So you rode 20 miles today, congratulations. But what kind of workout did your upper body get? Well if you rode a traditional bike… not much. But if you hammered on one of the bikes below, it would be a different story. Meet the new full body workout bikes.
The Varibike has a hand pedaling system in addition to the pedals, so you can help your legs and workout your upper body at the same time.
Varibike cites a study claiming a 31% increase in power:
A study of the New Mexico State University showed that (at the same heart rate) the maximum power output could be increased by over 30% using combined arm-and-leg cranking compared with normal cycling. Furthermore, the endurance performance was found to be higher.
The Varibike comes in an outdoor model and an indoor model, so you can do a whole body ride year round.
A similar bike is the 4 Strike Bike, invented by a retired surgeon, Lex van Stekelenburg. Here’s how it works:
The handlebar contains a patented mechanism that allows upper body ‘pedalling’ and steering to be combined. The front drive system also incorporates a steering stabilizing mechanism. The crankshaft has a special freewheel system that allows the bike to be cycled with both arms and legs or with the legs alone while getting on and off the bike. The handlebar also features a click system that allows the ‘hand-pedals’ to be fixed in their highest position during cycling as in a normal handlebar, transforming this bike back into a regular bike. This ordinary bicycle function is the basis of the 4 Strike Bike.
And if you can’t wait to get your hands on one of these, well the Raxibo is available now for 2,500 swiss francs (about $2,600 USD). It’s not as elegant or as cool looking as the 4 Strike, but there’s something to be said for existing versus non-existing.
While researching the best indoor cycling trainers for our new cycling gear store, I came across the 1upPOWERbahn from 1UPUSA, makers of the innovative 1upUSA trainer that uses a centrifugal clutch system. The POWERbahn trainer is still in development, and unfortunately it did not reach its fundraising goal on Kickstarter, but here’s a brief overview of what it offers.
What makes the 1upPOWERbahn different?
The makers claim that it realistically mimics the outdoor ride indoors, that it closely simulates the experience of grade and motion changes that you feel on the road. It even simulates momentum, and it does it differently based on the rider’s weight.
Simulates grades up to 15 degrees, and downhills to -5 degrees
Wireless Ant+ speed, cadence and power
Authentic inertia and momentum with no deadspots while pedaling
This new bicycle wheel turns your normal bicycle into an electric bike.
The interesting thing about this wheel is that it is “intelligent”, it learns your pedaling technique and turns itself on and off when needed, and recharges itself. So there is no need to turn it on or off. For example, if you’re riding along and encounter a hill, the wheel will kick in and give you a little boost up the hill.
Some technical specifications for the Copenhagen Wheel:
At 13 lbs, it weighs about as much as a road racing bike.
Motor power is 350 watts
Its top speed is 20 mph
Takes 4 hours to charge
Range of 31 miles
It’s important to remember that this is not meant as your primary motor, you are the primary motor, this assists you when you need it, and is intended to complement your cycling, integrate with it and enhance it, rather than replace it.
How about Wheelmen, New York Times bestseller on Lance Armstrong’s massive deception and the greatest sports conspiracy ever. And here’s a great read for the ladies, Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling, Selene Yeager covers everything women need to know about cycling, from the basics like buying the right bicycle, to developing fitness, effective training, and finally how to race successfully and win.
On the movie front we have the classic Breaking Away in HD – if you haven’t seen it then you need to get it now, definitely one for the collection.
Heck, if you’re like me and like to ride indoors, you might even like to get a trainer (and in my humble but insightful opinion, you can’t beat the Kurt Kinetic!).