ElliptiGO was born from a desire to solve a problem. In 2005, Bryan, a former Marine and Ironman triathlete, lost the ability to run for exercise. Dissatisfied with his options of cycling and using the elliptical trainer, he was surprised to find that there was nothing he could buy that would let him enjoy a low-impact running-like experience outdoors.
Bryan eventually came up with the solution to his problem: the elliptical bicycle; a device that would use a running-like elliptical motion to propel a high-performance outdoor bicycle. Realizing he couldn’t build an elliptical bike himself, he pitched the concept to Brent, a friend who was also an accomplished endurance athlete as well as a mechanical engineer. Brent liked the idea, so they shook hands and formed a partnership to pursue it. By squeezing in time before and after work, Brent was able to create our first elliptical bike prototype, codenamed “Alfa,” by mid-2006. On its maiden voyage, Bryan rode it 20 miles and hit 20 mph. He was sold.
While testing Alfa, they realized they weren’t the first to come up with the idea of combining an elliptical motion and a bicycle. Larry Miller, the inventor of the elliptical trainer, had already obtained a patent on the elliptical bicycle. Brent and Bryan called Larry and secured the exclusive rights to his patents, enabling them to continue pushing forward.
With a successful proof of concept under their belt, Brent and Bryan set their sights on improving the elliptical bike design. Still putting in hours before and after work, Brent created the second prototype, codenamed “Charlie.” Charlie’s successful completion of the Rosarito to Ensenada 50-mile bike ride – and the interest it was generating with the public – inspired Bryan and Brent to quit their jobs in the spring of 2008 and focus on developing elliptical bicycles full-time.
By 2009 they were riding fourth-generation elliptical bike prototypes. Codenamed “Echo,” these prototypes were the fastest and most robust so far. With the Echo prototypes, Brent and Bryan wanted to prove that the elliptical bicycle was a real advance in cycling technology. To do this, they took on The Death Ride, one of the toughest cycling events in the United States. Winding 129-miles across three mountain passes, The Death Ride includes more than 15,000 feet of climbing at altitudes ranging from 5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. Bryan and Brent both finished the event on Echo elliptical bike prototypes within the cutoff time, with Brent finishing in the top half of all entrants. This was the validation then needed to take the elliptical bike into production.
On February 24, 2010, ElliptiGO Inc. began selling the ElliptiGO 8S, the world’s first commercially available elliptical bike. As soon as the production models hit the street, people started pushing the limits of elliptical cycling. In March of 2010, running legend Dean Karnazes rode his model 8S 488 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 5 days and then ran the LA Marathon. A few months later, a customer rode more than 1,700 miles from Canada to Mexico, marking the first cross-country trip on an elliptical bike. On November 13, 2010, the first annual World Championships of Elliptical Cycling was held at Palomar Mountain, and a sport was born.
In 2011, the company expanded the product line to include the 3C, 8C and 11R. Elliptical cycling has continued to grow in popularity both recreationally and with professional athletes. Notably, 2014 Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi began training on an ElliptiGO elliptical bike in 2012 and credits it with helping him run his fastest marathon ever at the age of 38. To honor Meb’s historic win at Boston, ElliptiGO revived the 8S model and sold 100 patriotic-themed “Meb 8S” elliptical bikes last year.
In 2015, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Bryan and Brent’s official handshake that started it all. Today, the ElliptiGO family includes a great group of more than 20 employees, more than 250 retail partners across the U.S., distribution partners in more than 25 countries and more than 13,000 customers in over 50 countries around the world. We still can’t believe how far our company has come in the past 10 years, and we are excited to see where the next decade will take us.