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Friday Fun: Tempered Steel Wheels for a Good Cause

Ron Arad's tempered steel wheels give a surprisingly smooth ride the faster you go. Photo via Ron Arad.

Designer Ron Arad created a bike with sprung steel wheels as part of a collaborative fundraising effort with W Hotels in London and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. As part of the fundraising event, six top creative designers were invited to transform the distinctive blue “boris bikes,” named after the bike-enthusiast mayor of London, Boris Johnson, according to designboom.

To create his artwork and achieve the unique look of the wheels, Ron Arad relied on the naturally sprung properties of tempered steel, Co.Design explains. Bolted in tension, the spring properties of the tempered steel give the wheels a natural “softness,” the article adds.

The wheel is composed of 18 individual strips of steel, which are pinned at various points for tension. Marcus Hearst, director of the design department of Ron Arad’s studio, explains that the wheels give a surprisingly comfortable ride, especially the faster you go. Co.Design adds that the flexibility of the material, the “yield,” is what gives a slight cushion and makes the wheels work in a practical way.

This bike and others designed by artists like Paloma Faith, Natasha Law, Patrick Cox, Alice Temperley and Benedict Racliffe are up for auction to support the fundraiser. Guests of the W Hotel in London’s Leicester Square can take the Ron Arad version for a ride around the city.

To learn more about the other bikes click here.

Want one of them for yourself? Join the bid here.

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