Xiaomi’s foldable electric bike ideal for China’s crowded streets

Proving that you don’t have to stay in the cell phone business just because you start in the cell phone business, Xiaomi has diversified its product offerings once again. This time, it’s released a foldable electric bike that is ideal for the cramped and crowded streets of Chinese cities. The latest move comes as Xiaomi continues to show off its non-smartphone capabilities. Already, the company has debuted high-tech, internet-connected home devices like air purifiers, wearables, rice cookers, and kettles. But the bike, which is retailing for the surprisingly affordable price of $450, may be the most useful yet.

Premiering as part of Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem, the QiCycle bike will let you move sans pedaling for 45 kilometers on a fully charged battery, and comes complete with its own companion app. Thanks to data transferred to your smartphone, you’ll be able to keep tabs on distance, speed, GPS location, calories burned, and more. And true to the rest of Xiaomi’s product line, this bike is pretty smart. It features an IDbike Torque Measurement Method that employs sensors to optimize your energy output. This means that once you’ve set your desired speed, the bike will tell you how hard you need to pedal. Because there’s no point in overexerting yourself when you’re on an electric bike, right?

Shimano three-speed gears and built-in front and rear lights round out this cycle. And when you’re done riding, just fold it down and hoist it onto your shoulder — after all, it just weighs 14.5 kilograms.

Currently available only in China, Xiaomi certainly is well-positioned to take on a hungry market. The popularity and homegrown appeal of Xiaomi’s phones seem to be doing wonders for the company. And given the need for bikes in the congested streets of China — there are more electric bikes than cars on the roads — the QiCycle likely comes as a welcome innovation.

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