Comments

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/004737.php#comments

Comments

#1 | Mon, 10-11-10 06:00
Carl Beeth

What is the advantage of the footbike over a bicycle? I can’t see any.

#2 | Mon, 10-11-10 06:41
Oliver Hulland

Carl,

As the author pointed out, some of the advantages are that it’s significantly smaller and lighter than a traditional bicycle, it’s easier to disassemble for travel, there is little or no grease due to the lack of chain and gears (though there might be some on or near the wheel), and it produces a different kind of workout.

With that being said, it is pretty difficult to reinvent a better bicycle as it remains one of the best inventions of all time. That doesn’t mean interesting alternatives like the Footbike shouldn’t be considered.

— Oliver

#3 | Mon, 10-11-10 07:10
Peter

That video hardly sells it! Basically it seems to be fine as long as you’re on a long, flat, straight stretch of road!

#4 | Mon, 10-11-10 07:34
rudy

What about hills?

#5 | Mon, 10-11-10 07:51
Oliver Hulland

Rudy,

This reviewof the trail version of the Footbike includes a short video of the reviewer riding down a gravelly hill and it seems to hold up well.

From what I have read online it seems that getting up a hill is similar in effort to riding on a bike. I imagine it uses a completely different set of muscles which may explain why many reviewers claim that the workout from is more intense.

The founder of Footbike said that he developed it as an alternative for those who couldn’t run any longer, and it certainly seems like it adds an element of gliding to a running like form.

— oliver h

#6 | Mon, 10-11-10 07:59
Rob

Seems to me that youre exercising just one leg… Are you supposed to switch periodically?

#7 | Mon, 10-11-10 08:33
ED

Many footbikes to be seen in Amish country Pa.

#8 | Mon, 10-11-10 08:50
Justin

While I appreciate it’s affordability, it really doesn’t offer many advantages over bikes. It’s cheap, but so are millions of bikes. It’s fairly light, but most road bikes are under 20 pounds, especially single-speed and track bikes. If you want to justify buying a nicer (and hence lighter weight) bicycle, think about all of the gas/parking costs/wear and tear that you can save on your car…and note that on an actual bicycle, you can climb hills and haul panniers and trailers with your kids/groceries, etc., over 5, 10, 30 miles relatively easily.
I like the idea of parking far away from work and ‘riding’ the remaining distance, but again that is also easily done by bicycle (internal hubs, single-speeds, quick-release wheels, bike racks on the back or top of your car, etc.). There are dozens of ways to achieve this using a bicycle…
This does look like fun, I just don’t see how it offers any real advantages over a large percentage of the bicycles in the world.

#9 | Mon, 10-11-10 09:55
Nick

Maybe this will become the next hipster fad, when they get tired of their fixed gear bikes. I don’t think it’s useful for anything else.

#10 | Mon, 10-11-10 10:20
twoeightnine

That just seems… awkward. The number of times he “stumbled” was telling. If the French champion can’t ride a straight line how can I?

#11 | Mon, 10-11-10 11:06
Peter

It should come with its own personal injury lawyer. Just imagining kicking the rear wheel or stepping on your own feet while trying to switch feet on the platform.

#12 | Mon, 10-11-10 11:20
Mitch

Just for reference, I tried to visit the Footbike website, and my browser (Chrome) told me not to go there because I may receive malware, and my antivirus (Avast) went off and blocked a trojan from running.

I don’t know if that was a fluke or what, but I would be careful with that website.
Perhaps someone who’s gone there already without problems could email the company and tell them.

#13 | Mon, 10-11-10 12:57
Tom

I have had one for about 3 years. It is supposed to be great for recovering for knee injuries, but I got it because it looked so cool. But, I can’t take my dogs for a run, like I can using a bike and I can’t carry a cold beverage in one hand like I can on a bike. This thing absolutely requires 2 hands, all the time. Kind of a novelty, but I would say it is a “cooltool”

#14 | Mon, 10-11-10 01:05
Geoff

I have owned a Kickbike for about 10 years, and they’re remarkable in a number of ways. They’re fun, easy, and great for cross-training — it’s good to mix up workouts, and this works a whole lot of muscle groups that are tough to get at all in one workout. I much prefer it to jogging because it has a lot less impact and a lot more ground can be covered, and downhills provide a chance to catch your breath until the bike comes back down to kicking speed. Hill climbs are like spinning up a grade in a low gear on a bicycle. The low center of gravity makes for completely different ride than a traditional bicycle.

I have a friend in New York City who commutes on a Kickbike. He’s a lawyer and I’ve seen him in a suit, kicking down city bike lanes on his way to court dates. I use mine to go the 1/2 mile or so from the house to the gym, and it’s quick & easy. It’s also downhill on the way back home, so it’s a nice easy ride after a gym workout. ;^) There’s a county park several miles from where I live, so I drive to the park and kick a 3-mile circuit 3-4 times for a nice change of pace to regular workouts.

It also definitely gets strange looks from folks nearby as you kick past. It looks like a bike from far away, but as you get closer the looks get more puzzled…

Switching legs is necessary, and quite easy to do once you learn the technique. It may look awkward, but it’s easy. I’ve never felt in danger of kicking the back wheel or tripping myself up. You definitely need 2 hands, that’s true.

The Kickbike website has a lot of great information on how to use one: http://kickbikeamerica.com/mrktng/instruct.html

There is also a write-up on why to use a Kickbike: http://kickbikeamerica.com/mrktng/why.html

I don’t know if Foot Bike and Kickbike are related or if they’re competitors, but there is also a kickbikeusa.com website, for what that’s worth…

#15 | Mon, 10-11-10 01:36
James

I see that someone might want one of these for the workout, but I can’t understand why anyone would choose this thing over a bike for transportation. Can you put a rack and fenders on it? If it rains, you’re going to get soaked with grimy road water, and you can only carry things on your back. It seems more like a toy than a tool to me.

