With the rise in ebike popularity the technology is advancing pretty fast now, with developments in all methods of motorisation. We have automatic assist drive boxes that replace bottom brackets and bolt into specifically designed frames, in frame motors used to retrofit into the seat tube driving the bottom bracket spindle(and maybe ‘motor dope’), and diy kits to modernise the old mainly via in wheel motors. The latter being something I have been looking into for a little while now, with a cargo bike on the horizon I wanted to make it super easy to ride for both Charlie and I. Yes I know you can buy cargo bikes with motors already installed but at the £2000 plus mark, it’s a lot to shell out for!
There’s a couple of ways of motorising a bicycle both out of the factory and by retrofitting. These are 1. In wheel motors and 2. Bottom bracket assist.
Having ridden both types my preference is the bottom bracket pedal assist. My reason for this? It rides like a normal bike. It essentially magnifies the effort put in by your legs rather than taking the effort away from the crank as in a wheel motor system. Both of the above types can be fitted either as a bike designed to accept all the kit, or a bulky and slightly messy retrofit.
That was until Superpedestrian came up with a really novel implementation of the ebike upgrade. The Copenhagen Wheel.
This wheel changes it all, well if what Superpedestrian are saying on their website is true. It’s a fuss free upgrade to nearly any 700c or 26″ wheeled bike, geared or singlespeed.
First thing you notice about the wheel is (bar that giant red hub) that all the motor, batteries, and controls are encapsulated inside the housing. It may not be the most attractive thing but think about it, that’s a complete ebike upgrade fitted in the time it takes to change a tyre and cassette/freewheel over.
The wheel is controlled and set up by smartphone, with different levels of assist available depending on personal preference. There’s also an intuitive feature that adjusts the assist as you ride giving more help on the hills.
The Copenhagen Wheel has a range of up to 30 miles which is perfect for most commutes, and you simply just plug it in when you get home.
Some of the built in features are really impressive as well: the wheel automatically updates its software over the internet, it protects itself from damage by monitoring riding conditions, has backpedal braking assistance via the motors magnets, locks itself without your smartphone present, and can give full feedback on your ride including power data!
This is a really exciting piece of kit that would modernise many many bikes. It’s available to fit up to 10 speed bikes with an OLD of both 120 and 135 mm.
I think this wheel is a really versatile piece of kit and, yes the hub isn’t the prettiest thing in the world but, the looks are far outweighed by the functionality. It may also not be my preferred method of motorising a bike but the sheer simplicity outweighs the bulky and ugly looking retrofit bottom bracket assist setups. I’m sure with a couple of years the tech will improve even further reducing the size of the hub and increasing the range.
Check out the Copenhagen Wheel HERE
Now all I need to do is get one shipped here! Or maybe ask my family in the states nicely………