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Eurobike Sports Tech Snippets Part 1: Cateye, Fly6, Elite Trainers, Wahoo, Canyon

There’s a lot of new tech this year on the floor of Eurobike, more so than I’ve seen in years past.  On Thursday alone I spent 12 hours in meetings with these companies.  And that didn’t even touch all the coolness that I saw on Wednesday or Friday.  So here’s the first part of a short series on tech snippets I saw around the show.  Some of these I’ll expand down the line into longer posts – potentially at Interbike, or once a product is released.

The Cateye Strada Smart

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I’ll just state this upfront: On paper, and on the show floor – this unit looks really damn cool.  But super damn cool when you factor in it’s only $75.

This is exactly the sort of bike computer that’s perfect for not only bike commuting, but also for those who don’t need a more powerful unit.  Let me explain.

Cateye’s new Bluetooth Smart enabled Strada Smart is a combination of a pared down Wahoo RFLKT, with that of a standard Cateye computer.  It has three modes it can operate in, which make it a bit of a non-monogamous player.  You’ll see these three modes explained below in more detail after the nearly impossible to photograph chart (because a poorly placed bar was in the way):

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These boil down to the following two and a half modes:

Mirror Mode: In this mode, the Smart drives the display.  This is identical to the Wahoo RFLKT or RFLKT+, or, the Magellan Echo (though, it doesn’t use those API’s).  So you’ve got an app (shown in a moment) that you can configure the data screens for.  In this mode it uses your phone’s GPS to provide data like speed, distance and the like (even altitude).  Where it diverges though from the Wahoo-based offerings is that it also shows you smartphone notifications such as calls or e-mails.  I’ll show you how that works in a minute too.  All of this is then recorded and then uploadable to various sites like Strava.  So you can very easily just auto-upload your daily commute to Strava, in the event you get a bit frisky mid-ride.

Mirror Mode with sensors: This is a variant of the first mode.  All this mode adds is the ability to also display Bluetooth Smart sensor data.  They support Cadence, Heart Rate, and Power.  In this mode the sensors connect to the phone first, and then the phone sends the data to the unit which displays the sensor data (identical to how the RFLKT works).

Sensor Direct Mode: This mode takes the phone out of the equation entirely.  In this mode it connects directly to Bluetooth Smart sensors and displays that data.  This is ideal if you somehow don’t have a phone on you.  However, the downside is that you can’t upload the data afterwards.  Also, there is no GPS in this mode, so you’ll need to ensure the wheel sensor is on there if you want distance or speed.

Next, let’s take a super-quick tour through the app.  The unit will only connect to the Cateye app, so you can’t just use any of your normal 3rd party apps.  To start, the Cateye app is where you can pair sensors, via this menu here:

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These sensors will ultimately enumerate data onto different data pages, which you can configure via the phone app as well:

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It’s also the place to be when it comes for setting up your notifications, which are seemingly done through a different place than the standard notification center.

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I asked about this, and they did confirm it’s separate.  Which, is reasonably annoying.  As you also have to manually add in each of your separate mail accounts (such as below).  It’s unclear to me if you then have to have space available to cache that mail data.  Either way, seems completely wonky – just use the iOS and Android notification centers.  That’s what they’re there for.

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Next, you can upload to a few different services, including Strava and Training Peaks.  They said more would be on the way.

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Overall the app is a bit basic, but that’s OK – it seems to tick off all the right boxes, even if the user interface of the app is a bit of a blended 2007 vs 2014 work of art.  I can deal with that as long as it works.

So let me put this bluntly: Assuming the unit doesn’t suck in real-life, this is basically an Edge 200 killer (Garmin’s low-end head unit that floats at about $129US).  No doubt the Garmin Edge 200 has GPS whereas the Cateye doesn’t.  But, for most consumers of the Edge 200, super-long rides aren’t likely an issue (thus, battery on the phone isn’t going to be an issue).  Most people buying the Edge 200 aren’t doing 5-7 hours rides.  Rather, they’re doing 1-2 hour rides as the norm.  So, the integration with the phone and the 3rd party sites and smart notifications would seem to outweigh the GPS pieces on the Garmin (and lack of phone integration).  Of course, to each their own.

What I think we’re seeing here is the first attempt at driving down the bike computers in the same way that Soleus and other brands have done on the running side.  After all, with the Cateye at $75/€75, it’s a solid bargain.

Fly6 shows off smaller camera:

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I showed you the Fly6 unit back this past spring.  It’s the little camera that’s built into a rear light system for your bike.  It records what goes on around you in the event of an accident (or, ideally, to prevent one).

