The fitness industry has been all about biometrics for a few years now and the bike industry is catching on. You can bike with a full dashboard of metrics now. The question is, what metrics matter and, more to the point, how do or should or could or will they change your behavior?
I alluded yesterday to a set of metrics to be generated by Pioneer. Its Expanded Sensor Network are accelerometers and strain gauges that give you feedback on weight balance (left to right and front to back), pedaling action and the like.
This is still proof of concept, but here's what the output looks like (as of now). depending on whether the bars on the crank display are red or blue your torque profile and pedaling action are optimized or not. Of course, whose idea of optimized are we talking about? This is where it gets very interesting. Also, Pioneer is moving, whether it realizes it or not, from a metric display company to a metric interpretation company, i.e., by analyzing the data it's picking sides on questions of bike fit, cycling technique and whatnot. Very interesting. Something to watch.
One company that went from measuring to interpreting was Retul. It first simply made a motion capture system. Then it decided to become an interpreter of the metrics it measured. But Retul's motion capture system is very expensive - well over $10,000. GURU's new Range of Right is a $3000 system just introduced here at Interbike. GURU has been messing around with Kinect-based motion capture for a few years, and its final iteration, ready for market, borrows a lot from what Slowtwitcher David Bowden intro'd last year at Interbike.
One of the very best things I've seen at Interbike this year is Wahoo's Kickr Studio, a turnkey spin studio for retailers. The ability to make appointments, pay the charge online - really a business module in a box for retailers - relieves a local shop of all the front-facing software development for such a studio. They can even lease the Kickrs, making this a cash-friendly business where the money is earned as the payments are spent on the Kickrs.
Most Slowtwitchers are familiar with Velofix, the mobile bike shop company. There are two of these, and Beeline is the other one. I think they've got about 40 franchises up and running in the U.S. right now.
Here are a few Lazer helmets on display. The aero collection. I've got a lot I'm going to write about this company and I'm not going to wade in right now. Suffice it to say, yesterday was the first time in my memory I ever put a Lazer on my head. Its retention system is so good as to be a significant upgrade on the rest of the industry. This is very simply the best-fitting bike helmet I've ever had on my head, and I'm speaking simply of the everyday road helmets I'd choose to ride with. Maybe it's widely known how good this Belgian company's helmets really are, and I'm just the last to find out. I ought to get out more.