Whatizit? A new outdoor elliptical trainer

Izzy at Austin Rd School 1

Remember Whatizit (who later became Izzy)? That's exactly what I thought when I first saw the ElliptiGO. (Johnny Crawford/Staff)

The two-wheel ElliptiGO takes the gym outside. But really, what is it? (Photo courtesy ElliptiGO)

The two-wheel ElliptiGO takes the gym outside. But really, what is it? (Photo courtesy ElliptiGO)

Whatizit (remember him)? Is it running? Biking? A goofy-looking cardio activity? Some combination of the three?

On a run through my neighborhood earlier this week, I saw someone on one of these ElliptiGO bike-like machines. I am sure I gave it a second look because, honestly, I didn’t know what I was looking out. I have done a little research. Turns out I am not alone.

From The Washington Post: The first time you see an ElliptiGO, chances are you’ll have the same reaction Stacey Moses did: “That thing is goofy-looking.”

An Ironman triathlete with bum knees and a bad hip – needed a low-impact exercise but wanting to avoid a bike saddle – came up with the device. After about five years of design work and engineering, the first model came out in 2010, and now you can get yours (there are three dealers in the Atlanta-area) for either around $1,800 or $2,500 depending on the model.

The company’s site gives information on how both runners can use the apparatus to train, and how it can be ridden in cycling events. I’ll focus on running.

As a runner, I’ve never enjoyed using a gym elliptical. I never liked treadmills, either, but ellipticals are no fun. I prefer to be outside, and neither an elliptical nor a treadmill provides a good running experience. On an elliptical, I can never find a comfortable stride; the stride on a machine always feels unnatural to me. And there is no way to replicate the outdoor terrain and conditions or the absence of impact (which understandably is what the elliptical is designed to do). If you train indoors for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, you’ll be surprised July 4.

Onto this new moving elliptical. I’ve never been on one. I’ve just seen one in person once. My two qualms with an indoor elliptical remain. Your stride is forced on you based on the machine, and there is no impact followed by your feet coming off the ground. As a disadvantage, the company’s website also says the machine is less efficient than running. As advantages, the company mentions the lack of impact and says you recover quicker – likely a byproduct of the little impact. Also, it is a close substitute to running. But it is not running.

Is this something you would consider for your training? Are you interested in looking goofy and at least giving it a try (I am thinking about it)? And do you consider gym ellipticals and now this as running?

3 comments Add your comment

iRun

May 21st, 2011
8:42 pm

Actually, it looks like a lot of fun…but it’s not running and I would still run. Because iRun and I love running because…well, it’s probably the most essential rigorous physical activity you can do, if you have 2 good legs.

But, I’d take this puppy for a spin with my kid on PATH in Freedom Park and enjoy the ride.

Jeff

May 22nd, 2011
2:41 am

Looks great but for $2500?!!!! maybe $1000…. Way over priced…

Gen Neyland

May 22nd, 2011
9:26 pm

A question hit me as I looked at the photo : Do circus clowns wear helmets when riding unicycles..?