Footbike

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41 Responses to “Footbike”

  1. Anonymous says:

    must be pretty fit to average this thing at 16mph over 25 miles, so i imagine he could probably average at least 23/24 over the same distance on a real bike. he could comfortably take a third off his journey to work and with panniers or a rack, carry things he might need.

    would probably go some way to redressing the difference in muscle mass he must have between right and left leg too.

    • Anonymous says:

      I ride a footbike and actually the technique involves switching legs. You kick with the right leg for several yards and then you pivot your feet, balance with your right leg and kick with your left. I am a runner and a bicyclist also. I find that the scooter, when using the racing technique, gives me a full body work-out, more-so than running or biking. It provides core and balance training and has improved my endurance and strength for all sports. Plus the scooter is fun, like being a kid again. I challenge anyone who thinks being an adult means you have to scoff at anything that seems child-like to actually try the sport and learn a little bit about its challenges and benefits.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Really, do you think this won’t spray mud back at you? You’ll need a fender to prevent that. In fact, this will probably kick the mud into your hair.

    Do you time how long you push with one foot and then with the other? Because left to my own devices, I end up letting my right foot ride until my left foot was paralyzed.

    I don’t mind a scooter and loved them when I was a child. I can support more forms of transit that get people out of cars and relating better to a world of walking and cycling, except Segway, you poseurs. As an added bonus, this low price opens up cheapy, healthy transportation to more people.

    Once you attach a motor, you can get out of the bike lane.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have one of these footbikes and I dig it for a few reasons just mentioned. I use it for everything under 3 miles that I used to ride my bike for. Quick trips to the store, the neighborhood, and now to run the dogs. Most importantly I use it to chase my kids around the block. I used to struggle with bike selection when it meant a ride with the family. Now I grab my scooter and come back with a workout and a blast doing it. Uphills I walk or run, but I am getting stronger and can power up some stuff around here. Like I tell my bike buddies…..it is just a scooter.

  4. SeattleGuy says:

    Too bad the picture for the Express is of a guitar pedal. Kevin, did you order from Amazon originally?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Any ideas where we can buy them in the UK? Thanks!

  6. neurolux says:

    Compared to a bike, it’s easy on the groin too.

  7. winkybb says:

    Strikes me as all a bit hipster-cool and not really the best solution for anything. A proper bike is more functional and efficient. I bike-commute every day here in Vancouver. In these parts, there really aren’t any days when it isn’t possible or practical, with the exception of the very-few icy days each winter (none last winter, though). The whole “drive to within a mile” thing is really just plain dumb.

  8. Anonymous says:

    #37 finally said it. I have ridden bicycles nearly everyday since 1971. Introduce me to a ‘cyclist’ of either sex who has not suffered from numbness where you don’t want to be numb?

    Pick a saddle, pick a route. If you have never been numb, you have never been on a bike.

    My investment in cycling equipment and clothing over the last 28 years exceeds six figures. The only thing that has stayed constant is that a bike is a bike, and a numb dick is still a numb dick.

    Footbike–1
    Numbdick–O

  9. Anonymous says:

    I do triathlons and multisport events, and I wish I had a footbike when I first started training. Once I had incorporated the Footbike into my training, my cycling and running both improved significantly. My total training time was a lot less and my results improved. And the best thing was, that I no longer suffered the impact injuries from running, or the sore back and shortening of the hamstring resulting from cycling.

    My personal opinion is that, before any cyclist knocks the footbike, they should seriously try kicking as part of their training for just 3 weeks, and they will notice a major improvement in their cycling. I still continue to do both.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Grease?

    I haven’t had a bicycle that required any greasing for more then a decade, I thought that was a thing of the past for utility bikes.

    My current bicycle is made in aluminium too, a really cheap one made in Chine. I would estimate its weight as somewhat less then 14 pounds. The most compelling thing about aluminium (combined with “real” stainless steel parts where necessary) is not its weight, it is that you can leave the bicycle outside all the time without it getting any corrosion (I live in Sweden, it is said to have the most rust inducing climate of any country, bikes and cars imported to Sweden, that is not made especially for the Swedish market, always has to have all their bolts replaced, this is said to increase the price of bicycles in Sweden with 10% compared to bikes rust proofed for other countries).

