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Bonx Grip: Bluetooth communication for cyclists

New system allows outdoor sports people to communicate over any distance

Bonx Grip, a Bluetooth connected earpiece driven by a custom smart phone app and aimed at outdoor sports people like cyclists, is available for pre-order on Indiegogo. 

Bonx originally ran a crowd funding campaign late last year and went on to become the best-funded campaign ever in Japan. The new Indiegogo campaign is aimed at the rest of the world with shipping expected in the final quarter of 2016.

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So, what exactly is Bonx Grip?

It’s a Bluetooth earpiece that connects to a smartphone app to allow group conversation. It only transmits when a user speaks. 

“Dual microphones with multilayer wind and noise reduction technology ensure crystal-clear speech, and there is no distance limit, thanks to data transmission over standard cellular networks,” according to Bonx.

Bonx Grip 2 - 1.jpg

It’s aimed at a variety of outdoor sports, but in cycling it could be useful in communicating between riders who can’t si alongside one another for some reason. Of course, you can shout, but that's sometimes not feasible, especially if you're hanging on a tough climb.

There are other similar Bluetooth communication systems out there but the Bonx Grip looks interesting in that it’s a one-piece unit that’s said to be water resistant and shock resistant, and you can choose between three different earbud sizes.

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It comes in four colours – black, white, pink, and green – and sells for US$139.99 (about £106), although you can buy cheaper via Indigogo, particularly if you get in there early.

Check out the Bonx Grip Indigogo page here.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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bikebot | 8 years ago

Anyone on here have experience with motorcycle radios?

Just looking at the spec for some of those, and they all seem to be bluetooth based, but claim a range of upto 800 metres.  That sounds unlikely to me, bluetooth range really isn't very good (BT5 looks like it will improve that later this year).

Anyway, for the reasons stated above, I think some local radio link might be better.  If not bluetooth, maybe something based on PMR (the standard used in all those cheap walkie talkies).

PaulBox | 8 years ago

"Can you hear me now?!?"

keirik | 8 years ago

cant see it being much use in the north wales hills. we're lucky to get a signal even before the hills get in the way

KiwiMike | 8 years ago
1 like

{puts on hat of previous life, as mobile network designer, builder, then mobile phone IP manager}

I see two key challenges here:

1. mobile coverage. You'd need it for all phones involved. 

2. Battery life. Bluetooth isn't an issue, but maintaining a mobile data connection with all the other apps for even a few hours is highly likely to bring your phone to its knees


If you understand those limitations, you're probably good to go - they have clearly put a lot of thought into this. And the price isn't bad either - any really good noise-cancelling BT earpiece is likely close to £100 too, and won't be IP-rated.


The video's pretty good, too:


Their website says:

The Technology

BONX Grip offers the most robust group-talk system designed especially for outdoor sports enthusiasts. All you have to do is speak. Within a fraction of a second, the earpiece picks up your voice with built-in dual microphones, passes it to the smartphone app via Bluetooth, and the app sends the voice data to everybody in your group via cellular network.

Power/Data Efficiency

  • Transmits voice data only when you speak, saving battery life and reducing data usage.
  • Fully functional in background mode.

Innovative Voice Activity Detection

  • Precisely detects the human voice while minimizing latency to keep conversations real-time.
  • Machine Learning: It constantly learns and adapts to its sound environment.
  • Distinguishes between nearby voices and those coming from a distance.

Reliable Connections

  • Maintains a connection without interference, range or license—even when the network signal is weak.
  • Automatically adjusts bit rate according to signal strength.
  • Voice assistant notifies users of network loss or when mute is enabled.

Noise Cancellation for Extreme Situations

  • Multi-layered wind noise reduction system allows users to talk even in the most extreme conditions.
  • Dual-microphone digital noise cancellation. 


leaway2 | 8 years ago

Looks good, but (and I have never tried this) a pair of walkie talkies for £30 with an earpiece and with the VOX on. Of course a tad heavier for the weight weenies.

poppa | 8 years ago

For when you get dropped, but still want to get your order in for the post-ride coffee/cake.

WillRod | 8 years ago
1 like

Would be handy for pointing out hazards to other riders in your group, especially if you string out a bit up a hill and can help with directions.

I hope they integrate it with some sort of navigation like google maps etc. That way you can get turn by turn instructions in your ear.

fukawitribe | 8 years ago

Like the idea too, one thing that worried me was data and power usage but they seem to have that covered (in theory anyway). Could be smaller but pretty nice..

PaulBox | 8 years ago

"Of course, you can shout, but that's sometimes not feasible, especially if you're hanging on a tough climb."

 So I'd have to keep a check on my language during climbs....? 


I quite like the idea of this product though, could be really useful when riding in a group through a busy area where you can get split up by traffic, lights etc.

tritecommentbot | 8 years ago

Awesome, would love this for rides with the missus. Sometimes she guesses wrong what I'm trying to do. Eg. she's falling behind so I slow down and move out to the right so she can catch up and roll in to the left of me.. she will respond by also slowing down! 


It's a bit bulky looking. Also a bit consumerish (the mockups look nice, but actual device isn't as hot) so I can't see it catching on as well as it could have with a lot of riders. But definitely has its place if it works well and the quality is good. Would get a set if future version look less.. infantile? More sporty. 

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