Researchers are MIT have designed a bike wheel that saves the kinetic energy generated by braking and stores it for later use, when the rider needs a boost, The New York Times reports. The energy goes into a battery inside the wheel's hub, a sleek red item called the Copenhagen Wheel that can be retrofitted onto the rear wheel of any bike. The hub also has air quality sensors, an odometer, and a GPS unit, and the data can be transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
But how this new technology will be received remains questionable. “Just the basic bike is so hard to beat,” said Steve Hed of Hed Cycling Products in Shoreview, Minnesota, whohas fitted wheels for Lance Armstrong. “The latest thing now are the simple, fixed-gear bikes, so simple and light you can throw them over your shoulder.”