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FitRider bike puts those lazy arms to use


July 21, 2014

The FitRider lets cyclists propel themselves using both leg and arm power

The FitRider lets cyclists propel themselves using both leg and arm power

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Much as cycling is a good source of exercise for the lower body and the core, it admittedly doesn't do much for the upper body. We've seen a number of attempts to address this shortcoming, mostly in the form of bikes that are pedaled with both the legs and the arms. The FitRider takes a somewhat different approach, looking somewhat like a cross between a regular bicycle and a NordicTrack.

Instead of traditional handlebars, the FitRider has two vertical ski pole-like levers that extend down to the pedals, and which pivot in the middle where they meet the aluminum frame. Each one is connected to its respective pedal via a steel rod, allowing arm power applied to the levers to augment the leg power that's applied to the pedals.

If the rider's arms get tired, they can disconnect those rods and secure them to an anchoring point on the frame, locking the levers in a more traditional non-pivoting configuration. They can still turn from side to side, however, to facilitate steering.

In its current form, the FitRider also features a suspension fork, 700C wheels, and a 14-speed drivetrain.

Its creators, Bill Capek and Abraham Mathew, are now in the process of raising production funds on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$1,800 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The estimated retail price is $2,199.

You can see the bike in action, in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Nearly 10 years I have used my arm power for cycling, and never I go back to a normal bicycle. As a normal guy I can go 200 km per day. Never I did it before. Instead of 90 rpm I go with 60 rpm and my Hand- Tret- Velo supports the legs at the right moment. Don`t think about the price. You will save so much time to go in a gym. Be open for the future.


It doesn't look like you can add propulsion with your arms. That would require pushing with one hand while pulling on the other - which would turn the steering!

Tony Morris

LOL. For that kind of money you can get a carbon road bike, a decent mountain bike, or a couple years gym membership. And that's not even factoring in how ridiculous you'd look on this bike.

Cody Blank

UM... they don't say how you even steer the thing, but even if you have to twist the handlebars (which is what it looks like), this thing will be dangerous as hell.


This type of bikes gets 'invented' about once a year. (http://www.gizmag.com/all-limb-bicycling-raxibo/23160/ and http://www.gizmag.com/varibike-arm-leg-powered-bicycle/28811/ for example) It has been proven by its predecessors, though, that a rider can exhaust all the energy his metabolism is able to produce by using the legs alone. The arms will not add to the cycling peformance.

If there is an effect, then it is the excercise alone. The tradeoff is saftey, it appears, and a big loss in versatility and simplicity, which is a key factor for a bicycle. Excercising the upper body could also be accomplished easier and in a more balanced manner by other means.

I have not much confidence in the Kickstarter campaign.


Just another stupid way to get yourself killed.


wow the 1000th time this has been ''invented'' stupid heavy expensive adding arms doesnt; make you any faster which is why you never see these stupid things on the road



surely one can find a better way to ''workout'' the ''lazy arms'' than this awful kludge-bike



As usual, way too expensive. Cheaper to buy a separate cross trainer. @Tony Morris, it looks like it can be steered. Did you watch the video?

If your arms get tired, just let the handlebars move by themselves. Why have to disconnect them?


This is a bad idea badly implemented; no thanks to Gizmag for informing me - this is a waste of my time. This is marginally better: http://www.rowbike.com/



Thank you! I had a serious chuckle after clicking the link you provided. The Rowbike is funny rather than the just sad FitRider.

Jon Smith

I built an arm-power "attachment" many years ago. It used a torque-tube running along the lower frame, coupled to a swash-plate that transmitted power into the left crank arm. The handle bars oscillated perpendicular to the steering head, so A) movement opposed the forward pedal nicely...like pumping your arms when sprinting, and B) steering was not significantly affected by motive force. Handle bar stroke was 8 inches, but all frame sway was eliminated when the drive system was engaged. Actual power gain was in the order of 20% for brief periods. The Handle bar and torque-tube were mounted to a neck that incorporated a transmission so that power could be engaged "on the fly" any time. The bike was normal when you wanted normal. My son and I still ride the prototype on occasion. Not to blow circular smoke trails, but my effort was the best I've seen...and I've seen many...though it still did not take enough interest to be seriously commercialized.


Congratulations. Although falling short of the commendable goal of targeting every muscle in the body in one complete exercise machine cum transportation, this invention represents hope for all those lesser muscle groups like the eye brow flexors, jaw clenchers, larynx, perineal muscles, and numerous sphincters, so keep up the good work. Can't wait to see what the final product looks like. Money is no object because the ability to out clench my friends is priceless. I'm sure you will sell at least one.


Steering is accomplished by leaning into the curve - something a cyclist already does whether or not they realize it.

This type of propulsion may 'look odd', but I don't really care how I look when cycling. I have a rod hip to ankle in my leg which means I will never be able to ride a conventional bicycle again. A nasty bike wreck on an older Raleigh Professional Mark 4. messed that knee joint in a big way. I do miss cycling so now 'd have a second alternative to go along with a hand powered.

A hand-cranked bicycle isn't cheap with the least expensive starting at just under $1000, with an average price around $2300.

Noel K Frothingham
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