Throughout the world, workers struggle with the challenge of a long, boring commute. In fact, 14% of Americans have changed jobs specifically to shorten their commute to and from work. But one Dutch company is attempting to put an end to tedious travel — and help you get a better handle on your health — with their newest product: the Lopifit.
If a scooter, a bicycle, and a treadmill got together and somehow created a love child, that child would be the Lopifit. Fittingly, it gets its name from three different words: “lopan” (Dutch for “walk”), “pi” (to allude to its technical features), and “fit” (to indicate a healthy way of living). It looks like a standing scooter with bicycle wheels; the rider stands on the platform and walks on the treadmill belt to move. It’s essentially a treadmill that allows you to get from point A to point B, but you can travel at bicycling speeds with relatively little effort.
Here’s how it works: as you start walking on the treadmill, sensors set the motorized wheels into motion. Because of its design, the Lopifit can travel up to 17 miles per hour. The user can choose whether to take a slow stroll or speed walk; the terrain, gear choice, and user’s speed determine how fast the Lopifit travels. The bike needs only one charge to travel a distance of up to 50 miles.
Dutch designer Bruin Bergmeester came up with the idea while at, of all places, the gym. Bored with his current workout routine, he posed a question to himself: how could one use a treadmill outdoors? His answer was to put a treadmill on wheels — a new twist on the ubiquitous bicycle.
The use of bicycles is slowly becoming more popular throughout the United States. In fact, 33% of Americans stated in a national survey that they ride bicycles for recreational purposes. But bicycling tends to be even more common in other countries and is often used as a main mode of transportation. Because of that, the makers of Lopifit actually had trouble keeping up with the demand. Despite its substantial price tag — one of these babies will set you back over $2,000 — the company is struggling to fulfill the amount of orders they’ve received.
However, the company is now expanding its distribution to several countries, including the U.S. and Mexico. Since the concept’s initial creation four years ago, the concept of alternative transportation and going green has gained traction in the United States. The company’s Kickstarter campaign from earlier this year noted that they “want to change the way people move” and that they believe that “everyone can benefit from a greener and cleaner way of transportation that simultaneously improves your health.”
Although the Lopifit probably won’t replace the bicycle, it does provide an intriguing alternative for biking enthusiasts and health-conscious members of the workforce. It may not get you to work much faster in the morning, but at least you can combine your workout with your commute.
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