SpeedX has followed up its first crowdfunded bike with the brand new Unicorn, a road bike that it boldly claims to be the “world’s first production bike with an integrated power meter.”
The Leopard, the first bike from SpeedX, gained a lot of attention for its onboard computer, neatly integrated into the stem, and the new Unicorn continues the theme of integration. With the Unicorn, the company says it has developed a “sophisticated power meter” to go along with the computer of the previous bike.
The power meter isn’t really integrated into the bike; rather the bike is equipped with a power meter at the point of sale. It’s a crank-based system, similar to an SRM or Quark design and appears to be compatible with Shimano and SRAM cranks and chainrings. It lasts 400 hours or 8,000km between charges.
Also new is the carbon fibre frame, with a similar focus on aerodynamics to the original model. It’s a disc-only bike and the frame also utilises something called Vibration Control System, presumably to provide a smoother ride. It’s lighter, too, weighing in at claimed 870g including paint.
SpeedX found much success on Kickstarter, where it launched its first road bike, and it’s taking to the crowdfunding website once again. At the time of writing the original $50,000 goal has been surpassed, with 45 backers pledging in excess of $150,000.
Here are the models and prices.
Unicorn Pro eTap
Unicorn X eTap
If you happen to be in Las Vegas this week, the new bike will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
SpeedX claims the Unicorn's power meter is 99% accurate compared to an SRM in its own testing.
Data from the power meter is sent to the SpeedForce computer, integrated into the stem with a 2.2in touchscreen and unlike the integrated computer on the original Leopard, this one is removable. It’s based on Android OS software and has a wireless button that you can attach to any part of the bike to easily cycle through the menus.
SpeedX has gone back to the drawing board in developing the frame, using a new process that the firm says results in a more durable, lighter and flexible frame, and Toray T1000 and M50 carbon. The Unicorn is also built around disc brakes and uses thru-axles at both ends and the Flat Mount standard.
It’s quite a different-looking bike to the original and features what SpeedX calls its Vibration Control System. This comprises a novel cutout in the lower portion of the seat tube with a carbon section, made from Toray M50 carbon, bolted into place to act as a shock damper; seat stays overlapping the seat tube; and chainstays designed to flex in key areas.
The result of all this is a claimed 15mm or three degrees of seat tube flex. There’s also no getting away from the similarity of the seat stay design to the Lapierre Xelius SL or GT Grade.
It's an interesting bike, there's a lot going on, and we'll be getting a closer look at it in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that article.
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.