WOAH! When Cake Connect appeared in my inbox I was stoked! An app that much like Tesla can push firmware updates through wifi to my bike, adjust power settings, regen settings would/may be incredible! Why would I say ‘may be’ incredible? Read on…
My first disappointment was their app will only be released to IOS users first. “Android is coming” seems odd. As a former developer I know that it is more than an oversight to ignore the two most popular operating systems when releasing a new product.
Number two is the retroactive kit that must be installed onto bikes purchased prior to the 2021 models. Because Cake does not have dealerships, but are purchased online and delivered via FedEx any work to be done on the bikes is to be conducted by the owner. No big deal to me, yet on so many occasions Ytterborn proudly states the bike as “tinker free” and I imagine that to retrofit the bike to accept the necessary communication via BlueTooth or Wifi means the controller or display must be changed – perhaps both. Sure it may be something else or in addition to, but currently on my Kalk the controller is the only piece of kit that houses a USB port.
You can see Cake’s video on how to remove the controller by clicking here.
It does not seem too difficult, but because of the close tolerances once you remove the four exterior hex head bolts, I imagine it may get a Mark cussing level of 5/10, or perhaps higher. And thankfully I have the tools they show in their video. If not my cussing level would be higher. Then there is the cost of the new piece of kit needed to add Cake Connect. If this new feature increases the cost of the new bike I can understand that, but if NOT and current owners are tasked with paying a substantial amount to add this feature (to me more than 500.00 USD) would be unfortunate especially for those customers who purchased their &s at the end of 2020.
And finally is the subscription pricing. For the first twelve months the cloud service is free and after that a monthly fee will be charged. But what features would be included without a subscription fee? I believe things like adjusting power/regen braking levels or items that adjust my bike should be free. Perhaps they will be….locating my bike, locking my bike, geofencing my bike (really!?) and other ‘nice to haves’ may warrant a monthly subscriptions to some people.
In any event this is the very first announcement I’ve seen from Cake that is of actual value to owners. It will be exciting to see what is outlined during their April 2021 Cake Connect announcements.