Yeah, it’s fair to say they kind of reinvented the wheel.
MIT has developed a self-charging, electric hybrid wheel capable of producing up to 250 watts of power which, when added to the 75 watts an average cyclist generates, means mountains become virtual molehills.
Dubbed the Copenhagen Wheel, after years of tweaking, testing and teasing to the public, it’s been licensed by Superpedestrian and is now finally available for pre-order. They’ve already received tens of thousands of inquiries, so don’t bother putting it on this year’s Christmas list.
The Copenhagen Wheel pairs with smartphones via an app, which then monitors the topography during one’s ride, say the daily route to work. The wheel can then be pre-program to kick in and help out at the most difficult intervals. The app also tracks data (distance, calories burned, elevation climbed) and, natch, can post this information on social media sites.
Unsurprisingly, the wheel is a hefty $700. Also, it weighs about 12 pounds. So, while you may not break a sweat while riding to work, carrying your bike up and down the stairs at your fourth floor walk-up in Brooklyn could get messy.