Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MIT Copenhagen Wheel

Regenerative braking bicycle hub created by MIT people and introduced today in Copenhagen during the climate conference.

Gee whiz factor: Bluetooth to connect to iPhone app for speed, direction and trip distance.

More: MIT: Copenhagen Wheel.


Jennifer said...

Gee whiz, a special bike to go with the iPhone I don't have.

Doug said...

Yes, because fiddling with a goddamn iPhone while riding in traffic on a bicycle is a great idea.

Jennifer said...

Hey, motorists do it all the time. Can't be that hard!

My Garmin reminds me that I'm in no position to judge people who use mobile devices to plot bike routes, but it just seems weird to think of a bike with an onboard computer.

bikesgonewild said...

...ain't that the truth...but then again, i can remember way back in '03 when i didn't even have a cell phone...

Tony Bullard said...

It lost me at "green miles." Just more eco-marketing.

I wonder what the trade off is for the supposed "extra boost" you get. That wheel looks heavy.

Yokota Fritz said...

@Tony and putting the batteries inside that wheel doesn't seem too bright as well. But that's just me: I don't have an MIT education.

Ron said...


I can't stand myself for it, but I want one. I love the idea that I can recapture the energy I've generated by riding up a hill, instead of dissipating it by heating up my rims. It is such an elegant solution, avoiding the dirty necessity of plugging into the carbon-fueled grid which muddies the green of most e-bikes.

Plus, as I read it, you don't have to connect it to an iphone, which I don't ever plan to have, any more than you have to mount any other computer (gps, etc.) to your rig. I keep my bars free of any electronics besides lights, because when I'm riding I find most any information I can't glean by looking ahead to be extraneous.

I would also bet that while the batteries are in the hub, they're not part of the rotating mass--they're more likely fixed to the axle/armature. Even if they are spinning, at least they're close to the center, which minimizes the effect.

This is making me reconsider my mostly negative feelings about e-bikes. This could tip the scales toward riding on those rare ocassions when I choose to drive.

Happy Trails,
Ron Georg