It was shown only installed on a single speed bike. Would it work with a cassette / RD system? They probably assume the motor will provide all the needed ooomph when the terrain is not flat.
They say it activates when you start pedalling, but when does it disengage? This would be important from a safety point of view.
A top speed of 20 mph = 32 km/h, not 25 km/h as listed on the site. In Japan it would only be street-legal as a bicycle if the motor is only active while pedalling, motor output decreases with speed and totally ceases at 25 km/h.
Non-Apple phones with Bluetooth 4.0 support (for setting the top speed on that wheel) are still thin on the ground.
1000 charge/discharge cycles for the battery is probably not too bad, if one cycle covers 50 km. It would take most people a number of years to cover 50,000 km on a city bike. The cylindrical cells look like standard 18650 cells also used in laptop batteries and flash lights. A full set of 20 of those could be had for less than $100, so it should be possible to refurbish the wheel at reasonable cost when the batteries finally expire.
Looked like a good idea (especially the slimmer design, GPS tracking, and pedal assist for here in Japan) until I read, "...Smart Wheel is actually fully compatible with multi-geared bikes since the rear gear cassette gets removed together with your old rear wheel once you replace it with the Smart Wheel. This of course turns your bike into a single-speed bicycle but we don't see that being much of a problem since shifting is no longer necessary beause Smart Wheel is already doing all the work for you." (an interesting take on "fully compatible" IMO) It's also not compatible with disc brakes which is a shame. The top speed seems lower if your app is in the metric setting I'm also left wondering about the "sticky pad" that can hold a phone to a flat surface when braking from 20mph once the phone has a few fingermarks on the back of it - that in itself seems to be an outstanding invention....
I'm also left wondering about the "sticky pad" that can hold a phone to a flat surface when braking from 20mph once the phone has a few fingermarks on the back of it - that in itself seems to be an outstanding invention....
In my experience, braking is not a serious problem for losing stuff, bumps are. Uneven road surfaces, speed bumps, etc., especially at high speed produce many more g's of acceleration than braking ever does.
Several water bottles have tried to escape from me when I was going over speed bumps on the Arakawa and near Odaiba. Now I secure them with rubber bands.
One Android phone shook loose on a bumpy downhill section of Rt246 (=> shattered screen). I now I use a bumper with a nylon safety loop that hooks around the holder.
Yesterday my faithful Canon S95 camera abandoned me on the first speed bump of a scenic back road at Kawaguchiko. I only realized about 8 km later and remembered a funny noise I had heard at one of the bumps. Fortunately that Canon is tougher than nails, it survived with only a minor scratch at one of the corners of the alloy case. Kudos to the honest person who found it on the road and put it on the kerb where we found it about an hour after I lost it. I have had it in my handle bar bag for thousands of km, but obviously not while going over that kind of speed bump at speed.