Superpedestrian came out with the Copenhagen Wheel a few years ago and has continued to maintain and grow their wheel technology. The Copenhagen Wheel is an electric assist wheel that turns an acoustic bike into an electric bike. There is no throttle. The wheel feels the force of pedaling and kicks in based on the speed it’s been set to.
The Copenhagen Wheel is compatible with 26″ and 700c rim brake bikes, with either a single or 7/8/9/10-gear Shimano or SRAM geared hub. Installation is fairly simple. You remove the acoustic rear wheel and mount the electric wheel, the one task involved that may involve some help from a friend or a local shop is chain tension.
Once the wheel is mounted, you install the accompanying phone app. The Copenhagen Wheel then connects to your phone via Bluetooth and you set up an account. There are four different speed modes within the app; Eco, Standard, Turbo, and Off. The Turbo mode will allow a speed of up to 20 mph pretty easily and the Eco is best for saving battery power and providing just that little bit of extra oomph to get up hills.
The Copenhagen Wheel must have access to the phone app in order to operate. You turn a switch on the wheel itself, turn on your phone, open the app, log in and set your mode. The positive side of the wheel only being able to be used with the phone connection is it could be seen as an added security system. The wheel itself is about 16lbs and can prove difficult to ride if you’re not used to a sluggish rear end. The negative is if your phone dies, the wheel will not turn on. There is no emergency “on” switch on the wheel. Unfortunately, I found this hard truth out myself on one of my first rides. With half a phone battery charge remaining, I set off to the grocery store; the wheel and my obsessive digital couponing used the remainder of the battery. When I went out with an arm full of groceries and found my phone dead, it was a rough realization that I was going to be pedaling the grocery and wheel weight home. Live and learn, from then on I traveled with an emergency battery pack for my phone and I make sure my phone is fully charged before departure.