A common biking scenario: You approach a massive hill that soars toward the horizon for what seems like miles. Unfortunately this behemoth lies directly between you and your destination. You swear a little, take a swig of water and begin trudging up the hill with painfully slow, purposeful rotations. You slog along at a barely-moving-forward pace and tire more and more. You wheeze and hyperventilate feeling as though you could hock an entire lung right onto the pavement. Your legs begin to burn; your arms become feeble; the front wheel starts to wobble from side to side and you're officially out of steam. You get off the bike and begin the slow walk uphill.
I've experienced this many times and I've seen others pushing their two-wheelers uphill, so I know I'm not alone. What good is a bike if you have to get off and walk during the most difficult parts of the journey?
Apparently bike commuter Stephen Britt faced the same challenges and asked the same questions. He's come up with a little invention he calls Fast Forward Pedals. The pedals swap out for your standard pedals and provide some electrically-assisted pedaling for up to 10 miles. According to their inventor, the pedals are very easy to install, taking about 15 minutes. They're also much lighter than traditional electric drivetrains.
Each pedal has a battery, gearbox and an electric motor. One of the really interesting aspects of the pedaling system is that it uses sensors to detect just how much help you need and delivers the right amount of spin to get you over the hump. When you want to control your own journey, simply spin the pedal and use the other side for fully manual operation.
These innovative pedals provide a cheap and dirty means of outfitting a standard bicycle for electric pedaling. You won't need to spend thousands on a fancy electric bicycle and will get all the benefits while still enjoying your existing bike. I'm not usually a fan of electric bicycles, but these seem like a solid idea.
The pedals are in the prototype stage at the moment and Britt is in the running for a £50,000 grant that could help bring them to market. You can vote for the pedals here. In the name of informed voting, be sure to check out other entries before casting your vote.
Road.cc via The GearCaster