Last month, the Eurobike 2022 conference in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, hosted a swag of new e-bikes, cargo bikes and e-scooters for industry professionals and product enthusiasts. Here’s some of the technology that caught my eye.
The Noordung ebike
At first glance, the Slovak Noordung ebike looks like any cool retro-inspired lightweight carbon fiber ebike. But it possesses some super powers.
It comes with a detachable Bluetooth boombox equipped with four speakers so you can play music while driving.
PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulate sensors are embedded in the speakers. These track real-time air quality data so you can keep an eye on pollution from different routes.
The ebike isn’t cheap, though, with a hefty price tag of €6,990 ($7,105). But bonus points for leading the way with new ebike features.
Why it matters: It’s interesting to see a bike with new technology rather than just moving forward with what’s already available.
However, I’m not sure how much a bike that makes music will win favor with other road users. Maybe bone conduction speakers would be an easier way to keep the peace?
But I regularly see a man jogging in my local park with a boombox and a beer, so what do I know?
Furthermore, I like crowdsourcing air pollution levels, especially if it informs real-time cycling routes.
Add a way to track pollen levels; it would be a game changer.
This bike would be great for anyone looking to lead the pack (acoustic and environmentally friendly) at Critical Mass bike rides.
Estonian-German company comodule is someone I’ve been following for a while. The company has been at the forefront of plug-in-play solutions that connect light motor vehicles to the Internet.
Now about 30% of the worldwide scooter fleet and more than 200,000 shared cars run on their hardware and software.
The company showcased several customers at the event. For example, a recent collaboration with the Dutch ebikesubscription company Swapfiets.
IoT helps retrieve missing e-bikes, provides insight into product performance and generally assists Swapfiets in its pursuit of circular design.
Why it matters: Eight years is a long time in IoT when it comes to keeping a business alive and profitable.
Comodule has been able to help bicycle manufacturers such as Ampler and Gazelle create new connectivity ecosystems in a highly competitive market. It has also helped launch micromobility fleets in the US, Europe, Asia and Asia-Pacific. Impressive stuff.
A anti-angle grinder D-Lock Sounds too good to be true! But British company Hiplock has created a bicycle lock that can withstand a severe, sustained attack from an angle grinder.
The D100 owes its appearance to Ferosafe, a graphene-reinforced ceramic composite.
In fact, the proprietary materials are specifically designed to disintegrate the cutting wheels of angle grinders and carbide-tipped drills — quite a cheering thought because it can stop other planned attacks on the same day.
The company has raised more than €300,000 on Kickstarter in 2021 to bring these currently sold-out locks to life.
Why it matters: Bicycle theft in major cities is endemic — take Berlinwhere 12,490 bicycles were reported stolen between January and June this year.
At €250, the price of the lock is comparable to the cost of a few years of bicycle insurance. But insurance cannot replace the sentimental or practical value of a custom bike. And while this won’t stop thieves determined to strip parts from a bike, hopefully it will frustrate them enough to deter most thefts.
Hillstrike snow trikes
I’m from Australia where “going to the snow” is priceless. So I didn’t know bikes on skis goods a thing.
Hillstrike rents ski trikes to resorts all over Europe.
The trikes allow everyone from children to the elderly to have fun on the slopes. You can even take one with a chairlift.
Why it matters: Simply put, it looks very nice, and as someone who has no idea how to ski, it seems quite accessible. Sign me up!