MIT designed Copenhagen Wheel wasn't just a crazy ideal that never sees the production line. It is now available for everyone who's willing to spend $699 for one of the most revolutionary technology coming ordinary bicycles which have not changed much for an eternity.
Superpedestrian today announced the first commercial release of the Copenhagen Wheel, a self-contained unit that snaps easily onto the back of any ordinary bicycle and turns it into an electric hybrid. With extra power at the riders' feet, regenerative braking and advanced control systems, the wheel promotes cycling so that long distances or steep up-hills are no longer a barrier to a comfortable ride. The Copenhagen Wheel is available for sale starting today at Superpedestrian.com.
Four years ago, researchers at MIT unveiled a self-contained electric bike conversion kit called the Copenhagen Wheel, which can turn almost any bicycle into an impressive e-bike. After four years, a spinoff company called Superpedestrian has licensed the technology is bringing the Copenhagen Wheel to market for $699.
Using a 350W motor and a 48 volt lithium-ion battery, the Copenhagen Wheel captures braking energy and then dolls it out based on need. At maximum output it can help propel a biker to speeds of up to 20 mph, though it is most useful when tackling a long or steep hill. A special app not only allows users to adjust when the wheel kicks in, but also locks the bike’s wheel in place until the user comes in range via a Bluetooth connection.
The whole thing is basically connected to a smartphone, giving the rider a chance to connect other software apps, and track their rides.
“For example, we have a mode which is called `Flatten My City.’ So it recognizes when a hill comes, and makes it feel almost like before you went on that hill” by kicking in an electric motor boost, Biderman says. “And when you ride downhill, it makes it also feel almost like it is to ride on a plane—charging your batteries at the same time. So you can think about it as leaving topography for the motor.”
If "Smart Wheel" turns out to be durable product which lives up to its claims without major issues, it will surely revolutionized commuting in many cities around the world.