Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Review

2016 Copenhagen Wheel Review
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Chain Cog
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Top View
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Smart Phone App
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel 350 Watt Motor
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Removable Cover
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Front View
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Phone Mount Handlebar
2016 Copenhagen Wheel Review
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Chain Cog
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Top View
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Smart Phone App
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel 350 Watt Motor
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Removable Cover
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Front View
Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Phone Mount Handlebar

Summary

  • A near-silent electric wheel system available in 26" or 700c size, it converts traditional bicycles into ebikes and uses a smartphone app compatible with iOS or Android devices
  • No wires to deal with (uses Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity), activates with a secure connection to only your account, offers three levels of assist and a regeneration mode as well as regenerative braking (pedal backwards to activate)
  • Has been on pre-order for nearly two years at the time of t his review (no confirmation on delivery date), not compatible with disc brakes (only rim brakes), only available in red color, no smartphone mount included, no way to charge your phone while using it as a display panel

{{title}} {{distance | number:2}} miles away

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National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Superpedestrian

Model:

Copenhagen Wheel

Price:

$ 1200.00 ($950 Preorder Price)

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20152016

Bicycle Details

Motor Weight:

13 lbs ( 5.89 kg )

Frame Colors:

Red

Gearing Details:

10 Single Speed or 7, 8, 9 or 10 Speed Free Hub (SRAM or Shimano compatible)

Brake Details:

Regenerative Braking and Rim Brake Compatible

Spokes:

Proprietary Curved

Wheel Sizes:

26 in ( 66.04 cm )28 in ( 71.12 cm )

Other:

Compatible with Single Speed 120 mm Dropout or 7, 8, 9, 10 Speed Free Hub for 120 and 135 mm Dropout, Back-Pedal Regenerative Braking, Developer Kit with Open API for Creating New Apps, Cafe Style Motor Lock Using the App

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts (250 Watt, European Version)

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

5.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

231 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles ( 32 km )

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles ( 48 km )

Display Type:

Mobile App, iOS or Android, Bluetooth 4.0

Readouts:

Battery Capacity, Wheel Power Output, Human Power Output, Assist Level (Exercise, Off, Eco, Standard, Turbo), Average Speed, Distance, Duration, Map

Display Accessories:

LED Charge Indicator Near Charging Port on Wheel, On/ Off Twist Switch

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (12 Sensors Including Cadence, Torque, Speed, Accelerometer, Gyroscope)

Top Speed:

20 mph ( 32 kph ) (Limited to 15.5 mph in Europe)

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Written Review

In mid 2014 I traveled to Massachusetts and met with Assaf Biderman, Accociate Director of the MIT SENSEable City Lab. This group has landed some patents and received funding to develop smart transportation which has lead to the development of the Copenhagen Wheel and formation of Superpedestrian. There’s a lot more to say about this group and you can hear some of the backstory from Assaf himself in this video interview I shot at the same time I was filming this review. In short, the Copenhagen Wheel is an “all in one” electric bike kit that’s compatible with 26″ and 700c (~28″) wheel sizes. Inside there’s a motor, controller, wireless communications systems (compatible with low-energy Bluetooth 4.0) and a battery pack. Weighing around 15 pounds with the spokes, rim and tire this thing is fairly light and extremely clean… though bold. It only comes in red right now and is actually still on preorder though I’m told a handfull of units have been delivered. In my opinion the wheel works very well, it’s smooth and quiet but surprisingly zippy and fast (up to 20 mph in the US and 15.5 mph in Europe). While it’s not compatible with disc brakes, you are able to use a traditional rim brake and there’s a neat backwards-pedal activated regeneration feature. The biggest complaint I hear about this thing is lack of availability. There are people who have been waiting in pre-order status for nearly two years… The Superpedestrian team isn’t just sitting around though, I’m told that nearly everything I saw on this 2016 version has been updated since the last review. To me it seems narrower and sleeker, there’s no longer a keyed battery door on the side of the wheel and instead you’ve got a magnetic charging port, on/off dial and LED charge level indicator.

Driving the Copenhagen Wheel is a gearless, direct drive hub motor encased in a magnesium shell (along with the battery and electronics). It’s rated at 350 watts nominal in the US and stepped down to 250 for the UK and other European markets with corresponding top speeds as mentioned earlier, 20 mph and 25 kph respectively. Being gearless, there’s hardly any noise produced but there is a bit of drag when coasting because there’s no freewheel built in. Instead, the Neodymium magnets mounted along the interior wall of the hub motor repel on electromagnetic staters as it coasts and a bit of regeneration electricity is harvested. This is design feature that all direct-drive motors are capable of executing but few seem to leverage, it’s mostly higher end ebikes like the Specialized Turbo and Stromer ST2 that really do it well. I’m happy to report that the Copenhagen Wheel also delivers in this way and that you can choose from an “Exercise Mode” where light regen is constant as you pedal (allowing you to charge the battery manually at ~15% efficiency), and a “Regenerative Brake” where you pedal backwards to stop the bike using regen. Note that the braking feature does not completely stop the bike, it works best at higher speeds and in conjunction with rim brakes for a final stop. I really enjoyed the backwards pedal feature because it doesn’t distract from steering and spotting the way that a button pad adjustment might. Lots of electric bikes have regen built into brake levers but that wasn’t possible here due to the completely wireless nature of the wheel. This is a very clean, minimalist kit that’s quick and easy to swap on and off the bike and this unique back-pedal regen thing isn’t completely unique (the FlyKly offers the same sort of functionality) but I really enjoyed it and was surprised how quickly and smoothly it activated.

