How do you learn mountain biking, BMX racing, or motocross riding? You get on a bike and hit the off-road trails. How do you get better at them? You get on the same bike and ride on another trail. That is, pretty much, what you’re supposed to do when you want to get better at riding up ledges, flying off drops, and ripping through the roughest trails. The RipRow wants to change that.
An exercise machine, it’s designed to help mountain bike riders, BMX racers, and motocross riders develop their form, improve their skills, and gain better confidence on the trail, all while doing all their training from the comfort of their homes. That way, you can keep working on your riding skills even when you’re stuck at home for any reason whatsoever.
The RipRow consists of an elevated platform with an uneven base, a frame resembling a bicycle on top of it, and a pair of movable pedals on the floor. To use, climb on top of the platform, position yourself on the frame and pedals the way you would on a bike, and start your workout. Unlike stationary bikes, the primary movement isn’t focused on the pedals. Instead, it’s on the handlebars and the frame, which you can push and pull to simulate the off-road riding experience. The handlebars, by the way, can be rotated just like in a real bicycle, although it can also be locked to make the movements even more difficult. Since the bottom of the platform is uneven, it’s designed to rock from side-to-side while you move the frame, requiring you to use your legs and core to maintain balance.
According to the outfit, the way you position your foot on the pedals will depend on what sport you’re training for. Specifically, mountain bike and BMX riders should position their feet in alternating positions (one forward and one backward), while motocross riders should plant them such that they line up to simulate riding a motorcycle.
The RipRow’s frame, by the way, is fitted with sealed hydraulic damper that provide the necessary resistance. It comes with 12 different levels of resistance that you can switch to on the fly, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced riders with plenty of upper body strength. According to the product website, low resistance settings are ideal for endurance training while higher ones should help folks working on building strength. Out of the box, the machine will supposedly accommodate around 90 percent of adults, although larger individuals can easily make it fit their frame by simply adjusting the seat post and the handlebars.
Construction is 5052 aluminum, with a build that, according to the outfit, is “dramatically over-engineered.” The frame can be detached from the base, by the way, allowing you to stash it away in a closet or load it in the car for bringing elsewhere, although this feels more like the kind of equipment that you’ll leave in a corner of the room assembled similar to a treadmill.