Copenhagen Wheel turns any bike into an electric hybrid

We can’t fault you for dismissing the Copenhagen Wheel as vaporware — it’s been nearly four years since the pedal-assist bicycle accessory made its debut at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference. But, we finally have pricing and availability to share, and if all goes to plan, the MIT-backed project could make its way to your doorstep in Q1 2014. Superpedestrian, a Boston-based start-up, is making the Copenhagen Wheel available for pre-orders beginning today. The $699 device snaps onto a standard 26-inch bicycle wheel, converting your ordinary bike into a powerful hybrid electric version that can cruise along at 20 miles per hour.

The Wheel, which sports a range of 30 miles, is powered by a 48-volt rechargeable battery. It’s designed as an entirely self-contained unit — instead of adjusting your speed using a throttle or button, you’ll simply pedal faster, just as you would while riding a lesser-equipped bike. The device will compensate with additional power whenever needed, and it locks when you walk away, providing a bit of additional security (though with a $699 sticker price, you’ll probably want to yank the removable battery, too). It can also communicate with the Superpedestrian mobile app, which tracks distance and calories burned. If you have the cash to spare, cruise on down to the pre-order link just below.

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