New Electronics 3-29-12

iBike fitness tool puts trainer on your handlebars

LAS VEGAS–A woman is pedaling leisurely on a stationary bike, her thick, dark braid draped delicately over one shoulder as she barely breaks a sweat. Someone whispers that she’s Brazilian, and thus a real, live example of what you get with one of Velocomp’s new workouts, Brazilian Butt. (Using a real, live Brazilian who presumably has said butt sans effort rather defeats the point, but I digress.)

The $269 iBike Powerhouse features workouts such as Brazilian Butt and KidFit. (Credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET) Velocomp, creators of last year’s iBike Dash, unveiled the iBike Powerhouse at CES this week–the Dash’s bigger, badder cousin.

For $269, the handlebar-mounted cycling computer that includes a water- and shock-resistant case and syncs with theiPhone andiPod Touch is all about tailored workouts that remind you when you’re slacking off.

In addition to Brazilian Butt (yes, this six-week fitness plan is all about toning one’s gluteus maximus), the Powerhouse features Weekend Warrior (for those who need to cram it all into the weekends), ExpressFit (for those who don’t mind working harder to get faster results), Heart Healthy (more cardio, less strain), KidFit (replete with safety lessons and rewards for frequent or lengthy rides), and more.

The sensored case is water- and shock-resistant with a universal mount.

After selecting a goal, the rider gears up, plugs an iPhone or iPod into the sensored Powerhouse case, and is guided through the regimen via continuous status reports, notes of encouragement, the rider’s preferred music, and levels of exertion.

Designed by renowned cyclist and coach Hunter Allen, each fitness plan takes anywhere from four to six weeks, with each ride lasting 45 to 90 minutes. Powerhouse is pretty clearly built for starter or leisure cyclists with a little extra spending money; it is essentially teaching riders how to approach a session the way their colorfully spandexed brethren already do.

Specs include the universal mounting case, a wireless cadence sensor, an app that interacts with iBike’s electronics, and the ability to take calls or listen to music throughout the workout. Users can buy additional workouts for $9.99 each.

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