BEIJING, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Making new friends with nearby cyclists, chatting in real-time, forming cycling teams, and racing on virtual tracks, riders have more interesting things to do when pedaling their bicycles, which can also monitor the riders' physical condition.
China, famed for the "kingdom of bicycles," rolls forward with the wheels of smart technology, driving profound changes in the bicycle industry.
Flying Pigeon, an iconic Chinese bicycle brand based in north China's Tianjin, facilitated generations of Chinese people's daily travel, with more than 300 million classic models of total output.
Now, it has initiated a transformation by introducing a number of electric models. In the future, they are scheduled to be sold in Southeast Asian countries.
Meanwhile, the emerging brand Xiaodao Electric Vehicle launched its electric motorcycle with a range of 200 km.
The pace of smart transformation has already begun in China's bicycle market. Many brands have loaded intelligent functions, such as Bluetooth App unlocking and weight sensing, on their products.
Besides, bicycles can automatically provide power to ease the burden on the rider's heart once the sensors installed on the bicycle bodies record their heart rate higher than 150 times per minute.
The functions such as blood oxygen monitoring and fingerprint lock have been gradually applied to bicycles in recent years, said Liu Suwen, chairman of the China Bicycle Association.
According to the association, the business revenue of bicycle and electric bicycle enterprises was 210 billion yuan (about 30.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022, up 3 percent year on year. The profit exceeded 10 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of more than 20 percent.
The 21st China North International Bicycle and E-bike Exhibition, which was held in Tianjin between March 30 and April 1, attracted more than 800 bicycles, electric bicycles, and parts companies at 4,500 booths.
Mao Xianjun, a representative of Xiaodao, admitted that Chinese bicycle enterprises still relied on imports for some key components of high-end products. "But we have opened up a new racetrack for smart electric bicycles and motorcycles by utilizing new-energy batteries and AI technology," Mao said.
China is an important exporter of bicycles and electric bicycles, whose products are sold in regions including Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
Earlier this March, a Chinese smart electric power bicycle launched its R&D and sales center in Frankfurt, Germany. It will focus on the application of the Internet of Things on bicycles in European and American markets.
Driven by smart technology and electric booster equipment, the country's bicycle industry will forge a new development. And the application of new energy and new materials will also lead to more changes in both bicycles and electric bicycles, industry experts say.