Bicycles

Revolve folding 26-inch wheel could be a game-changer

Revolve folding 26-inch wheel ...
"I didn't design a wheel for single bicycle, but a wheel for many different products that can have the same full-sized bicycle wheel, but can now be folded and reduced in size in many different ways" Andrea  Mocellin, founder of Revolve Wheel.
"I didn't design a wheel for single bicycle, but a wheel for many different products that can have the same full-sized bicycle wheel, but can now be folded and reduced in size in many different ways" Andrea  Mocellin, founder of Revolve Wheel.
View 21 Images
"I didn't design a wheel for single bicycle, but a wheel for many different products that can have the same full-sized bicycle wheel, but can now be folded and reduced in size in many different ways" Andrea  Mocellin, founder of Revolve Wheel.
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"I didn't design a wheel for single bicycle, but a wheel for many different products that can have the same full-sized bicycle wheel, but can now be folded and reduced in size in many different ways" Andrea  Mocellin, founder of Revolve Wheel.
Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.
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Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.
What Mocellin has achieved with the Evolve folding modular wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived
3/21
What Mocellin has achieved with the Evolve folding modular wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived
The modular Revolve 26-inch folding wheel was announced this week by German designer Andrea Mocellin, immediately threatening to become a disruptive force in the area of folding mobility.
4/21
The modular Revolve 26-inch folding wheel was announced this week by German designer Andrea Mocellin, immediately threatening to become a disruptive force in the area of folding mobility.
The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant, and its commercial availability will offer new design possibilities for folding bicycles, folding wheelchairs and many other vehicles that need to be transported in compact form.
5/21
The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant, and its commercial availability will offer new design possibilities for folding bicycles, folding wheelchairs and many other vehicles that need to be transported in compact form.
Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.
6/21
Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.
"I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed, because these wheels will be seen inside apartments in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, New York. The people who will use my wheels will store their bicycle inside their apartment, and they do not want ugly folded bicycles to be stored inside their living space. So I worked hard to get a nice form factor ... like an audiophile speaker or a sculpture." Andrea Mocellin
7/21
"I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed, because these wheels will be seen inside apartments in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, New York. The people who will use my wheels will store their bicycle inside their apartment, and they do not want ugly folded bicycles to be stored inside their living space. So I worked hard to get a nice form factor ... like an audiophile speaker or a sculpture." Andrea Mocellin
"Quite clearly there are many different ways in which the folding wheel can be used, and folding bicycles and folding wheelchairs are just the low hanging fruit. Wheeled drones that need to be transported in a compact state are another marketplace with great potential and ... now that wheels can be folded, people will find uses for them." Andrea Mocellin
8/21
"Quite clearly there are many different ways in which the folding wheel can be used, and folding bicycles and folding wheelchairs are just the low hanging fruit. Wheeled drones that need to be transported in a compact state are another marketplace with great potential and ... now that wheels can be folded, people will find uses for them." Andrea Mocellin
The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant, and its commercial availability will offer new design possibilities for folding bicycles, folding wheelchairs and many other vehicles that need to be transported in compact form.
9/21
The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant, and its commercial availability will offer new design possibilities for folding bicycles, folding wheelchairs and many other vehicles that need to be transported in compact form.
What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.
10/21
What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.
What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.
11/21
What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.
When folded, the wheel can accommodate side wheels that can be added as either traditional wheels or omnidirectional wheels
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When folded, the wheel can accommodate side wheels that can be added as either traditional wheels or omnidirectional wheels
The magnetic key which enables the Revolve wheel to be folded
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The magnetic key which enables the Revolve wheel to be folded
Andrea Mocellin and some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
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Andrea Mocellin and some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
Some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
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Some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
Some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
16/21
Some of the prototype wheels created during the development of the Evolve wheel
"I expect the most important market segment initially will be for wheelchairs. People with disabilities who wish to travel have no choice - they must take their wheelchair with them, and traveling with a wheelchair is very difficult, be it on an aircraft, or in a car, on the underground, anywhere." Andrea Mocellin
17/21
"I expect the most important market segment initially will be for wheelchairs. People with disabilities who wish to travel have no choice - they must take their wheelchair with them, and traveling with a wheelchair is very difficult, be it on an aircraft, or in a car, on the underground, anywhere." Andrea Mocellin
"Helping people with disabilities to have an easier life is one of the key goals of the project, and I expect that once the inventors of the world have seen the components I have developed, there will be some ingenious solutions developed in short order." Andrea Mocellin
18/21
"Helping people with disabilities to have an easier life is one of the key goals of the project, and I expect that once the inventors of the world have seen the components I have developed, there will be some ingenious solutions developed in short order." Andrea Mocellin
"I have experienced so many folding bicycles with small wheels that are complicated and ugly when they are closed. I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed." Andrea Mocellin
19/21
"I have experienced so many folding bicycles with small wheels that are complicated and ugly when they are closed. I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed." Andrea Mocellin
"I many times got really annoyed with existing folding bikes because when they are small and light, they invariably have small wheels, and that severely limits what they can do. In an urban environment, there are gutters and steps and cracks in the pavement and obstacles that are a problem for small wheels ... and I also wanted the speed and practicality of a large wheel." Andrea Mocellin, Revolve-Wheel
20/21
"I many times got really annoyed with existing folding bikes because when they are small and light, they invariably have small wheels, and that severely limits what they can do. In an urban environment, there are gutters and steps and cracks in the pavement and obstacles that are a problem for small wheels ... and I also wanted the speed and practicality of a large wheel." Andrea Mocellin, Revolve-Wheel
Andrea Mocellin expects his conceptual Revolve folding bike, with 26-inch wheels, will fold to much smaller than any existing folding bike with 16-inch wheels. The key aspects of the bike are:  1 - a large inbuilt storage space, 2 - the multitasking design 3 - the inbuilt rotational elements and 4 - the universal hub
21/21
Andrea Mocellin expects his conceptual Revolve folding bike, with 26-inch wheels, will fold to much smaller than any existing folding bike with 16-inch wheels. The key aspects of the bike are:  1 - a large inbuilt storage space, 2 - the multitasking design 3 - the inbuilt rotational elements and 4 - the universal hub

