FlyKly electric bike wheel

Axle-pin-780x519Where I previously was interested in the Copenhagen wheel, the FlyKly, is available now.

FlyKly has been in the works for a while. Originally a Kickstarter project that raised $700,000 (its goal had been $100,000), the electric bike wheel project is now available to everyone.

Electric bicycles are nothing new. But FlyKly’s approach is different — use your own bike, the company says, and just buy our wheel. That’s an attractive proposition if you’ve got a bike you love but want a little electrical propellant to get you where you’re going without building up a sweat.

The FlyKly isn’t cheap. The hub alone — which contains the product’s motor, battery, electronics, sensors, and Bluetooth antenna — runs $1,000. If you want it on an actual wheel, it’s $1,100. And you can also buy a FlyKly-fitted bicycle from either MSC or Linus for $1,500. The wheel comes in a 20-inch, 26-inch, or 28-inch rim.

The company’s not the first to try the removable electric wheel, with a similar approach in the works with the Copenhagen Wheel. But FlyKly is first to market, Klansek said.

Lest you wonder, the FlyKly system is not meant to provide every bit of forward motion as you ride. That’s called a motorcycle. Rather, this is “pedal-assist,” Klansek said. That means that once you start pedaling, the motor turns on and boosts your acceleration, but you still have to, you know, pedal.

The obvious questions are about battery life and power boost. Klansek explained that a fully charged battery should deliver up to 60 miles on a single charge if you maximize the system’s settings (though the FlyKly app, naturally) and pedal backwards as you go, which both brakes and recharges the battery a bit. With no tinkering of the settings, and no backwards pedaling, you’d get about 30 miles, he said.

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