Meshing Man and Machine

 

Electric bicycles, which combine the pedals of a traditional bike with an electric motor, are growing in popularity as users seek advantages from saving on gas to expanding their trail riding and fitness options. Models can range from $500 to $15,000.

Capitalizing on this growth has been Bosch, who has become a leader in the electric bicycle powertrain market. Recently, the company’s eBike Systems division unveiled the Kiox – an onboard computer specially developed for e-bike riders.

The 1.9” auto-adjusting color display is made with Gorilla Glass and controlled by a separate control unit on the handlebar. It can provide information on speed, state of battery charge, and even heart rate. The unit attaches via a magnetic base that also allows for detaching and reviewing data captured during the day’s ride.

When the screen is on the bike, it can be controlled via handlebar buttons, eliminating the need to take your hands off the bar.

The goal, according to the company, is to blur the line between man and machine while creating a more immersive and connected riding experience. A Bluetooth interface complements this goal —  simultaneously providing a simple way to update the device’s software and manage maintenance needs while opening the door to future connectivity upgrades like a GPS. An integrated USB port also allows for charging other devices.

The Kiox can also store workout data and fitness plans ranging from distance to average speed, and even manage the amount of assistance provided by the bike’s electric motor. Bosch currently works with over 30 electric bike makers. The unit will be available this fall.

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