How complex is riding a bike? When it’s an electric bike, apparently complex enough that being able to “control” the bike with your Android phone is an exciting new innovation.
The Canadian company Daymak is behind this move, with its Shadow Ebike 2.0 Bluetooth, and it brought the rig to the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The Shadow Ebike was already claiming the title of “the only wireless electric bike in the world,” so layering on the Android operating system is, as the company said, “an unheard of use of technology.”
As odd as it might sound to have a “control system” for a bike, Daymak’s description of how it works for the Shadow makes some sense. The company’s vice president for R&D, Aldo Baiocchi, summed up its utility quite nicely in a statement: “The Shadow Ebike 2.0 converts your Android phone into a complete control system for the Shadow Ebike. Your phone is the key to turning the ebike on and off. The app features a slew of options including: user defined pedal assist modes, top speeds, GPS, odometer, speedometer, trip data, altitude, battery life, and history of all usage.”
One question not directly addressed in the Daymak announcement: Are you supposed to hold onto your smartphone/controller and bang on it while riding your bike? A photograph too small to reproduce here suggests the answer is no; it shows a phone attached to the handlebars. Presumably Daymak gives you an easy way to make this happen.
In case you missed our earlier stories, the Shadow Ebike came out last year – after a fairly long gestation period – featuring wireless magnetic regenerative brakes, wireless throttle and wireless pedal assist. It can come equipped with either a 250- or 350-watt motor. With a 36-volt 10AH lithium battery, and weighing 59 pounds, the electric bike has a top speed of around 20 miles per hour, and a range of about 15 miles without pedal assistance.
Daymak said the Shadow Ebike 2.0 Bluetooth would go into production this spring. No price was given, but the earlier model goes for $1,999.