If you bike a lot, you notice three things a lot. The first is traffic. Cars go faster than you do, and you have to worry that one of them will give you a discrete bump as it whizzes by, sending you aloft. Second are hills. A few mild hills are ok. But those whoppers are deadly, especially when it is hot outside. The third is the weather. Rain especially can be a bummer.
The weather is less of a problem if you have good rain gear. But cars and hills? Forst those, an electric motor comes in very handy. And the geeks over at MIT have been working on a very cool electric motor that can be installed on any bike. It is called the Copenhagen Wheel and it looks like this
CityLab gives it a review, which is mainly positive.
Turbo mode could not have made me happier. I laughed out loud from the surprise of smoothly overtaking a car with speed and shouted calls of glee as I climbed a hill without any extra effort. The Copenhagen Wheel’s signature red hub might be ostentatious, but its power is discreet and makes no sound. It’s like being some sort of bike ninja.
There are a few downsides. And the alternatives — though not as cool — have some advantages (like battery swapping and mid-chassis construction). Also, it aint cheap.
But I want one.