    I would have no use for a bike you can’t pack at least two weeks of groceries on when I go shopping and I never know beforehand when I decide to go shopping after work. So I don’t think a footbike would be of any interest to me, other then as a toy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I commute to work by bicycle, scooter, or car. The bike and the scooter are both fun but the scooter is more like cross-country skiing to work.

    re: the last mile
    If the last mile of the commute to work by car involves waiting at five traffic lights with cars backed up to get into the parking garage, then that could easily account for 10 to 15 minutes of time. So instead, park about a mile away in an almost empty parking lot, grab the scooter out of the back of the car, jump on the bike path and kick into the office in about five to six minutes. Happiness.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I normally ride my bicycle, but I am intrigued by this for one reason – spending much time on a bicycle does very bad things to your posture (even riding “correctly”) if you’re at all susceptible to muscular shortening.

    Upright posture, much less hip flexion, emphasis on posterior chain as opposed to quads, zero pressure on perineum, greater emphasis on hip stabilization, not sure what the shoulder posture looks like – I’m not sure all of this pans out, but there’s a lot of potential here for people who are worried about shortened hip flexors, anterior pelvic tilt, weak hamstrings/glutes, lordotic lumbar spine, kyphotic thoracic spine, internally rotated/protracted shoulders.

    As someone on the inflexible end of the spectrum, I don’t think it should be written off so quickly as frivolity.

  13. Duffong says:

    The thing about footbikes is that they’re like propeller bow ties… cool when you’re a kid.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As a kickscooterist/footbiker of seven years experience, the greatest benefit I have derived is that of freedom from a number of bicycling limitations. I’m not perched precariously over an arcane, complicated mechanism, and therefore not hampered by same in the act of dismounting or getting back up onto the saddle. I am not subject to the excessive protections that cyclists require whilst riding in cold weather. My toes are never numb and my upper body is constantly active, generating necessary body heat. I am never concerned about pedestrians in my path, as I am very nearly one myself. My speed is never such that I need to make an emergency maneuver or panic stop. Unlike countless cyclists I observe, I stop safely at intersections and maintain good relations with the motoring public.

    Due to the heavy volume of auto traffic in my locale, I do not rely on my footbike to commute or run errands. I would do so if conditions permitted. The act of kicking and gliding is so natural and instinctive, that the bicycle would be a grudging last resort. I prefer to enjoy footbiking as recreation and the excellent health benefits that it offers. After seven years, my enthusiasm for this unique activity has not diminished; I enjoy it more now than I ever did.

  15. Anonymous says:

    These go lots faster when you ride them wearing those alsoverycoolbutuseless vibram toe-shoes.

  16. uebertragung says:

    How do you ollie kickflip on such a board?

  17. dculberson says:

    I am in no way demeaning the scooter, but have a serious question. In terms of use for transportation, what advantage does this have over a bicycle? Is it just the different type of workout it gives? If you’re looking to reduce the effort of your commute, would a bicycle be easier?

    On a more snarky note: Do you wear suspenders when riding this? ;-)

    • bob d says:

      The footbike would be a very different form of exercise (closer to walking, I imagine), but I think pretty clearly a more strenuous one (especially if you’re trying to maintain a decent speed) compared to the bicycle.

      I’ve always considered suspenders, waistcoat and a top hat required wear for any form of bicycles, myself.

  18. Tdawwg says:

    It’s a lot lighter than a bike and doesn’t have any of the associated grease from a chain, gears, or pedals. Because of this it easily allows for multi-modal transportation: on the days I do drive to work in my car, I park over a mile from my office and take the scooter in from there.

    Damn those bicycles and their monomodal transportation, namely, themselves. How dare they be so ruthlessly efficient (and greasily so) in transporting themselves and their operators that they be so inconvenient to stuff into my petroleum-guzzling automobile!

    • dculberson says:

      Sometimes, it’s just not convenient to bicycle (or other exposed transport) all the way to work. On those days, it would be nice to have the last bit of travel be as convenient as possible.

      • Tdawwg says:

        Of course, but then one has other modes of transportation. I’m having a hard time seeing the appeal of driving a car then whipping out one of these bad boys for a five-minute scoot. And I find I’m more than generally resistant to the whole “it’s like a bike, but not as efficient, but wow, it’s smaller and lighter!” arguments made above, and made by other motorized bicycle–scooter–whatever advocates. For a 100-year-plus design a bicycle is hard to beat for efficiency, pleasure, health, cost, etc., so you’ll pardon my gentle scoffing at the slight woo detected above.

        • mellowknees says:

          Well, I can see one big advantage of a scooter/footbike over a traditional bicycle: no giant brown mudline up the crack of your butt resulting from mud splashing up the back tire and on to your pants.

