THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID WHEEL
QUICK HIT 67
Look, we get it. The electric bike movement is here to stay.
It’s going to save the industry, right? Here are our issues with
the electric bike in no particular order. The vast majority
just look goofy. Many feel a lot more like riding a motorcycle
than they do a bike. They are motor-driven vehicles. Isn’t
that sort of the opposite of what a bike is all about? Hold off
on the letter to the editor, we understand the arguments for
e-bikes and we aren’t saying we are right. Are we small-minded elitists? There’s a line around the block to make that
We swore you would never see an e-bike in these pages but
we’re eating our words. Our minds were expanded. We’ve
transcended our reality and come to a higher state of being
thanks to Superpedestrian and its Copenhagen wheel.
What the Copenhagen wheel does so well, and what other
e-bikes do so poorly, is retain everything we love about
bikes—the simplicity, the clean lines, the feel of your legs
driving you forward—while adding quite a bit of extra get-up-and-go for the commute or bike-based errands in town.
That’s because it’s not
an e-bike, but an electric
wheel you put on a regular
bike. There is no tacked on LCD
dashboard, no wires hanging out, no
giant battery bolted to the down
tube, no huge motor at the bottom
“It’s time to move on to the next step in the psychedelic revolution.” —Ken Kesey
bracket. It looks like your bike and it feels like your bike
because it is your bike, just faster.
The Copenhagen wheel can deliver 350 watts of extra power,
goes 20 miles per hour, regenerates power when you brake
and has a range of up to 30 miles. You access the power by
pedaling, not hitting a button. An app allows you to control
the wheel’s five riding modes—from no power to full-gas
turbo. The app also tracks rides, battery level, calories and a
host of other data. It even keeps your wheel locked for security
when you and your phone aren’t nearby.
Right now, the Copenhagen wheel is for rim-brake bikes only,
but expect a disc-compatible version in the near future. It
can be configured as a single-speed or for a traditional rear
derailleur up to 10 speeds. Internal hubs are not available.
We set up a Shinola that originally had an 11-speed internal
hub; running it as a single-speed now, we don’t miss the gears
thanks to the Copenhagen wheel. $1,500, superpedestrian.com P