Kickstarter: Vanhawks Valour, The Worlds First “Smart” Bike
Forget Di2, this new Vanhawks bike seeks to integrate electronics at a much more core level of the cycling experience than just gear shifts. With more sensors than a late model Camry, the Valor uses Bluetooth to relay information from it’s on-board gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, speed sensor, GPS receiver, and blind spot detectors, to your smart phone.
The interplay between cellphone and bicycle has generated some industry firsts, including built in turn by turn directions. The bicycle is built with city commuters in mind and is capable of suggesting preferred routes and learning from your riding experience, e.g. if the roads are too pot hole ridden for comfort, etc… This information turns each bike into a valuable resource for regional planners and bicycle advocates, but it tangibly translates into improved directions for anyone using the Vanhawks system. In addition to the handlebars having built in LED indicators for navigation, they also have an integrated haptic feed back system to warn you of oncoming objects in your blind spot.Not only is the bike packed to the hilt with more electronic sensors than your previous generation cellphone, it’s made from carbon, yet the team has managed to price the bike in the just slightly over a thousand dollar range. Prices very whether you order a fixie, single speed, or internally geared bike, but the dollar amount remains fairly close.
In addition to the reasonable pricing, the team has managed to also build bikes with very low claimed weights. The Kickstarter team has posted the following weights for each model:
- 15.8 pounds fixie
- 16.3 pounds single speed
- 19.6 pounds internal hub
Not bad when you consider each model has dynamo front hub for charging, uses larger 28mm tires, and ergonomic saddle, pedals, and grips, from Ergon. There will be three sizes available at the launch – a 50, 53, and 56cm.
The original kickstarter goal of $100,000 was easily met and the campaign is now pushing the $235,000 mark with 23 days to go. If the orders continue to pour in, they may be able to meet their stretch goals of new rim colors (yay), Avid Disc Brakes, or a Gates Carbon Belt Drive model.