When you walk into a gym, you see the same gear you saw 10 years ago, with little or no innovation. Sure, some equipment now features music or some kind of TV but there is little that would really make the sedentary crew of CrunchGear want to leave their comfy chairs. Until now: Expresso Fitness has released an innovative virtual reality-enhanced fitness bike, the S2. The fitness bike features a 17-inch LCD screen, heart rate sensors, steering mechanisms, a shifter and a Pentium PC with built-in TV tuner and video card. Ready for your cardio workout?
At first glance, the S2 looks like a normal exercise bike with a LCD monitor attached at the top, but once you get on it, all that changes. When you first start the bike up, you are prompted to login with a name and password. The bike actually stores personal information of each of its users, and uploads it to the Expresso Fitness website. After you’ve longed in, the software kicks in, and you are prompted to pick one of the many routes the software offers you. The screen will display the basic layout of the route, its difficulty and some other basic information.
After you’ve finished the route, the bike will store information like your heart rate, how many calories you burned, how fast you rode the track and so on. When there are numerous S2 fitness bikes, users can actually race against each other. If you’re riding solo, once you complete a route and go back to it, there will be a ghost rider describing your path from your last race, so you can compete against yourself.
The bike is very user friendly when it comes to actually working out on it. The handlebars feel sturdy enough to grip tightly, the pedals are solid and there’s a shifting stick in front of you that loosens (and tightens) the pedals up in case you want to change your pace. You can upload your information to any other S2 fitness bike anywhere you are since Expresso Fitness manages all of your information online.
The S2 provides users with a friendly, innovative and fun riding experience. Overall, there were no real problems I found with the S2. The routes look great, the bike itself feels solid and the multiplayer/gaming aspects of the bike make the workout feel less like a workout and more like fun. The S2 is a great addition to any gym, and if you happen to come across one, don’t be afraid to give it a go.