Smart bike technology

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Smart bike technology is helping to reduce the risks associated with cycling, with a new generation of "smart bikes" featuring safety innovations, theft prevention measures and smartphone integration.

Advancements in bike technology and design are helping to turn cycling into a more viable method of transportationi. The integration of technology in smart bikes is not only helping cyclists keep safer on the road, but also helping them keep track of their riding habits and fitness outcomes.

Some smart bike manufacturers provide smartphone apps that connect with the bike. Photo credit: Vanhawk.

Blind spot detection

Road cycling can be dangerous, especially when the roads are busy. Some bikes on the market now come with in-built blind spot detection. The technology alerts the cyclist if there is a car or other hazard in their blind spot by vibrating the handlebars when a car is close byii. It is even possible to purchase a smart bike that comes fitted with a rear-view camera that monitors cars as they approach from behindiii. Both of these new safety features have the potential to help cyclists ride with increased confidence.

Lane projection lasers

For additional safety, some smart bikes feature in-built lasers which project a virtual lane onto the roadiii. The virtual lane helps cars to keep a safe distance from the bike and can even automatically turn on when it gets darkiii. In certain models, an in-built GPS tracks the cyclist's daily routes and sends this information to local councils. This allows the local councils to see which popular roads could benefit from real bike lanes to keep cyclists safe on the roadiii.

Pedal-by-pedal playbook

Staying fit and healthy is a priority for many cyclists. There are plenty of smart bikes available that feature technology to help cyclists reach their fitness goals. Some smart bikes are fitted with on-board sensors that measure things such as total calories burned, distance travelled, speed and best timesii.

Smartphone integration

Many new bikes now come with cradles for smartphones, allowing cyclists to use their smartphone on the goiv . Apart from the basic speedometer and odometer, some smart bikes are also compatible with fitness apps that can monitor progress and help cyclists to achieve a healthier lifestyle. There are even smart bikes that are capable of charging a smartphone while ridingiv.

Theft prevention

Bike theft is always a worry, but Canadian bike manufacturer Vanhawks has developed a network that may help cyclists recover a stolen smart bike. When the stolen bike is near another Vanhawks Valour bike, an app can let other Vanhawk owners in the area know that the bike has been stolen. Once other bikes in the area detect the location of the stolen bike, the location is relayed back to the owner via the appii.

Another company making it difficult for thieves to do their dirty work is smart. The smart ebike (shown below) uses its so called "basic display" screen as a theft prevention devicevi. The basic display can be easily detached from the bike and, when removed, the bike's electric motor will not start, helping to prevent it from being stolenvi.

With a range of up to 100km on a single charge, daily electric bike commutes to work are now possible for many people. Photo source: Wikipedia Commons, own Work uploaded by User:Clement Bucco-Lechat.


For long commutes, riding a bike can seem impractical. An electric bicycle, such as the smart ebike, allows cyclists to still get exercise without leaving them too exhausted. With a range of up to 100km on a single charge, daily bike commutes to work are now possible for many peopleiv. The ebike's battery is recharged through a power point and also when brakes are applied thanks to regenerative braking technologyiv.

iDeMaio, P.J 2003, 'Smart Bikes: Public Transportation for the 21st Century', Transportation Quarterly, viewed 19 July 2014,

iianhawks 2014, Meet Valour, viewed 19 July 2014,

iiiZolfagharifard, E 2014, 'Want your own cycle lane?', The Daily Mail, 16 June, viewed 19 July 2014,

ivSmart 2014, Urban Mobility 2.0 smart electric bike, viewed 19 July 2014,

vWinston, Anna 2014, "'Smart' bicycle by Vanhawks gives directions with flashing lights and vibrating safety alerts", viewed 24 July 2014,

viSmart 2014, Highlights, viewed 19 July 2014,