Open bike system

2016-06-16 06:00
The world’s first OpenBike-equipped bike should be available next year. PHOTO: OpenBike

The world’s first OpenBike-equipped bike should be available next year. PHOTO: OpenBike

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THE more that technology advances, the greater the variety of electronic gadgets that can be installed on our bikes.

Lights are an obvious example, but there are also electronic shifting and suspension systems, along with things like actioncams, phone chargers, and cycling computers.

As it stands right now, they’re almost all stand-alone items, receiving power independently and sometimes working to cross purposes.

Randall Jacobs and Kyle Manna hope to change that, with their OpenBike “connected bicycle ecosystem”.

The idea behind OpenBike is that bicycle manufacturers will build the basic network into their bikes, while electronic component manufacturers will likewise make products that are compatible with the system.

Hardware-wise, it features one central battery that powers all of a bike’s electronic devices, along with internally-routed electrical wiring running from that battery to key locations, such as the handlebars.

That battery can be removed for recharging, although it can also be charged via a dynamo while pedalling.

Additionally, OpenBike will incorporate its own open communications protocol, allowing gadgets from different manufacturers to “talk” to one another. — Supplied.

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