It was in late 2015 that SpeedX launched a crowdfunding campaign for the SpeedForce, a handlebar stem with a built-in cycling computer. After considerable success with that project, the company went on to launch another campaign for the Leopard, an aero road bike that incorporated the SpeedForce. It was reportedly Kickstarter's most-funded bike-related project ever. Buoyed by that success, SpeedX is now beginning yet another Kickstarter, this time for an even higher-tech road bike known as the Unicorn.
Like the Leopard, the Unicorn has its own SpeedForce stem/computer. The Android-powered device has been redesigned, however, with one of the key differences being that the computer module is now removable. This means that it can be taken off for battery-charging, with one charge lasting for a claimed 20 hours of run time.
The new SpeedForce also features a 2.2-inch thickened-glass touchscreen, and connectivity with third-party devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+. As before, it uses a suite of sensors to track metrics such as speed, cadence, distance traveled, calories burned, slope inclination, location, lap time and altitude, plus it can provide turn-by-turn navigation using an onboard GPS module.
If users don't wish to move their hands from the handlebars in order to tap or swipe the screen, they can instead use a Bluetooth "wireless button" that can be strapped onto the bars in any location.
Additionally, the computer is now linked with a power meter built into the Unicorn's bottom bracket, to provide real-time power output readings. All of the required wiring is internally routed through the bike's carbon fiber frame.
On the subject of the frame, a damper in the front/bottom of the seat tube allows it to flex by 15 mm forward and backward, absorbing road vibrations – the seat stays also flex slightly. The frame itself weighs a claimed 870 g (1.9 lb), with the complete bike tipping the scales at 7.6 kg (16.8 lb).
Plans call for there to be three versions of the Unicorn, with final retail pricing ranging from US$3,499 to $5,899 (Kickstarter pledge levels start at $300 to $900 less). Depending on the model, specs will include Shimano Di2 or SRAM RED eTap electronic shifting, Shimano or SRAM hydraulic disc brakes, and SpeedX or Zipp carbon fiber wheels.
The Unicorn can be seen in action, in the following video.Sources:
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