Wait, how does it know where potholes are? Well, amongst a smorgasbord of technology on board the Vanhawks Valour smart bicycle is a 9-axis accelerometer that notes the location of potholes, bumps or abnormal movement and shares it with the Vanhawks community. So whether or not you're doing the measuring or doing the avoiding depends on whether another Vanhawk has passed that way.
And the likelihood of that is……Slim, given that the bike has only just begun its funding cycle on Kickstarter. But it’s two-thirds funded with 29 days to go, so at some time in the future the streets will be teeming with brainy bikes.
But it’s not electric, you say? Nope. Legs required. But it is designed to be Slim Speedy, with a carbon fibre frame, road wheels and a choice of geared or singlespeed set-ups. It has GPS and whatnot, so it’ll track your movements, the details of which can be shared via its iOS and Android smartphone apps for later effort analysis and smugness. There’ll be a Pebble app for it too, which is totes zeitgeisty.
Indeed. But a GPS chip and an app hardly justify the word ‘smorgasbord’. Well, then, pin back your ears and get this. The Valour also has blind spot warnings, so any vehicles passing on the left and right will trigger a correspondingly sided vibrate in the bars. And those same bars feature left-turn and right-turn LED indicators for the app’s navigation feature. All powered by a dynamo, don’cha know.
A dynamo? Aren’t they massively inefficient? In the olden days, yes. But this dynamo is built into the hub and powers the whole kit and caboodle with little appreciable drag. It’ll even charge your smartphone, if you ask it nicely. (By which we mean, plug in an USB adaptor widget.)
This all sounds very nice. And in the world of bikes, "nice" generally means "nickable," no?By Criminy, they’ve thought of that! These are Canadians we’re dealing with, remember. Alert the Vanhawks network that your bike has been stolen and if another Valour passes within a set distance of it in the street, you’ll get a notification. Which is as smart as all hell, presuming there are loads of other Valours about.
Well, you know what they say about ‘presume’. Do I? Well, one thing that might have held back the tide of Vanhawks on the streets of the world’s cities, tracking potholes and catching thieves, would be price. But the Valour is to be a rather affordable US$1050 (S$1,331)-odd for the singlespeed version. Which ain’t half bad for a carbon-framed Raleigh Vektar for the twenty-first century.
READ MORE: More awesome Hot Stuff