Ireland-based Super Wheel System have released their spring-powered Forciclette. Pitted as an alternative to the e-bike, the Super Wheel Forciclette utilizes the rider’s weight converting it into forward propulsion of the bicycle for claimed efficiency gains of up to 30%. Here’s what we know so far.

Super Wheel Forciclette

“Take a look at this video, and with a little imagination, you will find this is basically… a simple idea” – Super Wheel System Website.

The Super Wheel Forciclette uses their patented “Weight (mass) to energy conversion technology” to improve cycling efficiency. It relies solely on human power but with 30% efficiency gains, founder Simon Chan is marketing the Forciclette as an e-bike alternative. 

super wheel system forciclette spring powered alternative bicycle wheel design

Details on the Super Wheel concept are very thin on the ground. The technology is said to be borrowed from that used on car wheels. The Forciclette design has two key components; the eight spring external mechanism, and the internal drive.

The rider’s weight has the effect of compressing the springs at the top of the wheel. As the wheel rotates forward, those springs decompress as they reach the bottom, then compress again as they rotate back to the top. This is where the free energy is coming from. It is stored in the springs under the rider’s weight and as the wheel rolls forward, that energy is released and converted to forward propulsion. 

spring powered bicycle wheel weight to energy conversion super wheel forciclette

How exactly the external spring mechanism is configured with the internal drive mechanism, we simply cannot tell so will refrain from hypothesizing.

An e-bike alternative?

With no battery to worry about, range of any bike fitted with the Super Wheel System is unlimited. Noted: The range of a traditional bike is only limited by the rider’s enthusiasm and athletic prowess. But let’s be honest, those efficiency gains are an attractive concept for any rider.

super wheel forciclette can be fitted to most bikes
Super Wheel say the spring-powered wheel can be fitted to “most” bikes though there is no information available on spacing

The guys at Super Wheel aren’t stopping at 30%, however. They are developing the concept further with the ultimate aim of offering 50% efficiency gains over a traditional rear wheel.

Pricing & Availability

super wheel spring-powered alternative wheel design forciclette

The Forciclette wheel is available for pre-order now at a price of 395,00. Two options are available; one for riders under 75kg and another for riders over 75kg.

SuperWheelSystem.com

70 COMMENTS

  1. No such thing as free energy. Only converting energy from one form to another. First law of thermodynamics! Looks like a neat idea to try, but they should get it in the hands of some actual cyclists to see what they think.

    • “Free energy” as you’re thinking would be a wheel that creates and uses its own energy. Perpetual motion. You may be right and this may be snake oil but they aren’t suggesting perpetual motion. They’re suggesting something similar to a trampoline. However you describe it we can all jump higher on a trampoline than we normally can. I remain open to the idea this wheel adds force to our pedaling input though I want more info.

      • With a trampoline, the total energy in is still less than the total energy out.

        Thought experiment: Imagine riding over a row of small vertical coil springs. Your weight makes the leading edge of the contact patch push the springs down, and as you roll forward the springs push the trailing edge of the contact patch back up. Is that “free energy”?

        • I agree with the skepticism but nowhere is anyone suggesting perpetual motion so that rebuke is mischaracterizing the (probably bs) claims.

          Back to the trampoline example… the total energy from your legs remains the same as it is from the ground yet it allows you to leap higher. Once you get a bounce going, you can go stiff legged and will continue to bounce (NOT FOREVER) but for a short while. Longer than without the springs. Just a tiny bit of energy from your legs will continue to benefit from these harmonic oscillations as long as you keep participating. Note the claims are a reduction in the amount of effort you must supply but it never claims to take over and run indefinitely without your input

            • I missed the part where anyone claimed the wheel to be a perpetual motion machine, perhaps because they didn’t, making it a straw man criticism.

              People seem to be fixated on the phrase “free energy”, taking it to mean something along the lines of perpetual motion, but that’s not the only possible intent behind the phrase “free energy”, and obviously not what is meant here.

              I take it to mean energy which is already being expended anyway, but not being put to maximum use, much like the sun warms a house with no tech to capture it’s energy, but the same sun on the same house can heat water, wash and dry clothes, generate electricity for everything, stored in batteries for 24/7 use, etc.

              Your weight is being used to generate forward motion; why is it a stretch to think someone may have figured out how to capture all the mechanical energy which is obviously being generated as we see, by the compress/stretch cycle of the springs as your weight is continually being shifted so that the springs are always in some part of the cycle, and turn it into a more useful form?

