This one is for those conspiracy theorists worried about e-bikes taking over cycling. What if it was a treadmill powered e-bike? The Lopifit claims to be the first walking bike, although we’ve actually been reporting on them since at least 2009 and taking the Bike Forest Treadmill Bike off some sweet jumps. But all kidding aside the Lopifit is real and combines an electric motor assist with a treadmill-powered bike. The idea behind it was less about creating a bike than getting a bit of walking exercise, but not being stuck inside. Take a closer look and judge for yourself after the fold…
“How can I use the treadmill outdoors?” That was the spark of an idea from Dutch founder Bruin Bergmeester. And while most would have left it at that, he spent the next few years figuring out how to make it actually work. Add in the electric assist and now the Lopifit gets you around on something of a bike with no more effort than a walk in the park.
The bike, if we should call it that, responds to walking input to power it. It effectively works like a typical e-bike in that the motor only engages and powers forward movement when the rider puts power in as well. But while e-bikes work to give pedal-assist, this one senses when you are walking and moving the treadmill, and it uses a motor to give power assist to turn a drive chain at the rear of the treadmill that spins a standard internally geared rear hub.
To get the thing in motion, just switch on the battery, put one foot on the treadmill and slide it back, and you are off. To engage the power assist you simply walk on the treadmill; to coast simply stop walking; and to stop just use the hand brakes. The right lever stops the motor assist and activates a rear disc brake. The left lever simply tops the treadmill itself. Going downhill or just to freewheel, you can stop the treadmill only and coast.
The power assist is provided by a Quantum Motor inline engaging the chain. The Lopifit then uses a Shimano Nexus 3 speed transmission to give some speed control, up to around a 25km/hr upper limit. Its battery gives it a 55km range, and also powers integrated LED lighting front and rear. The steel-framed bike thing is 2.3m long, and even includes a built-in luggage rack (Wonder if it might be a scary idea to paint it yellow and ride it around Amsterdam looking for Backsies?!)
Too bad; to quote the Lopifit website: “Unfortunately you cannot perform a moonwalk with the Lopifit.” The 1900€ Lopifit is available in five colors, directlu from their website.