In 16 years of covering technological innovation at NewAtlas.com (nee Gizmag.com), we have regularly seen innovations that are potentially disruptive to an industry at first sight, and the Revolve folding wheel is definitely such an innovation.

The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant, and its commercial availability will offer new design possibilities for folding bicycles, folding wheelchairs and many other vehicles that need to be transported in compact form.

The modular Revolve 26-inch folding wheel was announced this week by German designer Andrea Mocellin, immediately threatening to become a disruptive force in the area of folding mobility.

What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.

What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.
What Mocellin has achieved with his folding wheel has eluded designers since the idea of folding bicycles and wheelchairs was first conceived.

The problem which Mocellin's wheel overcomes, is that folding bicycles until now have had to use smaller wheels to be able to fold to a small enough size for carrying – most folding bike manufacturers use 16- or 20-inch wheels. The Revolve can offer full size 26-inch wheels that fold to less than one third their height.

Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.
Andrea Mocellin completed his Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. Since then he has worked at Granstudio, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM Forum, Cleto Munari and as an interior designer in London.

"It has been three years of complete immersion in the project," Mocellin told New Atlas. "The patented design was reached after several hundred 3D models and dozens of physical prototypes as I attempted to get the most accurate and efficient folding mechanism."

"I have experienced so many folding bicycles with small wheels that are complicated and ugly when they are closed. I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed." Andrea Mocellin
"I have experienced so many folding bicycles with small wheels that are complicated and ugly when they are closed. I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed." Andrea Mocellin

"I didn't design a wheel for single bicycle, but a wheel for many different products that can have the same full-sized bicycle wheel, but can now be folded and reduced in size in many different ways," said Mocellin.

When folded, the wheel can accommodate side wheels that can be added as either traditional wheels or omnidirectional wheels
When folded, the wheel can accommodate side wheels that can be added as either traditional wheels or omnidirectional wheels

"It was conceived as an enabling technology, and when folded, the side wheels that can be added as either traditional wheels or omnidirectional wheels are also designed to enable new ways of making better folding vehicles that can be used and transported in different ways. The aim is to offer the enabling technologies to open new frontiers for the future of foldable vehicles."

