3 MTB Adjacent Tech Trends From the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show

Jan 11, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
The Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in Las Vegas, is a bit like the Eurobike for, you guessed it, consumer electronics.

It's mostly dominated by concept cars, computers, phones, gadgets and, this year, a robot that will fetch you a fresh roll of toilet paper when you find yourself in a sticky situation in the bathroom. In 2020, like most years, mountain bikes didn't really feature much in the show, but there are some interesting developments to look at that could make their way into our world one day.

Here are three trends we spotted that may become commonplace on the trails in future.



Smart Glasses

Smart glasses are nothing new, the hype of Google Glass petered out nearly a decade ago with most of us never even having seen a pair, but the technology seems to be resurfacing in the world of cycling. Garmin's Varia Vision and Solos Smart Glasses were both released in recent years but strictly they are more of a mini-TV that mounts on the arm of your sunglasses than a true HUD-style pair of smart glasses. The only true pair that we know of are the Everysight Raptors that contain a separate computer and show you ride data, navigation and can even be used to take photos, play music or read your emails.

At the CES this year, both Cosmo Connected and Bosch came to the show with their own smart glasses models. The Cosmo glasses can show data such as speed, distance traveled, and even navigational turn by turn directions. They also have a collision detection sensor that will warn you about vehicles that are close by and, presumably, trees.


Bosch's 'Light Drive' has already been teased in 2019, but finally broke cover at the CES show. It seems a bit more basic than Cosmo Connected's model and only offers navigation, speed and power info, however, it can be used on any pair of glasses, including those that are used to correct vision. They will be available in 2021.

All of this begs the question, why do we need smart glasses? Well, it's mainly a convenience thing. There's nothing you get here that you can't also get on a bike computer or a phone but it does mean you don't have to look down at your stem every time you want some information. It also means that there isn't a valuable, vulnerable bit of kit on your bars that could get damaged in a crash... It's now on your face and you'll probably have bigger things to worry about if you crash onto that.




GPS Watches

Suunto specialize in sports watches and used CES to release their first-ever smartwatch that is aimed at fitness enthusiasts. It uses Google's Wear OS to offer Google Pay, Google Assistant and Google Fit, which should mean it provides a fairly typical smartwatch experience. However, to set it apart from the competition it also has a built-in GPS, storage for up to 8gb of maps and Movecounts heat maps, which will show you trails that are popular with other Suunto users in the same area, making it easier to explore and discover new trails. The watch is out now and costs $479. Garmin also offer a smartwatch that might appeal to cyclists in the Venu, check that out as well if smartwatches are something you want to add to your riding kit.



Anti Theft Products

Nothing sucks more than bike theft so there were some interesting preventative solutions being displayed at CES this year.

Bosch make the list for a second time with their Kiox onboard computer. This is mainly to provide riders with ride data as a normal bike computer would but it comes with a nifty additional feature. When the Kiox is removed, the bike's motor is automatically deactivated and cannot be switched on until the computer is re-attached. Of course, as you can pedal ebikes, this isn't going to stop anyone taking your bike if they really want, but it may act as a slight deterrent - after all, 20+kg bikes are hardly nippy out of the starting blocks if they want to make a quick getaway.

Secondly, we've spotted the Benjilock. This is a standard looking U-Lock except it doesn't use a key or a combination lock but a biometric one The lock can store up to 10 fingerprints and will only open if one of them is placed on the scanner. Of course, this won't stop someone with an angle grinder, but at least you can pretend you can use the force in front of all your friends while they faff around with keys. The lock will cost $69 or $79 depending on which size you go for.



Bonus: eBike Jet Skis

$6,000–$8,000. No comment necessary.




107 Comments

  • 117 1
 The last thing I want is icons in my view. I can see it now. Your tackling some knar section lining up for a drop when PING PING. “can you get milk on the way home” starts scrolling across your view whilst rather pointlessly telling you that you are going SSE at 13.2mph.
Why.
  • 184 0
 Even better, you can be blasting down the trail and the glasses will kindly tell you that THERE ARE SEXY SINGLES IN YOUR AREA!!!
  • 48 0
 @ChiawY: A flash of the lights in the trailhead carpark will tell you that.
  • 36 0
 @ChiawY: but what if you swipe the wrong way when you’re cleaning mud off em
  • 11 63
flag Jcolis1904 (Jan 11, 2020 at 6:20) (Below Threshold)
 That’s an easy solution. Don’t buy them and move on. Let other people enjoy them and the idea because clearly you are not the target consumer here.
  • 2 0
 @ChiawY: YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Greatest idea ever.
  • 1 2
 @ChiawY: 2020 comment of the year contender.
  • 3 0
 I would crash more with those glasses.
  • 8 1
 @ChiawY:

