The Zimbabwe Wheel

July 18, 2011


In 1988, Co-Founder Ralf Hotchkiss was in a bustling Zimbabwe outdoor market when two boys caught his attention. The two boys were pushing a two-wheeled cart whose wheels were unlike any wheels Ralf had ever seen before.  The wheels were extremely wide and flexible, allowing easy movement over the most uneven of roads.

Originally, the Zimbabwe wheel was manufactured with a large steel inner wheel wrapped in flexible rubber.  Whirlwind redesigned it to be made entirely of rubber, molded over a common bicycle hub, to provide better shock absorption.  Because the hub of the Whirlwind Zimbabwe Wheel uses bicycle bearings, it can be easily repaired throughout the developing world.

Now, after many trials and testings, the Zimbabwe wheel has become an easily repairable, lightweight and durable castor wheel unlike any other on the market.