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Californian smart bike with integrated computer and lights

Is this the smartest everyday road bike you’ve ever seen? Its designers would like you to think so.

There have been quite a few ‘smart’ bikes over the years, they promise much but don’t always deliver. Volata Cycles is a Californian company looks to have developed a pretty interesting bike. It has integrated a computer into the handlebar and it can provide real-time performance data, navigation, smartphone notification and even the weather forecast. That last one could be handy for longer rides.

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The heart of the bike is a computer with a 2.4in display embedded into the handlebars that can provide easy access to all the data you could want at a glance. It includes metrics like speed, distance and heart rate, it can provide turn-by-turn navigation aids, and it can also act as an anti-theft device with a motion detection and GPS-based system.

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A smartphone can be connected to the computer to provide further functionality and do things like providing notifications of text messages. A dynamo front hub charges the battery that powers the computers, so no need to worry about the battery going flat and needed to charge it.smartphone can be connected to the computer to provide further functionality and do things like providing notifications of text messages. A dynamo front hub charges the battery that powers the computers, so no need to worry about the battery going flat and needed to charge it.

This clever handlebar with its embedded computer is fitted to a bike with a belt drive transmission and Shimano Alfine Di2 11-speed gear hub, with hydraulic disc brakes. 

Volata has clearly designed the bike for the commuter who values ease of use, and furthermore, it has fitted automated lights integrated into the frame, powered by a dynamo front hub. There’s also a built-in horn for warning pedestrians of your presence.

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The frame is made from 7005 aluminium with a carbon fibre fork and there’s space for 32mm tyres, with the complete bike built around Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Grail rims with Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tyres. Bike weight comes in at a claimed 10.6kg (23.37lb) for a size medium.

Such design doesn’t come cheap, with a list price of $3,499. You can currently reserve a bike for a $299 deposit, with delivery expected in July 2017, so that’s some wait. Shipping costs $150 to Europe. The bike will be offered in four sizes and a choice of colours

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If you can’t wait that long, you could always buy the Canyon Commuter 8.0 for £1,599, which has a belt-drive, integrated lights, mudguards and Alfine 11-speed hub, and with the money, you save to buy a Garmin Edge computer. 

You can read more about the Volata Cycles bike at www.volatacycles.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.