Copenhagen Wheel competing for Dyson Award

Written by tim


Looks like the Copenhagen Wheel Adam was so gaga about has topped the list of US regional entries, and will compete against 17 other inventions from around the world for the James Dyson Award of design.

The winner will be announced on August 24, but in the meantime, we can all enjoy the snappy marketing video above. At a retail price of $600, the Copenhagen Wheel may be priced low enough to make a big splash. MIT’s Senseable City Lab (the wheel’s designers) says to look for the wheel in stores by June 2011.

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  1. Michael L. Wright

    This is a classic example of taking a wonderful idea and over-engineering it into an anti-human absurdity. A rolling montoring station that I also need an expensive smartphone to even shift gears on? Give me a break. In fact, give me a simple, to-the-point energy storage device with a simple, fool-proof mechanical interface, and I’m in. And it won’t cost for or five times what the bicycle did.

  2. Tony Adams

    One fifth of $600 is $120. If that sounds like a low cost for a bike to anyone reading this, I’m currently riding a great riding and beautiful steel touring bike from the early eighties that cost me exactly $120 earlier this year.

  3. JT

    I also noticed the VERY environmentally UN-friendly phone. I guess that’s what all the green miles are for. I also wonder what the maintenance and up-keep for this thing are.

  4. 2wheelsgood

    As a daily bike commuter, I see this invention as more of a mental crutch (and potential status symbol for those who can afford it) than an actual useful tool.
    The gps-smart-integration with carbon credits, etc is nice info, but doesn’t require a heavy battery wheel motor to implement.
    Much more useful inventions to promote car-free culture are the cargo bikes and adaptations such as Yuba Mundo, Surly Big Dummy and Xtracycle, Bakfiets and others. These help eliminate car trips and answer the question “how can I carry it without a car”.

  5. R

    This seemed more like a video for iPhone and its capabilities than the bicycle. I also agree with contents in all three previous posts.

  6. Tim

    The fact that this design can be fitted to any bike is really the central strength – it converts your conventional bike (even the cargo bikes, where the utility I agree is very high) into an E-bike. I hope that electric assist would convert more people to bikers. The phone/GPS/information can certainly be thought of as a frilly add-on, especially to people who would bike anyways. I think this is best geared towards folks who wouldn’t otherwise consider bike commuting.

  7. Louise

    I love this bike! For those who spend a lot of time in hilly/mountainous cities and are either up in years and/or in poor physical shape, a bike like this is perfect. It can get non-riders to ride. It’s far more beautiful (yes-that matters to me) and a lot less clunky and more environmentally friendly than the electric bikes I’m seeing people ride. Having lived in a flat city and a mountainous city, I can tell you that hills are a major barrier to those who are not young or in good shape. Even in a flat city a bike like this would give the confidence needed to those who would like to bike but don’t because of physical reasons or to those who want to go longer distances but can’t. I think it’s a game changer. With all those compliments said, the smart phone feature offers some benefits, but they are not critical. Overall this bike or its emerging genre will help bring on the new age of bicycling.

  8. Chris

    This is wonderous in its stupity. $600 for something that uses another few hundred dollars worth of phone to work properly?! You have to be kidding me! Not to mention the expense of supporting some phone company that could care less about the environment!
    The only green of this device is the green going from one’s pocket to the people making it! No mention of how many joules of energy it will hold or produce on demand. No mention of how to dispose of it when it breaks or wears out, all things do.
    This sounds more like the shills for solar panels and other totally environmentally unfriendly items.

  9. Chris B

    Not to rain on your parade, but having cycled most of 60 years and seeing lots of ideas come and go, mostly go, I have to say if your central theme is to encourage people to ride bikes then dump the iPhone.
    All this comes across, as is a commercial for Steve Jobs! There are free to use and easy to use, GPS devices on the market, that work better than an iPhone to find where you are at. They also cost a great deal less than an iPhone. Not to mention, I do not need the government tracking me when I ride, it is none of their business, something that is easy for them to do with and iPhone attached.
    While the concept seems to have some merit, it comes across as one more Yuppie toy and that is not the way to encourage people to ride. Therefore, I sincerely suggest, dropping the iPhone part, unless they are paying you and you want your device married to something that is supportive of killing the environment. It really comes across as a contradiction of ideas!

  10. Tim

    Chris – I’m not sure where the iPhone hate comes from, but I think your point is well-taken: it’s too bad that the wheel would require another, separate piece of technology to work. It being a wireless addition to an otherwise normal bicycle, the only way to change gears in it (it has three) requires some sort of exterior Bluetooth-enabled device. Such is the price, I suppose, of fancy new technology.