Over the past few years, the electric bike sector has experienced exceptional growth. A symbol of freedom, flexibility and ecological commitment, the electric bike is gaining more and more supporters. With this popularity, we are witnessing the emergence of the highly promising connected e-bike segment.
In harmony with our increasingly digitalized lifestyles, the promise is to offer all cyclists a safe and entertaining experience. To achieve this, the connected electric bike integrates an IoT, enabling it to communicate with its environment. It thus becomes a smartbike, capable of receiving and transmitting data in real time. Once processed, this data is transformed into services using software dedicated to brands and cyclists.
Depending on the type of bike (city bike, mountain bike, cargo bike, etc.), the data collected will have a different use and scope for both the cyclist and the bike brand.
The city bike, when connectivity is synonymous of tranquillity and safety
In a context where bicycle parking facilities are not always accessible, electric bikes are easy targets in urban environments. In France, nearly 400,000 bicycles are stolen every year. According to the Fédération Française des Usagers de la Bicyclette, some 80,000 cyclists are afraid to take the plunge for fear of losing their investment if their bike is stolen. For those who brave the risks, the question of safety remains a major concern. Although the use of bicycles is becoming increasingly widespread in major cities, they have not yet fully found their place in the urban landscape, mainly because of the lack of cycle paths and users’ unfamiliarity with the rules of the road.
Connectivity, an advantage for bicycle safety
In this tumultuous urban context, connectivity becomes the cyclist’s best ally, offering peace of mind and security. By opting for IoT integration, brands give their customers peace of mind when it comes to the safety of their electric bike. Thanks to a dedicated mobile application, they can easily monitor their bike. A real interface between the bike and the rider, the mobile app provides real-time information while enabling remote actions to be taken. The bike can be locked or unlocked remotely.
Once locked, it enters vigilance mode. In the case of suspicious movement, the IoT’s built-in alarm is triggered, and the cyclist is immediately alerted by a notification. He can track his bike’s position in real time and switch off the electric assistance, making the bike more difficult to move.
Dashboard and C-V2X: connectivity applications for cyclist safety
According to a survey carried out by Shimano in 2021, one in four people would be discouraged from cycling because of the feeling of insecurity.
The smartphone, a new dashboard for cyclists
If connectivity is an effective tool for bicycle safety, the same applies to cyclist safety. During a journey, the cyclist can indicate his destination and choose among several itineraries according to various criteria, such as the route with the highest proportion of cycle paths – a reassuring parameter for inexperienced cyclists unfamiliar with city driving.
Once an itinerary has been selected, the user can quickly access the route and its next stages, allowing him to concentrate exclusively on the road.
Making bicycles visible in their environment through connectivity
Connectivity also offers the opportunity to make the bike more visible within its environment. This is made possible thanks to C-V2X (Communication Vehicle-to-Everything) technology. Taken from the automotive sector and its V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) technology, C-V2X is made possible by the deployment of 5G.
Originally, V2X is a technology enabling a connected vehicle to communicate with other vehicles, as well as with its environment (smartphone, cloud and surrounding infrastructure) to ensure user safety and comfort. Applied to bicycles, this would make cyclists visible to other vehicles, help them avoid collisions, and keep them informed of traffic and weather conditions that could affect their safety. This information would make a significant contribution to improving cyclist safety.
e-MTB, SpeedBike: connectivity for performance
For electric mountain bikers and speed bike enthusiasts, connectivity represents a major advantage in their quest for performance. It enables them to measure and improve their performance, simplify bike maintenance, and save and share their exploits.
Performance measurement and optimization
Thanks to the IoT integrated into the bike, a large amount of data is collected. Once processed, they are available in the mobile application, giving the cyclist an overview of his or her performance. Information such as speed achieved, number of rides completed, and average speed is easily accessible. This enables cyclists not only to evaluate their skills, but also to define concrete goals for continual improvement.
Easy maintenance for longer-lasting performance
Maintenance plays a crucial role in the quest for performance. Here too, connectivity can make all the difference for cyclists, brands and assemblers alike.
The mobile application for cyclists, a data logbook
The brand’s mobile application helps cyclists maintain their bikes. This includes maintenance tips, as well as reminders to carry out the necessary maintenance operations.
The data collected enables us to anticipate when the electric bike’s components will reach the point of wear, making it easier to implement preventive maintenance operations. A well-maintained bike functions optimally, which is also reflected in its performance. What’s more, cyclists who receive support and assistance become more attached to the brand.
Connectivity, a development tool for brands
For brands, this data represents an opportunity to improve their products to make them more efficient and respond better to cyclists’ expectations.
Connectivity, an opportunity to create a cycling community
The mobile application offers cyclists the option of saving their journeys. This feature enables enthusiasts to discover new trails and share their adventures with other cyclists, creating a community of enthusiasts. Thanks to connectivity, the brand’s application becomes a social platform for exchange and challenge. The brand can then energize this community by proposing challenges or trail recommendations. Gamification adds significant value to the cyclist’s experience and creates a sense of belonging within this community.
The cargo bike and connectivity to reinvent tomorrow’s utility vehicle
In today’s congested urban environment, cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular with professionals looking for fast, sustainable mobility solutions. For this audience, connectivity plays a central role, providing users with the peace of mind they need to navigate the city serenely. Connectivity not only guarantees bike safety, as mentioned above, but also provides companies with an effective fleet management tool.
Keeping track of your bike’s health
With maintenance tracking, connectivity enables professionals to closely monitor the health of their cargo bikes. With the data collected, they can choose to carry out preventive or even predictive maintenance rather than the curative ones, which are carried out once a breakdown has occurred.
Simplified fleet management
For companies with several cargo bikes, such as delivery firms, connectivity offers a powerful management tool for their fleet. Through centralized software, the fleet manager has real-time access to the exact position of his vehicles, their itinerary, their status and their battery percentage. This enables efficient management of resources, and avoids immobilization of bicycles, which would be detrimental to their business.
Connected solutions tailored to the needs of electric bike brands
In the bike industry for nearly 10 years, Velco offers connected solutions tailored to the needs of brands. Thanks to our IoT and software solutions, we support them in their connectivity projects for their fleets of electric city bikes, cargo bikes, speed bikes, e-VTTs, and much more. Connectivity enables all e-bike brands to remove barriers to cycling, offering every rider an optimal experience.