Bicycles

Visiobike might just be the world's techiest e-bike

Visiobike might just be the wo...
The Visiobike packs a lot of electronic features
The Visiobike packs a lot of electronic features
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The Visiobike packs a lot of electronic features
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The Visiobike packs a lot of electronic features
The 21-kg (46-lb) Visiobike was created by a team led by Croatian designer Marko Matenda
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The 21-kg (46-lb) Visiobike was created by a team led by Croatian designer Marko Matenda
The app lets users choose the amount of pedal assistance, among other things
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The app lets users choose the amount of pedal assistance, among other things
The app also incorporates Google Maps
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The app also incorporates Google Maps
Riders can also use the app to view real-time video from a rear-view HD camera mounted beneath the saddle
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Riders can also use the app to view real-time video from a rear-view HD camera mounted beneath the saddle
The bike features a monocoque carbon fiber frame that internally incorporates a 14.5-Ah Panasonic lithium-ion battery and a bottom bracket-located MDF Drive 5.1 electric motor
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The bike features a monocoque carbon fiber frame that internally incorporates a 14.5-Ah Panasonic lithium-ion battery and a bottom bracket-located MDF Drive 5.1 electric motor
It also has Magura hydraulic disc brakes ...
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It also has Magura hydraulic disc brakes ...
... and a monocoque carbon fiber frame
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... and a monocoque carbon fiber frame
Another close look at the frame
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Another close look at the frame
The Visiobike should reportedly manage around 100 km (62 miles) per battery charge under average use, with each charge taking three hours
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The Visiobike should reportedly manage around 100 km (62 miles) per battery charge under average use, with each charge taking three hours
Riders "unlock" the bike when they first start riding by entering a PIN
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Riders "unlock" the bike when they first start riding by entering a PIN
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As the recent Charged Up e-bike event showed us, the new generation of electric bikes is apparently here to stay. While many of them simply feature a motor that augments the rider's pedaling power, some really take the whole "electronics" thing and run (or roll) with it. The upcoming Visiobike is just such a machine. With a little help from the user's smartphone, it not only provides a power boost but also lets them navigate, deter thieves, see what's behind them via a video feed, and avoid having to shift gears.

The 21-kg (46-lb) Visiobike was created by a team led by Croatian entrepreneur Marko Matenda. It features a monocoque carbon fiber frame that internally incorporates a 14.5-Ah Panasonic lithium-ion battery and a bottom bracket-located MDF Drive 5.1 electric motor. That motor will be available in 250-watt and 500-watt versions, boosting the rider's pedal strokes to take them up to a maximum speed of either 25 or 45 km/h (15.5 or 28 mph) respectively.

It should reportedly manage around 100 km (62 miles!) per battery charge under average use, with each charge taking three hours. The battery also powers/charges the rider's smartphone, through a handlebar mount. From that perch, the phone communicates with the bike's electronics system via Bluetooth.

Using the Visiobike app, riders can select the level of motorized pedaling assistance (there's no throttle mode), check the battery level, see their current speed, or get turn-by-turn directions to their destination using Google Maps. They can also use the app to view real-time video from a rear-view HD camera mounted beneath the saddle, and to "unlock" the bike when they first start riding by entering a PIN – if the right number isn't entered, the electronics won't work and the rear wheel will lock up.

The Visiobike should reportedly manage around 100 km (62 miles) per battery charge under average use, with each charge taking three hours
The Visiobike should reportedly manage around 100 km (62 miles) per battery charge under average use, with each charge taking three hours

Would-be thieves' lives are also made difficult by a motion sensor that will alert the rider via SMS if their bike is moved while unattended, and by a GPS module that allows the whereabouts of a stolen Visiobike to be tracked. If the rider is in an accident, on the other hand, the bike's systems should detect the impact and automatically save the last three minutes of footage captured by the rear-view camera. The app will also set about contacting emergency services, if the rider doesn't stop it from doing so within 60 seconds.

The bike additionally features a Nuvinci N360 continuously-variable hub transmission, which smoothly transitions between different gear ratios (even when the bike is stopped) as opposed to clicking into distinct "gears." While it's usually the N360 user who selects these ratios, the Visiobike uses a pedal torque sensor to adjust the transmission, automatically keeping the rider at their preferred cadence at all times.

It all sounds pretty fancy, but you can't take one home ... yet. Matenda and his team are currently raising production funds for the Visiobike, on Indiegogo. A pledge of €3,900 (US$5,300) will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is €4,500 ($6,100).

More information is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Indiegogo

VISIOBIKE INDIEGOGO VIDEO

View gallery - 11 images
27 comments
27 comments
The Skud
Clever, but why does every maker of these things assume one wants to have his iPhone sitting out in the weather?
Stuart Wilshaw
In answer to the Skud 'why the smartphone?' It's all to do with a piece of marketing hype called 'The Internet of Things.' The 'IoT' does have some very useful applications but it has many more totally useless ones designed purely to sell 'Tecno-Toys' to the Wanna-be crowd.
Electric bikes should not need smartphones to control basic functions and the sensible user would be well advised to avoid smartphone enabled e-bikes like the plague!
Neil Paisnel
Agree totally ..
What happens if you loose your phone or get it stolen while out and about..you then loose your transport too.
Having an app or USB port if further setting tinkering is required or for data downloading is great..but to make it as an integral part of the bike is just plain wrong.
Visiobike
Hi everybody, Marko here - founder of Visiobike. If it rains,simply put your phone in your pocket, everything still works because of Bluetooth connection :) So much tech is built into Visiobike that only a smartphone can handle it! Plus, nobody really wants the bike to have its own detachable control unit, right? What a hassle. This way we leverage installed tech: everyone carries a mini supercomputer, so why not use it? We see smartphone as unlimited potential for improvement of ebike features regarding safety and security in particular! Over a decade ago, people used to wonder why cars need onboard computers, remember? Now, Audi has nVidia and Google maps in their cars, and all manufacturers control complex systems, gather data, and push firmware updates through onboard computers. :)
And I agree that IoT is largely hype... but if you can track your bike and push OTA through the cloud, you shouldn't really care what tech is called, right?
morphick
@Visiobike: cars have *on-board* computers, they are not dependent on a piece of random hardware that might become lost, stolen or forgotten. Put that phone mainboard *inside* the frame with a weatherproof screen on the handlebar - problem solved! Make it tweakable by blutooth (as has already been suggested) if you wish, but let the computer be integral to the piece of hardware it controls!
chomper
Yeah.....for $5,300 I would expect this bike to last me several years. That being said, the same BlueTooth protocols in use today will definitely not be around as long as I would expect this bike to last. Also, have you heard about texting and driving? Fiddling with your smartphone while riding in traffic is a sure fire way to get smashed. Sure, you can put it in your pocket but if you do, what is the benefit of having it connected to the bike? Overpriced, time-limited, DANGEROUS!!!!
Maybe e-bikes would gain mainstream support if the makers quit trying to put all this stuff into the bike and instead focused on reducing costs to a level that consumers could afford.
DavidB
Good answers, Marko. Thanks for the explanation!
wle
what happens if the phone battery runs down? mine would last about 30 minutes in always-on mode.. wle
[The phone is powered by the bike's battery -Ed.]
John Whitney Jr.
Interesting stuff going on in Croatia... first the Greyp electric bike ( www.gizmag.com/rimac-greyp-electric-bicycle/29069/ ) and now this.
f8lee
So when the hacker world decides it's a fun sport to remotely control the power (or lack thereof) of your e-bike...hilarity ensues!
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