Chicago entrepreneur Joseph Prosnitz was finding it difficult and painful to train for long-distance running as a person living juvenile arthritis. An avid cyclist and hardware enthusiast, he saw a potential solution while volunteering with Rogers Park-based bicycle advocacy nonprofit, The Recyclery: What if any existing bicycle could be turned into a low-impact, stationary workout solution?
After three years of brainstorming and prototyping, Prosnitz launched a Kickstarter campaign for his project, the Up-Ride, an accessory that can turn almost any bicycle into a running or stationary bicycle exercise machine. According to its Kickstarter page, the Up-Ride’s motion conversion mechanism mounts to bicycle pedals, turning the normal circular peddling of biking into elliptical footpaths to simulate running.
“Like me, millions of other aspiring athletes with joint problems or injuries are looking for a low-impact, adaptable, and low-cost workout solutions as alternatives to expensive gym memberships,” said Prosnitz in the project’s Kickstarter video. “My product is easy to store and ergonomically designed to accommodate a variety of people.”
Up-Ride is a “dual capacity” solution for workout needs: One can use it as a stationary bicycle, or stand on it to elliptically stride, thus simulating low-impact running. Users can securely mount the bicycle with a clamp system that captures both pedals and use it like a regular elliptical machine. Stride length can be adjusted with a pin system, and handlebar positions can be adjusted to change the depth or angle for users of all heights to hold on securely.
Furthermore, its adjustable feet are designed for uneven floors and include a roller in the back to securely capture a variety of wheel sizes, as well as a clamping system to securely hold bicycles in place. Prosnitz says that the device is a quarter of the weight of a traditional elliptical machine and takes up a fraction of the footprint, thus ideal for any home setting. He also clarified that the device works with majority of adult bicycles with quick release capability.
Prosnitz is currently working out of Chicago manufacturing incubator mHub and is an alum of Chicago-based entrepreneurship bootcamp Seed613’s 2015 cohort. Up-Ride placed first at DePaul’s undergraduate business competition and has filed non-provisional patents for its bicycle-to-exercise equipment technology.
Interested buyers can back the project with a minimum of $399 to get access to the Up-Ride — Prosnitz says he is selling them at cost. In just over a week since its launch on August 8, the project has earned over $2,200 of its $10,000 goal, and per Kickstarter policies will only be funded if it reaches its goal by September 22.