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Gyroscopic Wheel Replaces Training Wheels on Bicycles


(YouTube Link)


Bicycle maker Gyrobike has invented the "Gyrowheel" -- a wheel with a motor-driven gyroscope inside that helps keep it upright. The manufacturer hopes to market it as a replacement for traditional training wheels on kids' bicycles. Nathan Barry of GeekDad writes:

It aims to replace traditional training wheels or stabilizers and to eradicate the bad habits that they teach kids when learning to ride a bike - leaning away from a turn and constantly putting a foot down at the first sign of a wobble when they’re eventually taken off. The Gyrowheel uses the “gyroscopic precession” of the independently spinning disk inside it to stabilize the bike. The force created when the disk is turned - via a rechargeable battery - is powerful enough to hold a wheel upright at very low speeds (i.e. virtually stopped), and can actually make a bike look like it has a “Ghost Rider” as the videos below show (and there are plenty more on the Gyrobike site).


Product Page via GeekDad (where there's an additional video)

How do you mean "all of us learned that way" (training wheels)...? I had a training-dad who guided and pushed me over and oever again and I fell and fell untill I was tired of falling and finally got the hang of it. And that was how most kids in my age learnt it. ...Okay I admit- This is the Netherlands I speak of where children are born with a bike between their legs... ;-)
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but what if the wheel is out of power after 3 hours but the kid stil has some sugarrush left? Seems like a complicated solution to a simple problem.

And about bad habits: traning wheels are not supposed to touch the ground when there in advanced mode :) (bend up)
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1. Putting it on the front wheel will make it hard for the kid to steer. It would better in the back.
2. The bike in the video falls over after about ten feet. Is this really string enough to hold up a kid?
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Pretty cool, but also very very much a solution looking for a problem.

Disclaimer : I was also born with a bike between my legs :)
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I am not impressed. Gyroscopes have been around for millinia. I think the old-style training wheels are better training aids, because they only assit the child when the bike is leaning. Otherwise they are not contacting the ground. The child learns how to NOT need any assitance from the training wheels.

This gyroscope wheel is always on, and makes the child learn to ride in a diffent way than they will encounter when they take it off. They will have to relearn their balance on a bike once the gyroscope is removed. I find it interesting that they don't show any kids trying to ride the bikes. They just roll the bikes and watch them fall over, proving they wouldn't prevent a child from doing so.

P.S. It might work better in the back, but that is not practicle, because it would need to accomodate the chain and brake elements of the bike.

I give them a thumbs up for perhaps starting a new craze in bike enthusiasm. Kids in the US don't ride bikes very much anymore. So, the gyroscope wheel does have some mertis.
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@Skipweasel
I got one of those pedal-less bikes from Germany. They really work great for teaching balance. My 2 year old zips around all over the place on it with both feet off the ground at once about half the time. I think it's called a Puki.
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I saw the gyro-wheel at Interbike last week. Two immediate things stand out: First, while the wheel stands up on its own, it seems as soon as a child is put on the bike it will begin to tilt to one side. The gyro wheel will not keep a child from falling. Secondly, the presenters said it is designed for kids 4-8 years. Unfortunately, they’ve already missed the market. Balance bikes in Europe (and now in the US) allow children as young as 2 years to learn balance, coordination and agility…..the three hardest things about riding a bike. The pedaling is the easy part. So, the inventors of the gyro wheel seemed to have missed the world progressing around them (young children learning the skills at age 2) while they worked on their product. It is a cool concept. I just think it has a very limited audience given the success of balance trainers.
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Training wheels only make it harder to learn how to ride a bike. If kids start on a "kick bike" they learn to balance naturally and can transition to a regular bike earlier and easier. You can make a kick bike by simply removing the pedals from a regular bike. When they are coasting with their feet up for a good percentage of the time they are ready for pedals.
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