The Elliptigo tries to re-invent the wheel

Next we'll put this on a treadmill on a truck on a treadmill on an airplane

Yesterday I bumped into a product that will not only change your life, but will surely end up into the informecial innuendo on 80% discount where you order one and get one for free for just shipping and handling! The Elliptigo (because it goes and is an ellipse) is a two-wheeled cross-trainer, simulating running outside. Seriously. What’s wrong with, um, well, running outside? I’ve been watching their marketing materials, since there are no reviews available, because the product isn’t actually out yet. Everything you see in the videos is done with their prototypes.

A few things in their marketing annoy me, first they say that “it’s just as efficient as a bicycle” – but they also say that the Elliptigo requires a shorter time for a workout. So, if they were as efficient – wouldn’t they take the same time? They say there will be no seat pain and less strain on your neck and back – which are problems for people who have wrong sized bikes and don’t bike enough to train their muscles.

They also say that it has, I quote: “The ability to climb hills.” My god, what did we do before this amazing invention to cross those annoying piles of very dense rock? And they say it’s a similarity to cycling. On their own page, in the SAME page they say that it’s “Built from industry standard cycling components”, but “Different size and shape reduce the number of off-the-shelf bicycle accessories that will accommodate the ElliptiGO”. Hey, super marketing tip here: Don’t contradict yourself on the same page.

Just by looking at it you see quite a few problems: No place for racks, panniers, mudguards, braze-ons for water bottle cages, let alone lights (especially in the rear) and changing the tyre on that thing doesn’t look too easy either. Even though they say it’s just as easy to dismount on it, I have to say the video didn’t quite convince me of its safety in a panic stop.

So you have a thing, which you can use to not run outside by simulating running outside on a bike where you have a cross-trainer to run outside because you don’t want to run outside.. eh. The Elliptigo is heavier than bikes, it’s less aerodynamic than bikes, not as efficient, doesn’t take your stuff on it, has exotic materials and is more expensive to repair and can you guess what is the best thing?

IT COSTS OVER TWO THOUSAND US DOLLARS. ($2.199 to be exact)

Seriously, over two grand for a product that is supposed to give benefit over running outside – without actually running outside. More fun from their site, they have a page where they compare the Elliptigo to running: It has three pros, six similarities and SIX cons against the Elliptigo. Also, I think the biggest point here is – which you probably noticed yourself if you watched the videos – It’s not actually anything like running. Unless you’re Michael Jackson moonwalking forward.

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.