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Electrically assisted programmable fitness bicycle.

Fitness the easy way
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This bicycle is based on a conventional electrically assisted bicycle, capable of about 15 km/h on a level road, but with a more powerful motor and larger battery.

The difference is in the control unit, which incorporates a system for slowly and subtly decreasing the amount of electrical assistance over time.

When the rider first uses the bike, it provides 100% of the tractive effort, but will obviously slow down somewhat on up gradients. A green light indicates that the bike is traveling at "target" speed; to keep it on, the rider has to pedal up hills - using the gears if necessary - but gets a free ride on the flat.

However, over a period of weeks, the control system very subtly reduces the amount of assist provided by the motor. So the rider has to pedal ever so slightly harder on gradients to keep the green light on. A chestband monitors the pulse rate which is recorded by the control unit.

Eventually, the rider will need to pedal slightly to keep the green light on when traveling on level roads.

As time goes on, they will pedal more and more, but since they will gradually become fitter, they won't notice just how much more effort they are inputting.

Eventually, they won't actually need the electric assist at all.

By this means, even very unfit and overweight individuals can experience a low impact exercise regime, and also cover short distances quickly and efficiently.

8th of 7, Jul 08 2011

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       modern excersize bikes have a heartrate monitor tied into the handlebars. If the assist was directly tied to the heartrate it would make for a good run without ever overdoing it (increasing assist to reduce effort as heartrate rises so that it tops off at a safe level).
AutoMcDonough, Jul 08 2011
  

       What's a "hill"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2011
  

       // tied into the handlebars //   

       All very well for a fixed exercise bike, but like as not any cyclist with even a minimal amount of brain is going to wear gloves, "just in case".
8th of 7, Jul 09 2011
  

       I like the concept, but perhaps as an alternative, rather than decreasing the assist, the target speed (green light) could be slowly increased, that way, you get to work faster.
cblunds, Jul 12 2011
  

       Yes, that could be an option too. But the calibration curve would be different; air resistance (drag) increases with the square of velocity.   

       Working at a more or less constant velocity, equating to a typical attainable road speed in the rider's normal environment, is simpler.
8th of 7, Jul 12 2011
  
      
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