Pseudonymous maker Pubudeux has published a detailed build log for a project to add cadence and resistance sensors, and an audio playback system, to a low-cost exercise bike using a Raspberry Pi Pico — creating something akin to a Peloton at a fraction of the cost.
Pubudeux teased the DIY Peloton project earlier this month, explaining the aim of upgrading the capabilities of a low-cost "dumb" exercise bike by adding a display, speakers, and sensors, all driven by the Raspberry Pi Pico and its RP2040 microcontroller — the first, but certainly not the last, piece of in-house silicon to come from Raspberry Pi.
Now, the project has gained a bill of materials and a schematic, making the project a lot easier to follow for those interested in following in Pubudeux's footsteps with a bike upgrade of their own.
"In the past year I've been using an exercise bike at home and really enjoy it. It's not quite a Peloton, but it also cost about $2000 less than a Peloton," Pubudeux explains. "I enjoy using it with the Peloton digital subscription, but it is a bummer not having the same sensor statistics, making the experience less interactive.
" I decided to work on turning my dumb bike into a smart bike in order to enhance the experience. It's been an interesting journey so far and I think I've finally settled on the design, and am now focused on tuning the software. The design includes a 2S 3.7v Li-ion battery pack. I decided to include batteries so I didn't have to have a wire leading up to the bike that might get tripped over. This is probably optional for a lot of people, depending on where you place your bike."
The heart of the system is a Raspberry Pi Pico, mounted to a prototyping board carrier. A plan to add a full-colour display for video playback has been put on the back burner, with the revised design now using a 16x2 character-based LCD panel for statistic feedback — though the stereo 3W audio system remains.
For inputs the design includes an infrared obstacle avoidance sensor as a cadence input and an MPU-6050 accelerometer/gyroscope — a replacement for a force-sensitive resistor which proved unreliable, measuring the position of the resistance knob. "I am still working on the software side of this," Pubudeux notes, "but it looks promising."
The full build log, with a bill of materials and schematic but not yet any source code, can be found on Pubudeux's website.