Friday, December 5, 2014

Is the Bionic Runner competition for the ElliptiGO?



The Bionic Runner looks like an interesting redesign of the ElliptiGO. It is on Kickstarter now and it seems if you are one of the first to order, it would be easily under $1000 shipped. Otherwise it seems priced at around $1250 which is one-half of what an 8-speed ElliptiGO would cost. It looks lighter, yet not as sturdy and it folds up for easy transportation. It also does not seem as speedy as an ElliptiGO as this page says that riders are going up to 20 km/hour on it which is about 12.4 mph. They are marketing it as "The only running fitness trainer to replicate the natural motion of running." and I believe this is based on their, "Patent pending 60:40 swing/stance phase timing." So in my thinking and in watching the video, it seems to have a shorter stride with a higher kick back. I am wondering if using their formula, it means that a person using an ElliptiGO has a longer stance phase. This article seems to report their feelings on how it is differentiated from an ElliptiGO.

When first seeing the Bionic Runner, many people may think that it's more or less the same thing as the ElliptiGO – which is essentially a two-wheeled elliptical trainer. According to Run4 co-founder Dr. Henry Thomas, however, there's a key difference between the two. 
"We discovered that running was a four stage process of leap, recovery, impact and drive," he says. "The existing cross trainers were all elliptical in nature or step machines. None captured the motion a runner's leg makes when they move." 
As a result, the Bionic Runner was designed to guide users through a mid-foot running gait, allowing them to engage the same muscles that they would when running on the ground – while also protecting their joints from over-exertion. Additionally, it provides a bit of lift at the "toe-off" of every stride, plus users are able to increase or decrease resistance by shifting it into higher or lower gears.

It looks promising as an alternative to running and the price is right, but I love my ElliptiGO, which looks sturdier, seems much faster, and has a company behind it that is top-notch.  I only have less than 200 miles to GO in order to hit the 6,000 mile mark for the year 2014!

2 comments:

Michael Thomas said...

Jim - great write up on the bionic runner, and was just reading up on this myself. I too am partial to the elliptigo and don't feel this unit is a real apples to apples comparison. I do like the portability aspect of the bionic runner, but i feel like the stability of the Elliptigo sets them apart. I love my 8C, and while i would have wrestled with the cost variance if i was purchasing now, I don't regret a thing with my elliptigo, and would buy another without hesitation. Keep up the work on the site. Enjoy reading it. P.S. We met at the summer classic, and hope the cold weather isn't keep you off your GO too much.

-Michael

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Michael,
The cold weather (and darkness) is keeping me riding indoors now. Did you see that the ElliptiGO End of Summer Classic is moving to the date and location to being an ElliptiGO Spring Classic? It will probably be in May in Ipswich, MA and that is all I know as the news just came out yesteday.
Jim