Bicycles

High-tech wheel makes your bike ... slower?

The AIRhub generates up to 100 watts of resistance
The AIRhub generates up to 100 watts of resistance
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The AIRhub generates up to 100 watts of resistance
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The AIRhub generates up to 100 watts of resistance
The AIRhub generates its own electricity via regenerative braking, so no battery-charging is required.
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The AIRhub generates its own electricity via regenerative braking, so no battery-charging is required.

Hill-climbing may be a great workout for cyclists, but, well … not everyone has a hilly road nearby. That's why Australian cyclist Michael Freiberg created the AIRhub. Sold as a complete front wheel, its hub incorporates an electromagnetic brake that creates up to 100 watts of resistance. It's sort of like being on an indoor trainer with the resistance turned up, except you're out on the road, where you belong.

The AIRhub generates its own electricity via regenerative braking, so no battery-charging is required.

It's controlled via Bluetooth LE by an iOS/Android app on the user's handlebar-mounted smartphone. That app allows riders to choose between different training modes including one in which the amount of resistance is selected manually; one where the resistance is automatically varied to maintain a given heart rate (a heart rate monitor is required); one that varies resistance to maintain a specific power output (a power meter is required); and, one that simulates an increased coefficient of drag.

The AIRhub generates its own electricity via regenerative braking, so no battery-charging is required.
The AIRhub generates its own electricity via regenerative braking, so no battery-charging is required.

It's not just about hill-climbing, however. The device could also be used to hold oneself back when riding with a slower partner, to pack more of a workout into short-distance rides such as commutes, or to keep the speed at a safe level while still getting a high-intensity ride on cycling paths.

The hub itself has a carbon fiber and aluminum housing, and tips the scales at 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). It's incorporated into an aluminum-rimmed 700C wheel, which should fit most road bikes.

If you're interested in getting one, be prepared to pay AUD$1,950 – or about US$1,496.

Source: Terrain Dynamics via BikeRadar

8 comments
ErnestKao
Money to burn, my rusty bike give me the same work out and it was free.
Jason Catterall
Holy hell that's hysterical! $2k!!!
Bob
If bikers really want a good workout, why do they pay hundreds of extra dollars for a bike that weighs a couple pounds less. Years ago I saw a picture of a bicycle that was made of concrete. Now that looked like a good workout.
wle
it isn;t 'regenerative' though , since it does not output any electricity. pretty silly though. you can always just go faster if you want more 'workout'. or put on the (nonregenerative) brakes a lot.
KerryDay
I considered working on this idea in the late eighties and realized the application of the increased resistance should be in the bottom bracket /pedal crank area. This would centralize and lower the weight , you would also Coast normally when not pedaling , also making it less complicated , especially changing Flats and measuring the applied wattage or power
WB1200
I let out half the air in my tires on an old cheap heavy bike to add resistance. Works great.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Good for long downhill on residential streets where you have to keep the speed below 25 mph.
SaysMe
Oh freakn please, if you load an oversized generator, like charging a big battery, you will slow your ass down too! Forget about this useless insult of a device... How about adding a bike trailer loaded with boulders?