Trixter Xdream Virtual Indoor Bike: We Tried ItPosted on Jan 11th 2011 12:00PM by Holly St. Lifer
Holly St. Lifer
driving playlist can't keep my eyes off the clock down each boring second. And
watching TV is out since I know research shows you burn fewer calories if you're glued to the
tube. I love running or biking outside where I'm distracted by weather, birds, cars, people
and other dynamic surroundings.
Then I heard about the new Trixter Xdream, the first virtual indoor bike. I took my baby
boomer boyfriend with me to the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers so we could both check it out. You'll never find him on a Stairmaster; he also prefers the outdoors and makes it a point to bike anywhere he needs to go that's less than two miles.
It's billed as "the first fitness machine that simulates the outdoor riding experience," and
except for the absence of wind in my face, this is accurate. The connection is between your
avatar on the screen and your actual movement on the bike. You feel gears, brakes,
handlebars, pedals, cranks and seat sensors. My mind and body became totally immersed in the
ride and 30 minutes flew by.
The Xdream first showed up in Boston University's gym in July. Chelsea Piers premiered it in New York City in October, and this year, it's hitting YMCAs in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania, including Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Glastonbury and Miami. You'll also find it in many Gold's, Anytime and Sportsclub LA gyms.
Pluses: Where do I start? In lab tests it burned 55 percent more calories than a standard indoor bike. You're also using your upper body big time. The trails are interval based, the most effective form of fat and calorie burning. You can race against other members or against yourself from an earlier race (ghost avatar) to see how much you've improved. There are 80 trails to win, but you have to win the section in order to progress to a new one. I love this thing.
Minuses: None. Boyfriend Billy just hopped on and took off, but I needed about 15 minutes to
get my upper body into the act so I could master the steering. It takes some finessing. But I would definitely not consider it a minus.
Takeaway: Unlike any other cardio machine, the Xdream is really fun. Chelsea Piers' trainer
Mike Hernandez says members who hate cardio are lining up to ride this bike. You get an
incredible, sweat-drenched workout while totally focused on staying on course and racing
against either yourself or other riders.