Photo contributed by FlyKly

The transportation industry is receiving a possible new asset to its arsenal.  A San Franciscan science team has crafted a new and relatively inexpensive invention called the FlyKly Smart Wheel.  It is a rear bicycle wheel with the motor, battery, and electronics within secure housing in the center of it.  It costs about $600 and can be ordered in any custom size or color that best suits one’s bicycle. One can reach up to 20 mph for a 30 miles range and it weighs 9 lbs.

The extending ramifications from the Smart Wheel gracing the market remain to be seen, but there is great potential lying within this scientific product.  When asked if the Smart Wheel could eventually be standardized into the norm of transportation, Electrical Engineering student Cameron Sayles ‘16 said, “It could, but I don’t know if I could see it becoming the standard thing, but it could definitely become popular.  And in the next five or six years it’ll be cheaper, so it’ll be more widespread.”

Sophomore Nick Solomini, a student who often uses a bike to trek campus, said, “I know it’s the new technology, so it has to be expensive, but I probably wouldn’t buy it unless it were around $100.  If I had to use my bike to get work, I would buy it, it’d be a good investment.”

Cities would greatly benefit from the product, given that most residents opt to walk to work or suffer in the midst of traffic.  The Smart Wheel would help soothe sore ankles and achieve Klansek’s goal.

In an interview with ABC7 News, FlyKly’s Niko Klansek said, “We want to make cities more livable and more people-friendly, not car-friendly.”

In regards to the possibility of the Smart Wheel entering the norm, Dr. Shanon Reckinger said, “As a country, no. Our cities were not designed for bikes.  Much of the US has been designed for a suburban lifestyle, where everything is spread out and designed for car travel.  Although an electric bike might help motivate some of this change, I don’t see the majority of the population jumping on a bike in the current street layout because it is simply too scary!”

Klansek also explains the Smart Wheel’s name, “Kly stands, in Greek stands for constant energy. And fly is just on the go, good looking. So constant energy on the go.”

According to FlyKly’s Kickstarter page, the Smart Wheel is designed well with the ability to connect to smart devices.  The FlyKly app enables one to control and monitor the Smart Wheel from their iOS and Android devices.  Set the top speed, start pedaling, and over time the app will study your cycling habits and suggest time-efficient, safest, and most attractive travel routes.

The app also has a safe hold over the Smart Wheel; it can be locked with the touch of a button and it can be quickly located and tracked via GPS if stolen.

Creators remain optimistic and state over time they should be able to share data from sensors built in the wheel to create maps detailing how to bike around cities.

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