The Copenhagen Wheel

15 Jan 2014
  • posted by Veerle Pieters

You are probably thinking what has Copenhagen in common with a wheel. Well for starters it isn't something from Denmark but from the United States. The wheel got its name because Copenhagen is famous for all its cyclists and being so bicycle friendly. Discover what the Copenhagen Wheel is exactly after the jump.

Copenhagen wheel bicycle

Copenhagen Wheel, a smart hybrid

The Copenhagen Wheel is what you would call a "smart" wheel unit that can be attached to almost any bicycle transforming that bicycle into an electric hybrid that delivers power when you decide that you need it. It's called a "smart" wheel because it doesn't power up continually. There are 12 sensors embedded in the red casing that track your speed, incline, pedal-pushing power etc in order to calculate when you need the power the most. Basically the Copenhagen 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. This way the 5.9kg pack saves energy, while also recharging each time you break.

We wanted something lightweight, that looks great and is seamless to use -- it feels like any bike you've ridden. For the millions of city residents who are tired of sitting in traffic jams or long waits for the bus or train, the Copenhagen Wheel provides an easier, more environmentally friendly way to get around using the bike that’s already sitting in their garage or front hall.

 — Superpedestrian founder Assaf Biderman

Connects with your phone

The Copenhagen Wheel uses Bluetooth 4.0 to send all the sensor data to your iOS or Android powered phone. The Wheel also features an intelligent locking system that locks the bike when the rider walks away and unlocks it upon return just by the presence of your phone. The app will give you distance travelled, calories burned and elevation gain and even compare and share those stats with friends. By using your smartphone you also have control over the level of powered assist. Superpedestrian is also releasing a developer's kit and API in the hope of building a whole ecosystem of apps around the product.

Specifications
  • Price: Starting at $699.00
  • Speed: 20 mph/32 kmph
  • Range: 30 miles/48 kilometers
  • Weight: 13 lbs/5.9 kg
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable lithium Ion, 1000 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

My thoughts

It's not something I would use personally as I have different goals and I like that I have to work to get my fitness level up. However I think this Copenhagen Wheel has potential because it fits in almost every bicycle and it helps if you have a daily commute and there isn't a shower where you work. The Copenhagen Wheel could be just the thing that convinces more people to use their bicycle for their daily commute. I also like that it is an assist and not an electric bike. Depending on what bike you put in the weight is still a bit on the high side and an area for improvement.