CycleWing Adds a Sail and Propulsion to Bicycles

A bicycle can become a sail-powered vehicle with this new device.

When software engineer Jorge Pando and mechanical engineer Nathan Rose took long bike rides with the wind at their backs, they wondered if the wind could be harnessed to give the bicycles some propulsion. Investigating, they found that some recumbent bicycles have sails but generally not available for traditional upright bicycles. A quick search online for ‘wind powered bicycles’ returns many bikes outfitted with wind turbines to generate electric power, but no bicycles using the wind for greater speeds. Pando and Rose are running a Kickstarter campaign for their CycleWing project, a deployable sail for bicycles.

When designing the unit the team worked to minimize size, weight, and installation time. The campaign page says that if your bicycle allows the installation of a standard rear rack then the CycleWing should fit as well. The rider can use buttons on the handles to control the sail to maximize thrust from the sails. CycleWing uses the same sailing principles as traditional boat sailing, with a no-go zone directly behind the wind and the ability to gain power from almost any wind direction. When the wind dies down the sail can be packed onto the back of your bike.

CycleWing is a novel idea for a product without providing much technical detail here on the campaign page. This first round of fundraising looks like it will be used to finalize the design and build a first round of production pieces. There’s a great section on the campaign page helping users to decide if CycleWing would work for them, detailing which bike styles can accommodate the sail, wind conditions in the user’s area, how a user cycles, and how busy a cyclist’s location can be. I’m always interested in alternative vehicles and aftermarket additions to enhance current vehicles. CycleWing hasn’t yet reached its $75,000 funding goal for this campaign ending on March 1, 2019.