The internet has been abuzz about 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 pitched as a “smart wheel,” first conceived at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Lab. The inventors then joined forces as Superpedestrian, exclusively licensing the technology from MIT and working to perfect a user experience that enables cyclists to ride practically anywhere with simplicity and ease.
The Wheel is ridden like a normal bicycle – users pedal and the motor phases in and out automatically. The Wheel learns about the rider and intuitively recognizes how hard he or she pedals and the topography ahead to determine how much support the rider may need. There aren’t any additional throttles, wires or buttons, maintaining the pure simplicity of cycling. The Wheel also features an intelligent locking system that locks the bike when the rider walks away and unlocks it upon return. Its rechargeable battery allows riders to easily remove the battery pack and carry it with them wherever they go.
By connecting to the rider’s smartphone, the Copenhagen Wheel can be customized to fit his or her needs. The Superpedestrian mobile app lets riders maintain a personal profile by tracking personal usage statistics such as distance travelled, calories burned and elevation gain – these stats can even be compared and shared with friends. It also brings together like-minded people, connecting them and paving the way for a social way to cycle.
- Price: Starting at $699
- Speed: 20 MPH/32 KMPH
- Range: 30 miles/48 kilometers
- Weight: Weight: 13 lbs/5.9 kg
- Battery Type: Rechargeable lithium Ion, 1,000 charge cycles
- Operating Voltage: 48V
- Motor Power: BLDC hub motor 250W, and 350W options
- Supported Wheel Sizes: 26” and 700C
- Supported Drive Train Options: Single-speed, multi-speed derailleur
- Brake Type: Rim Brakes, and Electronic Regenerative Back Pedal Braking