The German brand of super light performance carbon fiber wheels Lightweight announced the SMARTWHEEL at Eurobike which can send data such as tire pressure, speed and temperature via ANT+. This is a leap forward for ‘data’ with power meters a standard for performance cyclists. It also prompts the question, “what else can we actively measure on the bike in order to improve performance.”
The idea for the SMARTWHEEL was born out of product testing of the Lightweight wheelsets with strain gauges, sensors and a backpack to receive and record the data. This has evolved over years into a micro sensor which is built into the inner core of the wheel.
For the rider, a practical feature is recording tyre pressure measurements and sending alerts. A technical feature is the recording of the temperature at the brake flange. Lightweight also suggest future expansion possibilities with GPS capability (the advantage of this specific to a wheelset was not explored) as well as watts and cadence. For servicing the wheels, data can be stored onboard. If the wheels are sold, the stored service history and performance data can a provide a reliable indicator to the seller and buyer as to the value.
While a retail price has not been provided, in the short-term the Lightweight SMARTWHEEL will likely have a limited and exclusive audience. But it will drive other brands to consider onboard technical data recording and analysis to aid both rider performance as well deliver reliable technical data about the bicycle and equipment.