Powering the Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel is a small Lithium-ion battery pack spread out inside the shell to balance weight. I wasn’t able to see it and I don’t believe it’s meant to be easily removable for off-bike charging but it sounds like replacements may be available someday. This is one of the big changes I noticed from the prototype wheel reviewed in mid 2014, there isn’t a door on the side of this new Copenhagen Wheel, you have to use a star driver to open this thing up and that would take time and possibly void the warranty. I’m told that the motor and battery have been specially designed and tested to endure heat (which would presumably be higher in an enclosed space together like this). I can’t speak to the performance in extremely hot environments where maybe your bike has been parked at a rack all day in the sun and then pedaled up a steep hill in Turbo mode but let’s assume it just works. The company is offering a year long warranty with 500 cycles on the battery (at 70% end of term capacity potential). While I can’t say a lot about the chemistry or brand of cells used here I can say that it’s a 48 volt 5.5 amp hour pack (231 watt hours) which is on the small side. I’m estimating 20 to 30 miles range here per charge because this is a pedal assist only system. You’ll always be helping out so the battery can last longer and go further but best results will be achieved in the lower Eco mode which requires harder pedaling by the rider before really kicking in. That said, when it does kick in it feels pretty good…

The sensors inside the Copenhagen Wheel measure something like twelve dimensions including wheel speed, pedal torque, pedal cadence and acceleration. It sounds like there’s also gyroscopic measurement system that can respond to changes in bicycle orientation (ie. climbing or descending hills) and automatically help out or regen to maximize power use and extend range while also creating a “flat ride” experience. Other companies have made claims like this but I feel like the Copenhagen Wheel is the closest to delivering. It really is advanced, refined and intuitive to use. The display panel (your phone) is also quiet intuitive and has been improved since my last test. There are some advanced options buried deeper in the system (under the gear icon) but they stay out of the way for actual riding which is perfect. Once you’ve charged the wheel, turned it on using the little silver dial near the battery port, downloaded the app a nd paired it with your wheel it’s time to choose an assist level or enter regen mode. We go from regen at the lowest to off (which lets you ride like a traditional unpowered bicycle) up to Eco, Standard and Turbo. On most ebikes the lowest level has a top speed and power output which is clearly delineated. This is because most other kits and systems use cadence sensors. What I love about the Copenhagen Wheel is that you can still get a lot of power and speed out of Eco mode… if you pedal hard. It’s a lot more dynamic and that makes it fun and easier to use without thinking. Eco mode is more like a “use less power but still give me control” mode. Coming back to the app, it works with iOS or Android and automatically syncs with the bike (once you’ve established a secure link during setup). Basically, you can leave your phone in your pocket, approach the bike and it will recognize you and enter into the last mode you used… as long as Bluetooth is left on for your p hone and the wheel on/off switch is on. Note that the Copenhagen Wheel does enter a sleep mode if left on but that it won’t pair with anyone else’s phone, it’s connected to your online account so you could re-activate a new phone if yours is lost or damaged.

I had a lot of fun testing the updated Copenhagen Wheel and hope it’s the finalized production ready version because a lot of advancement has been made by other ebike companies in the years since preorders began. I feel like the original Copenhagen Wheel was pretty sweet for its time and that this could almost be a V2. Yeah, it’s a lot better but so is the newer Electron Wheel, BionX D-Series and e-RAD BBS02. None are quite as sleek or minimalist as the Copenhagen Wheel and most cost more money but they all deliver a similar end result… empowering you to go further, fight the wind or climb easier. I love that the Copenhagen Wheel can be used as a single speed, 7, 8, 9 or 10 speed with either Shimano or SRAM drivetrain components and I can’t say enough about how responsive and smooth it is. I’m still not a superfan of the bright red casing but hey, spray paint exists for a reason right? The price is still very impressive and seeing the team at Interbike this year with a hand full of test bikes really inspired confidence. I asked again and again for a release/delivery date and got that feedback about “some having been delivered” but no information about who, when or next steps. It’s difficult to do a review like this where so much is unknown but I hope the qualitative feedback about ride quality helps inform your decision and that we begin seeing these amazing wheels more and more out in the real world ;)

Pros:

  • It rides quiet, smooth and feels very fluid when power is applied, stronger than I would have expected having tested other all-in-one conversion kits
  • The 350 watt motor size (250 in Europe) strikes a good balance between efficiency and light weight, it is zippy thanks to the 48 volt battery
  • Still relatively affordable at the preorder price of $950 considering it includes everything you need to get going aside from an Android or iOS smart phone (motor, battery, Bluetooth app), the full retail price will be ~$1,200
  • Open software API and developer support for creating your own apps or downloading those made by others, in particular this could be social apps or systems that allow the city to gather feedback about rider trends
  • Flat City model provides a little assist on flat terrain and automatically kicks in to “flatten” hills conserving battery while providing a consistent ride, it reduces complexity of use and lets you focus on riding
  • Drive system is available spoked into 26″ and 700c wheel sizes, includes spokes, rim and a tire (which you can swap with your own if you’d like the front and rear to match on your bike)
  • The batteries, controller and motor are all contained in the rear hub so you don’t have to run wires around the bike, the hub is also designed to be water resistant for easy cleaning and use on rainy days
  • System is basically hands free once turned on (pedal forward to get assistance and pedal back to activate regen), there is no throttle mode here so you always have to pedal to get assistance
  • Remote diagnostics feature, if you have any issues with the bike Superpedestrian will be able to identify your individual wheel and check on its status through your smart phone app wirelessly, this also allows for software updates over time
  • Very easy to install compared with other kits I’ve tested, even some all in one kits like the Electron Wheel which rely on a pedal sensor attachment in addition to the wheel
  • Solid one year warranty provided by Superpedestrian including motor and battery, the battery is advertised as getting 1,000+ cycles and is warrantied at 500 cycles with 70% capacity
  • The app is easy to use when riding if you’ve got a smart phone handlebar mount (swipe up or down to change modes), I like that you can also stow your phone and it will run with less energy in the background, you don’t even have to launch the app to get the bike to recognize you and start, when you walk away from the bike it automatically goes to sleep when the app is out of range but there is also an on/off dial on the wheel

