Capti stationary bike is the latest to mix cycling with gaming
Compared to riding a real bicycle outdoors, riding an indoor stationary bike can be pretty boring. The Capti exercise bike is the most recent to address that problem, by adding games and virtual rides to the mix.
Manufactured by California-based Expresso Fitness, the Capti can be utilized as a plain ol' stationary bike, with its handlebars locked and its pedalling resistance staying at one setting. If riders want to spice things up a bit, though, they can access an online library of virtual outdoor rides, pedalling-based games, heart rate training programs and virtual studio sessions, all via the setup's 24-inch, Wi-Fi-connected, 1080p touchscreen display.
Once the Capti is in this interactive mode, turning its handlebars will result in on-screen turns in the virtual environments, plus the rider's current real-world pedalling speed will be reflected in that of their avatar. Additionally, when climbs or descents occur in those environments, the pedalling resistance of the real-world bike will change accordingly – "shifting gears" by manually changing the magnetic resistance on the bike's flywheel will help riders to climb those hills, or to descend them faster.
Sensors within the rig monitor factors such as the handlebar angle, pedalling cadence and flywheel resistance 50 times per second, adapting both the onscreen action and the bike itself as needed. All of the rides and games are claimed to feature "3D video-game-level graphics," and were created utilizing Epic Games' Unreal Engine.
The Capti bike has a steel and anodized aluminum frame, weighs 175 lb (79 kg) and can support riders weighing up to 350 lb (159 kg). It can be preordered now for an introductory price of US$2,495, with delivery expected to take place in December – a monthly subscription fee of $34 is also required. The eventual full retail price will be $3,495.
Prospective buyers might also want to check out the similar Playpulse One, which is ultimately planned to sell for $1,999. Of course, there's also the Zwift platform, which lets indoor cyclists participate in online virtual group rides with other users.