Bristow Beat Test Rides ElliptiGO from The Running Store

| May 5, 2014 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz

The Running Store at Virginia Gateway in Gainesville is the independently owned running store known for fitting running shoes to their customer’s gait, its state of the art running apparel, gear and expert advice for runners.

Couple rides the ElliptiGO through a residential neighborhood.

However, what is new to The Running Store is something most people have never seen before, an on-road elliptical machine called the ElliptiGO.

For those who have never seen the ElliptiGO, it is not unfamiliar. Everyone has come across an elliptical machine, which is one of the most popular exercise machines in every health club and home gym.

The ElliptiGO is based on the premise that the elliptical machine is the ideal machine to simulate walking and running with little to no impact on the knees, joints, hip and back. The ElliptiGO takes that concept “to go,” as in ‘on the road.’

According to The Running Store owner and founder Ian Connor, the ElliptiGO is what would happen if an elliptical machine and a bicycle combined. It combines the motion of an elliptical machine with the wheels, tires, handlebars and chains of a bicycle.

Connor discovered the ElliptiGO out of need. As an avid runner and racer since the age of 12, he did not know where to turn when two surgeries in 2013 complicated his running. Like most people, he looked to the internet for a solution. What he found was the ElliptiGO.

“I had hip surgery and ankle surgery within the span of 12 months,” said Connor. “I looked online for something that would allow me to run but with less impact.”

Upon finding the ElliptiGO, he did a little research, then immediately purchased one for himself. Instead of running 3 to 5 miles a day and enduring the impact, he was now covering between 10 and 15 miles, and “I was not as beat up,” he said.

Connor said there is less recovery time with an ElliptiGO ride, so some days he will go for a ride early in the morning and in the late afternoon. He enjoyed riding it so much that he called the owner of the company and asked if he could sell the machines in his store.

Couple rides ElliptiGOs together in the park.

Wanting to tell greater Western Prince William about the ElliptiGO, he invited this reporter out to The Running Store to test drive one from his store. Fortunately for him, I was up for an adventure.

The ElliptiGO was easy to get the hang of. I enjoyed the freedom to cover more ground than I could cover running and the natural elliptical motion was easier on my joints than pedaling a bicycle in that awkward sitting position. I thought I would tire and want to sit down, but I didn’t. When I think about it, this makes sense, because I was active. I’ve never wanted to sit at the gym, nor during a run. When I tired, I just slowed my pace.

There was a bit of a learning curve getting on and off the machine and stopping to wait for street traffic, but by the end of my first trip, I felt I had mastered it pretty well. Connor said it becomes second nature, and reminded me that it was easier than learning to ride a bike.

The actual ride was fun in so many ways. In a way, I just enjoyed being out in nature almost keeping up with traffic. I also enjoyed the motion, which was easy, but also got my heart racing.

Unlike my runs, I also realized I needed much less recovery. I probably did not get as much as an aerobics workout as I would have running, nor did I get as sweaty, but I worked my core, and burned more calories than I would have biking, even though I find biking to be more strenuous.

Connor said he has become addicted to riding his ElliptiGO. He has now progressed to taking 25-mile trips on a weekday and even 70-mile trips on the weekends. On those trips, he covers much more ground that he ever covered running, and for someone who never related to cycling, it has been a nice change of pace for him.

I had to agree. I was also impressed by how sturdy the ElliptiGO was. It has a wider base than a bicycle; it was easy to see how well made it was. The frame is all aluminum so it is strong without being heavy. It also adjusts to accommodate different heights and strides of its riders.

The ElliptiGO has a higher price tag than most bicycles (between $2,000 to $4,000), however the quality of each ElliptiGO is comparable to bicycles of similar cost. Additionally, there are different models depending on how many speeds the consumer wants.

Connor realizes the price tag might discourage potential buyers, so he has worked with a local bank to provide financing when people purchase the ElliptiGO at The Running Store. Now, people can buy the ElliptiGO paying around $50 a month. It is comparable to a full-access health club membership or purchasing an elliptical machine for your home.

Another man and woman ride ElliptiGOs on a sidewalk.

Connor does not know of anywhere else in Northern Virginia where one can purchase the ElliptiGO. Additionally, he allows interested costumers to test drive the non-motorized vehicle around the neighborhood just as I had a chance to do.

The ElliptiGO can be used indoors as well; one would just need to purchase a stationary bike stand. This means it will not sit idle during the colder months, but can still provide a great fun workout. Connor said his wife used it all winter while she was pregnant with their first child. She found it the most convenient way to exercise.

Now, if you want to use it as transportation, it’s really cost effective. I could probably take the ElliptiGO to most of my appointments around town, and enjoy the trip. It’s the most practical vehicle for Bike to Work Day on May 16.

When we returned from my test drive, I felt as though I had been sold. I came home buzzing about the future of on-road transportations. I had ideas for the future of the product as well.

“Let me know when they make an off-road model. I want to take it on the trails,” I told Connor.

ElliptiGO offers different models with different speeds and sizes and different colors. The company does not make the ElliptiGO in sizes for children yet, but that is sure to come in time.

Connor thinks he will get me to purchase an ElliptiGO yet. I expect to see a bunch of us riding up and down Linton Hall Road very shortly!

If you want to watch a review of the Elliptical, there is a link to a YouTube video from Geek Beat (no affiliation.)

The Running Store is located at 7343 Atlas Walk Way in Gainesville. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their phone number is 703-753-4470.

 

Photos used in this article were provided by ElliptiGO via The Running Store. 

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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