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2012: Breakthrough for Bicycle Electronics?

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Bicycle computers have been common in past decades and the introduction Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting by Shimano was a sensation a couple of years ago. Its followed at this years Eurobike with

2012: Breakthrough for Bicycle Electronics?

Bicycle computers have been common in past decades and the introduction Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting by Shimano was a sensation a couple of years ago. It’s followed at this year’s Eurobike with Ultegra Di2. However on the wave of success of the e-bike 2012 could bring a huge step forward in the integration of many more electronics in bikes.

The e-bike presents ample opportunities for integrating electronically controlled applications as well as electronic powered functions. Automatic gear shifting for e-bikes is one such obvious development and two manufacturers are introducing such systems at this year’s Eurobike.

The show that opens its doors tomorrow features the first automatic transmission systems. They are presented by JD Group, producers of the TranzX drive systems and e-bikes as well as Fallbrook Technologies. Automatic transmission allows an optimization of the power ratio and prevents undershifting or overshifting. It provides an optimization of the power ratio; ensures a more energy efficient operation and thus a greater range for the e-bike.

Once you have electricity on the bike, obviously many things can be executed electronically, as it did with automobiles and electric windows, automatic wipers, anti-approach data indicators/sensors and so on. Next to electronic and auto shifting; AXA’s remote controlled Defender ring lock is an example of how electronics can enhance comfort to theft protection as in cars. It’s not in series production yet, but will arrive soon.

In the case of an e-bike, the following developments are conceivable if not already being designed:
• automatic transmission
• brake lights
• route navigation
• energy recovery during braking and downhill
• electronically adjustable seat height (to make getting on and off the bike easier)
• handle/seat heating in winter and possibly cooling in summer
• anti-theft system with remote control
• theft detection by means of a chip which can be tracked

 

 

 

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