The ElliptiGO is half-bike, half-elliptical

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
11:00
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ElliptiGOCourtesy of ElliptiGO Inc.Created by two Ironman triathletes, the ElliptiGO has up to 11 speeds and can reach 15-25 mph.
Bicycles are a little common and elliptical machines can get mundane. So how about combining the two activities? Meet the ElliptiGO.

The ElliptiGO is a hybrid between a bike and elliptical trainer that comes in several models. Its creators, two Ironman triathletes, claim that the ElliptiGO burns 33 percent more calories than a bike.

The equipment, which looks kind of like a bicycle that’s missing a seat, has up to 11 speeds, can reach 15-25 miles per hour and can even convert to a stationary bike.

The ElliptiGO was built with current, past and injured runners in mind, says co-founder Bryan Pate.

“Our primary targets are healthy runners who want to cross-train, injured and former runners who want to enjoy running again and fitness enthusiasts who want a fun, low-impact, high-intensity outdoor exercise experience,” says Pate.

The ElliptiGO first became available in stores in 2010. The product has quickly grown in popularity, even without heavy company sponsorships.

“We have only paid compensation to six athletes since we started the company: Dean Karnazes, Lauren Fleshman, Adam Goucher, Josh Cox, Julie Culley and Jenny Hadfield,” says Pate. “All six started out as authentic users of the product first and then we started working with them on a sponsorship basis, usually after they had been using the product for a year or more.”

[+] EnlargeElliptiGO
Eric Gould/ElliptiGO Inc.Prices for the ElliptiGO start at $1,799.
Popular ultra-marathoner Karnazes is perhaps the best-known ElliptiGO user. The New York Times best-selling author, who in 2006 ran 50 marathons in all 50 U.S. states in 50 consecutive days (finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in three hours flat) is an early investor in the company and has been an avid user for more than two years. As you can imagine, he puts in some serious miles.

“I am a big proponent of cross-training for both injury prevention and for maximizing aerobic fitness,” says Karnazes. “I typically run between 80-120 miles per week and ElliptiGO approximately 150 miles per week, a lot on hills.”

Karnazes is even training to run a marathon in every country in the world in a single year, starting in 2013. (And I thought I was a badass for racing the unsuspecting treadmill user next to me at the gym every three days.)

Karnazes says that because the ElliptiGO is low impact, it allows him to train at near capacity on consecutive days and not feel so sore.

Plus, adds Karnazes, he keeps going back to the ElliptiGO because he truly enjoys it.

“One element about the ElliptiGO that I really appreciate is that it’s just downright fun to ride, which helps prevent burnout,” he says.

I have to say I agree. I had a chance to hop on one of these in New York City and it took a matter of minutes to get used to. (It took longer to get used to everyone staring at me.)

The ElliptiGO, which has a base weight of 39.4 pounds, can be pricey, starting at $1,799, but most cities have rental options. More than 5,000 have been sold to date.

Check out a video of the ElliptiGO in action below:

Katie Linendoll is an Emmy Award-winning technology expert contributing to ESPN, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She contributes tech segments to CNN and hosts a tech show on Spike TV. She has a degree in Information Technology New Media from Rochester Institute of Technology and is a diehard Buffalo Bills fan.
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