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Connectivity an e-bikes. Illustration by TEAMS

Connectivity and (e-)bikes: less the why, more the how, and actually: why not

TEAMS Design Trend Story Bike II

By Oliver Keller

A bicycle is an analog connectivity tool, hard to digitize its primary function if you’re not Montgomery Scott. Clear so far, what is the benefit of digitizing a bike? What about all bike-related products, services and especially situations where being connected can be use — and helpful? Having thought about it for two seconds. Anyone who cycles will have a thousand things in their mind, like specific navigation, battery management, pro-active safety, automated emergency calls, bike location, wearable devices and so on. If that is not enough: we’re used to our digital comfort while driving and using navigation, entertainment and communication systems, the same whilst taking a metro or a cab. So why should cycling, and especially e-biking stay static? This question relates to the cycling requirements during a ride, and general bike-related services and information. Considering the why answered, the what and how are our subjects to talk about.

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Photo Credits: Unsplash, Graphics: TEAMS Design

How would connectivity look like to be useful on two wheels?

Benefits of digitized services around cycling are a specific weather forecast for the planned route helping the cyclist choose the right clothes, GPS bike tracking will locate stolen devices. All collected data can be used to plan cities and traffic more bicycle-friendly. An independently managed maintenance system will alert the cyclist for service at the right time thus keeping the bike fun and ready to go. And that’s what cycling is all about. Mostly.

Summed up in two sentences, it might sound a bit worn out, but nevertheless important for bike-specific products: The more information there is — the better it should be sorted and displayed. The more pro-active technology — the better it should adapt to user and situation.

Cobi — now a BOSCH company — offers a system incorporating an app and lighting system. For more information: COBI, Zwift, Strava, Momes, Eurobike Award.

This is part of an ongoing series we at TEAMS Design are producing to discuss future trends we are researching in the bike industry.

Originally published at on July 13, 2018.

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