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CES 2017, Semiconductors and Cycling

CES 2017, Semiconductors and Cycling
by Daniel Payne on 01-06-2017 at 7:00 am

It’s back, that giant consumer electronics trade show CES 2017, held every January in Las Vegas with too many new product introductions to mention in one blog, so I’ll take a more focused look at what’s new for cycling.

Smart Bike
We all know what a smart phone is, but what could a smart bike be? The Chinese company LeEco has managed to integrate several pieces of separate technology into a single bicycle dubbed the LeEco Smart Road Bike:

  • Carbon frame road bike
  • 4″ touchscreen (Android 6.0 BikeOS, Snapdragon 410 processor, 6,000mAh batter)
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Music playback
  • Walkie-talkie communication
  • ANT+ support of heart rate sensor and power meter
  • On-board lighting
  • Security alarm
  • 11 speeds
  • 18.5 pounds

LeEco also has a Smart Mountain Bike with similar integrated features as their road bike.

This bike would appeal to someone that falls in love with the price, looks and features of an integrated bike, and is not concerned with big-name bike brands (Trek, Specialized, Fuji, Cannondale).

Another integrated, smart bike is called the SpeedX Unicorn, priced at $3,199 and being marketing on Kickstarter. When you straddle the bike and look at the stem you see an integrated, Android-power bike computer with a 2.2″ display. It looks pretty snazzy, however my Garmin 820 has even more programmable display fields:

Electric Bikes
You can upgrade any existing bike to an electric by getting the Rool’in, it’s an electric front wheelfor your bike and it comes in three sizes.

Swagtron has the SwagCycle Urban E-bike with a top speed of 40mph and range of 55 miles per charge, that’s fast and far for sure.

Exercise Bike
Toddlers need to work out too, right? So Fisher-Price has a Think & Learn Smart Cycle for your toddler that keeps them fit while they play an app on your Apple TV or Android TV.

I’ve never heard of measuring body temperature while cycling, however Bodytrak claims that there new device that fits in your ear can monitor:

  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Cadence

That’s a big claim, and right now I have separate sensors for heart rate, speed and cadence.

Power Meter
I ride with a power meter integrated into my left crank arm, however Leti from France has come up with a power meter in a pedal, called PUSH. The big news is that they plan to only charge $100 or so for this, while their competitors have priced much higher at $500-$1,500 range. Their product photo shows a conventional pedal, not a road bike pedal, so I’m not sure how big their market is going to be. The consumers with the most cash to spend on a power meter are road cyclists like me, or tri-athletes that compete.

Smart Lock
For folks that commute and need to lock up their bike while running errands should be interested in the Ellipse Smart Bike Lock which has a GPS device for location and an accelerometer to detect and report a crash by text to your contacts. The battery is charged through a solar panel, so no need for USB cords and wall charging. There’s an App included, and the price is $199.

Smart Helmet
Cars have turns signals and brake lights, so why not bikes? Well, now your smart bike helmet can have turn signals and brake lights thanks to Livall and their Smart Riding Helmet. You just connect a Bluetooth enabled button-set on your handlebars to control the lighting on the helmet, and then cars approaching from behind know when you are turning or braking.

Another smart helmet called the CLASSON is marketed on Kickstarter for just $99 and has turn signals, brake lights and even alerts you to cars in your blind spot.

Heads Up Display
Solos Cycling has a product that reminds me of Google Glass, except that it’s for cyclists so that they don’t have to glance down at their bike computer mounted on the handlebar or stem. It uses the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart Sensor protocols so should connect to your sensors for: speed, power, cadence, heart rate.

10 Battery Road Bike
I wanted to update you on what I’m riding these days, it’s a Specialized SL4 frame with SRAM eTapwireless shifting, very cool, no derailleur cables and no electrical cables for shifting. Before a ride I have to ask myself, “Are all 10 batteries ready to go?” Here’s where the 10 batteries come in:

  • Left shifter – CR2032 battery, lasts a few years
  • Right shifter – CR2032 battery
  • Garmin 820 – bike computer, rechargeable battery, lasts about 200 miles per charge
  • Cygolite – front headlight, rechargeable battery, about 10 hours per charge
  • Garmin speed sensor – CR2032 battery, wireless, on the front hub
  • Stages Cycling Power meter – CR2032 battery, on the left crank arm, about 150 hours of riding
  • Front derailleur – SRAM eTap, rechargeable battery, about 1,000 miles per charge
  • Rear derailleur – SRAM eTap, rechargeable battery, interchangeable with front derailleur battery
  • Rear light – rechargeable battery, about 10 hours per charge
  • Heart rate monitor – CR2032 battery, about 1.5 years per battery

    I did reach my mileage goal for 2016 of 16,000 miles, which included some 789,000 feet of climbing. Come and follow me on Strava, or better yet, come join me for a bike ride in the Portland, Oregon area.

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