TiltBike promises a fresh take on tilting stationary bikes
Tilting stationary bikes may be nothing all that new, but the TiltBike is claimed to take the idea further. It's said to not only simulate the feel of leaning into turns, but also the sensations of accelerating, climbing and braking.
Developed by London-based firm Muoverti (Italian for "keep moving"), the device is compatible with online interactive cycling platforms such as Zwift, RGT and Trainer Road.
As the rider goes through virtual turns in the onscreen environment, they can lean the frame of their real-world TiltBike into those turns accordingly – they can also simply push the frame from side to side as they pedal hard on the straightaways. An elastomer-based system creates tension as they do so, pulling the frame back upright as they come out of turns.
Additionally, turning the TiltBike's handlebars causes the user's onscreen avatar to make turns within its surroundings. In order to keep things realistic, the bars have a self-centering mechanism, so they don't feel like they're just flopping back and forth.
One thousand times per second, integrated sensors detect if the rider brakes, pedals harder, leans to either side, gets up out of the saddle, or otherwise changes how they're cycling. This data, along with factors such as the presence of virtual climbs or descents, is used to continuously change the resistance of the TiltBike's electromagnetic flywheel, further making the riding experience more realistic.
Users can additionally program in different virtual gear ratios, cassettes and groupsets, in order to match the feel of those made by top-end manufacturers. They can also swap in different real-world handlebars, cranks, pedals and saddles, plus they can even go back and forth between different system-specific frames, such as those of time trial or mountain bikes.
And as an added bonus, a joystick control on the bars lets users navigate onscreen menus, or play cycling-based video games.
The TiltBike is presently in pre-production prototype form. We're told that it should be commercially available before the end of next year, with pricing expected to be "in line with the top models from leading competitors."
In the meantime, it can be seen in action in the following video.