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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-04-10, 07:59 AM   #1
donrhummy
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The Copenhagen Wheel

Very cool idea. Turns your bike into electric-assist, but without any external charging, ever. Instead it uses the energy from braking (not sure how) stored up to give electric assist. But it also does more than that. It works with a smartphone to help you find great routes for bikers, store and share your ride data and more. Pretty cool.

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Proje...d=1&Winindex=3
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Old 08-04-10, 10:26 AM   #2
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It looks good, but I'd have to test ride it before paying $600. They talk more about the software--location sensing, route sharing, road condition information--than they talk about the actual mechanics--how well (or even how) the wheel provides an assist to riding.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:55 PM   #3
gerv 
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Its sleek red hub not only contains a motor, batteries and an internal gear system – helping cyclists overcome hilly terrains and long distances - but also includes environmental and location sensors that provide data for cycling-related mobile applications.
It's an electric bike with a connection to your iPhone. Hope you have a good data plan!

I'd be interested to see its output and to know its weight.

I probably don't need this. As my wife recently pointed out to me, it's all downhill from here.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:28 PM   #4
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My impression is that it was developed primarily to generate publicity through press releases and never seriously as a marketable product. The idea of reusing energy derived from braking sounds nice, but a major problem is that most cyclists quickly adopt a style of riding where there is very little energy ever lost to braking and therefore even less that can be recovered. Riding in a city with traffic lights I tend to look ahead and anticipate when the light will change. Then I adjust my speed so that I can either make it through on the green or at least have lost most of my speed by coasting before I have to stop at a red. Except for pretty rare times when I mistime the light there isn't much energy that went into the brakes. In hilly terrain there might be more potential for gains, but only if the downhill is either really steep or the cyclist is willing to descend quite slowly. Granted, I do use my brakes some on hilly descents, but most of my potential energy is used to go downhill as fast as possible and is therefore lost to air resistance. Don't know that I'd be willing to putz along slowly on the downhill just so some of the energy could be used to charge up a battery (with some efficiency loss) and then used to power a motor on the next uphill (again with some efficiency loss).
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