MIT's Copenhagen Wheel Makes Bicycles Electric, Goes Up For Pre-Order

A near handful of years ago, some students from MIT revealed a bicycle attachment that converts a bike into a hybrid with electric rear-wheel power, something that is now known as the Copenhagen Wheel. The idea behind the contraption is simple — it attaches to the rear wheel of a bicycle and utilizes one's own biking efforts to provide assistance on tough terrain.

The Copenhagen Wheel works with regenerative braking technology, which utilizes energy from both braking and riding downhill to charge its integrated lithium-ion battery pack. This charge is then used to boost the bicycle's pedal based on the effort the cyclist is having to put into pedaling, meaning it'll chip in when you find yourself climbing a steep hill or similar terrain.

Though the entire wheel is automated so that it contributes when it detects that such assistance is necessary, the cyclist can adjust the degree of assistance provided using a smartphone app, which can also be used to lock and unlock the wheel, track usage statistics, calories burned, elevation, and all sorts of fitness-related things. The wheel offers its own wireless connectivity, so there's no hassle with connecting to the unit.

The Wheel has been produced by the folks at Superpedestrian, which scored an exclusive license from MIT. The wheel is said to be hand-crafted, and is presently available as a limited-edition pre-order for $699 USD. The price is available only for the first 1000 orders, which will begin shipping in spring of next year. Once the first 1000 are sold, the price increases to $799 USD.

SOURCE: Digital Trends