New Electric Wheel Could Expand Bike Commuting

Now that the invisible bike helmet has arrived, among the remaining things that stand between commuters and bikes is the inevitable sweatiness that comes from pedaling your way to work or school. No one wants to start their day sticky and stinky. But traditional electric bikes... well, they kind of miss the point of biking. That is until now.

With only 11 days to go on their Kickstarter drive, the team behind the FlyKly Smart Wheel has blown way past their initial $100,000 goal and have almost reached their wildest dreams of $500,000. This little gizmo is a lightweight, all-in-one, pedal-assisted wheel that fits on almost any bike frame. Inside the casing is an ultra-thin electric motor -- with speeds up to 20 miles per hour! -- that is activated by the pedals and a battery bank -- with ranges up to 30 miles on a single charge! -- that gets recharged when coasting or by plugging it in for a couple of hours.

And for the über-techies among us, the wheel is controlled via a mobile app that allows you to set your desired speed, to lock the wheel when the bike is parked, and to track a stolen ride. The app will even send a notification if the bike is going somewhere without its rider or if the wheel needs a check-up.

One concern is that the power-assist wheel, if widely adopted, may reduce the potential health benefits of bike commuting. The price may work against that. However, the wheel plus bike combination is a much more cost-effective option than car ownership, so could expand bike commuting from that population in addition to people who, for health and other reasons, need a power assist. Check out the specs and video below for more information.

Tech specs

Weight: 9 lbs / 4 kg

Range: 30 miles / 50 km

Speed: 20 mph / 25 km/h

Motor: 250 watts

Battery: 36V Lithium

Charge: 2 - 3 hours

Sizes: 26” or 29”

Colors: white, black, grey, blue, red, green, yellow, pink

Lifespan: 1,000 cycles (that's nearly three years of daily use)

FlyKly App: iOS, Android, Pebble Watch compatible

Price: $590

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