Car sat-navs are everywhere nowadays, coming in hundreds of different forms, and many drivers would be literally lost without them. Bicycle sat-navs, however, are far less common. Until recently prospective buyers had essentially three options: to buy a GPS-enabled bicycle sat-nav at a cost of around £200 (at least!), to use a smartphone attached to the bicycle’s handlebars, or to listen through earphones to a directional commands. And that was about it.
In January, however, a new option was unveiled in the form of the Schwinn CycleNav. This device works in conjunction with a smartphone, allowing costs to remain low at $60 or around £36. At this point, however, it should be mentioned that the CycleNav is currently only available in the United States, although Schwinn reportedly hopes to introduce the product into other countries soon.
So how does the CycleNav work? And how does it differ from other available products?
The primary advantage of the CycleNav (besides its price) is the fact that it issues voice commands to the rider as well as using flashing indicators to give directions. The user must first install a free app provided by Schwinn onto their smartphone and, once this is done, the CycleNav connects to the phone through Bluetooth. Before leaving the house, the user can input their location and destination and the app will calculate the best route for cycling, taking into account any user preferences.
A cheap and user-friendly device then, although there are a few potential issues, notwithstanding the fact that availability is currently limited to the United States. One issue is that the device requires use of 3G, which may not be readily available in more rural areas (which, let’s be honest, are probably the best places for cycling in the first place). Furthermore, for safety reasons, earphones are incompatible with the CycleNav, being deemed unsafe and too distracting for the cyclist. The resultant sight of a cyclist being given instructions by a robotic voice issuing from his bicycle may startle some passers-by, but this seems a small price to pay for not getting lost. Overall, then, a tempting product, and one that countless lost cyclists will undoubtedly be hoping comes to the UK soon.
Buy: Schwinn Bikes