OK, now take two minutes and watch that video. This wild new Cardigo bike concept aims to give you a full body workout while most bikes work only your legs. To do that the Cardigo uses a unique telescoping toptube that lets you push & pull the bar away from you as you pedal along. Then, that energy you use to push the bar away drives a reciprocating/ratcheting chain drive system that connects down to the primary pedal drivetrain (in a movement said to feel like doing a pushup.)

Cardigo Bike, telescoping whole body workout fitness bike

Sure moving the bars forward up to 10″ as you are riding is going to do some wacky things to how the bike handles. Plus, pushing the bar to power the secondary drive system and then pulling back against the resistance of whatever friction there is will surely make it a bit difficult to keep the bike tracking perfectly straight. (You can see a bit of wobbly riding in the video.) But it looks like the intention is to ride it like that on wider paths & roads. Then when you want to ride it like a normal bike, you can lock the toptube in place and the front end will remain fixed.

Cardigo bike telescoping upper body workout fitness bike extended

Not a lot of detail about the Cardigo is available now. But the people behind the concept have told us that this early working prototype was mostly a proof of concept model. They’ve already made significant progress on the bike itself over the last few months, and are continuing to develop and refine the idea with the goal of crowdfunding through Kickstarter around the end of next summer.

Cardigo bike telescoping upper body workout fitness bike compressed

It’s a pretty wild idea, and we’ll let you know more when we can get updates on Cardigo’s progress.



  1. Carl on

    This is the sort of contraption that tends to be bought, ridden once or twice, then stuck in the garage to become a spider nest because it is too complicated to work well.

    Also, why is it product videos like this almost ALWAYS feature a rider with a terrible seat height? This was painful to watch!

  2. gringo on

    I just wanted to let you all know how bad I feel about the 3 minutes of my life that I wasted ‘learning’ about this rat trap.

  3. Shafty on

    Cycling is already an effective exercise. There’s not much reason to increase a bike’s complexity, especially if it reduces the average intensity of the existing exercise. If you’re exercising aerobically, you’ve already realized a limitation, and recruiting more muscle groups won’t eliminate it. If the goal is exercise, and you somehow managed to reduce your heart rate, by distributing a smaller load to more muscle groups, you’ve defeated the entire point of doing so.

    It might help distribute the potential muscle toning effects, and provide some minimal upper body gains. If you already have a bike, ride it! And if you don’t, spend what you would on this thing, on something better suited to medium or high intensity riding. Or running shoes! Or both!

    • Cory Benson on

      Haha, I wouldn’t object to heading down to Mallorca (I’m siding with the Catalans at least in a little personal democratic independence solidarity) to do some spring upper body training. But we might have to wait a bit longer.

  4. Allan on

    Not sure the point. The motion required to push and pull the bars in and out only will put stress on the lower and upper back. You aren’t doing anything resembling a “push up” at all, the majority of the motion occurs in the back with the way this thing works. Add in the inherent instability of a telescoping bar, and this seems like a disaster waiting to happen. (Notice they didn’t show anyone actually TURNING the bike…) This seems like a terrible idea for the typical (non-cyclist) person who might buy this contraption. The cardiovascular benefits of riding a “normal” bike are plenty good enough, it seems utterly pointless to try and turn this into some kind of moving rowing machine. BR comment sections are usually filled with vitriol and snark, but come on, does anyone think this is a good idea? It’s an accident on wheels.

    • Jerrold on

      The ultimate bicycle, designed by non-cyclists.

      It’ll look great next to my step-dad’s LandRider auto-shift comfort bike.

    • bart on

      I think it is a terrible idea, it is going to be heavy, and we all know people don’t like to ride heavy bikes – I also think it is a recall waiting to happen.

  5. Psycholist on

    Ya’ll are missing the point. There’s some real ingenuity here. They managed to add a chainring to the non-drive side of a ONE PIECE CRANK! Mind f*&%’n blown.

    • FFM on

      Jokes or serious? The existing threads there are left-hand so a driving cog on that side would self-tighten like a freewheel. What that does for the BB bearings I couldn’t say… I think what they’ve really stumbled upon here is a bike that is a fork and shock away from being the elusive commuter/enduro rig customers keep asking for.

  6. Champs on

    Why be constrained to only using your lower body when you can have your bike give you a whole body workout?

    The question has been asked before and will be again. The answer remains the same.


COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.