Inside Ride Super Trainer Lets You Ride Gradients Like in the Pro Tour

Inside Ride Super Trainer
Inside Ride Super Trainer: a $40,000
custom-built bicycle treadmill
for when you can't make it to Alpe d'Huez.
[ Photo: BCI Manufacturing ]

Earlier today Gizmodo pointed out a Super Trainer bicycle treadmill that one of their readers claimed was "twelve feet long, three feet wide, and something like twenty-five hundred pounds".

Sometimes I wonder why folks submit stories like that to sites that don't get fitness gadgets.

I did a little research and found that the Inside Ride Super Trainer has 80 precision aluminum rollers that can handle a rider travelling at 30 miles per hour. The manufacturer has also built enough computer power into it to have a dynamic speed control mechanism that adjusts the speed of the treadmill to the speed of the cyclist.

Update: I forgot to mention that all of us gadget blogs are late on this story. VeloNews reported on the first Super Trainer when it was installed at the University of Colorado Human Performance Lab. Kudos to VeloNews, they wrote about this back in June 2004.

The neatest part of reading about the Inside Ride Super Trainer was realizing that we could use the programmable slope and course profiles feature to simulate some of the legendary ascents of the UCI Pro Cycling Tour such as Alpe d'Huez.

Regular readers of Operation Gadget probably already know that Kathleen and I visited Alpe d'Huez for Stage 10 of the 2001 Tour de France. According to LanceArmstrong.com, Alpe d'Huez is 14 kilometers long with an average gradient of 8 percent and a maximum of 14 percent. This is well within the limits of the Super Trainer.

I'd love to try riding a bike on a Super Trainer. Maybe they'll get one of them at the Cadence Performance Cycling Center in Philadelphia.