Cyclists have always been keen on the latest technological advancements for their trusty pedal-powered steeds. From adopting carbon fiber early on, to more recent integrations of electronic shifting, cycle-tech continues to advance. Some recent high-end electric bikes are nothing short of feats of engineering, but they require riders to buy an entirely new bike—usually at a price-tag that dwarves the cost of most commuter bikes. Luckily, now there's the FlyKly Smart Wheel, which allows riders to easily convert their existing bike into an electric ride simply by changing the wheel. Launching today—16 October—on Kickstarter, the FlyKly system comes with a light that is charged by energy from the front wheel of the bike, and excess energy is used to charge your Smartphone. Coasting along at 20mph, riders won't even break a sweat during the daily commute.
The FlyKly operates via Bluetooth on an iOS, Android and Pebble Watch compatible app, which allows riders to set a maximum speed, track rides, lock the wheel from spinning an—in the unfortunate event of a theft—track its location. The FlyKly's user interface is seamless: Simply set a maximum electric speed and start pedaling. The electric motor kicks in then, and will accelerate the the desired speed—pedal faster and the max speed can be exceeded. If a rider starts coasting, the electric assistance shuts off automatically.
When testing the FlyKly, its acceleration was brisk but smooth, while deceleration feels just as natural and, at just nine pounds, the wheel is a considerably lighter alternative to other electric bikes on the market. One charge of the wheel lasts for 30 miles at 20mph—plenty of energy most round trip commutes. Simply, plug the wheel into a wall outlet for two to three hours for a full charge. Riding above the desired speed (and going downhill) also helps to charge the battery. In order to make urban cycling a safer activity, riders can opt to share their ride data, that FlyKly then shares with local governments to improve cycling infrastructure.
The FlyKly Smart Wheel, along with the self-charging light and charger, is available in multiple sizes to fit all bikes on Kickstarter for $590, but early adopters get a special deal for $550.
Images courtesy of FlyKly