Today we took our bikes to the Marston Forest Centre in Bedfordshire for an afternoon of gentle, flat riding. We needed to hire a bike for Rachel and while we were there I was chatting to the proprietor of the Cycle Hire enterprise. He had an Elliptigo G8 there which we got talking about.
I said I'd caught a climpse of someone riding something like this a while back but hadn't actually taken a good look. As the conversation went on, he kindly offered me the chance to have a go. Naturally I jumped at the chance!
It seemed a little strange first of all but I quickly got the hang of it in terms of getting it to go forward. It seemed a fairly efficient means of transport but one where you immediately feel very high on, not at all like riding a bike.
It had conventional brakes, straight forward in steering and balance. This one was fitted with a Shimano 8 speed hub which although I tried a few gear changes, I couldn't really put it through it's paces in such a short time. The treadles were made from Carbon Fibre, which saved a fair amount of weight but added to the cost. There's a neat stand, just under my right foot in the picture.
Aside from a novelty value, is it any good? I would say, without doubt, yes. Yes as an alternative to running as means of training. The oddest part was the irrational fear of pushing my foot far forward and then hitting the front wheel. From what I can remember, this is impossible. It still allows plenty of scope for cardio exercise and being about in the fresh air without pounding those joints. Could be ideal for a group of runners, where someone needs to rest but wants to go along and become a kind of pace-setter. As for a means of transport, probably. It was hard to judge in the short time I had exactly how useful it would be.
The kit on the Elliptigo G8 is fine but it is difficult to see how any conventional bags could be fitted anywhere, not to mention the awkwardness of fitting mudguards if at all possible.
You can hire the Elliptigo G8 for the time being, I think it is around £9 an hour - best to make contact via the link below and see the comment below as it looks like I made a mistake on the price (sorry!).
Here's a couple of useful links: