I don't understand why I think this might be a good idea. I don't understand why I'm not ranting and raving against this thing.
According to this article on DigBoston.Com, these guys have developed a bike wheel that puts a motor and battery pack where the hub and spokes are on a standard front wheel. The tire and rim spin around what is essentially a huge hub.
It's supposed to get up to 25mph (which you can increase by pedaling), they expect a range (without pedaling) of 20 miles, it'll cost about $500... and it will quick-release into your existing 700c fork (and they're looking at making a 26-inch version that would fit into mountain bike frames). There is a one-time installation of a controller, but if you want your road bike back...
...says Burtov. 'When I want to bike for fun or exercise, I take the front wheel off, put my regular wheel back on, and in 30 seconds I get back my 100-percent manual bike.'
It doesn't require all-new hardware? And
It might get more cyclists on the road, which, by making cycling more common, would make drivers more likely to look for cyclists (which would be a help to drivers as well as riders).
If you check out the video, you'll hear some blather about, "You could put anything in there." I suppose you could, but I hope they won't.
They're available for preorder now. No, I don't want one... but I wish them every success.
Thanks to Laura OLPH for the link.
*Edit May 17: D'OH!