When I purchased my first “skinny-tire” road bike some three decades ago, I used a small mechanical odometer to calculate my miles ridden. The crude gizmo attached to the bike’s front-right fork (next to the front axle) and was powered by a 2-inch-diamater o-ring that spun, like a tiny fan belt, with the wheel’s whirling axle. If the thin, often-brittle o-ring broke – well, adios, odometer.
Oh, how times have changed. Soon after the iPhone exploded onto the digital scene, specialized “holsters” that attach the Apple product to a bike’s handlebars hit the market. The iBike Dash line of products, the cream of the crop, is made of a lightweight, shockproof, waterproof shell (called a “Phone Booth”) that interfaces with the iPhone to provide an assortment of data that would impress even the most jaded techie.
The embedded circuit board on the iBike Dash converts the iPhone or iPod Touch into a cycling computer that’s second to none. It provides graphical, animated and numerical data – all accessed through the familiar touch-screen features used by iPhone owners – including current, average and maximum speed and temperature; trip distance and cycling time; and permanent total distance and cycling time; it’s all available while moving on the road. The specifics described here are just the bare-bones basics.
Extra features include heart rate and pedaling cadence, key information for today’s serious cyclists. They require additional lightweight sensors in
the Phone Booth and/or additional software apps.
These apps, free at iTunes, furnish colorful GPS-based maps that provide real-time info about where riders are and where they’re headed; product instructional videos; a fitness test that measures pedaling power correlated with heart rate; and far too many additional features to include here.