There’s definitely no shortage of high-tech gadgetry you can attach to your bike these days — everything from proximity-activated bike locks, to contactless dynamo lights, and even wheels that store energy and pedal for you. But despite the broad range of different gizmos you can affix to your fixie, most bike tech is still designed to be attached retroactively instead of coming built directly into the bike itself.
The Valour, a freshly-launched Kickstarter project from Toronto-based startup Vanhawks, aims to change that. It’s a smart bike in every sense of the word, and it comes with a plethora of useful technologies built right into the frame.
For starters, it’s made out of an uber-lightweight carbon fiber body. Now, this certainly isn’t a new development for bicycles, and carbon fiber frames have been around for years at this point; but unlike others currently on the market, Valour’s frame sports specially-engineered interior walls for added stability and strength. The interior construction is inspired by the same principles that strengthen our bones, which allows the frame to withstand extreme three-dimensional stress.
The sleek, matte black exterior is definitely pretty cool, but Valour’s innards are what make it so amazing. Under the hood this badboy sports an array of different sensors that track things like calories burned, distance traveled, speed, best times, and much more. And by linking to your smartphone to the bike via Vanhawks’ proprietary app, the Valour can even give you turn-by-turn directions with the help of a multicolor LED array embedded in the handlebars. This is basically the same functionality you’d get from a device like Hammerhead, but it’s built directly into the bike’s handlebars, so you’ll never have to worry about it being stolen while you’re away.
Arguably the most amazing feature of the bike, however, is its ability to sense what’s around it. Using a set of proximity sensors, Valour keeps tabs on your blind spot, and will alert you when something is there via haptic feedback signals delivered to the handlebars. In other words, it vibrates when there’s a car or another bike coming up from behind you, and lets you know with vibrations so you don’t have to look away from the road ahead.
You’d think that with all this high-tech gadetry inside Valour would need to be plugged in periodically to charge up, but Vanhawks thought of that too. Instead of getting the juice it needs from a wall outlet, the bike is equipped with a front-wheel dynamo hub that charges up the on-board electronics as you pedal.
The project launched just a few days ago on Kickstarter, but it’s already well on its way to reaching it’s $100K funding goal. If you pledge your support now, you can lock one down for about $1,000. That might sound a bit steep as far as crowdfunding projects go, but considering all advanced tech it’s got inside, it’s actually not that unreasonable. Find out more here.
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