Bicycles

BiCi smart bike offers electronically-enhanced cycling

BiCi smart bike offers electro...
The Basic Version of the BiCi smart bike
The Basic Version of the BiCi smart bike
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The Basic Version of the BiCi smart bike
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The Basic Version of the BiCi smart bike
The BiCi's sensors track parameters such as current speed, cadence, altitude, location, calories consumed and heart rate
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The BiCi's sensors track parameters such as current speed, cadence, altitude, location, calories consumed and heart rate
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
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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
Power is provided by an integrated battery, which is in turn charged while riding via a front hub dynamo
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Power is provided by an integrated battery, which is in turn charged while riding via a front hub dynamo
The BiCi's head- and tail lights automatically come on and turn off via an ambient light sensor
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The BiCi's head- and tail lights automatically come on and turn off via an ambient light sensor
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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.

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.

Power is provided by an integrated battery, which is in turn charged while riding via a front hub dynamo
Power is provided by an integrated battery, which is in turn charged while riding via a front hub dynamo

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.

Source: Pozible

BiCi - My first smart bike

View gallery - 5 images
3 comments
BZD
Another "smart" bike that comes with a lot that hardly anyone needs and on top of that how it rides is gonna be questionable - although at least it does look well build for once. Putting sensors on a bike so it can track your heartbeat through your hands on the handle bar is not a bad move and fitting it with GPS and a mobile phone connection (so it can call you if moved) is all very nice, but going with small wheels is a big mistake as it will hurt the ride quality.
I really wish that instead of trying to be "smart" all those clever designers should instead try and improve on the basic functionality first and then be "smart" on top of that. But of course that is much harder since there are good reasons bicycles are the way they are - the geometry, the wheels size, the ergonomic compromise between comfort and efficiency and so on.
Instead of a "smart" bike they should have made a handlebar that packs the technology, apart from the dynamo and rear light which would come as separate units and then it could be fitted to most bikes making bike that ride well smart.
flibb
I would imagine that anyone concerned with their cadence, calories consumed, altitude and heart rate would not ride a bike with 22" wheels and flat bars no matter how smart the designers think it is!
willysson
I don't agree with either BZD or flibb. My guess is neither has actually ridden a mini-velo. For years, I was a hard core road-bike cyclist but switched to mini-velos. Ride quality is not a problem for a bike with a 451 wheelset. Less than $1,000 for a CF frame with all the other goodies is a great price. My only complaint is why not add ISO disc mount tabs to the fork and let buyers upgrade to a front disc brake if they so choose. I'd be an immediate buyer if they did so.