The Consumer Electronics Show (CES2017) is just around the corner, which means it’s time to geek out. Both on bike, and on the electronics that more and more companies are stuffing into those bikes. After launching their Leopard aero road bike with a built in computer and smart technology, SpeedX is back with the aptly named Unicorn. Taking that same built in head unit and adding a crank based power meter, the company is making the claim of the world’s first production bike with an integrated power meter.
But the Unicorn is more than just numbers. The frame has been designed to offer the best ride possible making it look pretty appealing – at least to the overwhelming number of people who allowed it to meet its Kickstarter funding goal in just 75 minutes…
Part of what makes the Unicorn possible, is their Android based head unit which is integrated into the stem. The unit with a 2.2″ touch screen is detachable so you can take it with you when your bike is on the rack, or to recharge it after the 20h battery is depleted. SpeedX says the SpeedForce computer is able to be read in direct sunlight and it can be controlled either through the touch screen or the wireless button that can be positioned where you like.
Of course, a tech lover’s dream like the Unicorn wouldn’t be complete without smartphone connectivity, so that’s there as well. Data from each ride can be analyzed with their own app that syncs with SpeedForce.
Using a crank based power meter, the Unicorn claims to offer 400 hours of battery life and allows you to use your own pedals and wheels. Claiming 99% accuracy, it’s not clear if the power meter is their own design simply calling it the Pics-S ANT+/Bluetooth PR with a 110 BCD.
While the integrated electronics are cool, they’re only half the story. Using a lot of acronyms and industry buzz words, the frame is built from their SpeedX Hyper Carbon (a blend of four different carbon moduli) and incorporates their VCS or Vibration Control System. While the separated seat stay/seat tube junction looks suspiciously similar to the Volagi Long Bow Flex Stay design, SpeedX adds to the concept with what appears to be an adjustable insert that bolts to the lower portion of the seat tube. The result is a frame that claims to be incredibly supple, yet just 850g (no size provided).
Available in three builds with either SRAM eTap Hydro or Shimano Ultegra Di2 hydraulic, frames are offered in XXS-XXL (43-60cm). Launched through a Kickstarter like their Leopard, the Unicorn smashed through funding in just 75 minutes. Now up to $220k with a simple $50k goal, the bike is well on its way to meeting their stretch goals. Pricing depending on the model and the timing, starts at $3,199 for the Unicorn Di2 Early Bird.