Business

Two startups, two very similar bicycle wheels

Superpedestrian Inc.plans to begin shipping its Copenhagen Wheel this spring.
Superpedestrian Inc.plans to begin shipping its Copenhagen Wheel this spring. Credit:

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So, who really reinvented this bicycle wheel?

Two startups recently unveiled two high-tech bicycle wheels around the same time and both say they’re going to revolutionize cycling as we know it.

As for their specialized, battery-backed wheels, well, they look oddly similar. Both have a striking number of the same features, too. And both upstarts profess to use groundbreaking technology to turn most standard bikes into a hybrid e-bike that is controlled with the touch of a smartphone.

A moment of cycling serendipity? Or is there something amiss here?

Those questions have been cropping up with increasing frequency on Facebook pages and on cycling blogs around the world as these two startups—one from Cambridge and the other from New York—race to become the first to market with their sleek motorized wheels.

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