Cons:

  • Because the Copenhagen Wheel relies on smart phone devices instead of having a wired-in display, it may drain your battery more quickly (especially if you leave the app open and running for realtime feedback), you can reduce power consumption by closing your phone and just keeping it in your pocket or backpack
  • Currently the wheel is only available in primary red, for those who wish to have a more discrete electric bike solution this may not be ideal, I would love to see silver, gray, black or white someday
  • Because everything is included in the wheel, it weighs a bit more than some other motor-only kits at ~13 lbs vs. 6 to 9 lbs and will increase unsprung weight if you’ve got a rear suspension
  • The battery is not easily removable so you’ve either got to park near a charging outlet or take your bike or wheel inside to charge, this might also expose the battery inside the wheel to extreme temperatures if left outside which can wear the cells out more quickly
  • The unique spokes can be trued and replaced if they get bent but the proprietary design can only currently be purchased from Superpedestrian
  • Because this is a direct drive motor and offers regeneration, it also produces some cogging while coasting (drag produced by magnets repelling staters as the wheel spins)
  • Due to the larger diameter of the hub casing this kit is currently only available in 26″ and 700c (~28″) wheel sizes which will work for the widest audience of bicycle owners but will not be compatible with most compact and folding ebikes
  • Not compatible with disc brakes, you’ve got to use rim brakes (linear pull or v-brakes), the regeneration braking backwards pedaling thing is a cool but not as immediate as you might need in some situations, because the wheel is completely independent, traditional brakes won’t be wired in and will not send a cutoff signal to the motor when pulled
  • The kit does not include a phone mounting system, you’ll either have to carry your phone along in your pocket or bag or consider buying one after market, I was using a Quad Lock mount from Annex in the video review

Resources:

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More Superpedestrian Reviews

Prototype Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel Review

  • MSRP: $ 799.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014, 2015

All in one smart wheel electric bike kit for 26" or 700c wheels, works with single speed or cassette. Removable Lithium-ion battery for convenient charging or extended rides (with optional second pack)...

MLWilcox
11 months ago

I was surprised that the Copenhagen wheel was rated only a half point higher than the Electron wheel. To me, the Copenhagen wheel is in a different league entirely. Not just the obvious spec - 350 versus 250 watts - but the quality of the casing, the number of sensors, the overall engineering and robotics, etc. Oh ... and there is the ugliness factor. No, not the red wheel, the Electron wheel.

The BionX and eRad comparison is like comparing apples and oranges. Much more expensive systems and requires installation that is beyond the vast majority to do on their own - or at least my ability - so there will be installation costs. If it were in black, the Copenhagen wheel would look like the BionX on the bike without the addition of the battery pack on the downtube.

Court Rye
11 months ago

I rated it higher a year ago but took it down a half step here due to the long delay and lack of launch information. I agree with all of the points you made though, it's an amazing and very refined product. I drew comparisons the best I could but the CW is quite unique and offers a lot of benefits that other kits don't... thanks for sharing your input :)

James McClellan
7 months ago

I'll never buy this as long as its bright red. Black please!

tn
7 months ago

1/31/16 and still not generally available, and only one person has been referenced as actually receiving their pre-order wheel. Yes, yes, they care about quality, but how is that different than any other quality product that actually ships in less than, what, five or six years after accepting pre-orders?

Another very important note, the stated warranty doesn't cover damage due to water...so if you actually commute in the rain, the wheel dies...

Court Rye
7 months ago

Thanks for the update, sorry to hear you still haven't received the product you paid for :/

Curt
11 months ago

Don't buy they will never send it to you. I paid my $839.00 deposit. I have waited over a year and never heard anything. They just use your money and never deliver.

Court Rye
10 months ago

Sounds like they're still working to deliver on preorders (even from years ago) and only a small number have actually gone out. I couldn't get much info from the team during my review, I'm sorry they haven't been very responsive for you and I appreciate the feedback you've shared. Please do check in if/when you do get your Copenhagen Wheel.

Cheryl
1 month ago

It is coming up on 3 years since I ordered and paid for a Copenhagen wheel. My order is number 55 in the queue. The only thing they are delivering is disappointment. They are not shipping the wheels in small quantities unless you believe 3 wheels a year is actually considered shipping.

Court Rye
1 month ago

Wow... that's really sad Cheryl, thanks for reporting the situation and providing details about your order number. I wish Superpedestrian well in figuring out their business but feel that you and other customers deserve to get your product :( please do chime in again if/when it eventually comes.

Dan R
11 months ago

I saw the interview with the CW main guy, and how they have invested a heavily into the design. This is advances power electronic design. It is advances because it is integrated, a higher power density, wireless vs the cheaper, modular designs. It is impressive. Only feedback : please offer a different color! Simple fix and unfortunately will cost sales if only left as red.

Andrew Norris
11 months ago

Are the hub bearings and freewheel easily serviced? cup and cone or cartridge bearings? Quality of seals?

