Biking these days is a connected experience, if you want it to be. Pros and amateurs alike use biking computers — think Garmin or CatEye — as well as smartwear to track their progress, but one thing these all have in common is you need to take at least one hand away from the bars to operate them. The ebikemotion platform is the first to try and bring GPS, fitness, and mobile info (the kind we won’t leave home without) together into one safe package that doesn’t make you look like you’re a wired-up super soldier without his exosuit.
Ebikemotion (EBM) offers a group of products that all work together. The EBM app, designed to be the most inclusive and flexible cycling app on the market, and the iWOC controller, the handlebar remote for apps can work on any bike. The iWOC One, the phone/computer mount, is intended for e-bikes, and the EBM LCD and EBM Touch are the two cyclo-computers designed for the purpose, which can still be controlled via the iWOC remote.
The iWOC One mount is a power supply for whatever display you choose and serves as a Bluetooth control interface to your ebike. Slap the EBM LCD computer on there, and you have a better way to control the bike. It’s black and white, waterproof, clear, and easy to use. The EBM Touch is the bigger, badder, color version of the EBM LCD, and has a SIM slot so you could theoretically use it as a phone.
You can even add an EBM camera action HD camera to the bottom of the iWOC One mount to capture your travels. Marketed to e-bike manufacturers and assemblers, you will need a communication protocol to make them work as intended, so if you’re in that industry reach out to the EBM team. If you’re a regular rider who already has an e-bike, grab the mount and use it with your cell phone and the EBM app.
The iWOC joystick, or controller, is the key piece that goes right on your bar under your favored hand. This intelligent wireless operative controller is basically a universal remote. This allows you to keep your hands on your bars and off of your computer or cell phone. It’s waterproof and has five customizable buttons that allow you to use the ebikemotion app (more on that later) or other fitness apps you’re already familiar with, such as Strava. You can also answer your phone, silence alerts, or adjust your music, among other useful controls.
If you have an e-bike, check with EBM to make sure your particular bike is fully compatible with the controller so you can use your turn signals and built-in lights if you have any, check battery power, change gears and motor assist modes, and on and on and on. Since the SDK is available, the accessible features and third-party apps that work with the joystick will only grow more dizzying, but the joystick’s three colored LEDs help cue you in to specific, context-sensitive information.
There are other wireless solutions for GPS directions out there, like handlebars with haptic feedback or smartglasses that show you your route, but not one that allows you to answer your phone and switch back and forth between app features without the need to even lift a finger … or at least, not lift a finger off your bike.
Of course, you keep your phone mounted to see your route, speed, heart rate, cadence, weather, etc., but the ebikemotion app streamlines that too. The app offers features that are standard by now — turn by turn navigation, voice guidance, route searching and saving — and combines them with some harder-to-find ones, like group maps for real-time positions of members in your group, track importing and exporting, and all the social aspects like sharing tracks and challenges.
The app uses open source platforms to make all the info you’re used to more easily accessible; you can customize the screens that relay everything from route to fitness features (if you have the sensors), controlling how easy it is for you to jump from, say, looking at your route, to changing your music or answering a call, to checking your pace by setting things up just how you like it. The ebikemotion professional app comes bundled with the iWOC joystick.
There are no depictions of the iWOC controller installed on drop bars, but from the look of the design, they could be set up near the stem, as opposed to near the shifters as on flat bars. EBM has a campaign up on Indiegogo and it’s worth a look for the joystick alone, let alone the comprehensive app and accessories like the heart rate and speed sensors.