The bikes of the future: A look at the new digital trends in cycling

Bike manufacturers like Gates rely on low-maintenance belts instead of chains. — dpa

Getting around on two wheels has become even more popular during the pandemic. The leading Eurobike trade fair may have been cancelled last year, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of high-tech biking innovations that will make your next ride more fun.

Cycling is booming, and many cities around the world have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to make streets more bike friendly with protected bike lanes.

At the same time, a new wave of innovations are arriving to bikes, many of which are based on digital technology. Unlocking your bike and monitoring your tyre pressure via apps on your smartphone are already available to modern-minded cyclists.

Experts also say that individually tailored bikes are becoming increasingly important to the ever-growing cycling fraternity.

"Almost every type of bike you've ever dreamt of can now be bought," says industry specialist Gunnar Fehlau. "There are only very few gaps left in the market."

Here are are four cycling trends you can expect to see at your local bike shop.

Smart locks

The newly launched 770A SmartX model from Abus, for example, has a Bluetooth receiver and is linked to an app. The lock (which costs around US$250 (RM1,035) is unlocked when users approach the bike with their smartphone.

Locking the bike is just as easy. On the other hand, bicycle thieves have a hard time - an integrated alarm function emits a short warning tone when lightly touched, but this can rise to a deafening 100 decibels when an attempted theft is detected.

Tyre pressure control

Mounted on the valve, the Airspy sensor (costing around US$125/RM517) continually measures the tyre pressure and transmits it via Bluetooth or via Ant+ radio in real time.

An app displays the data, as well as the temperature and e-bike battery level. Smartphone users are informed by an alarm if the pressure deviates from the norm. The Airspy also acts as a mobile manometer and can digitally measure the tyre pressure each time a tyre is manually inflated.

Custom-built pedelecs

The German manufacturer Velotraum is one of a number of companies that offer e-bikes built for the individual needs of customers. promises.

"We develop bikes for people for whom the bicycle plays a central role," says managing director Stefan Stiener. The body measurements of potential customers are measured and each bike is built individually.

As an example, Stiener mentions the FD2E e-bike, which weighs just under 20 kilograms and can be ridden with different tyre widths depending on the surface. The basic price here is the equivalent of about US$6,400 (RM26,502).

Belt-drive electrics

Belt drives for bicycles are now establishing themselves in the market, and are a low-maintenance, clean, quiet and durable alternative to chains. In 2021, the market leader Gates will offer its corresponding CDC system for mid-range e-bikes. E-bikes with CDC drives are available from around US$3,000 (RM12,423). – dpa

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