Is this smart bike from Vanhawks the future for cycling commuters?
Whilst cars have continued to get smarter and smarter, bikes have been somewhat left behind – or so think the founders of new startup Vanhawks, who’s Kickstarter funded Smart bike received over $800,000 in funding. The brainchild of 20-year-old Ali Zahid, the Vanhawks Valour is a veritable beast of a bike, integrating various motion sensors, a haptic handlebar, and made from carbon fibre.
GPS & Blindspot Detection
GPS is one of the key feature of the bike, and works by pairing to the cyclists Smartphone via Bluetooth. Riding data is stored via the companion app and routes can be planned before setting out with the LED lights on the handle-bar providing turn-by-turn directions. This is designed to provide the information the rider needs without proving too distracting. Blindspot detection also works through the handlebars; alerting cyclists by vibrating on the corresponding side whenever they get too close to a car or enter the blind spot of a vehicle so that they can take extra precautions.
Self-tracking & the Vanhawks Valour Community
As with many smart devices these days, the Vanhawks Valour logs users’ activity so that they can glean information such as distance travelled, duration of commute, and number of calories burned (as well as set set goals and monitor progress) all via the app. There also plans to allow third party developrs to create their own apps for the bike in future. Some of the data stored (such as locations of potholes, blocked roads) will also be shared with other Vanhawks Valour cyclists so they can warn each other and provide up to date information on the safest cycling routes.
Track Stolen Bikes
The Vanhawks Valour also has you covered when it comes to bike crime, which can be cause for concern when commuting in big urban cities. If a bike goes missing, the rider can send out an alert via the app and other connected bikes will be alerted if the stolen bike comes into proximity helping to pinpoint it’s location.
The Future of Cycling?
Perhaps… there is definitely a push (at least from manufacturers) for connected everything though whether it will find broad appeal with a price point at over £1,000 for the single speed model is questionable. However, the fact it reached 820% funding may suggest that there is a demand for such a bike on our roads and might give cyclists peace of mind when commuting in busy cities. It’s certainly packed full of features that are genuinely useful manages to power itself from the energy generated by cycling (as long as you ride it for an hour or more a week there’ll be no need to worry about recharging the batteries).