Court Rye
10 months ago

Great questions Andrew... unfortunately I have no idea! I've asked to see the inside of the wheel and take pictures but they are concerned about the proprietary design right now since it's still not fully released. Once it comes out for real and in full maybe I'll dissect one or you can share if you find out :)

Johnnie
11 months ago

Hi Court. I've been thoroughly enjoying your reviews since I began researching e-bikes over the last month or so. You have a most excellent job my friend! I've been trying to build up my own Faraday Porteur-like bike and wonder if the Superpedestrian wheel can make my dream a hassle-free reality? I'm thinking of marrying one of these up with a Long Haul Trucker and give it some swept back bars for a nice upright riding position... a la Porteur. It looks like I can just have the rear cog incorporated into the SP wheel, right? The derailleur and other bits stay on the bike and I just swap out the rear wheel? That's it??? No wires, etc. Sounds like bliss to me. Keep the videos coming and keep up the great work!

Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Johnnie! Thanks man, I'm doing my best with the reviews. Yeah, your dream setup sounds great... I like the aesthetic and ride that the Faraday Porteur offers and am also a big fan of the Surly Long Haul Trucker (steel frame baby!) and with those larger bars it could be great. My only hesitation is the Copenhagen Wheel itself... I like what I've tried but as you can see from some of the other comments here, people have been waiting over a year for their pre-order and there's no guaranteed delivery time. You might be riding your Long Haul Trucker for a while with pedal power ;) anyway, you can use a cassette with the Copenhagen Wheel so you'll still have speeds (including multiple chainrings on the front). The bike I tested had a ten speed I think? That's one of the big upgrades of this kit vs. the FlyKly which I also really like... and which has also had some delivery delays. Would love to hear how you like your bike (whatever you choose) when it finally arrives :)

Bike_On
10 months ago

Court, I could not determine if the wheel can operate in a default mode - ie. without a smart phone, or if the smart phone battery dies. Is there an override key? Some default operation? Dan

Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Dan! The impression I got is that yes, you can ride it just like a regular bike unpowered if you don't have the app but you will need your phone with the app in order for it to power on and run, it's dependent on your unique digital ID to boot up. Great question :)

John
10 months ago

Thanks for a detailed review and video. Much better than the limited Superpedestrian information. I suggest adding a review date so we know if does not refer to the 2014 version

Court Rye
10 months ago

Great suggestion John! I'm working on a redesign for ElectricBikeReview.com and review date is something I've added for this exact reason. For the time being, you can approximate the date by looking at the videos on YouTube where they include a post date :)

Tor
10 months ago

I pre-ordered in December of 2013 and waited patiently for almost 2 years. Superpedestrian initially promised delivery for Spring 2014, then Summer, then end of year 2014. After missing 2014, they put out a flashy video promising Spring 2015. They missed that deadline and didn't even have the courtesy to communicate with their customers until several months after the missed deadline, indicating the release was imminent, then nothing again. Now they claim they are in production; however the only evidence is a handful of users on social media, one is a Superpedestrian Investor the others seem to be complete novice cyclists to the point where they do not know how to put on a helmet properly. The general reaction to the design has been very positive; however the execution on their delivery commitments and overall communications have been horrid. I would suggest you knock the rating down lower for poor execution more than one point. Time will tell if they ever make good on their deliveries, even if they do get it out, dealing with this company for a warranty issue is guaranteed to be an issue. I would strongly recommend not placing an order for this product until at a minimum they clear their pre-order deliveries and get some real world performance and reliability results.

Court Rye
10 months ago

All excellent points Tor, I really struggled with this review. I put a lot of thought into each score and do my best to be honest and transparent with the writeup. Super Pedestrian has never paid me, I'm not a marketing rep for them and I do this site to help people find the best product for their lifestyle and budget. I try to rate the products alone but service is a huge component and I agree it brings the Copenhagen Wheel down. I'm sorry you've had to wait so long and I hope that ends soon, I also apologize for my initial review which was less focused on delivery and service.

Don
10 months ago

Hi.. I've salvaged two right angle gear motors (24v) and electronic controler from an electric wheelchair / scooter... They seem to be crying out for me to find a way to use them on my bike... These motors are designed to propel a combined weight (scooter plus rider) in excess of 600 pounds, so i gotta assume they are pretty robust! So, has anybody out there figured out a way to marry this kind of motor to their bike? If so, i would love to hear from you! Thanx, don in south florida.

Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Don! Sounds like a cool project... I think you'll have better success getting feedback by posting in the Q&A section of the Community or heading over to the Endless Sphere forums where a lot of experimentation and tinkering goes on around EV's :)

Guenter Hibsch
10 months ago

The missing phone mounting system is natural according to the overall architecture of the bike. You use your own frame with your own handle bar - and there are:

a) so many different types of handle bars
b) handle bar producer or smart phone producer offer mostly a smart phone mounting system

Court Rye
10 months ago

Very true Guenter, I sometimes list other information in the "cons" section that isn't necessarily a big detractor or misstep by the company. I'm working on a site update that will change some of the wording and try to make this more clear. I want to help remind people that they will need a phone mount but also not be too critical of the company's decision not to include one. Thanks for your input and thoughts.

Pieter de Vries Lentsch
10 months ago

I totally agree with Tor on the continuing delay of delivering the Wheel to the people who pre-ordered it and already paid for it. I also ordered mine in December 2013. The latest communication from Superpedestrian was that they first want to set up a complete separate production line in Europe before they can tell anything about the delivery time. This was again a whole new message for the early adopters from Europe, a total surprise! So how long this again will take is a question which is not answered by Superpedestrian. It probably will last until Summer 2016 before we can expect the final product in European countries (I hope!). In the meantime I bought a Smart Ebike in order to get used to riding an electric bike but it isn't the same thing as riding my light-weight 30-speed racing bike with the Copenhagen Wheel mounted in the rear! I am still looking forward to that experience but my patience surely is being tested!

