CES 2017 has once again impressed us with not only their unusual tech, but with their addition by LeEco, an eccentric company who creates cars, TVs, phones, and even bikes. LeEco came to CES 2017 to show off their new pair of high-end “smart bikes.” Made for the road and mountain biker, these pair of Android-powered cycles are being marketed for hardcore cyclists. But don’t get too excited — there is no release date or pricing information yet and the bikes are still in their pre-polished stages.
However, the company seems to be very serious about eventually releasing their Super Road Bike and Smart Mountain Bike (yeah, they may be eccentric, but they may need some help with naming their gear), because their original Super Bike has not even hit the market yet — and LeEco has already refined their concept and created the new models seen at CES 2017. With more to offer for serious road cyclists including a more lightweight bike and lack of size limitations, LeEco’s new smart bikes are powered by Android-based Bike OS software.
The Super Road Bike and Smart Mountain Bike has some tech that we have only recently seen in attachable accessories, but are not integrated within the smart bike along with tech you certainly have not seen yet.
The Smart Road Bike features laser-emitting LED lights located on the ends of the handlebars. These lights create an LED bike lane around your bike on either side, so that other bikers and vehicles know not to get too close.
Included is a display screen four inches in size and is full color with touch capabilities. This small tablet features functions that a typical cycling computer would. While the tablet display features typical cycling computer functions, it also offers a cool walkie-talkie feature.
The integrated Android system within is equipped with a Snapdragon 410 processor and 4G LTE radio — these are components often found in the latest smartwatches. The “smart” technology monitors your route, distance traveled, your speed, your pulse, your power, and other helpful metrics through third-party sensors.
The speed of swiping through the new Bike OS 2.0, which is more customized than the stock Android used in the previous model, is nice. The display was slower to respond to swipes and taps than on modern mobile devices, so that can be distracting. You can read more about this in at the bottom of this article.
The Bike OS 2.0 interface is wonderfully simplified so you don’t have to ride around reading a ton of options on the screen and distracting yourself. There is a customized settings menu which is straightforward — you have options for: Home, Track, Music, and Settings. Music can be played online (via the 4G LTE) or local music. You can even listen to your local FM radio stations during your ride through the headphone port.
While the technology is certainly interesting to consider when biking, any respectable cyclists has to first consider the construction of the bike itself before purchasing even a “smart bike.” Otherwise, you could simply buy one of the great pieces of technology that you can simply attach to your current bike to get similar results.
Let’s take a look at the construction and materials used in these smart bikes and see if the build is worthy of the tech (and your money).
The LeEco smart bikes are made from pretty high-end construction materials. The frame, handlebars, seat post, and wheels are made of carbon fiber — this gives the bike a very solid construction and light weight. This should appeal nicely to advanced riders. The other parts are made of SRAM.
Serious cyclists can also appreciate the new 1x drive train system, which gives the rider power and high speed by piling more gears on the rear wheel rather than having them on both. This lightens the bike and makes the ride more simple.
Technical Specifications and Features
There are two models by LeEco with smart technology: the Smart Road Bike and the Smart Mountain Bike.
LeEco Smart Road Bike
- Frame, Fork, Seat Post, Handlebar, Wheels: Aerodynamic Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
- Drivetrain: 11-Speed one-by
- Single chain ring in the front, wide-range cassette in the back
- Shift/Brake Levers
- Lightweight at 18.5 pounds (8.4 kg)
LeEco Smart Mountain Bike
- Frame and Handlebar: Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
- Front Fork: SR Suntour XCR Air
- Wheelset: 27.5 inch / 650b diameter
- Drivetrain: 11-Speed one-by
- Crankset: Single chain ring, Rear derailleur
- Cassette: 11-42 tooth
- Brake set: Hydraulic
- Weight: 26.9 pounds (12.2 kg)
Things LeEco Has to Work On
- Tablet responsiveness – delays and lags when in use
However, the smart bikes at CES 2017 are prototypes so perfection is not expected. However, if LeEco listens to the feedback of their prototypes, they could take this advice to heart because it can end up being terrible for rider safety. As opposed to sitting on your bike and messing with a slow display or worse, cycling and doing so, a highly responsive display is ideal and quite necessary.
LeEco has not released information on how much they are going to retail these bikes for or when exactly, but they did say that they plan on releasing them in the second quarter of 2017.