Andrea has lived in Shanghai, New York and several major European cities, and routinely travels with a folding bicycle, experiencing the airports of the world's great cities, and most importantly, having commuted on the trains, roads, and bike paths of those cities.

"I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed, because these wheels will be seen inside apartments in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, New York. The people who will use my wheels will store their bicycle inside their apartment, and they do not want ugly folded bicycles to be stored inside their living space. So I worked hard to get a nice form factor ... like an audiophile speaker or a sculpture." Andrea Mocellin
"I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed, because these wheels will be seen inside apartments in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, New York. The people who will use my wheels will store their bicycle inside their apartment, and they do not want ugly folded bicycles to be stored inside their living space. So I worked hard to get a nice form factor ... like an audiophile speaker or a sculpture." Andrea Mocellin

"The form factor is important"

"I have experienced so many folding bicycles with small wheels that are complicated and ugly when they are closed," said Mocellin. "I wanted to ensure my wheel was beautiful to look at when it was closed.

"The people who will use my wheels will store their bicycle inside their apartment, and they do not want ugly folded bicycles to be stored inside their living space."

"So I worked hard to get a nice form factor ... like an audiophile speaker or a sculpture."

"I many times got really annoyed with existing folding bikes because when they are small and light, they invariably have small wheels, and that severely limits what they can do. In an urban environment, there are gutters and steps and cracks in the pavement and obstacles that are a problem for small wheels ... and I also wanted the speed and practicality of a large wheel." Andrea Mocellin, Revolve-Wheel
"I many times got really annoyed with existing folding bikes because when they are small and light, they invariably have small wheels, and that severely limits what they can do. In an urban environment, there are gutters and steps and cracks in the pavement and obstacles that are a problem for small wheels ... and I also wanted the speed and practicality of a large wheel." Andrea Mocellin, Revolve-Wheel

The stability of a 26-inch wheel

"I many times got really annoyed with existing folding bikes because when they are small and light, they invariably have small wheels, and that severely limits what they can do. In an urban environment, there are gutters and steps and cracks in the pavement and obstacles that are a problem for small wheels ... and I also wanted the speed and practicality of a large wheel.

"It might still be possible to ride a folding bike with small wheels, but the feel of the bike is the key to whether the customer is happy, and that's the most important thing.

"If you want to do sports riding, or off-road riding, you need to have larger wheels. If you have large wheels, you can basically have a racing bicycle that can be stored in hand luggage on an airplane.

"The airless tires we use are very practical and entirely comfortable in every condition and we are by no means limited in any way in the tire of tread that can be used. It's very easy to use different tread patterns on these wheels that are suited for different surfaces."

The road to commercialization

When we spoke to Andrea Mocellin earlier this week he had just announced his breakthrough product, and the first question we asked was what the immediate future looked like in terms of collaboration and availability of prototype wheels for other manufacturers.

"The wheel is patented and it is production-ready, so the immediate aim is now to find investors to take this through to the next stage of manufacturing.

"In the beginning, I anticipate that we will sell just the wheel, so that it can be used by other companies in their designs for folding vehicles.

"I am entirely independent at this stage and I've spent three years working in secrecy to bring the product to this point ... so my next month is about explaining to the world what is now possible with folding vehicles and we shall see how things evolve from there."

"I expect the most important market segment initially will be for wheelchairs. People with disabilities who wish to travel have no choice - they must take their wheelchair with them, and traveling with a wheelchair is very difficult, be it on an aircraft, or in a car, on the underground, anywhere." Andrea Mocellin
"I expect the most important market segment initially will be for wheelchairs. People with disabilities who wish to travel have no choice - they must take their wheelchair with them, and traveling with a wheelchair is very difficult, be it on an aircraft, or in a car, on the underground, anywhere." Andrea Mocellin

"I expect the most important market segment initially will be for wheelchairs. People with disabilities who wish to travel have no choice – they must take their wheelchair with them, and traveling with a wheelchair is very difficult, be it on an aircraft, or in a car, on the underground, anywhere.

"Helping people with disabilities to have an easier life is one of the key goals of the project, and I expect that once the inventors of the world have seen the components I have developed, there will be some ingenious solutions developed in short order."