              • Cycles don’t produce energy. When springs are alternately compressing and stretching, they are passing energy between themselves, none goes in, none goes out. The energy gets put into the springs when you sit on the bike, and the only way to get it back out is to get off (and ALL of the springs decompress, thus energy release)

                The solar analogy doesn’t apply, because the sun is an energy source. Gravity is not an energy source, it is a force. The only way to get energy out of gravity is to let something fall. If you are not moving vertically, then you are not producing gravitational energy.

    • I’m not an engineer so please go easy on me if I’m way off. It seems to me that this wheel is converting the downward pull of gravity into a forward push. Taking what would otherwise be wasted energy and repurposing it.

      • Push and pull is one thing, but unless the one end actually moves in the direction of gravity then the other end is not going to move forward. What you describe is like a mass suspended on a rope running at 90 degrees over a pulley wheel, the end of the rope secured to a wall. The vertical pull of gravity on the mass is indeed translated into a horizontal pull against the wall anchor. But if you want one end to move, so must the other.

        Everything stops when your arse is on the floor.

  2. So it’s a flywheel that you can’t disengage and releases the stored power when not pedaling(?)…RIP if you need to stop quickly

  3. These types of things pop up now and again. Remember the one a few years back with weights that slid up and down the spokes?
    The fact that this thing got a government (not USA) grant is probably the most mind boggling.

    • Ireland is very good at giving startup grants to small industry. Rare for a competent proposal to be refused. priority is that the plan is well worked out and entrepreneurs are trustworthy. The whole thing sound goofy but proposals are not evaluated on enginering merit

  4. https://www.superwheelsystem.com/how-super-wheel-works/

    In the video, 0:45-0:60 suggests some sort of spring & ratchet in the hub: push down and release rotates the wheel. Note that the second demo is done with the visible springs removed. He appears to “wind up” the wheel, or find a specific engagement point.

    You could legitimately make a system that translated vertical motion into rotation, but that’s not what they’re claiming. And it still wouldn’t be “free”.

    Given the mass, it probably does feel like “free energy” once you’re up to speed and you stop pedaling. Flywheels are old technology….

    Easy enough to test. Just swap the wheel onto a bike with crank or pedal power metering and do some back-to-back tests with a standard wheel.

    • Looks to me like he’s rotating the wheel so the heaviest part is at the top in that demo, and letting it fall down. Notice how the acceleration reverses after it passes 180°, and they don’t let us see a full rotation (because it won’t rotate, it’s a pendulum).

  5. Simple to prove — just install on a bike with a crank or pedal power meter, and test back-to-back with a standard wheel.

    Given the mass, it probably does feel like “free energy’ once up to speed if you stop pedaling. That’s old technology…

    https://www.superwheelsystem.com/how-super-wheel-works/
    In the video, it appears that the “internal drive” is some sort of spring & ratchet that converts vertical motion to rotation. That’s feasible, but it’s not “free”.

  6. This is a scam, a fraud. Full stop.
    You cannot defeat physics and thermodynamics simply says that you cannot get out of a close system more energy that you put in.
    Whatever bull**t story they come up with is not physically possible.
    If you get “energy out of the springs” is only because you’ve used energy to compress them. And actually you waste the thermal energy due to friction.
    Please Bikerumor, keep being a decent cycling site, don’t publish all the junk that you find on the internet.

  7. How do you know if there’s an engineer in the room?

    Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

    This wheel looks like some kind of funny joke though..

  8. On the preorder page there is no information on wheel size, tire size, hub spacing, axle type, freehub type, weight…… It is “easy to fit on most bikes”.

  9. Some of you are too skeptical. It appears to make it more efficient and the concept sounds very doable. It sounds like it could also work on motor driven bikes to make them more efficient. Cool idea.

    • Bicycle chain drive trains are already 97% efficient. Their alleged “30-50% efficiency gains” are either literally impossible (over 100%, more energy out than in), or pitifully small (working within that tiny 3% window)

      • You’d be surprised the things a cyclist will do to get even minor drivetrain efficiency gains. Typically in to from of drivetrain weight loss, which this clearly does not offer.

  10. It’s not free energy people. You’re putting in more energy to move your mass forward. Your weight takes some of that energy and causes the tire and wheel to flatten. Apparently springs can store some of that energy and return it back to you. It’s increased efficiency. Not free energy. Geezsh.

  11. It’s a spring (system). X pounds of compression energy – releases X pounds of rebound energy. Zero gain, added weight, raised eyebrows.

