As someone whose favourite bicycle-related activity is cooking an occasional Paris-Brest, who mounts an exercise bicycle only when there’s nothing else unoccupied in the gym, and who just occasionally sallies forth on a fold-up when alternative transport is impractical, this editor has been blown away by the revelations in the recent Beecham Research on Connected Bikes.
It seems there is no limit to how technology is transforming the bicycle with the aid, of course, of the ubiquitous smartphone. A particularly popular feature seems to be an app-driven automatic gear changer, as introduced by Cambridge Consultants when they first used the term “Connected Bike” in 2012. Fitness, navigation, anti-theft, safety and even ‘intelligent rear wheels’ are adding to the glamour.
Surprising too are the statistics quoted by Beecham on bicycle sales in Europe (19.7m/year), as well as the market for Electric Power-Assisted Cycles (EPACs) which is also growing steadily in Europe – in 2012, 854,000 EPACs were sold in Europe, at a 19.3% growth rate vs 2011.
Many years back we had eBanking, eCommerce, eGovernment and eTicketing, as well as eHealth – since then customers & suppliers alike have embraced these technologies to transform cost, availability & quality such that they are now the way in which these services are delivered…except for one; will even the humble bicycle leave health behind?
Hat-tip to Prof Mike Short for drawing my attention to this.