Andrea Mocellin expects his conceptual Revolve folding bike, with 26-inch wheels, will fold to much smaller than any existing folding bike with 16-inch wheels. The key aspects of the bike are:  1 - a large inbuilt storage space, 2 - the multitasking design 3 - the inbuilt rotational elements and 4 - the universal hub
Andrea Mocellin expects his conceptual Revolve folding bike, with 26-inch wheels, will fold to much smaller than any existing folding bike with 16-inch wheels. The key aspects of the bike are:  1 - a large inbuilt storage space, 2 - the multitasking design 3 - the inbuilt rotational elements and 4 - the universal hub

"At the same time, I want to develop the foldable bicycle to the next stage. At first, my goal was to develop the wheel to the point where it worked perfectly, and now I have a final prototype that works, my next stage is to develop the folding bicycle to work just as well as the wheel."

Behind REVOLVE | the wheel in a new form | Andrea Mocellin

So what's the big plan?

"Quite clearly there are many different ways in which the folding wheel can be used, and folding bicycles and folding wheelchairs are just the low hanging fruit. Wheeled drones that need to be transported in a compact state are another marketplace with great potential and ... now that wheels can be folded, people will find uses for them.

"I think the primary aim, in the broadest sense, is for Revolve's wheels to become a signature product for global travelers. To see our distinctive form factor used on the highest quality travel products."

Source: Revolve-Wheel.com

16 comments
Bob Stuart
I would rather see a successful non-folding airless tire before trying this route. Perhaps it needs sew-up tires.
randy
Bob is exactly right. This wheel probably has immediate opportunities in the wheel chair business, as various airless tires are acceptable for wheel chairs. The bicycle industry has failed to embrace plastic tires and foam tubes as solutions though many have been offered. Each has suffered from various problems such as flatting in hot weather, broken beads, etc. The wheel can only be a game changer for folding bikes if the tire issue is overcome.
CharlieSeattle
US Army Airborne and Rangers can use this to make a folding trail bike.
Maximilian
How it looks when it's folded is largely irrelevent. What matters is the volume it takes up, and the shape of the envelope. The folded wheel seems actually to take up a larger volume than the deployed wheel. Why on earth is he filmed carrying a single wheel onto a train? What possible use is a single wheel? Why does he have one sitting like an artwork on his table? Did he clean the dog poop off the tire first? As Bob Stuart's comment implies the real challenge with folding large wheels is the tire. No mention of any innovation or development in that regard from this designer. I was excited to read this headline, and hope to see a folding large wheel breakthrough in the future but sadly I think this one falls short. Maybe a job for an engineer rather than a designer?
Nik
A touch of genius! However, how the folding mechanisms will stand up the the water, mud and grime from road use, or off road use, will be the real test of its worth. There's a long road from invention, to acceptance, manufacture, and sales, especially in Europe, also, a patent is only as good as the money in hand to protect it, as many inventors have found. Good luck with it, whatever.
Buellrider
That's using his noggin for sure. Not sure what the video was trying to convey with him just carrying around 1 wheel. I'd have been really impressed if that was the entire bike he was toting, but alas it was just a wheel.
Bruce H. Anderson
I have the same concerns as Maximilian. It looks like it changes shape from a pancake to a keg. I wonder about the amount of real space saved. A wheelchair is made to fold and as a result gets pretty skinny. That won't happen with two kegs attached, unless they are detached first. I believe a bike would need to detach the kegs..er...wheels as well for transport. While this is an interesting design, much like a Hoberman sphere it doesn't seem too practical other than as a conversation piece.
Fairly Reasoner
Invention, or reinvention?
K...
DID I MISS SOMETHING ??? I don't recall seeing it actually open & close... Do you ? closed yes / open yes - in process of opening & closing ? did I blink ? Something ain't kosher !
HenryBowman
Yes, K., you missed the video, which is the only place the wheel is ever shown in transition and then only twice, very quickly. It seems apparent that this wheel only transforms after it is detached from its bike or wheelchair or whatever, which causes his claim that this product will be attractive to people who don't want to store "ugly" bikes in their apartments a bit problematic -- do people really want to assemble and disassemble their bikes or wheelchairs just to be able to transform a wheel into a slightly more awkward keg? This seems to be an engineering solution looking for a problem.