          Also, it would be easier to ride this contraption while wearing a skirt, if you so desired.

          Also also, I think it would be fun. Why should children get to have all the fun toys?

  19. PrettyBoyTim says:

    It looks fun – not really a replacement for a bike, but probably good for shorter distances and especially if you fancy more of a workout than a bike will give.

    I’d use one for going to work except that it doesn’t look much fun for hills.

  20. gerta says:

    Footbikes are fine. If you enjoy them, that’s great, and personal preference is as good a reason as any. However, the various “advantages” over bicycles indicated in the original post and the comments aren’t particularly compelling/accurate. Many single speeds and even certain (though pricey) multi-geared bikes come in at right around the same weight, and it’s no magic trick taking off a bike’s front wheel or, even better, packing up a folding bike. As for posture, upright riding position is easily achieved with a hybrid or appropriately adjusted road or mountain bike, and I’d wager a recumbent is even easier on the back than a footbike.

    Again, nothing wrong with the footbike — it affords a certain kind of workout and simplicity that seems appealing to certain folks and applications. But when it comes to utility and efficiency, I’ll hold on to my bikes. It just bugs me a bit when folks complain about what’s “wrong” with bikes when they seem to frame their perspective around fancy road racing bikes that are engineered for (surprise!) road racing rather than utility.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you weren’t referencing my post, but as the Anon of #22, I feel I should point out that nearly everything I said applies to enough time spent in non-road-racing, upright bicycles. The issue is that you do a ton of work with your legs while never even reaching neutral position at the hips, much less hip extension.

    • Anonymous says:

      An advantage of a Footbike that is being over look, is the stop and go factor. If you live and commute in a low traffic area, a bicycle is by far much more “efficient”. However if you live, for example, in NYC, where you have to deal with endless traffic lights and Taxi doors, you need to deal with the constant “on and off the saddle” routine while on a bicycle.On a Footbike, you are always in the position to put your foot down and to push off quickly, thus making for a safer commute.

  21. SKR says:

    This type of scooter is quite popular with the urban mushing crowd.
    http://www.urbanmushing.com/photogallery.htm

  22. fancyfeast says:

    I saw something similar to this with an in-hub motor in the rear and an battery pack in the front by the knees. Anyone seen this or was it a homebrew?

  23. chgoliz says:

    It’s a scooter with bigger wheels and handlebars.

    I’ve seen enough people in business clothes on regular scooters to wonder why something bigger for the last mile or so would be more advantageous.

    Using it for urban mushing, on the other hand, I can grok.

  24. Anonymous says:

    BoingBoing and our website is ringing off of the hook. Some cool dialogue above talking about—a scooter?
    Here it is. This performance design was built as a low-impact running machine. It is truly a great cross training tool if you know anything about cross-country skiing, sprinting in the sand, or inline skate training.
    If you are a runner, incorporate a Footbike into your training and beat yourself up less. If you are a cyclist, do the same.
    We first found the Footbike after looking for a way to make a 6 mile loop around our house as difficult as possible. That 45mins was how long I had to plan my preferred workout.
    Since then a big addiction to the sport and a place to get your very own Footbike and see for yourself.

    Thanks to BoingBoing for sending us all of these cool people to talk too.
    FootbikeUSA

  25. Anonymous says:

    i was _just_ about to buy a Xootr when I read all the reviews of them online — ‘noisy’ was a huge complaint. I don’t want no noisy piece of junk.

    So, if I get a scooter now, it’ll probably be a KnowPed kick scooter.

  26. TheMadLibrarian says:

    IMO, 2-3 miles would be the cutoff point where cycling would be more effective as transportation. After that, if you have to be at work in a particular timeframe, you need more efficient wheels. The same issues regarding using a bike would apply to using a scooter, especially if you expect to arrive in appropriate shape to go directly to work (not everyone can nip in for a quick shower before beginning their workday). The sliding scale for distance vs. transportation would be: car > bicycle > scooter > feet.

  27. trevcaru says:

    Bad for the hips, like a skateboard is.

  28. Anonymous says:

    It’s a lot lighter than a bike and doesn’t have any of the associated grease from a chain, gears, or pedals.

    Protip: It is not necessary (nor advisable!) to grease bicycle pedals. Contrary to popular belief, being able to grip the pedals securely with one’s feet is helpful while riding!

    Not only that, but with today’s modern derailleur technology, the rider needn’t ever grip the chain, even to change gears!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I usually ride my pony to work, but I might take a look at one of these. It’d save me loads of tickets from all of that pony poop….

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