Muoverti just unveiled a one-of-a-kind indoor trainer called the TiltBike, which it will be showing at tomorrow's Rouleur Show in London. According to the brand, the TiltBike enables riders to balance and steer, accelerate and brake, and fully engage their entire body in a way that simulates outdoor riding, indoors. The best exercise bike segment may well have become a lot more competitive now, with competitors like Wahoo KICKR Bike and WattBike Atom unable to offer anything like what Muoverti is claiming.
This 'tilting technology' suggests that indoor cycling is inching towards a totally immersive virtual reality, that do everything they can to feel real. With indoor cycling apps such as Zwift and RGT Cycling have created virtual and real-world simulations that make it look like you're actually cycling, but none of them offer the real feeling of actually balancing on a bike. Muoverti says it has set out to change that, with the TiltBike, and it promises a lot of the same features and capabilities of other indoor smart bikes, but with a few extras that give it its own place in the market.
According to Muoverti, it designed an indoor smart bike that mirrors the physics of outdoor cycling and pedalling on the open road. Even the best turbo trainers – especially cheap models and wheel-on designs – can suffer from a ‘choppy’ feeling and loss of inertia in the pedal stroke, so Muoverti's patented system is certainly intriguing.
Muoverti TiltBike: how does it work?
Muoverti's TiltBike uses a dynamic electromagnetic resistance control and physics engine to algorithmically replicate the feeling of physical forces, such as rolling resistance, incline, weight, acceleration, braking, and inertia. We'll wait to get our hands on one to feel what it's actually like, but the technology to create a real-world feel is certainly there.
One of the most unique features of the TiltBike is its lateral frame rotation, combined with self-centring handlebars that the brand says will allow the bike to move freely under the rider and preserve the body’s natural fluidity. Not only is the freedom of movement meant to be more akin to real-life cycling, but it is also claimed to be a more effective workout, as it engages core muscles and recruits balancing reflexes.
Integrated into the shifters are TiltBike's controller and mini joysticks, which apparently allow you to steer within virtual spaces. There are a lot of indoor trainer accessories on the market which, when put together, can do (almost) all of these things. For example you could pair the Elite Suito T with an Elite Sterzo and you can steer while riding on Zwift. However you won't have the lateral frame rotation (i.e. tilt technology) that the TiltBike offers, and neither will you have your own controller and mini-joystick.
It appears that the Muoverti TiltBike takes many of the best trainer accessories, combines them with indoor smart bike technology, and then adds the ability to move and tilt, to create a one-of-a-kind indoor cycling experience.
The brand says that riders can also free-roam interactive games and E-Sports platforms like Zwift, RGT Cycling, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, and Bkool. The Muoverti TiltBike uses Bluetooth to pair with a smartphone and any of the best computers and tablets for indoor cycling, and is also compatible with all the lead training and racing platforms including those listed above and more.
According to Muoverti, the TiltBike's algorithms update 1,000 times per second, and are in constant communication with the resistance control. Power, speed, cadence, left/right balance, pedal smoothness, torque effectiveness, lateral force, and even seated vs standing readings are all claimed to be provided in real time without any need for additional sensors.
It claims the TiltBike has a massive range of adjustability, allowing for geometry from frame sizes 49cm to 64cm. Riders should be able to adjust everything from the saddle, stack, and reach, to the length of the crank arms and the pedals themselves. This follows the trend of competing indoor smart bikes which are designed for riders of all sizes and a range of unique fits.
TiltBikes use magnetic resistance connected to the cranks via a carbon belt drive, which according to Muoverti delivers a smooth and virtually silent riding experience. Gearing and shifting systems are said to be digitally customisable to replicate groupsets of all leading manufacturers, while the entire handlebar setup itself is interchangeable between, road, MTB, or time trial handlebars.
Muoverti says it also uses its patented dynamic control algorithm to simulate physical forces including rolling resistance, incline, weight, acceleration, deceleration, and inertia. The electromagnetic resistance control is then able to run real-time simulations such as drafting, angular wind speed, and rolling resistance, as all these forces are software-controlled.
Launched at a currently unpublished price point, the Muoverti TiltBike seems to be really one-of-a-kind. While it should fit most riders, we're not sure that the target market of the TiltBike is really 'everyone.' It's a big investment for a bike that you can't even take outside, and it's impossible to transport for pre-race warm-ups or hotel rooms. It does, however, bring a new and exciting piece of technology to the indoor smart bike market, and we're curious to try it out.
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