Bionic Runner Hybrid Bicycle
The Ultimate Training Advantage
Training with a Bionic Runner® gives you a biomechanical advantage over just running. For the first time, you can split running fitness training from running form training. This opens up entirely new training possibilities that have never been available before. The advantage of training with a Bionic Runner comes from its non-impact closed kinetic chain, which guides your feet along the footpath of a mid-foot running gait — the running style common amongst trained endurance runners. It eliminates impact fatigue and prevents joint over extension, the two most common causes of joint, tendon and muscle related strain injuries. By training with the Bionic Runner you can push yourself harder than you normally would running. You’ll increase fitness, strength and endurance, so when you do run, you can focus on improving your stride efficiency and running economy.
Training with the Bionic Runner® is intense. You can expect to reach similar heart rates to running. And, because it has gears, it also provides dynamic resistance, so you can more accurately maintain your target heart rate zones during training. This is particularly important for endurance athletes, where event specific preparation is all about maintaining an even pace at your lactate threshold (normally 92% HRmax). With the Bionic Runner, you can expect to spend up to 80% of your training time within your target zone, so you can maximise the benefit from your quality training sessions.
The Bionic Runner® is the first non-impact exercise device to match the 60 percent swing and 40 percent stance phase timing characteristic of running. This sets the Bionic Runner apart from cross trainers. The goal of running training is to improve running specific fitness and stride economy. As the body responds to the stress of running exercise, training causes physiological adaptations to increase the oxidation of fuel by running muscles and to deal with the carbon dioxide and lactic acid produced. By specifically recruiting and stressing the same muscles as running, the Bionic Runner’s 60:40 swing vs stance phase timing causes similar physiological adaptations to improve running specific fitness
The closed kinetic chain of the Bionic Runner® gradually pre-loads the leg muscles at initial contact, so there is none of the muscular skeletal jarring associated with running. By removing these passive ground reaction forces from the running gait, the Bionic Runner eliminates impact fatigue. This means you can train for longer earlier in the season — only limited by your fitness level — not the ability of your legs to withstand the relentless pounding of your feet on the pavement. This also makes the Bionic Runner particularly effective for recovery sessions where its large range of movement in combination with adequate hydration and proper nutrition helps to repair muscle micro-tears and prevent the adhesions that lead to muscle soreness.
The Bionic Runner folds quickly, so you can easily take it in your car to where you like to run, or store it under your desk when you use it to commute to work.
It’s engineered to withstand the abuse of daily use. All the parts are forged or extruded, machined to exacting tolerances, heat treated for strength, anodised for protection and bonded together for precision.
Built on Science
We only make claims about our products that are backed by research data. We actively conduct scientific research and publish our results in peer reviewed sports science journals.
Frame Quick Release (QR) folding monocoque, bonded 6061 T6 tubing with hammer forged lugs
Bondline 901 epoxy, 0.02 to 0.2mm micro-flutes with stepped transition fit lugs & failsafe retaining screws
Forks 26″ disc only, heat treated 4130 with 1 1/4″ steerer
Headset Run4 – 50mm OD semi integrated with sealed bearings
Front hub Run4 – alloy QR disc
Rear hub Sturmey Archer – X-RK8(W) internal 8 speed with 23T sprocket
Shifter Sturmey Archer – TSS82 revo shifter
Brake Levers Run4 – 2 finger, forged alloy
Brakes Front and rear mechanical disc
Rotors 160mm stainless steel
Grips Ergonomic dual compound
Handlebar 25.4mm clamp, 22.2mm grip dia, Width: 660mm, alloy
Stem Folding 380mm fixed length, drawn alloy with forged QR hinge
Crankset 175mm 2 piece alloy with 52T chainring and chain guard
BB-Set 68mm 118mm external with sealed bearings
Stirrups Single piece hammer forged & precision machined 6061 T6 alloy
Pedals Run4 – folding L:280mm, W:110mm with magnetic lock & integrated toe clips
Chain 1/2″ x 1/8″ single speed with zinc coating
Rims 406 narrow ‘V’ double wall alloy
Spokes 14G stainless steel
Tyres 32-406 road, low pressure support with thicker sidewall for increased resistance
Dimensions Wheelbase: 1300mm, Length: 1770mm, Height: 1250mm
Folded Length: 940mm, Height: 730mm, Width: 210mm
Online Price $1,495
Review from GizMag
Bionic Runner offers a low-impact take on traditional running
By Ben Coxworth - December 4, 2014
It may look like it's made for cycling without sitting down, but the Bionic Runner is designed more for running without receiving impact injuries
Running may be a great source of exercise, but it isn't exactly a low-impact workout – in fact, many runners are injured by the repeating jarring of their feet against the ground. That's why Australian startup Run4 developed the Bionic Runner. It looks like a seatless bicycle and is designed to replicate the motion of running, but without the "hard landing" at the bottom of every stride.
When first seeing the Bionic Runner, many people may think that it's more or less the same thing as the ElliptiGO – which is essentially a two-wheeled elliptical trainer. According to Run4 co-founder Dr. Henry Thomas, however, there's a key difference between the two.
"We discovered that running was a four stage process of leap, recovery, impact and drive," he says. "The existing cross trainers were all elliptical in nature or step machines. None captured the motion a runner's leg makes when they move."
As a result, the Bionic Runner was designed to guide users through a mid-foot running gait, allowing them to engage the same muscles that they would when running on the ground – while also protecting their joints from over-exertion. Additionally, it provides a bit of lift at the "toe-off" of every stride, plus users are able to increase or decrease resistance by shifting it into higher or lower gears.
The device itself has a folding aluminum frame for transport in the back of a car, along with features such as dual mechanical disc brakes and an 8-speed Strumey Archer rear hub transmission. It weighs 18 kg (39.7 lb).
Thomas and co-founder Steve Cranitch are now raising production funds for the Bionic Runner, on Kickstarter. A pledge of AUD$890 (about US$745) will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The planned regular price is AUD$1,490 ($1,250).
Image by Run4