Some people think of cycling up a hill with just their legs for power as fun. Can you imagine? We'd much rather have technology push us up, thanks very much...
Flykly - aside from being the sort of word that seems impossible to touchtype correctly first time around - is a company concerned with helping cyclists get around without taxing their muscles too much. Now fair enough, some people 'love the burn' but if you'd prefer a gentle trundle to a hill-sprint and chuckle at commuters in full lycra bodysuits, read on - we think you might be interested.
The Smart Wheel is as simple an answer as we've seen to the problem of electric-assisted cycling. As opposed to kits that require significant installation, or the wallet-bashing solution of a brand new electric bike, Flykly's solution is an all-in-one design that puts battery, motor and sensors into the hub of the wheel.
That means all you have to do is replace your current rear wheel with the Smart Wheel - Flykly reckons it'll take about five minutes - and hey presto - now your bog-standard bike is a pedal-assisted hill-muncher! It's only 3kg in weight, so it's unlikely to be a great deal heavier than your current stone-age wheel, and it'll travel up to 100km on a full 2-3 hour charge..
The wheel itself comes in three sizes - 20”, 26” and 28” - which should cover most bikes, and the motor and sensors on each one are well protected inside a weather-proof housing. For something that originally started on Kickstarter, it's very well-designed - minimalist and functional.
You can customise exactly how your Smart Wheel rides via the Flykly app too. There are settings to change how much boost you want from the motor and what your maximum assisted speed is - the max is 25kmph. The sensors in the wheel will grab this information, and inform the motor when to start and when to stop. There's even a regenerative braking system that kicks in when you stop pedalling, and will use the kinectic energy to recharge your battery, similar to the KERS system in an F1 car.
That's pretty incredible, as far as we're concerned. If you want a piece of the action, you can buy a Smart Wheel today for €964 (£715) from the Flykly Store.