While the primary function of the unit was unchanged, Specialized rebuilt the hardware from the ground up, and using its new Ride app created a whole new and improved interface.
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Basically, the ANGi is a pod packed full of sensors that mounts to the back of your helmet, and if it detects an impact with enough force that may leave you incapacitated, it turns your phone into a beacon and begins a countdown. If you’re unable to stop the timer before it reaches zero, a message is sent to an emergency contact complete with your last GPS coordinates.
I’ve been riding with one of the little units stuck to the back of my helmet for months now, and without a doubt, I can say the ANGi is superior to the ICEdot. However, the biggest downside came in the form of the annual subscription fee.
In a world ever moving towards the subscription business model, the £22.74 / $29.99 charge required to activate the ANGi after the free trial period is for many (this writer included) one subscription too many.
Matilda Raynolds, product marketing manager at Specialized Australia says of the fee change: “At Specialized, our first guiding principle is that ‘The Rider is the Boss.’ Our priority is to serve our riders with the most innovative cycling products in the world, and to stand behind the products that we sell. So when we launched the all-new ANGi helmet range with MIPS, which transformed the bicycle helmet into a live tracking device, crash detector, and safety beacon, riders were saying that one of the biggest barriers to engaging with ANGI was the annual subscription fee.
“We therefore listened to our riders and agreed that no one should pay a premium for safety. We were quick to adapt and remove the annual subscription fee to activate ANGi.”
So, as of today, Specialized has ditched the subscription fee and is offering the crash detection and notification service free of charge, allowing it to better compete with other similar crash detection services such as Garmin‘s.
The ANGi sensor now comes with many of Specialized’s road and mountain bike helmets and can be purchased as an upgrade (£40 / $50 / AU$75) to your current helmet regardless of brand, provided it has a flat space for the sensor to be mounted. But now when the Ride App is activated the crash detection and notification features will be free for the life of the ANGi sensor.