Reinventing the (Electric) Wheel

We’re not going to pretend there aren’t a heck of a lot of reasons some of our urban centres are difficult to bike in. You have limited bike lanes, angry drivers, and a little thing we like to call winter. But when it comes down to it, the thing that stops us the most when it comes time to cycle across the city is sweat. We’re not talking about avoiding a workout; we just don’t want to show up at work having to take a shower in the sink. Back sweat, butt sweat, leg sweat – you name it, and a swift peddle or two can cause it. Luckily, that could all be about to change thanks to a crew of savvy young designers and entrepreneurs in New York.

The FlyKly Smart Wheel is real. It may not be in production yet, but the prototype has been made and it could offer a complete revolution in the way we view city cycling. The Smart Wheel is made to fit any bike. Just replace your rear wheel with this baby and you’ll soon be hitting speeds of up to 32 km/hr for commutes as far as 50km on a single charge. Like we said, this isn’t about the workout, it’s about getting help when you need it. You can still cruise along au natural as long as you want, but the next time you come to a hill the Smart Wheel will have your back. Want to wake yourself up with a ride to work in the morning but find you’re too tried at the end of the day to cycle back? No problem, the Smart Wheel will take you home (as long as you stay awake long enough to steer).

It’s not just called the Smart Wheel by accident, though. This baby also comes with some technological toys that make your ride even easier. Download the wheel’s app onto your smartphone and you’ll be able to set the top speed on your tire – simply start peddling and the wheel will kick in; stop, and it’ll stop too. This smartypants will even re-charge itself should you find yourself gliding downhill and if not, it only requires a couple of hours at a wall socket to be back up and running. If someone tries to steal your bike, the wheel will lock up. If the thief is persistent and takes your bike anyway, you’ll get a message from your app telling you your bike is on the move without you – tracking it by GPS. Also included with purchase is a sticky pad that’ll keep your phone in place, a dynamo generator that’ll charge your phone while you ride, and an LED bike light that’s powered by the Smart Wheel. As if this wasn’t enough, the app will also warn you if the wheel is starting to develop any issues so you can get it checked out right away.

The Smart Wheel comes in eight different colours, two different sizes, and basically works with any smartphone made this decade. If you still haven’t heard enough, check out this cool video for more info.

Note: We apologize if we missed the opportunity for a pretty decent free-of-charge joke somewhere in there, but we’ve been really busy giving our current rear wheel the stink eye.