Court Rye
10 months ago

I hope it arrives soon for you and everyone else... It seems like a real product (given the demos I saw at their headquarters near MIT and at Interbike this year). Definitely chime in again here when you finally get the motor, your bike sounds awesome! I love light weight electric bikes and yours will be super clean and minimal from the sounds of it :)

Ben
10 months ago

Court, thanks for the detailed and updated review. Due to a whirlwind of financial/personal distractions, I had forgotten I pre-ordered the CW until they sent an email a year or so later. They have obviously discovered it is not a flat ride from concept to production. I can only imagine the non-production liability issues they have had to address. Also sounds like they are aiming for very large governmental markets like India. I am still very excited about this product, and while I enjoy the physical benefits of riding my human-only assisted bike for now, my aging bones will probably be more ready for the CW when it finally ships. Please keep us informed with your unbiased updates. Thanks again.

Ben
10 months ago

To their credit, they have also offered a refund to those who do not feel comfortable with the wait. This was from a 10/8/15 email communication: "To reward our supporters for the wait, units sold during this pre-order period are discounted well below their manufacturing cost. If you are uncomfortable with the wait, our policy remains unchanged: you can request a refund at any time"

Court Rye
10 months ago

I'll do my best Ben! Excited for you to get the product, definitely chime in once it arrives. I see a lot of potential with this product and was glad to see the company present at Interbike this year with a number of employees and 5+ demo bikes with Android and iPhone to test out :D

Court Rye
10 months ago

Wow, that's awesome! I wasn't aware they were offering this sort of support. I hear a lot of negative feedback about the wait from others who have preordered but I really appreciate your data point on how they are handling their relationships and being good to customers. Thanks Ben!

c w
10 months ago

Wondering: programmable security mode to lock the wheel (you want to steal it, you gotta CARRY it)? as much as i like the idea of program-ability and having a one-piece solution, my inner skeptic wants something that can be used as ped-elec without a mobile device..... Does it depend on the phone's for speed braking input? How is it avoiding a brake level power interrupt?

Court Rye
10 months ago

I believe it is using either Android or iOS to connect with and authenticate before the wheel can be used. You don't have to mount the phone or press anything once it's setup, you can leave it in your pocket or backpack and it just communicates wirelessly to tell the wheel it's okay to go. I think you can ride the bike without a phone and in non-powered mode just fine so the wheel isn't necessarily going to apply the brakes if there's an interruption (like if you dropped your phone or the battery ran out). The power might just stop and you'd be coasting like on a traditional pedal-power bike until you re-established a connection. I'm only guessing here but this was the impression I got during my tests and the talk with the founding and technical members of the team.

Steff
6 months ago

Hey , i tested the copenhagen wheel at interbike last Year, it does what you expect . Nothing more , Here is the bigger news about the Free Duck wheel , made by Ducati Energia in Italy . Since 2014 we tested the free duck ducati Energia wheel . Giving our feedback to the engineers in Italy . Since January 2016 we sell this wheel into the Netherlands , Belgium , Luxemburg! UK , and Spain comes with a full 2 years of warranty , replaceable battery, engine or controller in case of failure. Delivery time is 3 weeks !!!!! depending on actual stock . I invite everyone to test this wheel , we got them mounted on several bikes . Write at stefaan@bikeconcept.be or loco@bikeconcept.be

Court Rye
6 months ago

Hi Steff! The wheel looks pretty coo, I visited the official website at http://www.freeduck.it/en/#1 and it would be great to test and review, do you have any units in the USA? If you work for the company or can help me get a demo model please contact me here.

CHRISTIAN HENSON
3 months ago

Is there any more information on the Free Duck Wheel? I was looking into the Copenhagen Wheel but I have been very put off by the company. I wanted to call and talk to a rep today about ordering and there is NO phone number listed for them. Maybe the idea is too good to be true. I am very sad about this because I would be ideal in my commuting world.

-Cycling Houston

Court Rye
3 months ago

I'll keep an eye out for the Free Duck Wheel, so far I haven't seen one in person and yeah... Superpedestrian seems to be having some delays and maybe limited contact with customers. I don't really know the full situation but I hear from what seems like a large number of frustrated pre-orderers.

Susan Glenn
5 months ago

Does anyone have a coupon code to bring the price of the wheel down?

Court Rye
5 months ago

Great question Susan! I haven't seen or heard of one but that doesn't mean it's not out there. Keep in mind, the Copenhagen Wheel has frustrated a lot of pre-order customers because it's taking a lot longer to ship than initially thought. Some people have been waiting for over a year... That said, it does look awesome and performed pretty well for me at Interbike in 2015 :D

Morgan
4 months ago

Great review, well done. This thing could be a real game changer for commuters who don't want to sweat! And you can swap it onto your regular ride - brilliant. Two questions - is the assist limited to 20mph max? Otherwise, strong legs plus a 350W motor should be able to produce double that speed easily. Even weekend riders can maintain 25mph+ on the flats so I'm curious if the thing just cuts out above 20mph. Second question is data privacy; my radar goes off anytime "sharing with the community" or connectivity back to a central server is involved. Is the mobile app component a data mining play to record users' habits, travel, location, etc. to sell for marketing purposes? I know, "no personally identifiable data will be shared, etc." but no one trusts that. Nowadays you spend $60K for a new car or hook up your smart appliances and the "connected" features basically report back everything you do. Otherwise this thing is perfect but sure would be nice if it went faster!

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi Morgan! Yes, the motor (and most ebikes) cut out at 20 mph due to classification in the US. There are some higher speed electric bikes and speed pedelecs that go ~28 mph but they are rare and may be limited on use (like where you can ride them without breaking the law). I think as far as the app sharing your data... yes, it probably does send back your use records for "research" but also potentially for marketing. I can't really say for sure but the team had mentioned how their data collection capabilities could be used to "reshape cities" and inform government and even create third party app opportunities. The biggest takeaway for the Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel to date has been that deliveries are very delayed and lots of early pre-order customers are frustrated.

