The Copenhagen Wheel Analog | The Garage Group

The Copenhagen Wheel Analog

We’re always on the lookout for cool new ideas — especially the ones that are stacked with product, service and/or marketing business model elements that can inspire other new ideas. See our post on using analogs to inspire new ideas for more background on analogs as the secret sauce behind great ideas.

The Copenhagen Wheel transforms any bicycle into a hybrid e-bike. From their site:

The Copenhagen Wheel turns the bike you already own, quickly and easily into an electric bike with regeneration and real-time environmental sensing capabilities. The wheel harvests the energy you input while braking and cycling and stores it for when you need a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel are collecting information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions.

The Copenhagen Wheel differs from other electric bikes in that all components are elegantly packaged into one hub. There is no external wiring or bulky battery packs, making it retrofittable into any bike. Inside the hub, we have arranged a motor, 3-speed internal hub gear, batteries, a torque sensor, GPRS and a sensor kit that monitors CO, NOx, noise (db), relative humidity and temperature. In the future, you will be able to spec out your wheel according to your riding habits and needs.

Live in San Francisco? Add more battery power. Interested in real-time applications? Increase the number of sensors.

Lastly, the wheel is controlled through your Smart Phone and becomes a natural extension of your everyday life. Simply place your phone on the handlebars, and its Bluetooth module syncs with the Bluetooth module in the hub of the Copenhagen Wheel. You can then use your phone and our Copenhagen Wheel Application to unlock and lock your bike, change gears, select how much the motor assists you and for viewing relevant real-time information.

We love the sleek design, and the full integration into the life of urban bicycle commuters; the eco-friendliness of it. If you’re looking for an analog to help inspire a solution that leverages existing “hardware” for new consumer and market trends, this may be a good one to explore!

The Garage Group leverages analogs to enable teams to build business model prototypes as an output of ideation. To learn more about applying this approach to your business challenge, contact us at

A project by the MIT Senseable City Lab
Photos by Max Tomasinelli

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