• Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
  • Image Credit: Superpedestrian
Do you love bicycling, but hate hills and headwinds? Like the idea of an electric bike but don't want to shell out several grand? Intrigued by the idea of converting your current bike, but lack technical ability and/or don't like the look of battery bags and wires run amock. Check this out.

The Copenhagen Wheel from Superpedestrian is a simple, easy way to keep the road from rising too steeply and the keeping the wind always at your back. We were telling you about it (and its FlyKly competitor) just a little while back. Basically, it has a battery, motor, and other bits all contained within a large but sleek hub. It helps you pedal up to 20 miles per hour and can assist your efforts for about 31 miles. The removable 48-volt battery charges up in four hours from empty and is said to retain about 70 percent of original capacity after 1,000 cycles (spare and replacement batteries are also available).

Weighing in at a modest 13 pounds, the Copenhagen wheel can initially only be used with a "single speed freewheel and 9 and 10 speeds cassette," with other options coming eventually. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the app allows you to select from different power modes and lock your wheel, among other things.

The big news now, however, is that it's finally on sale. And by that, we mean pre-orders are now being accepted and the first 1,000 early adopters will receive a $100-discount off the eventual $799 price. Due for delivery in this spring, we can't wait to see how this works in the real world. For now, though, we'll have to content ourselves with the lovely images in the gallery above and the moving pictures in the promotional footage below. More info is available at the company's website.



