If a new crowdfunding campaign is successful, yet another "smart bike" will soon be available to consumers. Called the BiCi, it was designed by a team from Shanghai-based AOAO Studio after a four-month period of focusing on "what the perfect bike should be." The end result certainly looks unique, if nothing else.
The distinctive appearance of the BiCi (short for Basic Conception ... sort of) comes courtesy of its carbon fiber frame and smallish-but-peppy 22-inch wheels.
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What makes it smart, however, are its onboard electronics. These include sensors that track parameters such as current speed, cadence, altitude, location, calories consumed and heart rate (it isn't clear how that last one is measured). All the data is displayed and recorded on the rider's paired iOS or Android smartphone, which sits on a handlebar mount.
Additionally, users can map a route to their destination on the BiCi app before setting out, then receive left- and right-turn cues through buzzes in the handlebars as they ride. Those haptic alerts are backed up by running lights at either end of the bars, one or the other of which blinks when a turn is required.
On the topic of lights, the bike also has head- and tail lights, which automatically come on and turn off via an ambient light sensor.
When the BiCi is left unattended, its sensors will detect if it's being moved when its owner's phone isn't nearby. Should that happen, it will send an alert to them, plus its GPS module will allow them to track its location.
Power is provided by an integrated battery, which is in turn charged while riding via a front hub dynamo.
AOAO is currently raising production funds, by offering 140 BiCis for preorder through crowdfunding site Pozible. A deposit of US$49 will put you on the list for a Basic Version model, which features a flat bar and Shimano Tiagra drivetrain components (despite the fact that the supplied photos show a single-speed). Assuming it goes into production, you'll have to pay an additional $594 to make up the total cost of $643 – which is pretty decent for a carbon fiber, geared bike. It's available in five frame colors.
If you'd prefer the dropped-bar Shimano 105-equipped Expert Version, a deposit of $81 towards a total price of $965 is required.
The BiCi can be seen in action, in the video below.