The Treadmill Bike: Dare to Destroy Your Dignity

Walk on a moving belt while it’s rolling along? Yes, it’s called a treadmill bike and it’s one of the dumbest gadgets you’ll ever see. It’s sort of a bicycle all right -- it’s just missing a seat, the pedals, a chain drive, a water bottle holder .. and your sanity.

A White Knuckled “Walk” Down the Street

The bicycle treadmill works like this: the rider hangs onto the handlebars and walks on a small tread belt which turns the rear wheel and propels you forward.

For safety, you are provided with a handbrake to stop the front wheel -- not that the bike actually works up any speed without a terrific amount of running on the treadmill belt. But there’s nothing to prevent you from losing your dignity if you are seen in public on this thing.

What Were These Guys Smoking?

It comes from Bicycle Forest, a company that designs weird contraptions such as: the 4-passenger quadricycle, the rowing bike, and the couch bike popular with the granola crowds which can be found attending weekend human-powered Kinetics races.

But a half-bike, half-treadmill? Why does everything have to be amalgamated into one bicycle treadmill gadget? Granted, the company has produced these contraptions with tongue firmly planted in cheek and they know how ridiculous it is. Watch their “promotional” video and you’ll soon be in on the joke.

At least, we hope you’ll pick up on it.

Slower Than Running … or Walking

What’s really amusing about the noisy treadmill bike is that there’s no real speed to the thing; you move slower while running on the belt than you actually would walking on the ground at your regular pace!

Then consider that the bicycle treadmill is heavy, it doesn’t go off-road or uphill very well, it doesn’t turn or steer easily, and it’s a traffic hazard. (“Traffic hazard,” as in, drivers may be laughing so hard at the sight of you that they might drive off the road.)

You Got Punk’d!

If you really plan to invest in one of these things, to the tune of $2,250, you need your head examined. Buy a bicycle, or a good pair of running shoes, or send your hard earned $2,250 to that Nigerian Email Scam guy, whatever, but skip the treadmill bike. At least until they come out with the TV model.

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