Who could have imagined that a treadmill on wheels would one day become a thing?!? Lopifit is an unusual means of transportation that allows you to power an electric bicycle by walking on a treadmill. It’s actually way cooler than it sounds.
Lopifit founder Bruin Bergmeester says it all started when he asked himself the question “How can I use a treadmill outdoor?” Why anyone would asked themselves that, I have no idea, but the point is that this guy spent the next few years figuring out a way to make it work. He eventually came up with an functional design, added an electric engine, and the Lopifit was born. It’s similar to an electric bicycle in that the motor only engages when the rider puts power in as well. Only while typical e-bikes give pedal assist, the Lopifit senses when you walk on the treadmill and uses the motor to turn a drive chain at the rear of the treadmill, helping you reach a top speed of 17 miles per hour.
To use the Lopifit, simply turn on the battery and use your foot to slide the treadmill backwards and activate the motor. Then get on and enjoy the ride! If you need speed, just walk on the treadmill, and if you want to coast, all you have to do is stay still and admire the view. To stop, you have two hand breaks at your disposal. The right lever disengages the motor assist and activates a rear disc brake, while the left one stops the treadmill itself, so you can go from motor assist to coasting. It sounds and actually looks simple enough to use, but most of those who have tried it say that it takes some getting used to.
The Lopifit first hit the streets in 2014 and, unsurprisingly, became an instant hit. That was actually quite challenging for the company, because it started getting inquiries and calls for orders, but it was nowhere near ready for mass production. The unique treadmill bicycle became available this year, and Lopifit is struggling to keep up with demand, despite the hefty price tag of €1,995 ($2,115).
But despite having a very loyal fan-base of so-called Lopifitters, the ingenious means of transportation also has naysayers who simply consider the concept stupid and unnecessary. They basically believe that if you’re going to walk, you might as well do it the old fashioned way. But the Lopifit does have the unique advantage of helping you “walk” really fast without breaking a sweat, or walking at cycling speed, if you will.
Lopifit will probably never overtake the good ol’ bicycle in terms of popularity, but it’s impacting the biking culture as we know it. And if you think it’s cool now, just wait until you see the new and improved version. The Dutch company told Lost at E Minor that they are currently in talks with Tesla and several universities “to raise the product to the next level.”
Photos: Lopifit U.S.