Morgan
3 months ago

Thanks Court, I figured it might cut out at 20MPH but that's not really a huge deal. Think of it as a backup for those high humidity summer days when you don't want to sweat on the way to work (or dinner!). But you know 1st thing engineer nerds like me are going to do is pull the thing apart and try and change the gear ratio (or speed sensor) so it can do 30MPH! Kidding. But the swap in and out is such a perfect approach to convert any bike to an easy commuter it really could be the "killer app" for bike transportation but the price point needs to be below that of a full elec bike. I will wait until the things actually start shipping before I put down any money. But that "inform govt" does make me nervous, "...Morgan, we clocked you at 32MPH drafting a car last week. That's $100 fine for failure to adhere to the marked bike lane..." but worse would be my wife, "Honey, your bike log shows your bike was stationary at O'Brian's pub for 6 hours, I thought you were riding a century!" Thanks again for the research and great article.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Haha! Awesome examples Morgan ;) there are lots of kits out there which do go super-fast or have some customization options. I recommend checking out the Endless Sphere forums which is full of engineers and tinkerers taking things to the next level. I focus mostly on consumer-level prebuilt ebikes here. You could also check out the EBR Community and share your questions/ideas. Ride safe :D

Holmes
3 months ago

Dear, how often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be trust.

In this particular case, no matter how much it hurts, we shall conclude without recourse that neither founders nor the staff from Superpedestrian have ever gotten the EECS from MIT, and much less a Masters or Sc.D. in Engineering or applied physics they have claimed. Yes, we been taken for a ride, but in this case without a bicycle.

Well Know graduates from MIT were able to get from theory to three functional nuclear bombs in less time that it has already taken those "scoundrels" to put a simple battery operated wheel together.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Yeah... the purchase experience has been underwhelming. I was able to visit their lab near MIT but don't know much about their background. The product looks cool and people are excited but business is tough and perhaps the focus on engineering has taken priority over go-to-market ;)

Dr. Watson
3 months ago

Indeed, Holmes. I'm afraid I would have thought a response to this case to be below you, as time has already told its story with this project that has not sustained its life. Superpedestrian has strung an innocent crowd along and has not produced tangible results. As I often do once I've seen your analysis and conclusion, I do agree with you that this group deserves the title of "scoundrels."

-John H. Watson, M.D.

Patrick
3 weeks ago

Court, is there any update on SP actually delivering CW to anyone? Assuming this will actually occur at some point, do you know if SP provide the gear cassette for a multigear bike or is that something the end user removes from the existing rear wheel and installs on the CW? If SP provides a cassette, do you get to specify the cassette gears you want? Is there a quick release skewer? If not, I would assume you would have to carry a couple of wrenches to remove the tire if you flatted, is that correct?

Court Rye
3 weeks ago

Hi Patrick! I haven't heard from people in the comments talking about receiving their units... it's difficult to say whether they are shipping or not? It has indeed been a LONG time and many people seem frustrated, having paid already. I can't really comment on the cassette questions or the quick release because I'm not sure the models I tested are truly final release. Sorry :/

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AemerC
5 months ago
Teddy F
Do read the lawsuit complaint at https://search.rpxcorp.com/lit/nysdce-451987-superpedestrian-v-flykly.
Thanks for the link. It is an interesting read but I have to say I have mixed feelings about what I read there... The law is the law but I don't like Superpedestrian's tactics either. They come across as patent squatters.

I ordered a wheel from Superpedestrian over a year ago. Their lack of updates to their paid customers (you pay your $1000 USD up front when you order a Copenhagen wheel) and their excuses for their continuing delays are maddening. It is great that Superpedestrian was able to get a patent for their wheel idea, but somehow it seems wrong that they hold the patent yet aren't able to produce a product while others are perfectly capable of producing something similar. As Alessandra points out in the Copenhagen Wheel Status thread, there is a lady on the Copenhagen Wheel Customer Complaints Facebook page who paid for her wheel in December of 2014 and is number 55 on the wait list, yet who still hasn't received her wheel. I admire her patience. I gave up waiting and asked for my money back after about 6 months.

I used my refund to buy a FlyKly. It shipped within a month and I've been using it for about a month and a half now. It works as advertised. I use it on the bike that I haul my daughter around with. The extra 250 Watts make a noticeable difference when lugging her weight up the hills and it has the range to get me through my 30 km round-trip commute (with 250 m total round-trip elevation gain). Overall, my average speeds are about 5 km/h faster with less effort than without the wheel. Sure it has problems: The bluetooth doesn't connect unless I place my phone directly beside the wheel, but I don't really care because I only really need to connect to the wheel to change a setting. It has also shut itself off a couple of times while I was transitioning from regenerative braking to climbing a hill. I discovered that it will come back on line by back pedaling half a stroke, though.

Would I say that I am totally happy with it? Probably not. I think I'd still rather have the Superpedestrian wheel; the extra 100 Watts would be helpful on some of the bigger hills. That said, I am a lot more satisfied with the FlyKly wheel that I DO HAVE than the superpedestrian wheel that is nothing more than vapour ware at this point.
Jim123
8 months ago
The first review I ever saw of Courts was for the Copenhagen wheel on YouTube. Later I found the great EBR website. Surprising that this product is still not shipping.
Alessandra
8 months ago
Due to the complete lack of information I canceled my preorder and received my money back just before Christmas (2015).
There is a facebook page called "Copenhagen Wheel Customer Complaints Page" with a person who ordered 12/3/2013 and apparently is number 55 in the queue. She still has not received her wheel. But she said she would post as soon as she received it. I'm still curious to see what will happen, and if i did the right thing.
Riversurfer
8 months ago
Has anyone received their Copenhagen Wheel? Although they say they are shipping, I have not heard of anyone actually getting their's. I ordered mine Christmas 2013 and cannot get an estimated shipping date or even my position on order list.
I actually liked the old design with the larger removable battery better, wonder if there would be some way the get one of those.
Nirmala
8 months ago
Llcjay
There are people left who haven't been cheated by flykly or Copenhagen wheel?
Good point. But maybe eventually someone will get this concept right.
Llcjay
8 months ago
There are people left who haven't been cheated by flykly or Copenhagen wheel?

