In prehistoric times, wheels were fashioned out of stone. With the progress of time, we realized the heavier the rim of the wheel, the more power it takes to begin to rotate it. So... we gradually made rims lighter...
Today, manufacturers of bicycle wheels continue to compete on the same proposition: lighter and more rigid rims are best. Clearly, this makes sense–who wants a heavy rim while going uphill…but we’ve always discounted the benefits the added momentum of a heavy rim wheel offers when going downhill.
Consider this...slide a weight along a spoke such that a spring holds it close to the hub during climbing and is pulled to the rim during high-speed down hills:
Riders experience the easy responsiveness of a lighter wheel during climbing and yet feel the surge of added momentum when coming out of a downhill or entering an uphill. The benefit – equal speed for less effort or, in some cases, higher speed for equal effort.
Advantages are significant–depending on the contours of the course, up to 5 sec/mile faster–a phenomenal magnitude in bicycle racing circles.
US and International patent applications have been filed for the first traction wheel that dynamically adjusts its rim weight based on the rotational speed of the wheel - PATENT PENDING.