Gadgets Technology

Cobi: Worlds smartest connected biking system

Written by Andy Prosper

If you want to use your smartphone on the bike not only for navigating, go with Cobi just right. With the system, you have all important mobile phone functions under control without having to take the hands off the handlebars. And that’s not all.

With it, you can use the mobile phone through a practical app while driving without taking the hands off the handlebars. It charges the device and also has a powerful headlight integrated.

The installation is relatively easy as long as you have enough space in the center of the handlebars and either left or right. Possibly you have to adjust the reflector, bell, and circuit something because besides the quite large holder (hub) belongs to the basic equipment and also some little space for thumb controller. For the system to fit every bicycle, different rubber mounts are included. The hub is then fastened with special screws and keys so that thieves do not even get into temptation.

The smartphone sits firmly

In the hub, you will find a rechargeable battery and universal adapter that can accommodate smartphones of all sizes. For iPhones, there are also tailor-made solutions including rain protection, which can also remain as a cover on the device. Charging cable, for Android devices so far only with micro USB plug. In the test, the universal mount was used, which is safely packed. You just have to make sure that no keys are pressed on the mobile phone when you insert them. The adapter and battery can be removed, the rest remains permanently on the bike. Optionally, there is also a matching tail light with a plug-in holder that connects to the system by radio.

When everything is installed, the hub must be paired with the smartphone. To do so, you first set up an account in the Cobi app. Then switch the hub on and let the app search for the device. After a few seconds, the coupling is finished and the type of bike used and some fitness information is included. Probably an update is also due. For this, one should bring the bike where possible where the smartphone has WLAN reception, in order not to load its mobile data volume. Updates are available at Cobi, as new functions are continually added. If the software of the hub is up to date, you can get started.

Cobi is expandable

The Cobi app is the center where speed, navigation, and weather are displayed, allowing quick access to music, fitness values or selected contacts. Cobi already provides reasonable software, but for navigation, Komoot is the better choice, which can be optionally integrated – either one can use offline maps. Otherwise, Google Fit or AppleHealth and the tracking service Strava are still available.

Especially for fitness fans, it is interesting that the Cobi system can also display the values of external trackers, which are connected by Bluetooth. In the test, this worked easily with a heart rate monitor. During the journey, the thumb operated after a short period of habituation. A long press on the middle button always leads to the start page, a short press a step back. Use the other buttons to navigate through the selection or within a function.

Small battery, smart light

You dont need to wait till your smartphone get completely charged. The battery keeps a good day trip if it does not have to charge a smartphone at the same time. The phone begins to charge itself while it get mounted in the hub. Pulling the juice, it goes to the end with the 2900 milliamper hours of the battery.

The mechanical bell remains better on the handlebars, because the electric bell of the Cobi is not too loud. Lauter is the alarm system. When activated, it makes noise and the light flashes as soon as the bicycle is applied.

The front light, which is illuminated in three different strengths. It automatically adjusts itself to the ambient light, which on the whole works well.We can switch manually. In the strongest stage, the headlight is very bright, well visible to the driver during the day and illuminates a wide range. If the Cobi rear light is mounted, it makes the adjustments with and lights up when braking.

Successful but expensive

All in all, Cobi is a successful system for smart bikers. Holder and light are great, the app is clear and easy to use. It is also good that external sensors can be easily integrated. As for additional services, the selection is still very limited. Above all, however, a battery with a significantly larger capacity would be desirable, so that one not only comes with the rounds but also has a loaded smartphone at the target. And the prices are quite steep: Without light, a set of a hub with thumb controller plus a choice of iPhone or universal bracket costs 250 euros. Including front, lights are 300 euros, with rear light even 340 euros.

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Andy Prosper

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