By Andrew Liszewski
It might look pretty run-of-the-mill as far as stationary bikes go. But there’s a reason ProForm’s ‘Tour De France’ has been named the official training bike of the actual race. And it’s not just because of the yellow highlights that match the famed yellow jersey. Thanks to its Google Maps-powered iFit Live Technology, you can virtually ride on any road on the planet. Including the official Tour De France route, which is one of the 24 pre-mapped and pre-programmed courses it comes with. (You can create your own too.)
But watching yourself following a virtual route on a tiny scrolling map isn’t that interesting. Or challenging. So the ‘Tour De France’ will automatically incline and decline to match the contours of the route you’re taking, making it feel like you’re riding up and down on the actual mapped terrain. Still not enough for you? The friction on the rear wheel is also automatically controlled to recreate your body’s wind resistance. When you climb on the bike and adjust it for your body, its onboard computers will calculate your height and weight, and apply the same amount of resistance you’d experience from the wind out on the open road.
It’s also got built-in wifi for syncing your performance results to iFit.com, is compatible with Polar’s chest-based pulse monitoring systems and even includes the necessary hookups for connecting and listening to your iPod. All for just $1,299. And let’s just hope you can avoid looking like this after a particularly gruelling ride.