No sweat riding up that hill with the Centinel electric wheel

DREW UY | 21st Sep 2016 | NEWS

We are not sure if this piece of technology would ever go places in the real world, but the Centinel Wheel appears to hold a lot of promises to cyclists who prefer “leg-powered” bicycles but need that extra boost to climb up the hill in order to complete the ride.

The rear-only Centinel Wheel, which is compatible with 26-inch tyres and still in prototype form, is the latest technology break-through by Hycore, a Korean company that specialises in the conceptualisation, design and manufacturing of technology solutions.

Following the concept of the Copenhagen Wheel, the FlyKly and the Omni Wheel, the Centinel Wheel could be installed as the rear wheel of any bicycle and activated to translate electrical energy to power the bike.

Within the Centinel Wheels lies a microcontroller, two 180-watt motors and a 24-volt 13-ampere lithium ion battery. Every component is designed to be fitted into the three-spoke wheel so that it looks neat without the cluttering of battery packs and cables. Reportedly, each of the two motors is fitted into a single spoke and the battery, which is located at the centre of the Centinel Wheel, could be easily extracted for charging.

An interesting feature of the Centinel Wheel is its ability to communicate, via Bluetooth 4.0, with an app that could be installed on an Apple or Android smartphone. According to the Hycore’s website, the app allows the rider to select the amount of electrical assistance that is needed from the Centinel Wheel amongst other functions. The Centinel Wheel is also able to monitor the rider’s cadence, which enables it to adjust its electrical output to assist the rider to maintain his or her cycling speed.

With a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hours and a riding range of about 50 kilometres, the Centinel Wheel weighs at eight kilograms and Hycore promises to introduce the product in other wheel size configurations.