There are so many complication with that design it isnt even funny. Dual motors? Detachable covers? All in one heat?
MLWilcox
9 months ago
The Copenhagen wheel folks have been highly criticized for the delay in releasing their wheel.

Yet, I have read here and elsewhere the overwhelming expression of frustration with FlyKy problems.

I would rather be frustrated WAITING for the more technically advanced Copenhagen Wheel than frustrated trying to use a wheel released too soon without hope of getting my money back.

I will patiently stick with the MIT guys and their annal quest for perfection.
slimgubez
10 months ago
Hi folks,
I have been looking for an integrated system like Flykly or Copenhagen for years before they came about. I first discovered the Copenhagen wheels some years ago and thought "Finally something I would like to have!". But it seemed like they were never releasing the wheel, always making promises. That´s when I discovered Flykly. Followed them for quite some time (over a year), and then decided to buy the wheel last Xmas (by then they had bumped up the price). Here are my deciding factors:
-the wheel is not red and much more compact than C wheel (better looking design)
-the wheel is available!!!
-the wheel is made in Italy (I'm in Sweden) so I could avoid import taxes. Sweden has very high taxes.
-the specs suited my needs

So what do I feel about my purchase? Well the BT connection is dysfunctional. That's a fact and a disappointment. But the wheel works very well. I haven't checked the range but I'm not too worried about that, as I only have a short ride to and from work (6km). The wheel is "heavy" in the uphills, but still offers some support, that's what I'd expect from 250 w. Let's be realistic about performance here, if you want a super powerful wheel, there's better options out there. In Europe, the wheel is following the regulations, ie. 250W and max speed 25km/h.

Here I should explain that I am not interested in maximum performance, but in convenience. I've been looking at commercial E-bikes but find them boring and uninteresting from a styling point of view. So I wanted to build my own creation. I've looked at all variants with battery packs and found them too cumbersome. I wanted a minimalistic look. So the Flykly is great for that purpose.


View attachment 4737

This is my bike. As you can see, I'm playing around and the Flykly wheel suits my need. I'm building a custom bike with a retro feeling, a bit raty, and people don't understand that it's an E-bike when they see it. This is a heavy bike and the Flykly wheel compensates for the heavy design.

If you're looking for performance, then go for another system. A integrated hub system will not satisfy you. But if you want something easy to install and convenient, then this could be interesting for you. I am playing around and experimenting so I'm more curious than craving. The wheel is expensive so if budget is an issue, there are better alternatives out there too.

All the best,
Simon.
Nirmala
10 months ago
MLWilcox
Did anyone try this at Interbike? I am curious as to the changes/improvements since Court's original review.
Court updated his review after riding the latest version at Interbike:
http://electricbikereview.com/superpedestrian/copenhagen-wheel/
rey
10 months ago
Other than the problem of getting it installed on my existing bike, my experience has been OK so far.
Pros:
I have an electric bike!
My wife really likes it, normally she needs 30 minutes to bike to college but with this wheel, it only took her about 15 minutes, and she doesn't feel too tired.

Cons:
It's true that sometimes I have to try a few times to connect it to my phone. I don't know if this issue depends on the phone model you have. I have a more than 3 year old galaxy nexus phone.
It will disconnect when the phone is just more than 2 feet away, which means I cannot keep it connected to my phone when I put the phone on the bike handle.

Note that you only need to connect to your phone to change the settings (max assist speed and how many % assistance you want from the wheel). If you don't need to change this, you don't need to connect it to your phone, you can just start biking and it will automatically turn on after you pedal forward and backward a couple times.

At the price I paid ($590) as kickstarter backer, I'm pretty happy. I don't think I could get any electric bike with the technology as cool as this for that price right now. The only closest thing is the copenhagen wheel by super pedestrian, but that wheel does not have any release date yet. Looks like they won't start shipping until summer 2016.

At their selling price now ($1000), it feels a little too expensive, especially with the problem I mentioned above. If you don't mind waiting a little longer, wait until copenhagen wheel is released and then you can see if it's a better product for about the same price. If you really want it now, just buy it :) or find a used flykly on ebay.

SunGold, why don't you put the wheel on ebay? at $250 I think that is a good deal for anyone wanting a flykly (if it still works of course).
Ann M.
10 months ago
Here's an updated actual review that Court did of the Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel, check it out!



The Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel is a near-silent electric wheel system available in 26" or 700c size, it converts traditional bicycles into ebikes and uses a smartphone app compatible with iOS or Android devices. No wires to deal with (uses Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity), activates with a secure connection to only your account, offers three levels of assist and a regeneration mode as well as regenerative braking (pedal backwards to activate). Has been on pre-order for nearly two years at the time of t his review (no confirmation on delivery date), not compatible with disc brakes (only rim brakes), only available in red color, no smartphone mount included, no way to charge your phone while using it as a display panel.
MLWilcox
11 months ago
Thank you for posting the review. I provided comments on the review page regarding the low rating - in my opinion.

