In the movie TRON, there are bikes with orbital wheels. At the time of the film's premiere back in the '80s, and even within our current times, this was a futuristic and not-yet-realized concept. Now, while it has still not fully come to life, there is a new GeoOrbital wheel that is looking to revolutionize the biking experience in a similar vein. And while it may not be as drastic a change as the bike proposed in the movie, which we may see eventually, this is still a big pedal forward.
The "GeoOrbiter" wheel, which can be easily attached as the front wheel to your existing bike to transform into an electrically powered bike. It can heighten your speed and endurance. With only a few pedals, you can go up to 20 MPH and keep speeding along for 20 miles. You also don't have to worry about running out of power, the battery packs are removable with space for backups. There is even a place in the wheel to charge your phone as you ride.
Of course, it's not perfect. 20 seems to be a common number among statistics for the GeoOrbiter, and so far have been positive, but this next instance is one that hurts - the wheel itself weighs 20 pounds (vs. traditional bikes at around 6 pounds). Extra weight could impact the ability for quick narrow turns. Another hurdle may be the price, estimated at $600-700, which is a lot for a regular bike - let alone one wheel. Then again, it's not a lot for a moped retrofit.
People seem to be excited about the potential and GeoOrbiter has raised over $775,000 on Kickstarter, more than ten times its goal. The fact that it can be integrated into your pre-existing bike is definitely a huge plus, and who wouldn't want to go faster for less work? Pedaling is for spin class, after all!
Originally written about on Core77.