iBike Powerhouse launched at CES

Electronics show launch highlights mainstream cycling tech growth

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which ran 10-13 January, had no shortage of flat panel TVs, tablet computers, and car audio that will shake the ground, but this year’s show was marked by the ever-growing category of fitness technology. Among the companies offering products to get in shape is Velocomp, a sports technology company and creator of the iBike Dash CC Cycling Computer.

New for 2012 is their iBike Powerhouse, which the company claims is the world’s first intelligent cycling computer that can automatically adjust to a user’s specific exercise goals.The specific fitness programs are designed by Hunter Allen, a well known cycling coach and author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter.

This new gizmo works with an iPhone or iPod Touch to measure, guide and motivate the rider, and maximize the benefit of each ride. “The iBike Powerhouse combines three technologies,” John Hamann, CEO of Velocomp, told BikeRadar. “We aren’t just used to riding things, but about tracking and measuring things, and the Powerhouse can do these measurements more precisely.”

These include the ability to measure the power used, to combine this with a rider’s objectives, and finally to transmit to the mobile device to make it easier for the user to track their performance.

Hamann says that measuring the power output is what makes the Powerhouse stand out from other cycling computers, as well as other fitness apps for mobile devices. “Power meters can be very expensive and we are offering an alternative,” says Hamann, “and more importantly we make all that data accessible. Even if the numbers are there, for many users it is hard to tell what they mean.”

The Powerhouse uses a similar electronics system to the Aero computer (pictured above) to measure power

The iBike Powerhouse complete system, which is available now for US$269, will include a water and shock resistant case for the iPhone or iPod touch, along with an app that interacts with the iBike’s electronics. The kit also comes with a wireless speed and cadence sensor, and universal mounting system. The device will also provide riders the ability to listen to music or even take a phone call while on the bike. It is also fully compatible with bicycle ANT+ heart rate monitor transmitters.

Unlike other training apps, Hamann says the key is that the iBikePowerhouse “automatically adjusts as you improve. It is a must for anyone who owns a bike and who wants to achieve measurable improvement towards health and fitness goals.”

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