They’ve been working away on an improved model that has a few definitely worthy changes:

Size: The size has been dropped by about 1/3rd, specifically in the length dimension.  You can see that in the photo below.

Battery: They’ve increased battery life to a minimum of 6 hours.  They’re hoping to get closer to 8 hours, but they feel confident with stating at least 6 hours of recording/lighting time.

Camera: They’ve increased the quality of the camera used.  It’s still 720p, but they went with a higher quality unit that should produce better imagery.  Additionally, the camera has improved white balance performance.

Lens change: They’ve improved the lens design a bit, which should reduce the warping effect that can be seen today in the recorded video.

Added G-Sensor: This should improve the crash recognition mode a bit over the existing tilt-switch sensor

Automatic Computer Detection: Now when you plug the unit in, it’ll automatically show up on your computer. Before you had to turn it on after you plugged it in.  Thus way it acts just like any other USB storage device.

Light: Finally, they’ve approximately doubled the output of the light used in the unit to about 30 lumens.  In addition, they’ve added a solid illumination mode to comply with various European regulations on bike lights (no blinking).

Here’s a comparison between the old unit and the new unit.  You’ll notice they moved the USB port to the side from the bottom.  They believe this will improve the waterproofing a bit more, though the whole unit is still internally waterproofed – so it can be completely filled with water inside and still live to film another day.

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The current plan is to have the new model out by the end of the year, replacing the existing model.  The new variant doesn’t have a name yet though, so that too is in the works.

Elite’s new resistance controlled trainer and software:

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(Note: Updated section)

Next we’ve got Elite and their series of trainers.  They’ve got a number of updates and changes in the lineup this year.  First up is that all of their ‘Real’ Trainers will get the ANT+ Trainer profile by the end of the year (though they hope sooner).  They’ll also be looking to enable it on other trainers, including the Digital series ones – but there are some hardware dependencies there they need to investigate to validate it’s possible. Some models it might not be possible.  They’ll have more information down the road on that.  These updates will also be possible via simple firmware update.

That’s huge news to see that at least one company has confirmed going forward with the trainer standard, and having an actual date (versus being wishy-washy).

Next up is they’ve slightly changed the existing Muin Turbo, by increasing its flywheel from 6KG to 7KG.  A minor change, but it should give a slightly more realistic feel.

But in addition to the existing Muin, they’ve also released a new electro-magnetic controlled unit – the Real Turbo Muin.  This unit allows you to control the resistance on the trainer, just like other higher-end resistance controlled trainers.  But it’s not just electronically managed, it also still retains the fluid aspect for the flywheel – which helps it to maintain its more realistic feel.  In addition, they’ve added in wireless ANT+ control support.

This means that you can use their RealSoftware suite, which allows everything from workout creation using parameters like wattage, to re-riding outdoor videos.

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The software also enables via the internet, racing against others.

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Additionally, you can re-ride courses from outdoors by importing in GPS data whereby it’ll then pull the altitude data and re-create the elevation profile of the course and control the trainers resistance.

The unit is able to generate/replicate slopes of up to 18%, topping out at some 2,200w.  Most interesting though is that it’s able to still hold about 550w at about 10MPH.  This is important because many trainers struggle with holding wattages that high at slow speeds.

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The Real Turbo Muin (seen above) is controlled via ANT+ and an ANT+ USB stick.  The unit will ship with a freehub compatible with Shimano 9/10/11 speed cassettes (so you’ll have to install your own).  Alternatively, they also have one compatible with Campagnolo.  The price for the Real Turbo Muin is $1,249US/€1,290, and will ship by early October.

Below, the workout creator seen mid-workout.

EliteSoftware

At the same time they’re also shipping two new sensors for rollers – the Elite Misuro Blu and +.  The Blu variant is simply the Bluetooth Smart version, while the + is the ANT+ version.  The Blue version is shipping today, whereas the Plus version will be by the end of the year.  They expect to have a dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart version, but not till about this time next year.

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Next, they’ve released a new Android App, which mirrors the functionality of their iOS app.  They support both ANT and Bluetooth Smart sensors on both platforms.

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Lastly, on the software side you can now upload your own cycling videos to their platform.  What’s cool here is that you can view other user’s cycling videos for free.  So while the premium ones (that Elite makes/licenses) will cost dough, other people’s are on the house.

Wahoo TICKR X Release Date:

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This one is about as simple as it gets: They’ll be releasing next week.