#16 | Mon, 10-11-10 02:13
Tom

I have had one for about 3 years. It is supposed to help with knee injuries, but I got mine just because it looked cool. You cannot run your dog with this, although you can on a bike, and you cannot hold a cold beverage in your hand using a kickbike like you can on a bike. These things require two hand, all the time, or you will bust your butt.

#17 | Mon, 10-11-10 02:18
rudy

Sounds more like a Cool Toy than a Cool Tool.

#18 | Mon, 10-11-10 05:10
James A

This is strictly less functional than a device of equivalent size and weight (a bicycle), and looks like it requires more effort most of the time.

I would add my vote to the “not cool, not a good tool” count.

#19 | Mon, 10-11-10 05:20
Vanderleun

Sadly, we seem to be (for the moment anyway) coming to the end of Cool Tools that are indeed Tools and Cool. The recent reachout to BB seemed to signal that and the latest three to six month run certainly underscores it. Maybe you just have to go quiet every so often and wait until the well fills of its own accord.

No blame. It’s been a good run.

#20 | Mon, 10-11-10 06:29
Oliver Hulland

Vanderleun,

Nothing has changed in the way we select tools. This site is as good as the submissions it receives. And I say that as a compliment. One of the hopes we had with Boing Boing was that it would increase the number of submissions. This hasn’t happened yet.

I hope you, and everyone who reads this, understand that I read all the comments here, and I take your words and advice and criticism and complaints very seriously. Bearing that in mind, if I could ask one thing from you it would be to please submit something. It doesn’t have to be perfectly written. Or unheard of. But it should be a tool you have used that would stand up to the same intense scrutiny you subject every other tool on this website to. If you can do that then the well need never run dry.

— oliver h

#21 | Mon, 10-11-10 10:04
Adam

Lots of stop energy from the bicyclists.

I don’t have one of these buts its intriguing as it does look like great exercise.

One of the reasons it looks interesting compared to a bike is that it requires a little something called “supporting your body weight” to the list of things you need to do.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/is-bicycling-bad-for-your-bones/

#22 | Mon, 10-11-10 10:11
Eurotrash

Peter wrote: “It should come with its own personal injury lawyer. Just imagining kicking the rear wheel or stepping on your own feet while trying to switch feet on the platform.”

So, you’re so dumb to step on your own feet or kick the rear wheel and you want to sue the company that makes these footbikes? You MUST be American.

#23 | Mon, 10-11-10 10:14
John

This website is really going down the tubes. It use to have nothing but useful tool suggestions. Now so many of them make zero sense.

#24 | Tue, 10-12-10 06:09
Geoff

@John — Every submission can’t be the coolest thing to every reader. As Oliver said above, submit something that fits your definition of a cool tool. This is partially reader-supported in terms of content, and can be as solid a resource as we the community want it to be, if we would just contribute an idea or 2. If 10% of the readers submitted 1 idea, I bet we would have a lot of really interesting posts.

#25 | Tue, 10-12-10 06:39
William

These comment pages are really going down the tubes. You used to get great addenda, cheaper sourcing and good advice, now all I read is whining. No longer a cool tool…

#26 | Tue, 10-12-10 08:06
c-dub

Claiming that something isn’t useful to you, or doesn’t apply to your interests, is not a valid criticism of any tool. It is merely a description of your personal tastes and circumstances, which have nothing to do with the tool itself. Do I need or want a kickbike myself? No: like many others here, I’m happy with my bicycles. But I can easily imagine that this would be useful to someone with back problems, someone looking to change up their workouts, or someone who just prefers simplicity – so I have no basis to tell anyone else that it isn’t a “Cool Tool.”

Useful criticism addresses the qualities of the tool itself, i.e. how well does it perform the task for which it is designed? This kickbike was designed as an alternative to the bicycle, with less mechanical complexity and a different mode of operation. It seems to succeed pretty well on those counts. That the poster was able to average 16.3mph over 26.2 miles is a testament to its concept and design; while that wouldn’t be terribly impressive on a good bicycle, it’s much faster than I would have thought possible on such a simple machine.

#27 | Tue, 10-12-10 08:37
Robyn

I’ve been thinking about trying the ElliptiGO (http://www.elliptigo.com) – looks very interesting. Is not a tool but seems more cool than the footbike!

#28 | Wed, 10-13-10 08:32
JEFF

I have one of these footbikes and I dig it for a few reasons just mentioned (it is a Cool Tool for me!). I use it for everything under 3 miles that I used to ride my bike for. Quick trips to the store, the neighborhood, and now to run the dogs. Most importantly I use it to chase my kids around the block. I used to struggle with bike selection when it meant a ride with the family. Now I grab my scooter and come back with a workout and a blast doing it. Uphills I walk or run, but I am getting stronger and can power up some stuff around here. Like I tell my bike buddies…..it is just a scooter.

#29 | Fri, 10-15-10 03:56
ted

This is the stupidest thing I have seen in a long time.

#30 | Fri, 10-15-10 12:52
JK

FYI, I just received a malware attack (numps[.]cz[.]cc) when visiting footbikeusa.com. I attempted to track down a phone number to notify the company, but didn’t see one that I could find without risking another attack.

#31 | Sun, 10-17-10 04:31
ghpacific

I think I’d rather learn to ride a unicycle. Heard someone is riding one across the USA to promote its use. That would help develop coordination and balance as well as be easy to fit in a car trunk.

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