Many more people are now leaving their suburban communities and heading to the city. The world’s cities are in turn becoming much more congested with more and more cars dominating these already busy roads. We certainly live in a car centric world in the United States, but thankfully more and more of our cities are taking bicycles seriously with more urban planning taking into account the number of cyclists as well as the economic benefit of providing safe routes and parking for bikes.
While more cities are becoming safer for cyclists, there really hasn’t been a huge increase in the technology around safety for cyclists. A company out of Canada called Vanhawks is trying to buck that trend with the world’s first fully connected and perhaps the safest bike as well. The Valour is their take on what it means to have both a connected bike and also one that provides more safety from technology than ever before.
Some key features for this Kickstarter bike include:
- Blind spot detection system. Your handlebars will vibrate if you try to turn when cars are nearby. The “bubble” for this tech is 10 feet front and back and 4 feet side to side.
- Turn-by-turn directions: When you set your ride route on their app, the Valour bike gives your turn by turn indicators with LED lights on the handlebar signaling when you need to turn. This is all facilitated by low energy bluetooth from your phone to the bike.
- Data-driven route suggestions: based upon previous rides other people have taken allow for the app to give you the safest route possible. The Valour even collects data around road conditions including potholes and lane closures.
- Ergonomics: this bike is an absolute work of art with clean lines on the carbon fiber frame, but the ergonomics from great componentry from Ergon (a german bike accessory company) includes their grips, pedals and saddle. This all contributes to a much more enjoyable and comfortable ride.
- The Frame: Vanhawks has developed their frame to be a completely new take on carbon fiber construction. Inside the frame uses their proprietary unibody constructions giving the bike incredible structural integrity and lowering the cost and weight of the bike. The bike is a mere 16 pounds and it’s damn sexy!
- Stolen bike recovery: if your Valour is stolen, you select that option within the app and if another Valour rider comes close to your stolen bike, a notification is sent.
This bike is going to make some big advances in the way future commuter bikes are developed and it will be exciting to see one of these bikes in person later this year. Their Kickstarter has already reached its goal of $100,000 in under 3 days and at writing of this article they are sitting pretty at $143,800. I’m on the verge of dropping $1,000 myself for a pre-order of their bike or at the very least to sponsor them at a lower dollar amount. Hat tip to you all at Vanhawks! Give their video a look to learn more.