British start-up Beeline is hoping to reshape the cycling navigation market. Alex Ballinger sat down with co-founder Mark Jenner to hear more about the launch of the Velo 2
This piece first appeared in the July edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
The cycling GPS market has been shooting skyward in recent years. From extreme ultra-distance route-planning to high-performance riding, developments in cycle computer tech are driving up price points, as consumers look for ever-more sophisticated metrics on their device.
But for British start-up Beeline, the goal is to move against the tide, prioritising simplicity over additional features. The London-based brand has just launched its newest device, the Beeline Velo 2, a unique navigation system aimed at the commuting and leisure market.
“You see people riding e-bikes, cycling with their families, riding cargo bikes,” said Mark Jenner, co-founder of Beeline. “There’s all types of cycling now and the groups have broadened away from just fitness-focused people. We did a load of user interviews of people we thought would buy this product. One thing that was really interesting, in a lot of cases people distanced themselves from traditional cyclists.”
With that broader market at its core, Beeline has been working to develop navigation technology to make life easier for leisure riders, commuters, and those who might not conform to the image of a ‘cyclist.’ Beeline’s app collects data from rides to overlay Beeline Smart Routing or Mapbox routes, which allows the brand to constantly improve its navigation features.
With an emphasis on simple, reliable navigation, the Beeline Velo 2 allows users to ‘review’ routes as they’re riding, leaving positive or negative feedback on certain roads at the push of a button – the more users, the better routes become.
Beeline also has plans to utilise its technology in the micromobility market, partnering with e-scooter provider Tier to provide navigation in the Tier app. Jenner said Beeline is also willing to explore potential partnerships with e-bike manufacturers to integrate Beeline tech into bike hardware.
Launched on 7th June, the Velo 2 is initially only available online direct-to-consumers, but the brand said it is in discussions with UK distributors to get in front of consumers on the shop floor.
Beeline, founded in 2015 by Jenner and Tom Putnam, has since expanded into a team of 20, with all product development and design being done in-house.
After launching the first iteration of the Beeline Velo in 2015, the brand then moved into the motorbike market, finding success with its handlebar-mounted Moto GPS navigation system. The Velo 2 is an update on the Velo, featuring improved app features, user interface, and a larger screen. Velo 2 retails for £79.99.