The Vanhawks Valour bike is loaded with sensors, connects to your phone for directions

By Derek Kessler on 4 May 2014 09:36 am
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The Vanhawks Valour bicycle is being advertised as the first connected bicycle, with a carbon fiber frame, embedded sensors, and a Bluetooth connection for syncing with your smartphone. The bike, which has only been on Kickstarter for four days and has already blown past its $100,000 funding goal, communicates with the rider and the phone through a variety of means, with carries an array of safety and convenience features.

Sensors built in to Valour are able to track the rider's distance, speed, and time, and will sync all of that over Bluetooth 4.0 low energy to their Android or iOS smartphone, and can even display that information on a Pebble smartwatch. And while that data is sent to the smartphone, the phone can send navigation data back to the bike, which is displays turn-by-turn directions with LED indicators built in to the handlebars.

Impressively, Valour even has built-in blind-spot sensors that scan behind the rider for upcoming traffic. When a rider on Valour initiates a turn that would put them into traffic like that, Valour uses that sensor data to vibrate the handlebar grips as a warning.

Vanhawks Valour connected bike

Vanhawks is shooting to build a wider network off Valour, with a network of connected bikes able to communicate data about the riding environment, including road conditions, to other riders. This network is also meant to passively track bikes that the owners have reported as stolen.

This is definitely a bike you would want to track down if stolen — the smallest Kickstarter pledge you can make to get a Valour is CAD$999 (US$910), and that's for a single-speed version of the bike. If you want a multi-speed Valour (and you should definitely want a multi-speed bike if you're paying a thousand bucks for it) you'll have to fork over CAD$1249 (US$1138). The Kickstarter campaign is open through the end of May, with an estimated delivery date of October 2014 (November for multi-speed bikes).

So what do you think — are connected bikes like the Vanhawks Valour the future of riding?

Source: Kickstarter

Reader comments

The Vanhawks Valour bike is loaded with sensors, connects to your phone for directions

31 Comments

I really like the design of the bike, especially the lost/stolen mode notifications.
To be honest, it sounds like a Waze concept. The system gets better with the more people use it, if no-one uses it then the data you would create wouldn't benefit anyone and therefore the concept doesn't work.

Maybe the system would be more adaptable if it could be added to an existing bicycle, just a thought

very cool but i wonder what's achieved by building the sensors into the bike rather than building an add-on kit. designing a retro-fit package would almost certainly be a more cost-effective approach.

i love the bike but i love gears (and conventional drop handlebars) more. :(

I agree 100%. This is a great concept, and I know many riders would love to have some of these features. But I question whether you'll get hardcore riders to ditch their current bike (which likely they invested a significant amount of money into) to try out this completely different ride. It sounds like a much more easily adoptable solution is to offer out the various components as add-ons to riders' current setups. I do like the concept though, and yet another startup trying to make our world more connected.

Yup, would much rather have an add-on kit. Last thing I want to do is start throwing out bikes when the tech inside is outdated after 12 months.

like the design and concept.
only missing mobile app for BlackBerry 10 - so I have offered them to develop a native Cascades APP if they can provide API for server (REST) and API for Sensors.
BB10 with Bluetooth 4 on board would be a perfect match.
ekke

The bike design is beautiful and sleek; I like it! However, the technological part will take a long time to develop unless it's also sold as an add-on to existing bikes as well. Maybe the add-on wouldn't have as much perks as the bike itself, but still would help the spread and therefore the usefulness of the idea itself.

Some of the tech is great - tracking a stolen bike, blind spot - but what are the bike's specs (components, etc.) - the price seems low. I agree with others that being able to add it to a bike would be really nice.

Definitely a nice designed bike. Although I am not really sure if all the sensors are in the end that useful... or even distract you from driving.

I'm a bike enthusiast (kind of), and i can tell this won't do much good. Nice concept and looks, but in the end if i'm gonna spend that much money i'm definitely gonna go for performance and not "connectivity". The sensors are a great addition, don't get me wrong, but bike sensors are already available as add-ons (quite cheap). Also the vibrating handlebar could do more harm than good, if it's not extremely accurate.

Some of this bike features that seem new and exciting with seem standard or useless in couple of years. All in all not a bad first attempt.

This is pretty cool. It feels like a lot of the country is moving away from automotive transportation, and systems like this can help make that transition easier. Hopefully more companies innovate like this!

woah! now that's one big price toting bike. i mean that's expensive dude. but one thing to probably consider is that people who are hardcore bikers won't probably ditch their old bikes for this. and if you put all the other reasons for this aside, one still remains- emotional connect. plus those who are really into biking are actually pretty aware about the usual city routes and if you go biking to national parks and other such places then 1.most hardcore bikers will, just for the experience, use a good 'ol map and 2.google maps and other third party solutions give pretty good direction. kind of making the use of this bike redundant although the lost/stolen notifications sounds like a really good feature but i am not willing to spend a thousand bucks for that.

It's really not that high priced compared to some 'hardcore' bikes out there.

Specialized Tarmac Mid Compact - $1750, Bianchi Vertigo 105 - $2000, Cannondale CAAD10 5 105 - $1730, Cervelo R3 - $2600, Giant Defy Advanced - $3150.

Real question is.. is it on the same quality level of those bikes?

Distance, speed, and time can be done by the phone itself. Warning and alerting the rider is indeed very cool.

This bike is awesome! I think this has a lot of potential in urban areas. The built-in safety features are well worth the cost.

Looks interesting, but as with any bike purchase, I've got to try it out for fit first before buying it. Any demos at bigger urban centres?

I'm actually in the market for a bike right now. I want to start commuting to work when the weather permits. The price isn't bad for what you're getting. The biggest problem I see with this Kickstarter is that delivery isn't until the weather will already be bad where I live, and probably worse in Canada. Even though they're delivering in the fall, it won't be until the spring for most people to be able to take theirs for a test ride. The weather just got warm enough for riding where I live.

Also Windows Phone and Blackberry integration would be nice. This currently isn't even a stretch goal of theirs. Speaking of stretch goals, the white on white is going to look sick.

There are very few things, tech or transportation-related, that I would buy without texting first. This is one of those things. If I come across some extra money, I'm getting one.

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