Cycling is part of the overall fitness industry which is enjoying a surge of new semiconductor-enabled devices to help us measure our progress, so at CES 2016 there’s plenty of activity on this front. I’ll highlight some of the more notable new product developments from the show.
Smart Cycle by LeTV
I had never heard of this Chinese company LeTV before, however they are showing their Smart Cycle with some novel features, like:
- Walkie Talkie for communication with other riders
- GPS for navigation
- Embedded camera
- Lighting system that turns on automatically
- Battery system that gets recharged as you pedal
Look for this bike to first be sold in India later this year.
Source: Android Headlines
Varia Vision headset from Garmin
This is really a product direction that Google Glass could’ve taken, but never did. In cycling you want your eyes on the road for greatest safety, because glancing downwards to the computer on your handlebars can be quite dangerous. This wearable device from Garmin projects your ride vitals to the right eye of your existing glasses, like performance, notifications and directions. You can even connect this headset to a rearview radar system to alert you when traffic is approaching from behind. Priced at $400, this device is for the rich guys.
Source: Tech Times
Cycling Glasses from Solos
Competing with Garmin in the wearable headset category is Solos where a rider can view performance and GPS directions in the right lens. What makes this different from the Garmin is that you get speakers with this headset, which would be a big no-no for serious athletes like myself because I have to pay attention to the road noise and not be listening to Mozart or Hayden at 90dB. Priced at $499, this is also for the rich riders out there.
Source: Mens Journal
Bike Camera from Miniwing
A cyclist friend of mine has two video cameras mounted on his bike to record every second of his rides, mostly for security in case a car tries to cut him off or get too close. Miniwing Technology has their Camile bike camera that mounts to your handlebar for recording photos or video at 1080p/30fps or 720p/60fps. As a bonus you also get a GPS feature to track your actual route, speed, time and trip mileage. They funded this product from Indiegogo just last month. If you bring along your SmartPhone then it connects by Bluetooth and the Camile display shows you any incoming calls.
Work and Bike from Loctek
I’m either working on my laptop or biking, but never doing both at once, although Loctek has such a product called the X-Bike at CES this year that allows a person to be comfortably seated while exercising and working on a laptop. I’m thinking that this would be a home-based worker, because you wouldn’t want this in a cubicle farm where the noise and odor would be quite distracting.
Source: PR Web
Exercise and Virtual Reality from VirZoom
This is a fast-growing market and the idea is to cycle in place while wearing VR googles from Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR. The exercise bike has sensors and software to provide you with a VR experience while getting fit. In this VR world you see a 360-degree environment while cycling.
Source: The Verge
Turn by turn Navigation from SmartHalo
Pair this handlebar-mounted device with your SmartPhone, set you destination on the phone, then look at your SmartHalo to get turn-by-turn navigation. This device can remind you where the bike is parked, as long as you have a SmartPhone with your. If you don’t like literal directions, than SmartHalo can simply point you towards the destination and you can choose any route that you want, the closer you get, the greener the pointer becomes. In addition to turn indications you also get on the SmartPhone app: Time of ride, distance travelled, average speed, elevation, calories and a map.
Smart Helmet by Livall
The new Bling helmets from Livall have turn signal lights and brake lights to alert motorists of your intentions, making the ride a bit safer for all. Added fun features include Bluetooth speakers and a microphone so that you can take phone calls while riding, or use the walkie-talkie feature to chat with other cyclists wearing Bling helmets. Should you have an accident and crash, the Bling helmet detects that and sends an alert to your emergency contact. Livall offers two models: BH100 for mountain bikers and BH60 for city riders.
I’m an avid road biker and finished out 2015 with a record 13,160.5 miles. You’re invited to follow me on Strava.
I live in Tualatin, a suburb of Portland, Oregon and ride year round, much to the joy of my local bike shop that keeps maintaining my bike as parts wear out.
What’s new for me is the Garmin Edge 520 bike computer, and it connects to my Samsung Galaxy Note4 through Bluetooth, even letting me know my real time progress against Strava segments.
The week after Christmas I added a power meter from Stages Cycling, and they glue this calibrated strain gauge and ANT+ wireless system to the left crank arm on an Ultegra crankset.
To improve my cycling performance and training I’m reading the book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter.