How to push forward innovation for the next wave of the electric bike market?
By CIXI Team5 min read
By CIXI Team5 min read

How to push forward innovation for the next wave of the electric bike market?

The word “innovation” is quickly becoming a commodity, buzz word, or a cliche to describe businesses that are doing something new. But the disruptiveness of innovation has been tamed to incremental features to keep a little edge over competitors, market projections, and safer paths to steady revenues. Growing companies on the other hand find it difficult to balance resources, stakeholders, and sustainable growth while pushing for a new product that can give them the edge on a market dominated by giants.

A new perspective born from an unexpected collaboration

Unexpected collaborations as a tool for innovation is not a new concept; mutuality leverages the best of both sides and allows for the brands to expand and explore new products that normally are not allowed or expected by their audience. Recent examples come from leading industries such as LEGOCHANELIKEAVespa, and BMW, just to name a few.

LOOK bikes is a legacy brand in the french cycling industry, from the first carbon fiber bike to the outperforming bicycle that took the french team to winning gold medals in the last olympic games. Their products are synonymous with the purity of the sport. They are well known for performance and quality, a strong heritage and market that’s becoming more and more specialized in competition and performance. Yet, what does it look like for a strong brand to bring their vision of what electric bicycles should be when biking is no longer a competition but it’s now within the cities, within everyday life?

Finding the unexpected

LOOK met the early CIXI by chance. CIXI is a mobility startup whose ambitious goal is to transform the future of mobility by integrating physical activity into our daily lives and creating healthier lifestyles. Incorporated in 2016, CIXI conceptualized a vehicle that can accelerate up to 120 km/h by pedaling at any desired level of intensity. To create this vehicle, CIXI Teams had to imagine new architectures and technologies such as steering and pedaling by wire. This is CIXI’s chainless pedaling technology, it provides a natural experience with biking like haptics which allows for anyone to control any vehicle with pristine precision. At CIXI we call it PERS (Pedaling Energy Recovery System).

Finding a wild card, such as CIXI, with such a strong philosophical goal, allowed LOOK to safely explore new ideas with a lower investment in a record time. If we combine legacy, curiosity, experience, extensive know-how, and a bit of the wild spirit of LOOK x CIXI, then we get a recipe made for advancing innovation. This match includes new technologies, vision, and high end experience.


Frederico Musi (LOOK CEO), Pierre Francis (CIXI CEO), and their teams were very excited and curious about this project from the start. Working closely on the product definition and new geometries that CIXI’s chainless technology allows, the design phase transitioned nimbly into an engineering phase that required the voice of expertise and the naiveness of the new challenge. Both teams managed to bring something that is truly new and represents a big leap on each other's journeys: Leveraging CIXI as a different and new kind of mobility company and confirming LOOK’s commitment on truly innovating for their customers who expect nothing but the best.

This innovative technology holds great potential for the future of cycling transportation, making it a meaningful addition to the market. The collaboration between the two teams has been focused and fruitful, with the PERS (Pedaling Energy Recovery System) seamlessly integrating into the LOOK project frame.

Federico Musi LOOK Cycle CEO

3D metal printing made it possible to bring this concept to life in record time

Joining forces with LOOK Cycle is giving great momentum to our actions here at CIXI. Originally we conceptualized the VIGOZ, a light vehicle that allows pedaling up to 120 km/h on any highway. Then, as we met Look, we extended our pedaling technology to bikes, bringing the chainless technology straight away to high standards of haptics in cycling. It is a fantastic synergy.

Pierre Francis CIXI CEO

LOOK x CIXI ROVER 45 at Prodays 2023 in Paris

The Concept

The ROVER 45 is a Urban Speed Pedelec inspired by the strong spirit of the brand, like an animal that explores the rough environment with a precise, fast yet strong, and robust and resilient attitude. The concept is a celebration of geometry freedom thanks to CIXI’s chainless pedaling technology, with precise and strong lines the battery connects visually the frame with the rear wheel - NO CHAINSTAY needed - The ROVER 45 is loaded with integration details like the carriers, lock, and handlebar. This concept is an opportunity to explore LOOK’s DNA language for the electrified urban lifestyle.

Throughout the one and a half years of focused work on this project, LOOK provided the necessary resources, expertise, and guidance to ensure its success. We collaborated closely with the CIXI team, bringing together their expertise in chainless pedaling technology and our excellence in bike design. LOOK's role was to design a frame specifically tailored for a S-Pedelec bike, ensuring that it complemented and enhanced the CIXI PERS technology. We worked closely with CIXI to integrate their technology seamlessly into our frame, creating a cohesive and high-performance product.

Pierre Jean Martin LOOK Cycle CTO

The ROVER 45 can reach a maximum assisted speed of 45 km/h, equipped with a 700 Wh battery life, a front and rear Pannier MIK compatible, it is ready to explore from casual commuting to utilitarian trips. CIXI’s chainless pedaling technology allows a reactive and intuitive speed control over the bicycle without gear shifting nor any concern about chain maintenance, while keeping a natural pedaling experience for the user. The rider can set their cadence, “lock” the system, and even share a digital key with someone else using the Active Pilot app. The pedaling environment was designed and developed with the user at the center of all and replicable in any other active vehicle, even one that can go up to 120 km/h.

LOOK's engineering team has been onboard with us since the product definition phase. Their experience in bike design was a great help, specially about the bike geometry and also to give coherence to the whole bike. There were mutual benefits in this project : we challenged their "race" D.N.A. and brought them to the field of utilitarian e-bikes. And we gained a lot of maturity in the development of our PERS system by listening to their feedback all along the way. Their knowledge of the bike industry and their reputation made the discussion very easy when talking to external partners.

Hugo Rouland CIXI Chef de projet système PERS

The PERS is CIXI’s first product to market to strategically collaborate with the biking industry to support new active vehicle designs. The vision involves bringing people into a healthier and more active lifestyle through active mobility. This includes everyday bicycles, cargo, utilitarian, urban, MTB, leisure, and professional, or any type of vehicle at all. The CIXI pedaling environment simplifies manufacturing by removing derailers, gears, and chains, and provides a durable and reliable system that delivers a new experience of pedaling for people.

Our technology and software easily integrate into any vehicle shape. Interested in our PERS technology? Apply for the Developer Kit.