Interbike 2011: SlowWheel and PowerWheel

Slow Power Wheel hub internals

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…




16 thoughts on “Interbike 2011: SlowWheel and PowerWheel

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 :

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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