Endless Curiosity

August 30, 2010

Elliptigo in Boulder

Filed under: Cycling — Alec @ 1:21 pm

On Saturday I rode an Elliptigo at the Boulder Nites Classic: “The Exempla Good Samaritan Boulder Nites Classic is Boulder’s first and only Family Fun Bike Ride around the streets of Boulder – at night!” Apart from having way too many capital letters, the ride was a lot of fun. Or perhaps I should say the run was a lot of fun.

It’s difficult to say whether you are riding or running on an Elliptigo. It’s like a bicycle in that it has two wheels, handlebars, gears and brakes. However, the action is more like running, and there’s no saddle. I kept reaching down for the saddle when trying to move the Elliptigo, but it was never there.

I met Simon Martin at the 29th Street Mall because we were going to show the Elliptigos to as many people as possible (he rode green, I rode black). We both wore Elliptigo T-shirts and had pamphlets to hand out to people who were interested. And of course, lots of people were interested. Simon and I rode separately to maximize exposure to the Elliptigos; I can’t speak for him, but I got lots of comments and questions. Kids loved it and several of them asked their parents to buy them one.

Both men and women were interested, and I’d say that women were perhaps a little more interested. I think men liked the Elliptigo because it’s another cool exercise machine. I think women liked it because more women use elliptical trainers at gyms and health clubs and the Elliptigo is a continuation of what they are used to.

I loved riding/running it. It’s not nearly as tiring on the quads as a bicycle, but it gives you a great aerobic workout. What I really like is that it seems so much easier to use than a bicycle. You don’t have to change into cycling shorts or put on special shoes; you can simply get on it in your regular clothes (although a helmet is a good idea for safety).

I noticed a few things that could perhaps be improved. As a bicycle rider, changing the rear gear means exerting pressure to change to an easier gear, whereas on the Elliptigo, exerting pressure on the gear changer moves it into a harder gear. Of course I only got this wrong when I was going uphill and wanted an easier gear 😦

Second, for dusk or night riding you can easily attach a front light to the handlebars, but there’s no obvious place to put a rear light. There’s a rear reflector, and perhaps Elliptigo could modify this so that you can attach a rear light in the same general area. I clipped a flashing rear light to my shorts, but it would be good to have something you can permanently attach to the Elliptigo.

Also, it’s a lot noisier than a bicycle when you are running on it. It’s very quiet when you are just standing on the platforms and coasting but once you start to run it gets noisy. I imagine that different materials might soften the sound, although it’s not really a big deal.

All it all the Elliptigo was a lot of fun and a great way to get exercise. It saves the knee pounding that running gives, and it’s much easier to get up and go on an Elliptigo than a bicycle. Highly recommended.

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