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Review: COBI Smartbike adapter

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed my Yuba Supermarché transport bike. One of the things I noted that I was missing was some solution to offer phone and satnav integration. As it turns out – and as I knew full well when writing my review – there is a solution for this; the COBI Smartbike Adapter. The adapter replaces the Intuvia display. I got the universal version, which holds your phone with a spring-loaded clamp.

More or less obviously, the adapter is one of two parts to make this solution work – the other being a companion app. With Apple Health and Strava integration, I’ve found it to be a pretty good addition to my bike. I have used it a bit for navigation to places that I don’t necessarily know well enough to find on my own, and it has – without fault – gotten me where I am going, so it certainly gets a pass on that score.

In addition to the iPhone companion app, it also has an Apple Watch companion app, which means that it also grabs heart rate and other vitals data to add to the recording of each activity, a feature which I certainly find to be very useful.

Besides navigation and fitness, the app also offers music control and the ability to call a few pre-defined contacts while riding. The idle screen offers meteorological data, which can be useful to plan what you wear for your ride.

It’s not all perfect, however. From time to time, I have had issues connecting to the adapter using Bluetooth. Most times, I resolve it either by pressing the button on the adapter, or by pressing the button on the battery. but I have once had to pair them anew.

The other main issue is that the companion app tends to drain the battery on my iPhone. This isn’t an issue at all if you bring a charger with you, and there are stubby cables available to connect the phone to the adapter to charge from the main battery, but I have had varying luck doing that.

When it comes to uploading rides to Strava, the companion app tends to demand a more or less perfect internet connection. Until I figured that out (essentially, until I stopped finishing a ride as soon as I was finished – as opposed to pausing it), I lost a number of rides where the upload failed.

All in all, I am very happy. While the Intuvia display certainly has a lot of utility, the COBI Adapter takes that, adds a number of useful functions in an intuitive and practical package. It holds a lot of utility for me, and I’m hopetimistic that I’ll be able to leverage the satnav functionality in particular in years to come.

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