Outdoors

Freecross is made to simulate skiing ... on three wheels

Freecross is made to simulate ...
Wolfgang Haupt shows us the Freecross
Wolfgang Haupt shows us the Freecross
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Wolfgang Haupt shows us the Freecross
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Wolfgang Haupt shows us the Freecross
The Freecross' steering system
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The Freecross' steering system
The Freecross uses your arm and leg motion to deliver power to the rear wheel, via a bicycle-style chain drive
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The Freecross uses your arm and leg motion to deliver power to the rear wheel, via a bicycle-style chain drive
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If you're an avid skier who wants to stay in shape over the summer, then you might use a fitness device along the lines of a Nordic Track. One of the problems with those machines, however, is that you're just stuck in one place while using them – the exact opposite of the freedom that's a big part of skiing. That's why skier Wolfgang Haupt teamed up with Porsche Engineering to create the Freecross.

As you can pretty much gather by the photos, the Freecross uses your arm and leg motion to deliver power to the rear wheel, via a bicycle-style chain drive. It's not unlike the ElliptiGO, although it incorporates the arms and adds a third wheel.

The Freecross uses your arm and leg motion to deliver power to the rear wheel, via a bicycle-style chain drive
The Freecross uses your arm and leg motion to deliver power to the rear wheel, via a bicycle-style chain drive

You steer by leaning to one side or another, sort of as you would when skiing. A Nuvinci N360 continuously variable rear hub transmission allows users to "gear" up or down (on the higher two of the three models), while stopping power is provided by disc brakes in the front wheels and a roller brake in the back.

The arm levers can be adjusted up or down to suit the height of the rider, plus they fold down for easier storage and transport. The weight of a complete rig ranges from 25 kg (55 lb) for the Basic model, to 28 kg (62 lb) for the Pro and upcoming Premium versions.

Haupt had the Freecross on display at Interbike last week, where he told us that although it's been around in Europe for the past few years, it's only been officially released in the US market within the past year. Pricing for it there starts at US$3,999, although a less expensive model is on its way.

You can see it in action, in the following video.

Source: Freecross

FreeCross - the full body ride

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6 comments
6 comments
johanschaller
I really like the idea, as Freecross allows the rider to support their weight on their feet and keeps weight off the wrists. However, I'm not sure how it would feel when travelling down a steep hill, retaining a standing position perpendicular to the "pedals". Wouldn't you tend to lean backwards, away from the oars?
Buzzclick
Good point Johan. Same goes for going uphill.
The video is typically fast-paced and choppy, so you can't really get a handle on how this thing feels, only that it's fun...at airports or parking lots. I also wanted to see the steering mechanism and how it works.
Johnny Pone
Good to see another outdoors skiing experience/workout machine. Have you seen the Trikke? With electric assist motor you can carve turns up and down. I like it because you can really float through turns quickly and smoothly and get that deeper carving sensation. There's a youtube video on dry land ski training that shows it off pretty well...
b_x20852
The StreetStrider (http://www.streetstrider.com) has been on US market for a while with 2 models of similar size and weight. What does Freecross offer that StreetStrider does not? What is a real difference? How is Freecross going to compete with a price about 2 times higher than StreetStrider?
Questions, questions...
MadMaxx
Neat idea but way to bloody expensive!
Bruce H. Anderson
The first thing is thought of was the same thing as b_x20852, the StreetStrider. What the Freecross may offer is the cachet of being associated with Porsche, a NuVinci hub, disk brakes up front ('cuz the speed is like, insane), and the fairing. Not worth twice the price in my mind. Maybe they should have named it the Abzocke Rakete.