SpeedX’s Revolutionary Unicorn Bike comes with Smarts Already Installed


SpeedX Set to Revolutionise Cycling

If you’re serious about cycling, you’ll want to track every ride. How far you went, the amount of calories you burned — that sort of thing. Until now, that’s meant equipping your bike with a slew of third-party sensors and a less than sleek cycle computer on the handlebars. Not so with SpeedX. The Chinese startup is building carbon road bikes that integrate all of these components in a clean, blemish-free design. Its latest creation, the Unicorn, takes the concept one step further with a new, detachable “SpeedForce” computer that runs on Android and — in a first for the cycling industry — a built-in power meter to measure your effort on the pedals.

Smart Bike. C StringLabs/ The Noun Project
Smart Bike. C StringLabs/ The Noun Project

At CES, I was able to hop on the bike for a brief moment. I couldn’t ride it, because I was in a hall packed with curious visitors, but that didn’t stop me from pretending I was Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana for a few seconds. The new computer was underwhelming, because it didn’t turn on — the bike was merely a prototype, so I could only imagine what its various screens looked like. Lame. Otherwise, it’s quite the looker. All of the break cables are hidden inside the frame, so it feels like a complete, considered package. It’s the cycling equivalent of an all-in-one desktop, basically.

SpeedX is also touting a new “Vibration Control System,” which uses different carbon fibre blends to give the frame some flex. For now, I’ll have to take the team’s word that it works — the show floor was caked in carpet, with not a single pebble or discarded paper plate to test its effectiveness.

speed unicorn bike
speed unicorn bike

The concept isn’t for everyone. If you’ve already sunk hundreds of dollars into a top-end road bike, you’re probably better off buying the ride-tracking parts separately. It’ll be cheaper and easier to upgrade when you decide to switch them out. For novice cyclists, however, or people that are ready for an all-new rig, the SpeedX Unicorn could be worth considering. The only problem is getting one — the company is using Kickstarter to crowd-fund its various bikes, and doesn’t have a good track record for shipping them in a timely manner. With the Unicorn, maybe that will change — but seeing some unfinished prototypes today didn’t fill me with confidence.


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