Cobi smart bike

Bicycling is a great way to get around. It saves energy and money, and helps with your health and fitness at the same time. But the Wright Brothers would recognize just about any typical bicycle at first glance. The basic design has not changed much in more than 100 years. A group has created a smart add-on for just about any add-on bike, including the new e-drive bikes that provide an electric-powered boost to your pedaling. By adding a wireless controller, the folks at COBI make it possible for your smartphone to become a valuable addition to your two-wheeled transportation.

Depending on the options and the other pieces that you include, the system can do perform more than 100 functions. Paired with a health sensor, it can record your heart rate, calories burned, and more. It will track your ride including distance, speed, time, elevation. It can provide GPS navigation with turn-by-turn instructions. It does so much more, however. A brake light goes on automatically when you decelerate, and you can use turn signals to indicate your intentions. A headlight turns on and off automatically as lighting conditions require. You can play music stored on your phone or streamed from online sources, and the volume will adjust automatically with your speed. And a control pad on the handlebars lets you control everything as you pedal. Perhaps best of all, you can even recharge your phone as you travel.

The system supports both iOS and Android smartphones, and will be available starting at just $115. The company ran a successful KickStarter campaign that raised more than $400,000 with an initial goal of just $100,000. The first products are expected to ship this summer.