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Jyrobike self-balances to keep kids on the straight and narrow

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June 16, 2014

The Jyrobike is claimed to be able to teach a child to ride a two-wheeler within one after...

The Jyrobike is claimed to be able to teach a child to ride a two-wheeler within one afternoon

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Conventional training wheels might be useful in preventing cuts, breaks and bruises, but they can also lead to bad habits and lengthen the process of learning to ride a bike on your own. The team behind the Jyrobike are looking to give budding cyclists a quicker path to two-wheeled success, with a self-balancing bike that uses a gyroscope to keep kids on the straight and narrow.

It was back in 2009 that Gyrobikes first emerged with its Gyrowheel, the mechanism that would go on to define its 3-in-1 Gyrobike in 2012. The Gyrowheel replaces the front wheel of the bicycle and features a battery-powered spinning disc where you would normally find the spokes. This disc creates a gyroscopic force inside the front wheel, improving the stability of the bike by simulating faster movement, even when the rider is moving slowly.

Five years later, a rebranded Jyrobike has returned with its third iteration, an upgraded version of its bicycle training aid. The 12- or 16-inch gyroscopic wheel has been re-labeled as the Control Hub and uses a 14.4-watt motor to create the stabilizing force. This can be dialed down with high, medium and low settings, and can also be turned off altogether as the rider becomes comfortable pedaling unassisted. These balance settings can be adjusted via buttons on the Control Hub's side or using a wireless controller, which works within a range of 150 m (164 yd).

According to the company, the new version has much-improved onboard electronics, making it lighter, more efficient, able to run longer and able to produce more force. It is powered by a 7.2-volt lithium battery which can be recharged via Micro USB, each charge providing enough juice for 3 to 4 hours of use. This, coincidentally, is around how long the company says it takes for the Jyrobike to work its magic, claiming the majority of children can learn to ride a bike within one afternoon.

Once the child has mastered the art of balancing on their own, the flywheel component of t...

Once the child has mastered the art of balancing on their own, the flywheel component of the Control Hub can be removed, reducing the weight of the Jyrobike by 60 percent. Furthermore, the Control Hub can be purchased separately and fixed to a third-party childrens' bike to transform it into a self-balancing lesson in pedal-powered motion.

The company is raising funds on Kickstarter for mass production of the Jyrobike. Pledges of US$129 will put you in line for a Control Hub and wireless controller, while pledges for a 12-inch-wheeled Jyrobike are set at $249. Shipping is expected to begin in January 2015, assuming it reaches production.

You can hear from the team in the pitch video below.

Source: Jyrobike

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. He now writes for Gizmag, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, Melbourne's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.   All articles by Nick Lavars
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7 Comments

That will mean the child will be slower on the uptake if he wants to ride a normal bike.

thk
16th June, 2014 @ 04:15 pm PDT

Training wheels are the worst idea to hit bicycles ever.

Jest get a bike small enough that the child can put their feet on the ground while on the seat and leave the pedals off till they get the hang of steering and balancing.

Slowburn
17th June, 2014 @ 12:20 am PDT

@thk, the gyroscopic support is gradually reduced and turned off, teaching the learner all the skills they need in tandem! Then once it's turned off, they have a regular bike to ride!

@Slowburn, that's a balance bike, and is a good concept! It can take quite a while for a learner to gain the confidence they need learning that way though.

Jyrobike
17th June, 2014 @ 03:38 am PDT

Looks pretty awesome. I like that they have a bunch of options where you can retrofit an existing bike. I might back, but twins make purchases like this a bit expensive.

Stradric
17th June, 2014 @ 06:56 am PDT

Unlike the gigantically bad unsafe idea further up the page the gyrobike has merit but it also has an inherent flaw. The flaw is that it is only needed for a short while and then is just useless. Because kids will learn to balance fairly rapidly buying this will seem excessively expensive at almost any price. The way to sell this is as a low cost to free rental from a bike store. The store gets to use the bike with many customers and as a lead in for selling bikes after using the training bike for a day or two. Good Luck with this great training tool!

StWils
17th June, 2014 @ 10:34 am PDT

How about a larger size for seniors or any adult w/balance difficulties? Most older Americans ride a heavy cruiser anyway so space between the forks shouldn't be a problem.

Phileaux
17th June, 2014 @ 12:49 pm PDT

Aside from the expense, questionable reliability, huge carbon footprint and disposal woes of added electronic and mechanical complexity, there's the problem of safety. Child learns to ride with Jyro, both parent and child gain false sense of security, they ride near other cyclists or near cars, batteries die in mid-ride, everyone is unpleasantly surprised. My question, why is the learning curve on a push bike considered insurmountably challenging? In my experience we are talking like 3-5 sessions for the typical toddler. That's hardly "quite a while". Are we collectively contributing to the decline of physical coordination of our species? ...or is this really a part of a larger set of symptoms of the alternative (read aloof) parenting trend. When my kids learned, I took an active role by pushing them around. Within 3-5 sessions they were stable enough to balance on their own, and off they went. For seniors and those who have balance problems, I imagine the balance risk of falling is greatest while mounting or dismounting bike. I doubt the flywheel will be able to balance an unmoving bike. Tricycles or quadcycles are the solution.

sk8dad
17th June, 2014 @ 05:05 pm PDT
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