Spoiler alert: The sexy single nearby is you.
  • 7 2
 it'd be very helpful for XC racing where you want to know your heart rate, power, and time without having to look at a little display down on your handlebars while you're riding.
  • 4 0
 but really though, it'll help in waves on your e-bike hydrofoil
  • 6 1
 @ChiawY:

I heard these glasses have Grinder installed as default....
  • 1 0
 Alternatively: You're tackling some knar section, lining up for a drop when PING PING...“This looks terribly unsafe...” starts scrolling across your view.
  • 52 1
 Got mates? Don't want them anymore? Introducing the Manta5 Hydrofoiler.
  • 13 1
 Like drugs and rollerblading... Friends don't let friends Hydrofoil.
  • 3 0
 @MikerJ: woo woo woo woo woooo! One of these things is not like the other.
  • 14 0
 Just wait until the Manta 6 with slacker head tube angles and steeper seat tubes..
  • 3 0
 But wheel size is it? If it’s 27.5 I’ll wait for then 29er version.
  • 28 0
 Haha Bosch: you don't point out trees, you point out gaps! Highlighting trees is the beat way to hit them ...
  • 3 0
 that bike in the image still has what appears to be a 9 speed era front shifter, they may need the help of tree avoidance tech
  • 26 6
 What is the point of the ebike jet ski? For that price you could have an actual jet ski. Not even some lame wakerider. A nice fast jet ski that you stand up on. Why mess around with this slow Kickstarter looking floating exercise bike.
  • 47 9
 Because it’s a floating exercise bike not a jetski?
  • 59 4
 @hmstuna: whats the point of a carbon x01 trail bike with carbon wheels? For that price you could get an actual mx bike. Not even some lame mtb.... lol!
  • 5 0
 @hmstuna “No comment necessary.”
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I wonder if you can catch waves on that thing, haha.
  • 2 0
 At least it's funny
  • 4 0
 I kinda like it. Cruise around a lake on a bike. Not a horrible idea. But I bass fish so I like the pedal kayaks better.
  • 15 1
 At least it's quiet. Jet skis are the stupid modded Honda Civics of the water
  • 1 0
 #shakabrah
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Exactly, but even with the electric assist it looks exhausting and doesn’t appear to go very fast. Could be fun. Though, I’d rather be on the trail.
  • 1 8
flag SpaghettiShredder (Jan 11, 2020 at 17:37) (Below Threshold)
 @tacklingdummy: youre not just wrong, your stupid
:facepalm
:whip
  • 1 1
 Some people won't agree, but ebikes are essentially the same thing. Ebikes might as well just be emotorcycles, but people like to feel like they are doing the work, so we put cranks on there so you can wear yourself out, never mind you are doing very little to propel yourself uphill compared to the motor.
  • 1 0
 @skerby: Out of the mouth of someone who hasn’t ridden one. You know, I used to fear e-bikes because I thought they might jeopardize trail access, then I educated myself, looked at model legislation (from Utah) that many other areas are adopting (that includes classes of e-bikes), and realized that e-bikes aren’t the problem. As we’ve learned recently (from the story about the local land owners closing their land to mountain bikers), the real threat in the sport is from ignorant and arrogant bungholes who make the rest of us look bad.
  • 1 1
 @gnarlysipes: oh well... but no e-bikers are such great people!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: No so fast. That’s not the message I was trying to get across. There are bad actors across mountain biking generally, including e-MTBing. I was pointing out that the recent trail closures on private land were not because of riding habits/styles/chosen steeds, but rather because of bad behavior of a select few (some of whom very well could have been on e-MTBs).
  • 1 0
 @gnarlysipes: I know, I know, it was a poke towards whole PB comment board with a high percentage of “we are such a wonderful community, it’s the e-bikers”.
  • 15 3
 Manta5 HYDROFOILER = decadent BS.
Look how you can easily waste valuable resources for only 7.5 grand.