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  • 15 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      Good concept but perhaps a bit too easy to steal? Suggestion: include some kind of lockable nut for the connection with the frame.
      RC
      • 3 Months Ago
      I like it. It is a very sleek solution to retrofit existing bikes. I think it would look great on a vintage cruiser. Plus an app like "highlight" could really make the social interactivity a lot of fun.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Does this have gears built in or can you get a version with a freewheel. For a very hilly area like San Francisco I would think some lower gears would be nice.
        • 3 Months Ago
        From what I've been able to gather, Leo (observing two different cutaway illustrations made several years apart and slightly contradicting each other on certain details,) there is a small geared hub (3 speed?) inside. One assumes that it's shifted solely by computer input and not manually. It looks like the first production iteration of the Copenhagen Wheel (ie: red only, ordered now and shipped early next spring) has only a single sprocket, yet factory published specs indicates that it requires a 135mm dropout spacing. Later versions purportedly will make provisions for a multi-sprocket cassette (manual shifting on top of whatever the computer controlled internal geared hub is doing.) This makes me wonder if they are going to have to slim down the current version of the wheel to make that accommodate and if dishing is also going to have to be configured into the wheel build to compensate for that cassette width on the drive side. Superpedestrian also claims that accommodations are due to be made for an eventual disc brake installation on the non-drive side. So, this makes me think that the v.2 production version of this thing is going to be 120mm wide (ready to install in any number of single speed street bikes) and can be "fattened up" with a disc brake rotor and cassette on either side for a 135mm fit. So many questions that will hopefully be answered when production versions of this thing start showing up . . .
      kenc29
      • 3 Months Ago
      Are you sure that's called the Copenhagen Wheel, because I'm thinking Japan Wheel makes more sense.
      • 3 Months Ago
      That's too much money when you can buy an electric scooter for that price. The pricepoint should be around $299-350.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Not quite sure, Eva, which particular electric scooter you're thinking of. Something new with a warranty? I see the lower end Chinese geared hubs (ie: the ones that strip their plastic internals if you run them too hard) built into a spoked rim for around $200. Then there are the controllers and throttle parts. Sometimes those things are included with the hub, but there are often other dootdats that need to be purchased. Figure about $50 to $75 for those miscellaneous parts. And then there's the battery. Unless you want to cart around heavy lead acid ones, you'll want to get an assembled pack made with decent quality lithium cells and matching BMS card. That alone will be a couple hundred dollars. The charger is typically not included, so add another $75 or so for that. So, you're probably going to have about $500 to $600 wrapped up in a project like this and then have to figure out how to mount the extra boxes and wires onto your existing bike. Not sure if you have the requisite skills to hook it up and troubleshoot everything on your own, but these ebike installations are usually one-offs, with each one having their own peculiarities. The controller or hub imported from that Chinese vendor may be long gone a year later, when something breaks. Then you've got to cabbage together something similar and hope it will work with the stuff that's already bolted onto your bike. Contrast this with the Copenhagen wheel, which pretty much slides into the dropouts and away you go. Granted, some installations are going to require more work than others (I wonder how many single speed bike owners who are eying this thing realize that it requires a 135mm spread and their bikes are only 120mm wide back there,) but you've essentially got something that slides in and out in a minute or less. It's a system that is designed from the beginning to work together . . . not a collection of disparate parts that you hope will function as a whole. We'll see just how well and how reliably in a few months, when they start shipping and customers start riding. But I'm not balking at the $700 to $800 price. If it all works as advertised, that's a bargain!
      2 wheeled menace
      • 3 Months Ago
      Very interesting.. not my bag of tea, but i'm hoping that this company doesn't get murdered in court for patent violation anyway.. We need more of this stuff. This all inclusive wheel for cheap isn't the best design, but it gets people into ebikes easily and cheaply, so it earns my thumbs up anyway.
        EZEE2
        • 3 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I always defer to your judgement on all things 2wheeled....
      • 3 Months Ago
      Very cool but to expensive for Africa. After exchange rate, transport and import duties you still need to buy a bicycle. Like someone said a Chinese motorbike will work out cheaper but I repeat, very cool idea. If cheaper it can give a lot of people economical freedom. You see in South Africa, due to our past our cities are diffentently designed. Our "poor" people stay on the outskirts and need to travel long distances to work. This could have been the answer.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Will it operate with its own software assist program or is smartphone mandatory? Does phone have to be on the internet or connected with wifi to work? I see 699 price all over but when I try and submit an order it defaults to 799.00 Any comment on whether to use smaller bike wheel or larger 27 inch wheel? Joe
      • 3 Months Ago
      I really like the idea of this thing and heard about development of something like it (the GreenWheel) coming out of MIT since around 2009. You could easily spend about the same amount of money that the Copenhagen Wheel would cost you on a no-name Chinese hub with "matching" controller, batteries and the like, hopefully coming up with something satisfactory or (more likely, I'm afraid) a mish-mash of stuff that MIGHT not do the job. Either way, the installation would never be as clean as what you've got going on here, with a single wheel that does it all. While some will oogle over the smart phone inter-connectivity, I'm glad to find out (read through the FAQs on the Superpedestrian web site) that the Wheel can function autonomously, albeit with some concessions concerning electronic fine tuning and customization. A smart phone or tablet is also probably needed to lock the wheel (a neat feature,) so it might be worth finally upgrading my old flip phone for that alone. From what I gather by emailing the developers, they are still in the process of selecting the specific battery type that will be in the production Wheel (remember that orders made now don't ship until the end of the first quarter of 2014.) This battery choice could be critical depending upon the climate it's expected to operate within. The hot desert, where I live, is rather unforgiving on certain types of lithium cell formulas and, with the controller and all the other brains along with the batteries hermetically sealed and unvented inside, heat could be a serious issue for this thing. I also saw a critical comment on another blog regarding the rather unconventional V-shaped spoke looped-around-the hub arrangement, with the poster stating it would be very hard to tension and true the rim with a system like this. I'd be curious to hear from a professional bike mechanic who has some wheel lacing experience under their belt regarding this. Rumor has it that the developer of the competing FlyKly was on the same original MIT team as the Superpedestrian folks, but struck out on his own. One might expect legal sparks to fly between these two entities eventually. The FlyKy is less pricy but doesn't look as refined (especially the photo of the battery installation I saw on the Endless Sphere forum.) All in all, I'd like to read an independent review from someone who makes a purchase and puts the Wheel to use in the real world. If it works as well as its advertised, it's certainly on my short list. Other colors (not red) are also, apparently, forthcoming.
        denverdave
        • 3 Months Ago
        Sorry ……meant to up vote you.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 3 Months Ago
        proprietary spokes are a bad idea.. it is definitely less hassle in the future to go with regular ones. Even short straight spokes can be strong. I know from experience; i've had 20 inch hub motor wheels built and they were solid, with this then 270lb rider dumping 6-8kW into them and doing almost 50mph with no suspension.
      Pinhead
      • 1 Month Ago

      What is the discount code?

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