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A Profitable Alternative to the Bicycle

Watch out, bikers and bladers. The elliptical trainer has zipped out of the gym and onto the streets.

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This story appears in the August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As fitness equipment goes, the world's first elliptical bicycle is pretty darned impressive. It's got the sleek curves of a high-end road bike, the clean lines of a Razor scooter, a pair of shiny carbon-fiber elliptical pedals, a smooth hub-and-crank stride mechanism and a steering column that collapses for easy storage. Plus, it's not awkward using it (think Smith machine): Just hop on and start stepping.

"We knew we were onto something when we showed a prototype and people were telling us to make that exact model," says Bryan Pate, one of the ElliptiGo inventors. It was Pate's bad knees that started the whole thing rolling: In 2005, he had to stop running and found that neither elliptical trainers nor cycling were satisfying alternatives. "I wanted something that would emulate the feel of running outdoors without beating up my knees," Pate says. It didn't exist, so he figured he'd have to create it himself.

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