VanHawks Valour: First Ever Connected Bicycle
“The bike of the future. Safer. Smarter. Sexier.” –VanHawks
Living in Silicon Valley pretty much means technology ubiquitous and impacts our lives in countless ways. Yet we ride the same, archaic bicycles that we’ve used since we were kids, disconnected from our environment. It’s time to integrate the most influential technology into the bicycle. You’re connected, why shouldn’t your bike be?
The Canada-based creator of the VanHawks Valour claims to have designed the “first smart, connected bicycle”, which gives riders directions as well as alerts to prevent them from cycling into dangerous situations. It’s a connected commuter bicycle that hopes to make your travels both smarter and safer. The 16-pound carbon fiber can help you find a route to the office that avoids heavy traffic by using Bluetooth to connect to the GPS on a smartphone, and gives you turn-by-turn-specific directions to your destination using LEDs built into the handlebars. It’s a combination of features that’s likely to have you travelling on two wheels a lot more often.
“All of us were commuters and we hated riding a bike that is super unsafe on the road. We created something that we wanted ourselves when we were bikers,” said Ali Zahid, VanHawks Co-Founder.
The bike also uses ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in a rider’s blind spot and send alerts via vibrating handlebars when it detect a potential threat – a security feature that is an industry first. “Imagine looking for your blind spot in your rear view mirror, it’s exactly the same concept”, said Zahid.
Want to stay fit and feel great? On-board sensors measure your calories burned, distance traveled, speed, best times and many more features that you need to turn your everyday commute into a fitness ride. Also, a dynamo hub on the front wheel charges the built-in electronics, and an hour-long bike ride will fully charge the bike.
“We started to build the bike up with the commuter in mind, to keep them safe on the road and have a bike that looks sexy,” said the VanHawks Team. The bike is compatible with iOS and Android phones as well as the Pebble smartwatch. If the device’s battery dies it can be synced post-ride.
The bike is designed to collect data with a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a magnetometer to pick up any unusually bumpy movement over potholes or rough road surfaces to create a Google Maps overlay that tells subsequent users of the app whether a route is bumpy or smooth. This data can also be used to show steep hills and the map integrates information on designated cycle lanes and traffic flow. As the number of riders increase and more data is collected, the information in the app will become richer.
To prevent the VanHawks Valour from being stolen, each bike is connected to a network of other bicycles with a mesh network powered by VanHawks’s servers. “All the Valours communicate with each other. Let’s say I lost my bike and I report it stolen on my app, it lets all the other bikes on the network know that the bike is missing. So all the bikes on the network can then search for the missing bike and, if they detect it nearby, relay the location back to VanHawks and the original owner”.
Engineered for comfort, the Valour’s design encourages a more comfortable riding position. Its unique ergonomic design relieves pressure on your back, spine and buttocks, while providing optimal power transfer and an unmatched comfort level. The shoulders, back of the neck and hands take a greater share in supporting the load, resulting in a more versatile, active riding style.
“We think riding a bike should be fun, not painful. We strive to remove discomfort from the commute and replace stress with delight”. The startup is currently raising money on Kickstarter for its first production run, with units going for around $1,000. After 15 days of being live, the project has already raised more than four times its original goal. The extra cash means that VanHawks is now offering the bike in several different frame and rim colors, and units will also include Avid BB5 road disc brakes and a Cardom Gates belt drive.
The first connected bike featuring performance tracking, security sensors & interactive feedback to radically change the way you ride! Share your comments with us.