A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
What is CycleWing?
CycleWing is a new bicycle-mounted green technology that can turn almost any bicycle into a wind propelled vehicle. The patent pending CycleWing unit is compact, lightweight, and installs easily on most bicycles. If your bicycle can accommodate a standard rear rack, you should be able to install CycleWing on it.
With the CycleWing unit installed, the rider can deploy the CycleWing sail (wing) in mere minutes to get that extra boost from the wind. With CycleWing deployed, the rider has full electronic control of the sail and can orient it to provide optimal thrust according to conditions. A simple interface consisting of a graphic display and just two buttons (conveniently placed by your thumbs) means you can just keep looking forward and you never have to take your hands off the wheel to manage a potentially unwieldy sail.
The basic sailing "Points of Sail" principle applies to CycleWing. That means the wind can propel you forward while coming from many directions (about 35° to 45° on either side of the wind is a "no-go" zone, where a sail is unable to mobilize power from the wind)
When there is no wind (or it's coming from the direction of the "no go zone"), CycleWing folds neatly into a compact and unobtrusive package. The included water resistant cover protects it from the elements.
If you have ever been on a long bicycle ride on a day with a substantial wind, you may have had the same thought we've had while doing the same... if the wind is strong enough and blowing from the right direction, how can you leverage it to inject a wind powered adrenaline rush into your ride?
Wind propulsion for land vehicles such as bicycles has been tried before, mostly by hobbyists and experimenters. Those early experimenters proved that with a good strong wind, you can "sail" your bicycle. At the very least, get a welcome assist. Today, a small handful of commercial products combine "bicycles" with sails. These "bicycles" are invariably recumbent bicycles, low to the ground, often with more than two wheels, and with the rider in a more horizontal reclined position. Although recumbent bicycles have advantages and enjoy a a significant fan base, traditional bicycles are far more ubiquitous. CycleWing is designed to install on the rear part of a traditional bicycle (behind the rider) and promises to deliver a practical, easy to use sail-powered experience to these vehicles.
Over two years in the making, we believe CycleWing is finally ready to introduce to the world. The journey from the first prototype in early 2017 to today's prototype represents many cycles (no pun intended) of re-thinking, redesigning, recreating, and retesting. And we know there are still more improvements to make.
What's great about CycleWing?
Green! Next to pedaling, arguably the "greenest" form of powered cycling
Easy install! Installs much like a standard rack to the rear of most bicycles
Compact! Collapses neatly when not in use
Smart! Intuitive electronic display and controls make operation a breeze
Rechargeable and long lasting power
Lightweight! Made from carbon fiber, aluminum, and other lightweight materials, we aim to keep the entire unit below 15 lbs
Cool factor! It's a conversation starter
Made in the USA
Is CycleWing for me?
If you're wondering if CycleWing is something that you would utilize and/or enjoy, consider the following points:
CycleWing may or may not fit on your bicycle. CycleWing integrates a rear "luggage" style rack that should fit most touring bicycles. There are four attachment points to your bicycle: two top and two bottom. The two bottom attachment points are the eyelets on your rear wheel frame dropouts. The two attachment points at the top are on the seat stay mounts. All the attachment points are usually threaded and can accommodate standard metric screws. We include P-clamps for attachment to the seat stay tubing for the few bicycles that may not provide those mounts. Some bicycles, specifically some with rear disk brakes, racing bicycles, and shock absorbing mountain bikes may not have the required mounting points and thus not be suitable for use with CycleWing. We may in the future support some of these types of bicycles, but for the purposes of this Kickstarter campaign, we can only commit to more standard bicycle configurations.
Wind conditions in your area. Some parts of the world tend to experience more wind than others, on average. Coastal areas are also more prone to winds. While every place receives strong winds some of the time, you may live in an area where CycleWing use would be occasional, at best. That may be Ok, depending on what you want to get out of it. You likely enjoy cycling anyways. And the beauty of CycleWing is that you can just keep it folded up until conditions are right. We plan to conduct more formal testing after the Kickstarter campaign (see below, "How we plan to use the funds"), but in our experience you will need a sustained wind that is between 18 mph and 30 mph for the best CycleWing experience. You should always check the wind conditions before venturing out. Web sites such as https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/map/ or https://www.windfinder.com can help you plan.
Your type and style of cycling. The best CycleWing experience is in an open landscape, usually away from the city, buildings, or other places where the wind is erratic or unpredictable. Beaches are ideal, as are long straight highways and trails. Rides where there are many turns will require knowledge and practice and would not be recommended for most riders. Bicycling across the state, country, or between cities? If so, CycleWing could make the trip much more exciting!
Where you cycle. Avoid using CycleWing in places with a lot of pedestrians or other bicycles. With CycleWing deployed, you have a wider footprint. At best, you have the CycleWing mast support arms extending out to each side. If you are Reaching or Running (see "Points of Sail", above), it means the sail boom will extend out significantly to either your right or left. If you are not careful, you will be at more risk of hitting someone or something as you pass by.
How we plan to use the funds
The funds raised here will be used to further refine this technology and bring it to market in late 2019. We plan to take a critical look at design, engineering, and fabrication with the goal of making it lighter, more efficient, safe, ergonomic, and ultimately a great value for the user. Creating a great CycleWing will require not just great engineering, but also committed and enthusiastic supporters. With your help, we can do it!
Here is a rough breakdown of how we intend to use any funds raised
30% for engineering services, including design of key components
55% for tooling, materials and fabrication
10% for testing/certification, and miscellaneous services
5% for promotion
Launch KickStarter campaign
Immediately upon completion of a successful KickStarter campaign, we will begin work on creating a production level CycleWing product. Taking the lessons learned from the prototype, we will re-visit every aspect of the design and tune it to make CycleWing better in every way. The engineering effort and attention to detail will be second to none. After completing this "full engineering review" process, we will gear up to for the first production run.
Ship non-product rewards to our supporters!
Ship first production units to Early Bird and Organizational Sponsorship reward tier supporters
Risks and challenges
We don't know of any commercial products that combine the thrill of sailing with the enjoyment of bicycling in such a convenient, versatile, and easy to use package. We believe CycleWing delivers on that potential, but there have been a lot difficult engineering challenges to overcome. We've made a fair dent during the prototype building process, but there are areas we can improve on. The wind can be unpredictable and we would like CycleWing to be great at handling unexpected gusts and direction changes, and do it safely. We also know we can make it even lighter. Our team has many years of combined experience and expertise in engineering, design, and computing and we are passionate about CycleWing. There is a lot to do between now and then, so we will continue going full steam both before and after the conclusion of this (hopefully successful) KickStarter campaign. Thank you!
For companies and organizations promoting a sustainable and active lifestyle. Your logo and organization name (linked to your website) will be displayed on our home page as an Early Organizational Sponsor. Also, your name and logo will be displayed at all industry and media events.
Production CycleWing unit
Personal thank you note from CycleWing Team
link to a "Behind the Scenes" video
CycleWing 3.50" x 2.00" Die Cut Clear Sticker/Decal