Electric assist hub

I am no fan of electric “self-balancing unicycles,” but I would like to see a unicycle-hub-compatible version of this made available. I think it might change the unicycle commuting outlook. Not cheap at $1K a pop, but next to a Schlumpf, it’s a bargain!

If I remember correctly there was a guy who built an electric assist unicycle hub a while back but I don’t know where to find details. :roll_eyes:

Totally fake video. Everybody in Denmark smokes and I didn’t see one cigarette. Cool hub though. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmmm. I just booked a ticket to Copenhagen. Would be a fun souvenir to bring home. :smiley:

It’s Justin that build an electric assist uni: Electric Assist Unicycle at Maker Faire, this Sat. and Sunday
I know it was tried by some on marathon track in Montreal and here is some info on that: The Holy Grail Project

Take a Twice and replace the bottom wheel by LanceB’s toy :slight_smile:

Putting the battery inside the wheel doesn’t seem such a good idea to me. Maybe if they could get it at a really short radius then it might not matter so much.

Anyway it isn’t the speed but the sense of physical power applied intelligently that is one of the most compelling aspects uni for me.

I thought about getting one of the self-balancing unicycles and disabling the self-balancing part but the ones I’ve seen use forward/backward leaning for speed control and that’s what you need if you’re balancing on it yourself. What I think would be great is a penguin unicycle frame with the shortest possible “wheelbase” (bottom bracket forward or backward instead of on top) that was adjustable to the wheel size (like the Nightfox). That would turn any bicycle back wheel, including this Copenhagen wheel, into a unicycle.


Could the electric assist interfere with forward/backward balance?

Could this product work off-road, where the application of pressure to the pedals is constantly changing?

Is there latency in the response of the system, and would this hinder the rider?

Could the system be adapted to sense back-pressure on the pedals?

Could the system help in the “dead” part of the pedal stroke (6:00/12:00 position)?

As with a Schlumpf, are some of the benefits mitigated by increased weight?

Are we going to have forum flame-wars, ten years from now, between the electric-assist crowd and the old-school “purists”?

That’s a good idea, Carl. Following on that, maybe a Huni-Rex frame would be a good candidate for one of these wheels.

No they don’t, so the absence of cigarattes doesn’t tell anything about the credibility of the video!

Haven’t seen any Copenhagen wheels in Copenhagen though… :thinking:

The problem with the Huni-Rex design is that it requires a custom hub with sprockets on both sides. We need a design with a hub or “bottom” bracket outside the wheel like Justin’s 3-speed build or the Gear-Changer drift trike I posted about in another thread.

You’ve seen the same pictures we’ve all been looking at for the last 3 or four years, so i guess that’s as good as a sighting. A couple of years ago people were calling it vaporware, and they still haven’t shipped any. Maybe they’re getting close. :sunglasses:

I didn’t realize it was such old news, sorry if I was re-hashing something that someone brings up every once in a while (like the Ryno). Anyway, their website links to a blurb from the New York Times, June of this year, where the guy rode a prototype and liked it, so maybe it is getting closer to shipping.

I think Carl has the best handle on implementation, and since he’s our “resident expert” on all things freewheel uncycle, I vote we start a fund to get him one of the first hubs to build into a unicycle. :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe get one of those crowd-fund things going?

To be honest, i don’t think I’ve seen it on this forum. So, not rehashed here.

As for the prototype review those have been done over the last few years as well. I think 3 years ago i even saw a picture of half a dozen bikes with Copenhagen Wheels. That may be every one of the prototypes they made, who knows. Obviously they are trying to keep the buzz up, and probably generate some start up capital. But really at this point I’ll believe it when I see it.


El Pueblo,

These are all very good points for those who might think the Copenhagen Wheel could work on a unicycle. At the very least, the rider would have a learning curve to mastery. this wheel stores pedal power, has an internal battery, wifi to you mobile device, some good things.

Neither have I. In fact only 5 seconds of the video is for sure from Copenhagen (0:31-0:36). But maybe some techical nerds from the technical universities ride this kind of wheel, who knows??

Best regards,

PS til Klaus: Skulle vi prøve at mødes (igen) og cykle en tur sammen?

Maybe you should buy rye bread, marinated herrings and strong salty liquorice instead. You can get that in any supermarket :roll_eyes:

Best regards,

I cannot find the FB link that shows many riders in Copenhagen

Wiki: The Copenhagen Wheel is a bicycle wheel that stores and delivers electric energy to power a bicycle. Energy comes from an external battery charger, and from regenerative braking when the rider back-pedals as in a coaster brake. It is a Pedelec and includes a built-in electric motor and a 48-volt lithium ion battery and is controlled by a smartphone app. The motor analyses the topography and pedaling activity to decide whether to deliver power. Range is approximately 30 miles.[1]

The wheel is made by Superpedestrian, based on technology from MIT.[1] The invention got a free advertising boost when it was featured in Showtime’s seventh season of Weeds.[2]

A chap called Ray (IIRC) had one at BJC in 2007 (again IIRC). The hub was wired up to a handle with a button on top, so the rider pushed the button to get electric assist.

It felt just like riding a normal unicycle, except that going uphill felt like riding on the flat.