A new invention is going to help you, and the environment, while commuting to work. The FlyKly Smart Wheel is designed to be attached to any bicycle, automatically making it an electric bicycle, helping you cut down on smog that you would produce if you drove to work. With everyone looking to cut costs on their daily commute and find new ways to help the environment, the smart wheel promises to do it all.
The smart wheel is a motorized wheel that you attach to your bicycle. Niko Klansek of FlyKly said that their goal was to, “turn an ordinary bike into a smart bike.” With bicycle programs already in place in Los Angeles to decongest the streets, including Bike to Work Day, Klansek says they want, “to make cities more livable, and make them more people—not car—friendly.” Making the streets more livable will be no small task, as Los Angeles was ranked the No.1 most traffic-congested city this year, according to the TomTom Traffic Index.
The Smart Wheel’s funding came from a Kickstarter campaign, where it is described as a pedal assist that helps you to get to your destination faster without breaking a sweat. The funding goal was exceeded, with $701,239 being pledged out of the $100,000 goal.
To ensure that all energy is saved, the motor turns on when you begin to pedal and shuts off when you stop. The Smart Wheel can help you get to work faster, but it does have its limits. For instance, you can only travel up to 50 miles on a full charge; however, the wheel recharges as you travel downhill.
While the Smart Wheel is meant to help already active cyclists, maybe it will encourage a new group of people to take up cycling, even if it is just to save money on their commute. Riding your bike does more than just save you a few bucks here and there. The American Public Transportation Association reports that 88 percent of all commutes in the U.S. are made by a car, and transportation is responsible for more than 30 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. The number of people riding bikes has been increasing in the last few years, with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition reporting a 32% increase in cyclists from 2009-2011. Riding your bike helps reduce the amount of carbon dioxide put into the air and improves air quality for everyone, and the Smart Wheel is promising to make your ride to work faster and more pleasant.
The wheel can also be used to track your cycling habits and suggest new routes to take. While the price of the Smart Wheel is still to be determined, its inventors promise that it will be a considerable amount less than fully electric bicycles that can start off at $1,200 for a basic model.