There’s a new way to get better exercise on your bike, without taking any longer to ride. I’d venture that for most of us, exercise is an added bonus to the fun that cycling delivers, but if getting fit in the least amount of time (or just working all the muscle groups) is your goal, the TwiCycle is an interesting machine. This is not the first bike we’ve seen that you can pedal with your legs or your arms, but it does bring some interesting features to the table…
Quite simply, the TwiCycle is a bicycle that can be pedaled as normal, or it can be pedaled with your arms, or both. Unlike some of the other leg/arm pedaling bicycles we’ve seen, the TwiCycle’s hand cranks propel the front wheel rather than the rear. That eliminates a bunch of extra chain and complexity from running the drive all the way to the rear of the bike. In theory, that should also provide better traction on loose surfaces when pedaling at both ends, but the real goal here seems to be the ability to work out your upper body while riding.
After floating around in cyberspace for some time, the TwiCycle has gone through a number of revisions to get to the current version which is up for crowdfunding through indiegogo. Previously, the bike had sort of a bull horn handlebar with flat bar grips and nowhere to rest your chest. TwiCycle’s website then shows that same bike with an adjustable chest rest. Somewhere along the line, the bars transitioned to what is shown above with in-line handles and brake levers which rotate as you ‘pedal.’ There’s also a new chest rest which presumably makes it easier to support your upper body as you pedal away at both ends. The new design looks like it could be more comfortable for both sexes thanks to the t-shaped design, which would be important since the TwiCycle is considered unisex. Fortunately, there’s also an optional guard available for the front chainring since it’s basically in your face when you’re in the aero position.
The mechanics of the thing have led to some interesting work arounds like downtube shifter mounted to the steerer so they don’t have to go around and around. The handlebars are constructed of multiple sections that rotate at the stem and at the grip.
The chain from the front cranks then drives a rear hub mounted to a special fork which has provisions for a rear derailleur. Even though the bike is shown with a double chainring, there does not appear to be a front derailleur (in the rear), so both gear sets appear to be 1x, which makes sense since there are only two shifters.
In what seems to be a customary move these days, the TwiCycle is launching via indiegogo with prices starting at $899 plus shipping. Retail is expected to run about $1999, and delivery is expected for May 2017.