Want to convert your bike to a hybrid e-bike at a very low cost? Check out Copenhagen Wheel. It is a MIT project that started in 2009. Superpedestrian bought over the license and further improved it. It is almost ready for shipping. Currently, you can get it as a early bird price of USD699 (excluding shipping).
The concept is very simple. The wheel acts as a power-assist when you are riding it. At the same time, it gathers information like tracking personal usage statistics including time, distance, calories burned, elevation climbed and more, all of which can be compared and shared with friends using the app (iOS and Android).
Not only that, the app can also lock/unlock the wheel. As you cycle, the wheel is able to capture energy when braking or going down hill that it stores in the integrated lithium battery pack. When you pedal harder, such as when going uphill, the wheel pushes with increasing power. Using your smartphone with the Superpedestrian app, you can vary the level of powered assist.
Here is the video.
Here is the Technical Specs:
- Motor: US: 350W / EU: 250W
- Size: 26″ or 700c rim
- Battery: Removable 48Volt Lithium
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Battery Life: 1000 cycles
- Smartphone: OS iOS, Android
- Charge Time: 4 hours
- Compatibility: Single Speed or 9/10 Speed Free Hub
- Top Speed: US: 20 mph, EU: 25 km/h
- Brake Type: Rim brake and regenerative braking (downhill and back-pedal)
- Range: Up to 50 km / 31 mi
- Weight: 5.9 kg / 13 lbs
- Dropout: 120 mm (single speed), 135 mm (single speed and multi-speed)
According to their FAQ, they might be developing more wheel sizes and accommodate disc brake in the future.