Interbike 2011: SlowWheel and PowerWheel

Tucked away in Interbike’s lower hall were some of the show’s neater new products: PowerWheel and SlowWheel.  Inspired by a triathlete’s desire to be able to train with slower riders, the PowerWheel and SlowWheel incorporate centrifugal clutches into dedicated front hubs, which have the effect of adding user-selectable levels of drag between 10 and 45kph (~6-30mph).  The idea is analogous to a runner’s resistance parachute or swimmer’s drag suit.  Click through for pricing and more mechanism details…

With built-up front wheels weighing in at about the same mark as a rear wheel with cassette, the $1,200 PowerWheel has 7 user-selectable levels of resistance (plus one free setting), high-end bearings, and is built up using a DT Swiss clincher.  The $700 (projected) SlowWheel gives up a bit of bearing and rim quality as well as four resistance levels- but the concept remains the same.

A neat idea that passes the mental would that really work? test, we could see the PowerWheel and SlowWheel being big benefits for riders looking to make the most of limited riding time, either with friends or family or on their daily commute.  The wheels are available for pre-order now and should ship later this year…




g - 09/16/11 - 10:29am

i can make your brakes rub for 19.95…for another 5 I will let some air out of your tires.

iamtinny - 09/16/11 - 11:04am

I echo G – kinda a high dollar item for such an odd need. Spend $300 and get a training wheel set with heavy tubes, a heavy cassette and wide tires. You wanns go crazy, throw some sand in your wheel bearings. Or, carry a water bottle full of BB’s…

Topmounter - 09/16/11 - 11:49am

Resistance on the front wheel? This sounds pretty dangerous if you plan on turning, especially if it starts raining.

+1 on wider tires with lower air pressure and/or a heavier set of training wheels.

Turbofrog - 09/16/11 - 12:19pm

And just think how comfy you’ll be, loafing along your 700x38s at 60 psi…

LookieLoo - 09/16/11 - 12:24pm

“Neater new product”? Seriously?

Mr. P - 09/16/11 - 12:30pm

LOL @ above comments. N1.

But I do have to say that this would be cool for being able to ride with the family and the significant other as a training ride.

Endomorph tires at 0psi might be a more direct comparison.

oilcanracer - 09/16/11 - 12:54pm

i got some rubber bands i can sell you to put on your brake levers. the more the rubber bands the more the work out.

NCMTB - 09/16/11 - 2:24pm

Everyone is forgetting that was designed/inspired by a triathlete. Isn’t that enough said.

Dave - 09/16/11 - 6:15pm

Or just push a harder gear…

John Willis - 09/16/11 - 6:41pm

I pull my wife and kids in a BOB trailer.

Alex - 09/16/11 - 8:12pm


Philippe - 09/16/11 - 9:34pm

It is a product really targeted towards elite cyclists and enthusiast triathletes. It finally allows athletes of different strengths to compete one against each other and makes group rides more interesting for the fastest riders of the group.

The problem with just adding weight is that it creates momentum, so it is tougher to get the bicycle in motion, but once it is rolling you don’t get that much more exercise than without the weight.

They got a lot of great critics at the show. Check this out :

Warp - 09/17/11 - 7:18am

Only we cyclists are dumb enough to shell out cash for such solutions to non-existing problems… $700? Seriously? Chinese bearings do that for like $5 a pop.

AndyD - 09/17/11 - 2:15pm

NCMTB, you nailed it. Triathletes are up there with recumbent riders for weirdness.

Will - 09/18/11 - 6:26pm

mountain bike with lead tape/wire wrapped around the spokes. . . wheels will be heavy enough to provide a work out to anyone. I used to do the same thing with running, but ankle weights. . . now that I think about it, I might do this just for fun to see how great it feels when I take the extra weight off!

Jake - 09/19/11 - 8:46am

Silly triathletes. Can’t you just go for a ride with slower riders? Push a massive gear if you want better training…

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