Okay, it may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but this ground breaking invention may be about to revolutionise commuter cycling forever.
Essentially, it’s an electronic rear wheel with speeds of up to 20 miles per hour that can last for up to 30 miles on a single charge.
It fits into almost any bike, meaning to have an electric bike you don’t have to splash out on one; you can simply buy this new wheel and slot it into your existing mount.
While those who cycle for fitness or racing would baulk at the idea of any assistance to get from A to B, this handy new invention will hugely extend the range of commuting to and from work by bike for cyclists who don’t get lots of training miles in.
It also has the benefit of not making the rider sweat, with the rear wheel doing most of the work.
And in increasingly car-choked cities where the distance to one’s work place and the fear of sweating deter a lot of would-be cyclists, this baby would appear to solve those key problems.
It also comes with a number of nifty components based on the old-style dynamo device that allow cyclists charge their phone as they ride and power lights on the bike.
A smart phone can also be used to set the desired top speed the wheel will reach, once the relevant app has been downloaded. The rider starts the wheel by pushing the pedals and the mechanism inside the wheel then kicks into action. It stops when the rider brings the bike to a stop.
It recharges itself when the rider is going downhill and the pressure is taken off the wheel to push the bike and rider.
It can be fully recharged from a wall socket in two to three hours and is even fitted with a device that prevents the wheel from turning in the event the bike is stolen.
And even if it is nicked, a tracker in the wheel enables the owner track the bike on their phone app and even sends the owner a message to tell them the bike is on the move without them.
The app also warns the owner if the wheel is beginning to experience any problems; an early warning that the wheel may need attention.
The FlyKly Smart Wheel has been launched by a team of designers and entrepreneurs based in New York, with the team currently raising funds to bring their prototypes to full production.
They say they want to make cities people-friendly and move away from car culture.
The team is currently raising funds via the kickstarter site, with $216,000 pledged by 756 backers, despite having 25 days remaining in the funding period at the time of writing.
Those behind the project had only been seeking $100,000 to bring the project to the stage by spring of next year of shipping out pre-ordered wheels to their new owners.
It weighs 4kg, generates 250 watts and is currently being offered for sale from $550. It will last for 1,000 charges; almost three years if you used it every day.
Smart Wheel comes in different sizes (26” or 29” wheel rim) and in eight different colours (white, black, grey, blue, red, green, yellow, pink).
It’s iOS, Android and Pebble Watch compatible. It works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 3rd, 4th gen, iPod touch 5th gen and iPad mini. Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4. Pebble Watch.
Have a look at the video above and photos below and see what you think. It’s brilliant!
A sticky pad on the Smart Light tightly holds your smartphone in place. Additional safety straps work as an extra measure for rockier terrains or faster bikers.
Smart Light connects to a dynamo generator. You simply connect your smartphone to the USB port and while you’re enjoying the ride your phone quickly recharges.
As the Smart Light name suggests, the dynamo also gives out just enough electricity to power a bright LED bulb which leads the way and never leaves you in the dark.
Locking and Tracking
You can lock the Smart Wheel with a simple touch of a button on your app. In case your bike gets stolen it can quickly be located and tracked via GPS.