Photo: Superpedestrian

What happens when you combine a bicycle, a team of MIT researchers, and an iPhone? If you guessed “the coolest innovation in cycling since the invention of brakes,” you’d be correct!

This week Superpedestrian, a venture-backed company from Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced their Copenhagen Wheel (named after the famously bike-friendly capital of Denmark) is available for pre-order. The new wheel snaps into the rear wheel of any bicycle frame and turns a garden-variety two-wheeler into a motorized machine — it’s basically a video-game booster pack. The wheel is able to sense when you’re working hard (based on pedal pressure), which activates an internal motor to give your pedaling extra vroom. Braking or cruising downhill charges the battery. Best of all, after pedaling around town for a bit, the Copenhagen Wheel will “learn” your biking needs — what kind of terrain makes you sweat, how much of a boost you require to conquer that big hill, and how hard you usually pedal.
The wheel syncs wirelessly to your iPhone via an app that tracks and shares stats (such as how long, far, and high you cruise), as well as a mechanism that auto-locks the bike when you’re not riding. The Superpedestrian team is hoping that their invention (which you can pre-order right now for $699) will revolutionize modern transportation by encouraging car commuters to get their old bikes out of storage and onto the road.

Would you buy a Copenhagen Wheel to amp up your bicycle? Share your opinion in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter @SophBreene.