"learn to swim,
learn to swim,
learn to swim..."
  • 6 2
 Plenty of more wasteful things people spend their money on
  • 14 1
 +5000 for the Tool reference
  • 3 0
 I didn't think it is a bad idea, but 7.5K is way too much. I was thinking more like 1K. Lol.
  • 4 0
 See you down in Arizona Bay.
  • 3 0
 every yuppy kite-surfing, SUP-er in an audi will buy one though because they get restless without wind.
  • 1 1
 I hate the gym and have plenty of water close by, so my SUP is my upper body/core/balance workout. Costs quite a bit less.
  • 7 0
 That Norco smart phone app that helps you tune your suspension seems like a game-changer to me. The interactions among all the suspension settings (variables) make optimization a random process for most of us. And don't get me started on that noisy, non-repeatable measurement we refer to as "sag." A few (cheap) sensors and tuning software could be extraordinarily effective. I think motion sensing, not actuation, will be the hottest topic in bike electronics.
  • 2 0
 That’s a good point! Some kind of ore-installed budget version of shockwiz would be great to get built into a bike!
  • 5 0
 Electronic bike locks have proven to be nothing more than a novelty so far, they just add another point of failure. Additionally all the ones I read about were focused on the electronic part and had flaws that allowed some easy mechanical attack.
  • 7 2
 I saw it in this movie about a bike that had to SPEED around the lake keeping its SPEED above 50, and if its SPEED dropped, it would sink! I think it was called... The Bike That Couldn't Slow Down.
  • 5 1
 Someone has Disney plus
  • 4 0
 Look how happy they are in that video! I want to be that happy, and the advert is clearly telling me that the only way I can be that happy is to be an actor in an advert for a ridiculous pedal jet ski. I'm going to drama school.
  • 5 0
 Laugh if you want but the lake near me has lots of hills in it. I’m gonna get the Manta Water eBike and drop you chumps.
  • 6 1
 No one:

Absolutely no one:

Pinkbike: eBike jet skis!
  • 1 0
 #shakabrah
  • 4 0
 Heavy ebikes might not be nippy to us, but a crackhead? That's another story
  • 4 0
 Manta5: Because the adult tricycle crowd asked for it. Will be huge at Costco.
  • 1 0
 Smartwatch with GPS... so... what runners have been wearing for years. (Not knocking it, I use the same watch on foot and on the bike; never really thought about buying a bike computer, but... this is not revolutionary AT ALL)
  • 2 0
 Not sure what the definition of a smartwatch is really. The Polar S625X is the first watch I recall that communicates with a cellphone. Suunto has been making watches that communicate with phones for a good while too. The Ambit 3 (2014 or so) already showed phone notifications and later models did so too. The new thing for them here is that it runs on a third party (Google) software platform. Not sure what is so nice about that. What is new for Suunto of course is that you can load maps on it. Until then you could only load routes (a string of waypoints) on it or view the trail you just traveled. Which was fine with me. From what I understand the new generation's eyes are already getting messed up staring at small cellphone screens. People staring at even tinier watches is just the next level. Though of course don't be surprised to see "smartwatches" with 5" screens hit the stores halfway this new decade.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Casio Calculator watch is the epitome of smart watch. Everything else is crap. Calculator watches were first introduced in the 1970s and continue to be produced, despite falling from their peak popularity during the 1980s. The most notable brand is the Casio Databank series.
  • 1 0
 The Suunto watch worries me a bit. They plan to ditch their Movescount platform this Summer so by then I'll already need to use Android or OSX device to plan, analyze and synchronize trainings and routes (instead of just a desk- or laptop computer). Now luckily the used market is littered with old Android and OSX tablet pcs (cellphones too but they seem a bit fiddly for planning routes etc) but if they now release a watch with another platform again I'm a bit worried they'll introduce another new platform again. And by the looks of it, you still can't program exercises like you could for the Ambit 1/2/3 watches.
  • 3 0
 I’m really disappointed that none of the Manta Bike riders are wearing helmets. What kind of recklessness are we teaching our future generation of riders?!
  • 3 0
 We need smart glasses that show your real time position on your Strava segment leaderboard and integrate with the Dainese G-Air airbag suit. That would be perfect.
  • 4 0
 I’ve just imagined water based Rampage.
  • 2 2
 Water based Rampage is called whitewater kayaking. Try it. You could drown or dislocate a shoulder but low instance of road rash or broken collar bones. Logistically speaking, mtb is easier.
  • 3 0
 @iggzilla: sending one of those bike things down the rapids could make them more interesting
  • 1 0
 heads up display glasses? It’s like 2015 again, there’s been goggles like this around for a bit but they’ve never really caught on. www.wired.co.uk/article/best-augmented-reality-ski-goggles-2015-2016
  • 4 0
 When are we getting Trailforks for the Apple Watch?
  • 3 0
 The last HydroFoiler I got only cost $25.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing
  • 1 0
 Ummmmmmmmmmmmm....... Ok then... I was hoping for skis and a propeller that attached to your actual e-bike instead of wheels...
  • 3 0
 Great job locking that bike up nice and secure
  • 1 0
 us of the term 'jet ski' was a bit much i think. Wrong market targetting it at MTB...we already have WAY more fun than that....yawn
  • 1 0
 I get those glasses, It's like having a copilot for Rally. But I hope they get banned from races. Downhill or Enduro ain't Rally.
  • 8 6
 That water bike thing is just fucking stupid.
  • 2 0
 Can i use these glasses as navigation on Zwift?
  • 2 0
 I want a bike that cleans its self, like BRETT RHEEDER Kashima BIKE!
  • 2 1
 Could you use trail forks on a watch like that? Or is it another mapping program?
  • 1 0
 i secure my bike with bikeAngel.eu in combination with a cryptonite chainlock
  • 2 0
 Us analog bike-foilers hate those lazy e-bike-foilers
  • 1 1
 Wow, you people sure have a hard time saying the word Garmin! Must be that Suunto is Finnish and Garmin is American thus Suunto must be better!
  • 1 0
 I always thought (since 1983) Mountain Biking was the anti-technology! What's next a bike with a coffee maker?
  • 2 1
 E-bike jetskis? I'll allow it IF it can wheelie
  • 2 3
 what is the point of biking on water?! its obviously not as fun as jetskiing or riding a real bike and its probably loads more expensive so just why?
  • 15 7
 Ask people who do it if you ever see them anywhere. What’s the point of mountain biking? Conquering your fears? Exercising to live longer? Riding with friends? Being a part of jolly community? Showing yourself on Social media? Writing on Pinkbike?