The exact day for the TICKR X hasn’t quite been decided – but the one thing they know is that it won’t be the same day Apple releases their things.  So…not Monday.  Enjoy!

Canyon’s 3G connected bike:

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This year at Eurobike was the year of the ‘concept bike’.  These bikes aren’t two-wheeled creations that you can buy immediately – or perhaps ever.  But they instead represent ideas and potential areas of innovation.  Some of those ideas are very practical and potentially near term.  And others…are simply bat-crap-crazy.  There were many concept bikes this year, but I only had a chance to check out a few of them – mainly those with some element of sports technology to it.

The first one I saw was Canyon’s offering, where their CEO walked me through all the new features, with a focus on the connected aspects.  That component was driven by 3G connectivity straight into the frame itself.  You can see the little triangle where the 3G components sit (slightly below it is the equally important bottle opener):

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This connectivity was put in place via a partnership with Deutsche Telekom, which did the work on the telecommunications side (in fact, a Deutsche Telekom rep gave me a walkthrough of the app).

This idea behind the connectivity is to directly link with not only friends and family, but also bike shops and potentially emergency personal in the event of a crash.  For example, the unit could automatically keep track of bike service requests and coordinate tune-ups by tracking everything from brake pads and the chain via sensors.  Below is a notification sent from the bike to the app regarding a chain change being needed (Kettenweschel).

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Alternatively, by using accelerometers it could detect a crash and if the person didn’t respond, it could alert emergency personal – similar to some other services already in place today.  In a similar vein, it would also be used to track a stolen bike – by having everything fully embedded into the unit.

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The idea would be to allow more commonplace concepts as well, like live tracking during a race with sensor data fed into it.  But of course – like everything above – it’s just a concept.  Albeit one that I thought could easily be executed on with the right interest from companies like Canyon.  Here’s to hoping at least some of it comes true by next year.

With that, thanks for reading!  If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Eurobike 2014 posts!  I’ll be doing another one or two tech snippets posts from Eurobike over the next day or two, so stay tuned!  The next 10-12 days are going to be pretty busy in these parts…

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56 Comments

  1. Dr_LHA

    The CatEye unit looks good, but the app looks awful. Honestly, I’d be interested in the unit if it worked with third party apps, like Cyclemeter (as the RFLKT does), but if it’s Cateye app only, I don’t think I want to use an app that not only looks bizarre (what’s with the non-standard weird looking UI elements), but can’t even spell “incoming” correctly! Doesn’t exactly bode well for the quality of the app IMHO. We’ll see I guess, like many things, it will live and die on software quality.

    • Correct, no 3rd party direct app support, just the Cateye app (and uploading to 3rd party sites).

    • Dr_LHA

      Fair enough. That basically means zero interest for me or anyone else who wants to keep using a particular iPhone/Android app while riding I suppose. Shame, the unit looked nice.

    • Terry

      I don’t think many people will care as long as they can set the Cateye display fields up the way they want them. The Cateye app looks sufficient to me and I’m just going to upload it to Strava like anyone else.

  2. Gunnar

    Smart move Cateye. Right now my Pebble does most of that for my commutes (heck even my midweek fast group rides….weekends I usually pull out the Edge 705 for battery longevity).

    But, I’ll consider the Cateye for sure, since it does seem to offer a bigger screen than my Pebble watch.

    I just ordered a bluetooth cap for my Powertap (thanks For the discount through Clever Training) so the addition of power metrics is a real plus.

    Not only is this a Edge 200 killer, but I think Wahoo has to watch out for this one too (presuming it isn’t bug infested).

  3. KenZ

    Cool on the Fly6; I’ve got one of the Kickstarter ones and really like it. IMO, it’s worth buying as it is if you’re doing a lot of city commuting, or really any place where people drive like idiots (the entire world?). I agree the battery life is a tad short, but I can make it to/from work for about three days without recharging.

  4. Matthias

    Any chance we’ll see some kind of Edge 500/510 killer or successor at Interbike?

    • No, I wouldn’t expect any further bike computers at Interbike.

    • Terry

      Garmin badly needs to update the 200, 500, and 510. They are going to lose this market too if they keep providing such slow updates and very iffy quality control. The Cateye to me beats both the 200 and the 500.
      The 510 needs to be a lot less bulky.

  5. Tim

    Has the recording time been increased on the fly6? The initial unit had a small builtin (no upgradable) sd card. It would be nice if a bigger card was put in V2 or have ability for new user to change it.

  6. YL

    Next to the 3G connection, the Canyon concept bike had quite a lot of different stuff going on as well!

