Lightweight demos new Smart Wheel prototype

Embedded sensor for temperature and pressure on Lightweight wheels

Lightweight, the German manufacturer of ultra-light, ultra-stiff wheels, has developed a new Smart Wheel system that gives real-time pressure and temperature data from its wheelsets.

The new prototype Smart Wheel project was originally created to track the increases in heat dissipation between Lightweight's third and fourth generation braking surfaces. Lightweight says that the technology allowed the company to validate a 100 per cent increase in braking power, as well as much better heat acceptance on its carbon clinchers.

The Smart Wheel system uses a small sensor embedded into the rim that feeds real-time temperature data for each wheel to an Android app via ANT+. Lightweight says this can be used to avoid the danger of rims overheating under heavy braking as well as to help teach riders more efficient technique when negotiating corners – thanks to a handy display that turns from green to red as heat increases.

The pressure feedback could give early warning for punctures as well as allowing PSI-perfect set-ups, while there's also support for other telemetry such as heart rate. Lightweight is also looking at adding mapping support to create a fully-featured do-it-all cycling app.

The app gives realtime data about the wheels' temperature and pressure

Smart Wheel is firmly in the protoype stage – there's a lag of around five to 10 seconds for changes in temperature or pressure to be detected – but Lightweight says that it would cost an additional €800 to add this functionality to its already high-end, top-dollar wheelsets.

Lightweight is also experimenting with disc-compatible wheels. The company says the finished wheels won't go to market in the form seen below, but that it is dabbling with the Shimano Centerlock standard.

Just in case you wondered, this is definitely a prototype

Road discs are sure to be a big trend at this year's Eurobike and throughout 2015. Check out more from our Eurobike 2014 coverage.

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