October 4, 2009

Like-A-Segway: Gyrowheel By Gyrobike

gyrobike_bikecommuters.jpg

The old way to teach a kid to ride a bike was training wheels, of course, and the new OG way was on a pedal-less walking bike like a Like-A-Bike or one of its many knockoff/competitors.

Now there's a new new way rolling all by itself over the horizon: the Gyrobike Gyrowheel. It's a front wheel containing a battery-powered, variable-speed wheel spinning inside, which gives the bike as much stability as the kid needs.

In BikeCommuter.com's interview at Interbike a couple of weeks ago, the Gyrobike rep said they'd already taught 100 kids to ride, which should give you some sense for how far along they are in the product launch process.

Or you could, you know, read their website [12" wheel set for Dec. 1st]. Then just go lie down in the middle of the information superhighway by signing up for their email list, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel, and wait for the Gyrobike announcement juggernaut to roll over you.

The Gyrobike [thegyrobike.com]
Gyrowheel By Gyrobike [bikecommuters.com via dt reader rtm]

7 Comments

Nothing beats a Strider - super light and extra sturdy (little man thought it would be fun to drop off the side of the jungle gym while riding it)

That is seriously the coolest kid invention ever! I am typically resistant to change, but training wheels have been a terrible idea since they were invented and something needed to change. This revelation is pure awesomeness. I might have to write it up myself, help spread the word! Thanks.

Dug a little deeper and seeing that this was an offshoot of an Engineering 21 project at Dartmouth College brought a tear to my eye. This course at the Thayer School may be the best class on any college campus.

The gyrobike just seems a little too far along the complexity spectrum for the benefit it provides. I hope it doesn't weigh too much and it would probably be useful if the gyroscope could be "dialed down" to ween the kid off the dependency on it...otherwise, you're right back where you left off with training wheels. One last question: wouldn't the same principles help the gyrobike resist tipping over help it resist turning and stopping? Aren't those pretty important for kid safety?

I'm with dylandog, the Strider is amazing. In addition to being a (relative) bargain, it is one of the few run bikes that actually resembles a bicycle in terms of appearance and durability.

My husband has been pining for one of these since he saw it at the Maker Faire in May. I figure that our little boy will be constantly trying to kick it over.

Good to know it'll still be useful after the kid learns to ride.

We have a Strider, but what do you do when your child gets too big for it? My son is over 41" at 39 months, and the seat is already all the way up. We moved to him a 16" Trek bike with a removable crank, but he can't use it that way yet, so it's training wheels or nothing at all. The Strider doesn't last as long as you think, especially when your child is tall to very tall.

Jennifer, I think Strider sells a taller seat post if your son is not quite tall enough to move up to the Trek.

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