    “full” suspension with 15mm front and 10mm rear “Leaf” suspension which would automatically “lockout” based on both/either GPS position and/or the pivot point being locked by a fluid which would get a higher viscosity when under vibrations (thus when on a bumpy surface).

    Have my doubts here and there, but is might have some awesomeness.
    Talked a while with one of their marketing guys, really a fun, innovative concept!
    Although the marketing guy in question could have used a breath mint or someting…

  7. Ibeti

    Any changes to the rollertrainers this year? (I see one in the photo from Elites booth, but you dont seem to mention it).

    • It’s tricky. There are some products going into the Euro market, but not the US market due to some legal aspects. The rollers do now support the transmission sensor seen above.

  8. Flo

    “In this mode the sensors connect to the phone first, and then the phone displays the sensor data (identical to how the RFLKT works).”

    shouldn’t it read:
    “In this mode the sensors connect to the phone first, the phone then (records and) sends the data to the handlebar unit, which then displays data”

  9. James

    Cateye looks good except the fact they wont be using the (obligatory) on bike speed sensor for determining speed. I would rather not use GPS to determine my speed.

  10. Garth

    Does the Real Turbo Muin also have magnetic resistance as well as their fluid system? I understand in the past their ANT+ implementation was private, is this now open?

    • Mark

      According to my haphazard google translate of the Italian elite site (the only place I can find the Real Turbo Muin mentioned – link to elite-real.com) it appears to have mag resistance. If that’s true and they move to open ANT, then this might be just what I’ve been looking for. I don’t really need everything that the Kickr offers, but so far it’s been the only one which has what I do want.

    • Mark Randall

      Found another link – link to ribblecycles.co.uk. Claims fluid + magnetic resistance, for £810, not yet in stock.

    • Garth

      Hi Mark, yes I found this link too. I believe this is significant and moving into the Kickr territory. It’s more than just a minor upgrade – the mag resistance is electronically controlled and if it’s open ANT this is a bonus too. It’s also nearly double the price of the current Muin.

      I was considering the Kickr but the latest update to the Muin maybe the one I’m looking for.

    • Lukman Nurhakim

      Yes, this is not a minor update but a significant one with electronically controlled resistance. I presume the mag resistance is used when the software sets a pre-defined power resistance.

      With fluid resistance, the feel will be better than the Kickr.

      I’m currently using the ‘old’ turbo muin and the feel and low noise makes it an ideal indoor trainer. Its even smoother than my insideride emotion rollers. But upgrading to this REAL version may not be a necessity for me since my bike has stages power meter to do my intervals.

    • Indeed, and due to a minor miscommunication in the booth we didn’t chat about it at all there (one person thought we talked about it already coming in on the tail end of the original flywheel update discussion). But fear not, I just got all caught up with the folks and have updated the section above. Really cool stuff, and indeed very similar to a KICKR.

      I’ll give it a shot at Interbike next week, and they’ve said they’ll have a unit on my doorstep by the end of the month at the latest – in time for my trainer roundup.

  11. Waldi

    Ray,
    How is resistance controlled in Real Turbo Muin (RTM) trainer – the same way as in “old” turbo muin? Can I read power via ant+ directly from RTM (using fi. Garmin 500)? How RTM can be connected/controlled to computer using included software – via ant+ adapter?
    Best Regards,
    W

    • Yes, it’s controlled via software with the included ANT+ adapter. So similar to most resistance controlled trainers.

    • Waldi

      Ray,
      Thx for reply.
      But what about power measurement? Can it be done only with elite application/software installed on phone/pc or power can be read on Garmin power capable devices?

  12. Marc

    Thanks Ray for the updated section on Elite new announcements. This all looks very exciting. I’m waiting till October to see how it goes but the new Real Turbo Muin sounds like what I will be upgrading my old Cateye CS-1000 with. Bought the last in 1995 and still running… never put a drop of oil in it. That is what I’m looking for in terms of reliability. The wheel-less units such as the Muin and Kickr sounds like they could be as durable…

  13. Gergo A

    Dear Ray!
    What do you think about purchasing a 910xt now (my sister buys my 10 months old 310xt). I found one without the HR belt for 270Eur. Would you recommend buying it now, or should the the price expected to be dropped significantly when their new succesor unit comes out? When should that be expected? Thx Gergo
    p.s: Big fan :)

  14. Tagg LeDuc

    Can the Elite Software be used with the KICKR?