  12. Just to confirm then, regarding the “debunking” of this article/product, none of you geniuses has actually tried/tested the besmirched product IRL, correct?

    • There is *zero* data on the website on how the supposed 30% efficiency gain was measured. No test setup, no power numbers, no direct comparisons. Nothing.

      There are no specifications for the wheel.

      I’d say that skepticism is entirely justified.

      • Skepticism, sure. Calling bs based on straw man arguments “debunking” the claim of “perpetual motion” or “energy for nothing” which nobody made, is just trolling an interesting idea before giving it a fair evaluation.

        • They ARE claiming energy for nothing. They claim that the energy comes from “weight” or “the ground reaction force” which is pseudoscientific gibberish. Forces and energies are not the same thing, there is no energy obtainable from the ground reaction force (which you probably learned in school as “the normal force”, the thing that keeps you from falling through the ground), because every ground reaction force is counterbalanced by an equal and opposite force of gravity. Energy is only present when forces are *un*balanced.

          If there was obtainable energy from the ground reaction force, then the surface of the earth would act like flubber: constantly bouncing everything away from itself faster than gravity pulls it back until every object that touches the surface is thrown into space. Things don’t move when they are on the ground *because* the ground reaction force is not an energy source.

          The energy that is “released” when a spring reaches the bottom of the wheel is immediately contained in the compression when the spring reaches the top of the wheel. The energy is added to the spring system when you sit on the bike, and the only way to get that energy back out is to get off.

          Just look at their “demo”: they show the wheel making a half-turn, then they stop it, rotate the same part back to the top, then let it make another half-turn. That’s not an energy source, that’s a pendulum: one part of the wheel is heavier than the rest so it rotates until it reaches the bottom, then settles.

        • Kangaroo can recycle up to 80% of energy from the previous jump, but that’s not comparable here… It can’t be gain more energy from releasing the spring then we put into compressing – only less. Therefore, in order to turn that wheel – or to simultaneously compress and release all coil springs in that mechanism, in every turn we have to add some amount of energy: the more of coils, the more of energy needed. Weight isn’t constantly added so “gravity force” (better say field) is irrelevant.
          This wheel can consume energy only… can’t return.

  13. After placing your order, please get in touch with me. I have some great real estate on Mars I think you’ll be interested in.

  14. People should really be paying more attention during their high school physics classes…
    “Weight” can do work by converting potential energy to kinetic energy. Let’s say you ride on a road, and a bump kicks you up by 1 cm. If you weight 100 kg, you thus gain ~10 J in potential energy. You can then convert that energy to forward motion (kinetic energy) via your fancy wheel. If you do that once per second (a rather rattling ride) you have a gigantic 10 W you can use to go forward.
    But of course, when you hit that bump that kicks you up, the newly created potential energy is not materializing out of thin air. You gain 10 J moving up, meaning that you loose 10 J from your kinetic energy (where else could that energy be coming from?). Hence you slow down.
    The super-wheel can in theory help convert vertical motion back into forward motion, by avoiding the loss of that potential energy when you hit a bump. That’s also what a suspension on a bike can do (the most simple form of this suspension being the tires – especially when running at lower pressure).
    Just keep in mind that the gain is tiny unless (1) you’re riding over really rough terrain, (2) 10 W is 30% of your power output (quick maths: don’t expect to win the TdF), (3) you’re riding on a perfectly flat road, so you don’t care about that big heavy piece of aluminum.
    Always check with a high school physics nerd before writing about ‘magical’ stuff.

  15. Haha. Already invented…the rubber tires on your car have a contact patch that keeps your car attached to the road. This contact patch is formed by the rubber compressing (acting like a spring) guess what people the mass of your car compresses the rubber in contact with the road and then releases it as the tire rotates. It takes energy to compress the tire, this is called rolling resistance. This is exactly why your car will roll to a stop after you take your foot off the gas…unless of course your car is going downhill 🙂
    Any real engineer learns the laws of thermodynamics and knows that energy can neither be created or destroyed it just changes forms. This is not free energy! No such thing. Get a book on vehicle dynamics and thermodynamics stop listening to this BS. Oh by the way did you know that around 70% of the energy value in your gas car is wasted by friction & heat. Literally it goes out your tailpipe. You can’t get something for nothing. That is the problem in this world right now. No one wants to work. Too many people want something for nothing! Stop looking for freebies!!!

