Last month saw the Eurobike 2022 conference in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, bringing a swag of new ebikes, cargo bikes, and escooters to industry professionals and product enthusiasts. Here’s some of the tech that caught my eye:
The Noordung ebike
At first glance, the Slovakian Noordung ebike looks like any cool, retro-inspired lightweight carbon fiber ebike. But it possesses a couple of superpowers.
It comes with a detachable Bluetooth boombox equipped with four speakers, so you can play music as you ride.
PM 2.5 and PM 10 particle sensors are embedded in the speakers. These track real-time data on air quality so you can keep an eye on the pollution of different routes.
However, the ebike is not cheap, with a hefty €6,990 ($7,105) price tag. But bonus points for leading the way with new ebike features.
Why it matters: It’s interesting to see a bike with new tech rather than simply advancing what’s already available.
I’m not sure how much a music-blasting bike will win favors with other road users. Perhaps bone conduction speakers would be an easier way to keep the peace?
But I regularly see a guy jogging around my local park carrying a boombox and a beer, so what do I know?
Furthermore, I like the potential crowdsourcing of air pollution tracking to crowdsource air pollution levels, especially if it informs real-time bike routes.
Add a way to track pollen levels; it’d be a game changer.
This bike would be great for anyone wanting to lead the pack (acoustically and environmentally) at Critical Mass bike rides.
Estonian-German company Comodule is someone I’ve been following for a while. The company was a front runner providing plug-in-play solutions to connect light motor vehicles to the internet.
Now, around 30% of the global scooter fleet and more than 200 000 shared vehicles have run on our hardware and software.
The company showed off several clients at the event. For example, a recent partnership with Dutch ebike subscription company Swapfiets.
Why it matters: 8 years is a long time in IoT, when it comes to keeping a company alive and profitable.
Comodule has been able to help bike manufacturers like Ampler and Gazelle create new connectivity ecosystems in a highly competitive market. They’ve also helped to launch micromobility fleets across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Asia Pacific. Impressive stuff.
An anti-angle-grinder D Lock sounds too good to be true! But UK company Hiplock has created a bike lock capable of withstanding a severe, sustained angle grinder attack.
The D100 owes its oomph to Ferosafe, a graphene-reinforced ceramic composite.
Even better, the patented materials are specifically designed to disintegrate angle grinder cutting wheels and carbide tipped drills – a rather cheering thought as it may halt other planned attacks on the same day.
The company raised over €300,000 on Kickstarter in 2021 to bring these locks to life. The locks are currently sold out, but worth signing up for the waitlist.
Why it matters: Bike theft in large cities is endemic – take Berlin, where 12,490 bicycles were reported stolen between January and June of this year.
At €250, the price of the lock is comparable to the cost a few years of bike insurance. But insurance can’t replace a custom-made bike’s sentimental or practical value. And while this won’t stop thieves determined to strip parts from a bike, it will hopefully frustrate them enough to deter most thefts.
Hillstrike Snow Trikes
I come from Australia, where “going to the snow” is prohibitively expensive. Thus, I did not know bikes on skis were a thing.
Hillstrike rents ski trikes to ski resorts across Europe.
The trikes mean anyone from kids to the elderly can have fun on the slopes. You can even take one on a chairlift.
Why it matters: Simply put, it looks like a lot of fun, and as someone who has no idea how to ski, it seems pretty accessible. Sign me up!