  15. Hi guys,
    I’ve seen there is a little bit of confusion about our Real Turbo Muin so I’d like to clarify few things.
    It is a wireless fluid and magnetic resistance trainer, controlled with software.
    At the moment it has a private protocol, but:
    – we’ve released our protocol to other companies (Bkool, Kinomap, Virtual Training, Zwift and others) and soon there will be compatible programs/apps
    – we’re working to implement the open ANT+ trainers profile and it will be ready in few months.
    – all the Real Turbo Muin are firmware upgradable so, when ready, it will be possible to upgrade the Real Turbo Muin to use the ANT+ open standard.
    Elite team

    • Charlesrg

      This is the answer that I was looking for the last three days. I’m ordering mine NOW.

      You guys should definitely put that on your website and a lot more people will start ordering it. We all want hardware that is open and we can choose the best software that fits our likes. Even when the best software is what it comes with it, it gives piece of mind to know that we can still try something else, or join a friend from a different platform for an internet race.

    • Aasen

      Are there any updates on the Real Turbo Muin?
      I have been looking for reviews, updates, places that sell but can only find places that stock the Elite Turbo Muin.

      I’m looking for a quiet trainer, and this seems to be the best one if its possible to get hold of one.

      How is the integration with thrid party software coming along?

      Regards,
      Aasen

  16. Darwin

    Assuming the thing works that Cateye is just the ticket for a whole lot of people. Also doesn’t it use the phones GPS negating the need for it’s own?
    Apple is announcing their new products on Tuesday not Monday by the way.

  17. Darwin

    Starve needs tor release a bike head unit that just shows Strava data. I tried this using a RFLKT and it just didn’t work. Returned it in fact as you would press buttons and nothing would happen. Plus it feels cheap and i had a hard time reading the screen.

  18. The Elite software is interesting.

    Especially after the disappointment from attempting to use the BKool software, do think there’s enough interest to review “generic” powered-trainer control software in a group as you do, say, power meters? I’m thinking that a real comparison of everything from TrainerRoad to the old RCVs from CompuTrainer would be fascinating, even if you restrict it to software that either supports or has pledged to support the Ant+ protocol.

    • It’s something I’m looking at for this fall, likely as an addendum to my annual trainer recommendations.

    • Hope you get our plug & play software & High end RCV in that review Ray! Its now totally compatible with Computrainer, Kickr, inside ride (busy right now with API) & by the looks of it Elite. I think outside of Tacx we are the only option for those looking for the Highest cinema quality, grade perfect simulations….We even have the Zoncolan this year to go with the Mortirolo for the masochists out there. We want to hit a different direction to the others & focus on a super fast plug & play hard drive full of very high quality rides that you can take to any PC.

  19. John Stowe

    Does the new version of the Fly6 have the same triangular protrusion on the back that the original has? I would have one already if I could mount it somewhere other than the seatpost – maybe with the door moved to the side it could be mounted upside down on a fender.

  20. Terry

    I can use the Tickr X. Saving downloads to the HRM and downloading it later works for me in lots of scenarios.

  21. Ralph

    Tickr X released today 9/8/14!

  22. Seth Haberman

    Is there anything with the functionality of the Real Turbo Muin and associated IOS Apps as an integrated trainer? Meaning does anyone manufacture something as sophisticated with the biking body or recumbent biking body in a single unit for a gym?

  23. Engr

    The Cateye Strada Smart looks like a great product. Do you know if it works with other bluetooth sensors such as the Wahoo TICKR, or Wahoo BLUE SC?

    • In theory yes, but, as we’ve seen lately the BLE standards have been very loosely followed by many companies, so it’s sort of a bit of a wild west when it comes to that right.

    • DSD

      Hi,

      Any update on whether the Strada Smart works with the Wahoo Blue SC?

      And (potentially a dumb question), but can I use the Strada computer with different sensors on different bikes, so that I don’t need two computers or switch sensors from bike to bike? And if so, any chance that the computer (or any Bluetooth enabled one) can pick up data from a rider next to me that is also using bluetooth? For example, if I’m coasting right next to someone who is pedaling, can I accidently pick up his cadence?

      Thanks.

  24. After stalking the internet for a Cateye Strada Smart I finally found one on eBay this week, and will have it on my bike on Saturday. I can do a write up if anyone is interested.

  25. Mark E

    Any idea if the Elite Misuro+ sensor will have ANT+ open standard functionality? I imagine the bluetooth version would talk to my andorid tablet, but would be great if the Misuro+ could talk to my Garmin!

  26. Rogier

    Ray, do you think that, besides the Real and Digital series, the “old” Turbo Muin wil be updatable with the ANT+ Trainer profile?