Bike odometers are actually pretty sweet, here's why...
I have never been a big proponent of any sort of electronics on bikes like cycle computers that show your speed and track miles. Enjoying the ride with a vague idea of mileage covered is more my speed. I don't see a need to compare my average speed on one ride to the next or see how fast (who are we kidding I mean slow) I'm riding. I will admit though that my feelings on this were born from rides that were much more recreational in nature and that I let this thought process carry forward when I started riding daily for transportation.
However, as a bike shop owner that sells eBikes and as someone who is regularly riding an eBike I'm starting to change my tune on this. Conceptually, I really like how the bike odometer dovetails with the idea of your bike being your car. And unlike a car where your odometer is tracking things like its loss in value or the next time you'll be hit with the inevitable maintenance bill along with general misery for how much time you are spending stuck behind the wheel; With the bike you are tracking joy and quantifying how much time you are in your happy place on your bike saddle and how many miles you are independently transporting yourself to and fro. It's a beautiful thing!
From the bike mechanics perspective the odometer is extremely valuable. When a Bosch eBike goes out the door we can program the bikes service interval based on an arbitrary future date or future mileage reading. Once that date comes or the bike hits the mileage mark you'll see a little wrench pop up on your display reminding you to bring your bike in to us for service. How cool is that! The odometer reading also helps us gauge when it's time to replace key wear and tear parts like chains, cogs, brake pads and tires.
We already know that bikes can replace cars for many people. Now that they are being designed with features that we have grown accustomed to from cars I'm hopeful this will help attract more folks into the wonderful world of transportation biking. Here's to hoping!