Elliptigo propels injured runners through fresh-air workouts

Mon Nov 3, 2014 4:01am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Elliptigo, a cross between the bicycle and the elliptical trainer, is an outdoor cardio machine that is helping runners sidelined by impact injuries to reclaim the streets without pounding their joints.

The brainchild of a former triathlete and an ultra-marathoner who is also a mechanical engineer, the device resembles a long low seat-less bicycle that fitness experts say feels like running on air.

“We were trying to create a low-impact version of running,” said Bryan Pate, co-founder of Elliptigo Inc, who with partner Brent Teal developed the hybrid over five years.

“The easiest way to describe it is an outdoor elliptical trainer, but the reality is a little more complicated,” he said.

Pate, a former triathlete laid low by hip and knee injuries at age 32, said the Elliptigo is specifically designed with a long stride length and sharp recovery stroke to most closely emulate running, but without the impact.

“As an injured runner, I recognized that it’s hard to get that exercise in a different way,” said Pate, whose Solana Beach, California, company delivered its first product to its first customer in 2010.

Today Pate has more than 10,000 customers in 58 countries, including more than 100 elite runners who use the Elliptigo to cross train, or add non-impact cardio hours to their training routine.

But he said 90 percent of his clients are 45- to 60-year olds “who care about exercising comfortably outdoors” and can afford the equipment. Elliptigos cost $1,800 to $3,500.   Continued...