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New ‘Smart’ Bicycle Reaches Fundraising Goal

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Vanhawks Valour connected bicycle

Vanhawks Valour connected bicycle

Only five days after launching its Kickstarter campaign, a new manually powered bicycle with “connected” technology for increased bike safety has well exceeded its $100,000 fundraising goal, reaching $180,128 as of Monday morning. As Nick Lavars reports for Gizmag, the Vanhawks Valour smart bike integrates modern-day connectivity with old-fashioned pedal power. The Kickstarter campaign calls the Valour the first-ever connected carbon fiber bicycle.

The bike, Lavars writes, has built-in blind spot detectors that provide a “safe zone” that is 10 feet long and 4 feet wide from bike’s rear wheel axle. When its sensors detect an oncoming vehicle, they give the rider haptic feedback, a vibration in the handlebar grips. “While this won’t do much to stop a ton of moving steel, it may just offer a last-second chance to tuck in those elbows,” Lavars writes.

The bike’s LED handlebar indicators connect to the smartphone’s GPS navigation, and give turn-by-turn directions, so that the rider does not have to be distracted by looking at a smartphone screen, as Vanhawks writes in a press release. Valour also monitors the route and suggests the safest alternatives. As every Valour is connected with every other one via a “mesh-network,” should a bike go missing, all of the other bikes are alerted. Lavars writes that Vanhawks is hoping to get enough Valours on the road to form a “mesh network” of users. Through such an online community, users will be able to access shared data on potholes, closed roads, and blocked lanes posted by other Valour riders to choose safer routes, Lavars adds.

In the press release, Sohaib Zahid, co-founder and CEO of Vanhawks, said his company designed the Valour “to create the safest ride” because safety is a rider’s “primary concern.” Vanhawks was founded in Toronto this year by Ali Zahid, Niv Yahel, Adil Aftab, and Sohaib Zahid.

The bike has a 16-pound carbon fiber frame with Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to its companion app, which is compatible with iOS, Android, and Pebble. The built-in sensors include an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a speed sensor, all of which work with the app to track calories burned, speed, and distance traveled, Lavars writes.

The bike’s electronics charge fully during an hourlong ride, via a front-wheel Supernova infinity S dynamo hub, the bike’s Kickstarter campaign page says. The electric components are protected against shock and water.

Vanhawks writes:

Valour is designed with safety in mind. Unique to the industry, Valour incorporates integrated technology for advanced personal safety. Valour’s turn-by-turn navigation keeps your eyes on the road and your hands on the bar. It uses low energy bluetooth to connect to your smart phone for directions. LED indicators signal as you approach your next turn.

The Valour is designed, engineered, and assembled in Toronto from parts manufactured in China, Germany, and Pakistan, according to its Kickstarter page, and is delivered to buyers preassembled. It is available for a limited pre-order on the Kickstarter campaign page starting at $999, and will ship later this year.

Here is Vanhawks’ video about the Valour.


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