new model offers a better way to get a full body workout.
The idea of a bike powered by not just your legs, but also your arms is one that has been gaining popularity this year – now there is another company called Varibike making a contribution to the space.
The company’s design features both a traditional leg-powered drivetrain, and a handlebar stem-mounted set of cranks that the rider can turn with their arms. This force is then transmitted from those cranks down to the main drivetrain via a rubber-sheathed chain drive, allowing the rider to use just leg power, arm power, or a combination of both.
A study conducted by the University of New Mexico indicated that a rider’s maximum power output could be increased by over 30 percent when using both their arms and legs, not to mention to give a more well-rounded exercise experience.
For those who need time to adjust to the idea, there is a set of flat handlebars that allow for an upright position – the gear shifter, and brake levers are also located on the handlebars.
The base FR2 model of the Varibike features a 7005/7020 aluminum frame and is priced at €3,999 (US$5,350).
The newer €4,499 ($6,019) FR3 model adds separate freewheels to each arm crank. This allows them to be used not only in the traditional opposing configuration, but also in “Synchron Style,” in which they stay side-by-side to produce a sort of rowing motion. Additionally, riders can just leave them both pointing forward, to serve as a set of aero bars.