By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Kickstarter can be an incredibly useful “green” tool, as the FlyKly Smart Wheel demonstrates.
Niko Klansek is the creator and leader of a Slovenian team of of engineers, designers, software developers and bicycle culture researchers who used the popular crowd-sourcing site to produce a sophisticated sustainable device that allows you to cycle through busy city streets in no time, with energy to spare.
FlyKly Smart Wheel is a pedal assist device that encases an ultra-thin electric motor and intelligent electronics that can be neatly fitted onto the spokes of a bicycle rim and helps use your bike more efficiently and comfortably for long distances. Fuelled by a lithium battery that can be charged within two or three hours, FlyKly allows to travel at a speed of 30 or 50 km/h.
Riding becomes so much easier with FlyKly, as the motor turns on when you start pedalling and begins accelerating to your desired speed. It’s perfectly safe since the motor stops when you stop, and is designed to fit any bicycle frame. It comes in different sizes and colours and the installation is incredibly easy, as there are no wires or other gadgets to install. All you have to do is remove your rear wheel, replace it with the Smart Wheel and you’re all set.
And even cooler: you can charge your phone whilst you bike! The Smart Wheel comes with the Smart Light, a device that holds your smartphone safely in place on the handlebar and connects it to a dynamo generator which works via Bluetooth and turns on when you start pedalling. You simply connect your smartphone to the USB port and while you’re enjoying the ride your phone quickly recharges. Smart Light also gives out just enough electricity to power a bright LED bulb which leads the way in the dark.
Smart Wheel is also equipped with a useful FlyKly App, designed for Android and iOS, that provides information on the route and speed of your cycling. The FlyKly App constantly monitors the Smart Wheel components and functionality: in case anything happens or goes wrong, the FlyKly team is ready to find a solution.
Furthermore, you may lock the Smart Wheel with a simple touch of a button on your App, and maybe best of all, if your bike gets stolen it can quickly be located and tracked via GPS. Besides dealing with technical issues, the App also enhances the “social” value of cycling philosophy.
The cycling community will certainly benefit from the Smart Wheel and its Smart Light and FlyKly App, but its benefits may even provide information for city officials to help them design better cycling infrastructure.
A very smart idea indeed.
For more info or to buy your own, click here.