I do it cuz I do it the rest is bragging.

Quite frankly - why mountain bike when you can have a motorbike for same money?
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Bicycle maintenance is cheaper ? Hell I don't know :-/
  • 5 1
 @WAKIdesigns: i only got into mtb because there aren’t any legal moto places left around here...
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns:

Because depending on where you live, there might be little motorbike trail access. Some states in the US have all but banned motorcycle trail riding. Others, (Idaho, Washington somewhat) embrace it. If you live in a state that is okay with it, you will likely log many more miles on a dirtbike over a mountain bike. That's why my primary hobby these days is the motorcycle. 50 miles up and down mountains in a day is no problem. This is also why, for the same price, I'd always take a Moto over a mtb; you get a LOT more for your money.
  • 6 3
 Ok why would you mountain bike if you can E-bike?

I’ll take my coat...
  • 2 1
 Please never lock your bike.
  • 3 0
 @jorgeposada Truth. The best way to get your bike stolen is to lock it up.
  • 1 3
 God id like to meet you in real life cause my instincts tell me you’re half brain dead
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: I'm on Ocean Parkway and 18th ave when your ready.
  • 3 0
 @EricHarger: Ya never ever leave a bike for 2 seconds . It's either coming in with me, my crew watch it or I keep it moving. Not giving low life thieves the chance.
  • 1 2
 @jorgeposada: do you also struggle with what context to use there, their and they’re? Guess my brain dead comment got some wind in the sails already. Pleasant pheasant
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: Tuh? Leave Ithaca much? Education is hilarious up there evidetally. Please trust your instincts, they a razor sharp hahahaha
  • 1 0
 If that Manta could handle waves, what a surf experience it would be.
  • 1 0
 A lame one.
  • 1 0
 must have the ebike jetski...like I must have Trump in my life.
  • 1 0
 inb4 lockpickinglawyer bypasses the benjilock in 15 seconds
  • 1 0
 #1 trend should be ride more f*ckin bikes !
  • 1 0
 XE-1, the 1 stands for how fast it goes.
  • 1 0
 Anyone else think that Manta needs to be longer and slacker?
  • 1 0
 that manta hydrofoil is the most Auckland thing ever
  • 1 1
 So Suunto is showcasing that after many years they've developed... the Apple Watch Series 5.
  • 2 2
 AMAGAD SMARTWATCH WITH GPS - THE FUTURE IS HERE !
  • 2 1
 Apocalypse in 3,2,1....
  • 1 1
 Mission Now Possible
  • 1 1
 The age of the dumb

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