2 days ago, the Copenhagen wheel Facebook page posted a letter to pre-order customers explaining the status, and delay, in getting the wheel out to the masses. They are sending some of the wheels out now but are delayed in their manufacturing process. They link a cute video of a Portland couple with the woman riding her Public Dutchie with wheel. Her reaction was the same as mine the first time I rode my Stromer - pure astonished joy.

I look at the Copenhagen wheel like the early days of the Tesla. Many delivery dates broken for the model S (and X), but all was forgiven due to the superior vehicle delivered. I think the same will happen here. Since I can't afford the Tesla, I preordered the Copenhagen wheel last week. Absolutely no idea if I will receive it in six months or two years but I plan to put it on the same Public bike as the woman on the video - just love it.
Ann M.
11 months ago
Sales for 2015 ebikes don't start in Jan. 2016; they're happening NOW after the announcement of new models. That's even though none of those models will be available until next spring (at the earliest) I know, been doing this for a bunch of years. If you haven't had a chance to check out the Izip product yet, the Dash sounds like it would work pretty well for speed and range. Pull the battery off when you get ready to go upstairs and pop it into a backpack and then the weight is a little easier to handle. When I lived upstairs and commuted only by bike, the bike was slung over my shoulder either using the middle triangle or the nose of the saddle to make it easier to manage the stairs. There's no perfect solution; however, as much as I like the design of the Faraday Porteur, it doesn't have the specs you say you want. And the Copenhagen wheel, well everyone is still waiting.

Test rides are great and being in Denver you have several shops to choose from. Tom at SmallPlanetEbikes has been in the business for a number of years and can help you sort this out! He carries a wide spectrum of ebikes, including the Izip line.
Shaun
11 months ago
Logan Gogarty
Cant you just use the throttle and slowly walk the bike up the stairs? Great advice and I have looked into the copenhagen wheel that seems like a sweet deal. I don't need an e bike because I can make the ride without any assistance but my reasoning for getting one is to increase my average speed so I can leave for work later and get there sooner. That is why I'm interested in a 28mph bike. I wouldn't mind having the ability to go faster either even though I realize it is illegal.

Great advice about waiting till January to buy. Everytime I ride to work I think of how awesome it would be on an e bike. I ride 17 miles in one hours and thus I'm averaging 17 mph and I would love to be able to average 25 mph or more which I think is doable since I ride all on bike paths.
Have you looked at Faraday bikes? I don't have any experience with other ebikes other than the ones I tried at my LBS but I did buy a Faraday Porteur. They weigh about 39lb so I'd think you'd be able to carry it up some stairs. It's significantly heavier than my road bike but I don't find it unbearable.
Logan Gogarty
11 months ago
Cant you just use the throttle and slowly walk the bike up the stairs? Great advice and I have looked into the copenhagen wheel that seems like a sweet deal. I don't need an e bike because I can make the ride without any assistance but my reasoning for getting one is to increase my average speed so I can leave for work later and get there sooner. That is why I'm interested in a 28mph bike. I wouldn't mind having the ability to go faster either even though I realize it is illegal.

Great advice about waiting till January to buy. Everytime I ride to work I think of how awesome it would be on an e bike. I ride 17 miles in one hours and thus I'm averaging 17 mph and I would love to be able to average 25 mph or more which I think is doable since I ride all on bike paths.
JoePah
11 months ago
@Logan Gogarty

Before you purchase anything practice run carrying an ebike. You may want to wait until you move to a lower floor!

Take your Gary Fisher bike and attach a gallon of water in the triangle of your frame. Take another gallon of water and attach it to your rear rack. Now carry the bike down the stairs... Wait a few minutes, or go for a short ride, then try to carry the bike and water jugs up the stairs.. Is that something you want to do every day?

Your Fisher bike weighs around 33 lbs, and the minimum for any ebike kit is 16 lbs.. And even a new, light ebike is going to be around 50 lbs.. The Stromer is 65 lbs with the rack and accessories.

The Copenhagen wheel would be perfect for you, and it weighs around 13 lbs total. Except that hasn't shipped yet.. Maybe next year.

You sound like you're in pretty good shape so you don't need much motor to help you along. I'd get an eBike kit and a smallish battery and a geared hub.

Wait until January when dealers want to unload their stock.
Bike_On
11 months ago
Ann M.
Much has happened since Court met with the Superpedestrian creators a little over a year ago, with a lot of focus on simplicity of use.



The founder of Superpedestrian (maker of the Copenhagen Wheel), Assaf Biderman, met with me at Interbike and talked about the formation of his company, it began with a lab and some patents at MIT in Massachusetts (MIT SENSEable City Lab). Their lab is basically working on robotics systems that haven been applied to electric bikes. The all in one electric bike wheel is on sale at a special pre-order price of $950 at the time of this review but will formally retail for $1,200. The wheel takes into account your pedal speed, ride speed, pedal torque, side and front forces and the slope (there are 12 signals). You can operate the wheel with an Android or iOS smart phone but you don’t need to have the app open when riding, it uses a secure connection to activate the wheel (in the last power setting).
Impressive qualification testing! These guys have gone beyond a typical testing house.
Tara D.
11 months ago
Great news about the Copenhagen Wheel! I love that you can do the firmware updates for the wheel with your phone. I wish I could pre-order one also!
MLWilcox
11 months ago
To quote their website - "so, whose this Elby character anyway?" The Bionx rep talked about their impressive system on Elby electric bikes. I looked on their website and they certainly have made an extremely attractive bike with great battery placement. But only one speed. What does anyone know about these bikes and the company?

I have added the Elby to my long list of ebikes I want to own including my favorite Faraday, Specialized Levo MTBs, any and all Haibikes, Copenhagen wheel, etc. I need another garage.
86 and still kicking
11 months ago
I saw a Copenhagen Wheel bike in the ebike demo ride area. Did anyone ride the bike? Impressions?