Superpedestrian, the startup behind the innovative Copenhagen Wheel, has announced that the product has moved beyond the prototype phase and is available to purchase for the first time. Originally unveiled back in 2013, the device essentially has the ability to turn any traditional bike into an ebike, complete with pedal assist and a host of other features.
Designed as part of a joint project between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Lab and the famously bike-friendly city of Copenhagen, Denmark, the wheel features an onboard electric drive system powered by a 48-volt battery. Like most other ebikes, this gives cyclists the ability to quickly and easily reach speeds of up 20 mph with a range of as much as 30 miles before requiring a recharge.
Once mounted on a bike frame, the Copenhagen Wheel is capable of detecting even the slightest motion from the rider and enhances their pedaling power by as much as 10 times. That allows cyclists to ride faster, climb steeper grades, and cover longer distances with ease. And to enhance safety, Superpedestrian has given the commercial model the ability to self-diagnose any problems, alerting the rider if the wheel is malfunctioning in some way.
In addition to converting a normal bike into a pedal-assisted ebike, the Copenhagen Wheel has a few other tricks up its sleeve. It comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity that allows it to be paired with a smartphone to access some interesting new features, including giving riders the ability to lock the wheel to prevent theft. Later, when the bike’s owner returns, proximity sensors automatically detect the rider’s presence and unlock the wheel prior to the start of a new ride. A specially designed app for iOS and Android provides the ability to share the wheel with others, granting them permission to ride the bike.
That same app grants users access to the bike’s drive system, allowing them to set the level of boost they receive while out on a ride. Options include an “eco” mode for conserving battery life, a “turbo” mode for going faster, and an “exercise” mode that increases resistance to provide a better workout. The software will also track a cyclist’s rides, plotting their route on a map, and keeping track of metrics such as average speed, distance, duration, and more.
While the Copenhagen Wheel also comes with a couple of caveats. First, it’s heavy, tipping the scales at a whopping 16.8 pounds. That will essentially double the weight of many road bikes, although it is still considerably lighter than most other ebikes on the market.
The other caveat is the price. The Copenhagen Wheel alone costs $1,499, although Superpedestrian is also offering an option that includes a bike for $1,999. To help soften the blow some, the company is providing finance options that start at $95 per month for those who would rather pay it off over time.
The Copenhagen Wheel is available now. Find out more at superpedestrian.com.
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