need it to be narrow, the two sides of its flat handlebar and its pedals can simply be folded in. If it needs to be narrow and short, its frame can additionally be folded in the middle, so the front and rear wheels end up side-by-side. And finally, if you need it to be as small as possible (such as when it's being transported in the trunk of a car), the bars, pedals, frame and wheels can all be folded down.
Some of the Tuck Bike's more conventional features include a hydroformed 6061 T6 aluminum frame (the prototype was steel), Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes, and a WTB Comfort ProGel saddle. Animashaun tells us that some of the other improvements over the original include faster-working frame hinges with magnetic closures, better-handling Gecko Rubber puncture-proof tires, and larger, easier-rolling caster wheels. The whole thing is claimed to tip the scales at 30 lb (13.6 kg) for a medium-size frame.
If you'd like a Tuck Bike of your own, a Kickstarter pledge of US$1,695 is required – the planned retail price is $1,995. Assuming it reaches production, it should ship next October. You can see it in wheel-folding action, in the video below.