  16. My idea is for a Super Duper Wheel and it’s 10% more efficient than this yet only costs 8% more. Do the math. Mine is the better value and it has a cooler name.

  17. Looks to me like he’s rotating the wheel so the heaviest part is at the top in that demo, and letting it fall down. Notice how the acceleration reverses after it passes 180°, and they don’t let us see a full rotation (because it won’t rotate, it’s a pendulum).

  18. With a firm understanding of physics (oh, and two degrees in engineering) this is a scam. The off centre axis of rotation between the wheel centre and hub centre means the each spring is compressed and uncompressed one each revolution. Energy in, energy out subtract a little for hysteresis.

    Or for the more credulous and less skeptical I have a question: if you just jump on does it start moving itself and not stop? Are there any independent tests of this device? No, it was put together as a crowd-funding scam on indiegogo, to separate people from their money.

    Getting a patent does not mean it’s real. Patents are for new, but they don’t care if it works or not.

    • Exactly. There have been a large number of patents issued for all forms of perpetuum mobile designs in all parts of the world. None of those patents have working implementations that do what they claim.

  19. The article literally says “free energy”.

    The weight of a bike rider never changes. Any energy that is “released” by a spring that is not on the bottom any more is immediately consumed by the next spring that compresses. The only way to get the energy out is to restore the original shape of the wheel, which means getting off the bike.

    Bicycle drive chains are already 97% efficient.

  20. This is a thermodynamics conservation of energy problem. If your mass compresses the springs, you are building up potential energy. If this energy converts to wheel rotational force you must restore this PE. And by thermo laws you must add more PE energy than what was converted to wheel motion. So what’s the point?
    This company is scamming customers at a rate of E396 a pop. I don’t think your mag should advertise this scam.

  21. I’m also a degreed mechanical engineer, this is complete BS. There is no energy in the downward pull of gravity, it’s just a force. To harness the potential energy in gravity you have to move the mass of your body upwards which requires energy input. The same as when you climb a mountain to then ride downhill. No matter how you go about it the energy output will always be less than the input. There is no free lunch.

  22. I cannot believe I am reading this unbelievable nonsense that contradicts laws of mechanics and thermodynamics here. I non-motorized bicycle is nothing but a lever to which human-generated power is applied. Any fixed power gets “distributed” between speed and force, literally determined by the chosen leverage. All those numerous gears, crank lengths, cassette ratios, gear inches etc. we have on our bikes — they all contribute to that leverage. Then there are friction losses.

    “weight to energy conversion” — that sounds like a nuclear reaction to me, when we indeed can get energy from mass, remember E = mc². Do they hide a nuclear reactor somewhere there?

    A nice quote from https://medium.com/techmagazine/perpetuum-mobile-e848ce9684b5 to sum this all up:

    >The time between 1150 (??? – strange date — typo?) and 1775, when the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris stopped accepting proposals “concerning perpetual motion”, was the Wild Era of the Perpetuum Mobiles — everyone was inventing and building them left and right — demonstrating them to kings and masses for a nice fee.

    > But of course, it would be naive to expect the idea of a perpetual motion machine to just die off because patent offices around the world, following the French Royal Academy, stopped accepting the applications.

  23. In the video if the wheel is pushed down and released it seems a ratchet mechanism locks and the wheel uses some springs to turn. I don’t see this working when you’re riding unless you’re rocking back and fourth on the bike to take weight off the back wheel.

    This doesn’t appear to happen when you ride normally so I don’t think this wheel does anything. Wheels are the best they can be without any extra energy input.

  24. I’m guessing that braking energy is stored in springs, and that is held as potential energy by locking the rotational position in with a ratchet. Then from a standing or slower start, the ratchet is released and the springs released accelerating the bicycle even with no human/battery power. The limiting factors are mechanical energy loss and extra weight.

  25. This mechanism transforms energy from overcoming bumps/ potholes/ irregularities of the road into forward motion. Interesting and refreshing. Regular suspension is known for absorbing power but (regular suspension) does’t use that energy to make faster ride, insted energy (from bumps) is absorbed by damper.
    Many people know that You are faster on ultra-smooth surfaces (say wooden tracks) than road with with irregularities or potholes. The same thing is common to braking (of course this device doesn’t transform braking energy) – we got used to thinking that heat is “better” than recuperation. KERS is already used in F1 cars.

  26. Obviously not “free” or “perpetual” if it relies on constant input, but could it multiply force. Could be the next derailleur. Need to test on a single speed. I volunteer.

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