June 28, 2005 Combining many of the key features of a scooter, a bicycle and a stair-step exercise machine, the staircycle has just won Yahoo! Search Marketing’s Think Big contest and a bundle of publicity not to mention ten million free adverts on the Yahoo! Network. Accordingly, if you hate the idea of going nowhere while you’re exercising and prefer stepping to cycling, this’ll be just what you’ve been looking for. Priced at US$795 the StairCyle can be used indoors or outdoors as it comes with an additional mounting device to turn it into a stationary stepper machine at an extra US$200 – there’s also a childrens version at US$595.
There are a few other advantages over the traditional bicycle which make the Staircycle particularly relevant to some people, particularly those with disabilities - the Staircycle has completely independent pedals that automatically adjust to your step size and it’s even possible to use one leg at a time. The Staircycle also has no seat, so it is ridden standing like a scooter and there might be other benefits compared to a bicycle if you have a problem with bicycle seats and the discomfort they sometimes cause. Designed for anatomically correct exercise posture, the rider experiences no uncomfortable neck, back, wrist or pelvic pain that sometimes occurs with traditional bicycles.
It’s really no more complex than that as far as the rider is concerned though the design of the staircycle has clearly been thought through meticulously and the Shimano internal rear hub transmission is much smoother and less troublesome than the common derailleur gears.
The adult StairCyle has 8 gears and the machine comes equipped with a computer to track miles and time for objective exercise programs.
Sir Richard Branson, world renowned entrepreneur, Chairman and founder of the Virgin Group of companies, served as the official contest judge and selected StairCycle from the finalists chosen by Yahoo! Search Marketing. The StairCycle was selected from among nearly eight thousand entries as the winner.
"I was impressed by the entries we received, many describing truly innovative products and sound business practices," said Sir Richard Branson. "At the end of the day, it was StairCycle Innovations and Craig Ridenhour who caught my attention for their inventive product and entrepreneurial spirit. It's obvious that Craig has been thinking big for quite some time, and I am eager to watch StairCycle Innovations reach great success."
"I spent seven years developing the StairCycle to offer people a new and fun way to stay fit, but never had the resources to effectively market it," said Craig Ridenhour, CEO of Staircycle Innovations. "Having the support of Sir Richard Branson and Yahoo's team of experts is a dream come true for me. They've really helped me learn how to use online advertising and search marketing to take my business into the big time."View gallery - 7 images