Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN

Business Travel

New York student brings new energy to bike design

Friday, September 30, 2011 - 02:16

Sept. 30 - A 22-year old college graduate in New York has adapted hybrid car technology to a bicycle, using a fly-wheel to store energy generated by the brakes for use when the riding gets tough. Maxwell von Stein's flywheel bicycle redistributes energy to help the rider increase speed with maximum efficiency. Sharon Reich reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Feeling the need for speed? If you're riding Maxwell von Stein's bicycle, you can get to your destination in a flash, without having to work up a sweat. The engineering student's fly-wheel bicycle employs the same energy alternating principles as a hybrid car. But rather than a battery, it uses a fly-wheel to transfer and store kinetic energy, which gives the bike a boost in speed. Von Stein came up with the idea while commuting to classes at The Cooper Union. To build the technology, he began with a 15 pound, cast iron fly-wheel taken from a car engine. He mounted the fly-wheel in the center of the bike frame, and attached it to the rear wheel through a continuously variable transmission. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Maxwell von Stein, inventor of the Fly-wheel bicycle, saying: "That transmission controls how energy is distributed between the bike and the fly-wheel. When you want to slow down you twist the transmission, it's a twist shift on the right handle bar. ... By shifting that ratio, you increase the speed of the flywheel and decrease the speed of the bike. Now the flywheel is spinning really quickly, you've got energy stored there and when you need to accelerate you shift the transmission in the opposite direction for a boost in speed." Von Stein says he likes to think of the process as charging the flywheel and boosting the bike. While his self-described "contraption" has made biking easier, von Stein says his goal isn't to re-invent the bicycle. He is hoping to use the two-wheel experiment as a basis for developing a fly-wheel kinetic energy system for cars. He believes the system is a good alternative to battery-operated hybrid systems because it is lighter and can be packaged more easily. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Maxwell von Stein, inventor of the Fly-wheel bicycle, saying: "Hybrids are really heavy. In order to get a battery with the capacity to store enough energy to move the car it's got to be pretty heavy. Takes up a lot of room also. I know the Nissan Leaf, first electric car on the market in this country is 3400 lbs. For a compact car, that weight works against you when you're talking about efficiency. The nice thing about this is its light, it packages really well and its cheaper." Several European car companies are already experimenting with fly-wheel technology, and von Stein estimates that cars with regenerative braking systems could hit the market by 2013. He hopes to be part of that revolution, and is in search of a job with a company that will hire him to help develop the systems. In the meantime, he says he plans to devote HIS energy to charging around New York City on two wheels. Sharon Reich, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

New York student brings new energy to bike design

Friday, September 30, 2011 - 02:16

Top News »

Editors' Picks »

Most Popular »

Business »

Moving Pictures »

Images of December Images of December

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Tsunami - unclaimed possessions Tsunami - unclaimed possessions

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (2:23)

Images of November Images of November

Tue, 02 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, 28 Oct, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Oddly Enough »

Red pandas frolic in the snow Red pandas frolic in the snow

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (1:31)

Sheep herded to create Australian flag Sheep herded to create Australian flag

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (0:37)

Thailand beach road becomes bed race track Thailand beach road becomes bed race track

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (0:58)

Rhino born at Copenhagen Zoo Rhino born at Copenhagen Zoo

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (0:46)

Robots dance in mass-games fashion Robots dance in mass-games fashion

Wed, 21 Jan, 2015 - (1:30)

India has most of the world's tigers India has most of the world's tigers

Wed, 21 Jan, 2015 - (1:22)

Sports And Leisure »

Diver Daley trains in Rio Diver Daley trains in Rio

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (0:55)

Drogba on his Chelsea hopes Drogba on his Chelsea hopes

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (0:52)

NBA legend shoots from the hip NBA legend shoots from the hip

Wed, 14 Jan, 2015 - (1:13)

Tennis ace Murray proposes to girlfriend Tennis ace Murray proposes to girlfriend

Thu, 27 Nov, 2014 - (0:41)

Sports Spread: Tinkering Liverpool target Chelsea Sports Spread: Tinkering Liverpool target...

Thu, 06 Nov, 2014 - (11:18)

Flying car prototype takes to the skies Flying car prototype takes to the skies

Wed, 29 Oct, 2014 - (2:18)

Sports Spreads: Can van Gaal beat Mourinho? Sports Spreads: Can van Gaal beat Mourinho?

Thu, 23 Oct, 2014 - (12:39)

Dateline Asia »

Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:33)

Asia markets shrug at Greek elections Asia markets shrug at Greek elections

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:36)

Asia markets toast ECB stimulus Asia markets toast ECB stimulus

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:42)

Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:18)

Netflix to push play in China Netflix to push play in China

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (1:41)

Japan in a tight spot over hostage crisis Japan in a tight spot over hostage crisis

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (1:05)

Behind the pretty face of K-pop Behind the pretty face of K-pop

Thu, 22 Jan, 2015 - (2:09)

Record slowdown in China's economic growth Record slowdown in China's economic growth

Tue, 20 Jan, 2015 - (1:52)

North Korean defector changes his story North Korean defector changes his story

Mon, 19 Jan, 2015 - (1:03)

Reuters Investigates »

Where the sea is closing in Where the sea is closing in

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (3:41)

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:22)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)