CHANGING THE WAY WE BIKE TO WORK
We all know that getting people out of cars and onto bikes is good on so many levels. It reduces traffic congestion on the roads, cuts down on engine emissions, and helps people get active and moving. Biking to work has made a comeback in the United States over the past few years, but still faces some obstacles – namely, areas with rough and hilly terrain, which make biking to work less of a fun start to your morning and more of a sweat-covered endurance trial. FlyKly Bikes aims to change that.
The Smart Wheel is a motorized bike wheel that can replace the back wheel of almost any bike, transforming a standard bike into an electric bike, at a much lower cost. The wheel hub has a self-contained battery powered motor that can propel your bike at 20 miles per hour for up to 30 miles on a single charge. The battery uses kinetic energy to recharge as you travel downhill. The cyclist sets their top speed using their smartphone, which is mounted on the Smart Light – a combination phone holder, phone charger, and bicycle light. As they take over pedaling, the Smart Wheel adjusts its own speed to match. Meaning that, no matter the temperature and no matter the climb, the cyclist will end their ride feeling as fresh as when they started. As FlyKly puts it, “There’s no need to worry about what to wear to that business meeting of 8 o’clock date.”
FlyKly’s eventual goal is to create more livable cities. Their app has social integration built in, so people can share their favorite routes and advice with the cycling community as well as transportation planners who can use that information to design better infrastructure. The company ran a Kickstarter Campaign back in October, and asked for $100,000 to fund their first production run. They received $700,000 by the end of their fundraiser. They’ll be starting production shortly, and the first Smart Wheels will be shipped to the Backers in May of 2014. So keep an eye out – before you know it, you may be seeing the future of commuting!