About this project
For those of you who missed our Kickstarter campaign, pre-order your Bionic Runner and find out more on our website www.run4.com
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Also featured on Gizmag; Gadetify; PocketLint; Running4Women; RunLovers; womensrunning.com.au; crowdfundinsider; SlashGear; Runner's World; Sydney Morning Herald; Women's Running; Run Oregon Blog; Dezeen.com; Gizmag; Sockheight; Hornet Juice; Nxt Insight; Recover Your Stride; Quality Tech
- The only running fitness trainer to replicate the natural motion of running
- Stacks the injury odds in your favour by eliminating the risk of injury from impact fatigue and over extension
- Pushes your heart rate to within beats of its maximum
- Allows you to train harder from day one
- Guarantees better pronation control and less impact than any running shoe on the market
The Bionic Runner is the world’s only high intensity, running specific trainer. It gives you the tough training sessions you crave, whilst protecting your body from the two main causes of injury – impact fatigue and over extension. Once you train with it, you’ll never want to train without it.
Designed for serious runners who want a bio-mechanical training advantage, the Bionic Runner is designed to help you arrive at race day, fast, fit and – most importantly – uninjured.
1) It is not a cross trainer or elliptical machine.
Elliptical machines are based on a symmetrical motion path (the ellipse) where the swing/stance phase timing – the amount of time your foot is in the air as opposed to on the ground – is 50:50. This is neither walking (40:60) nor running (60:40). The Bionic Runner is the only running fitness trainer to utliise a 60:40 swing/stance phase timing, which not only feels like running, but engages the same muscles as you would out on the road.
Also unlike elliptical machines, it has a high kickup at the back, and your foot lands under your hips. It also engages a 2.5g force at toe off, which helps build running strength and speed.
2) It is not a gimmick
The Bionic Runner is supported by four year’s research and development by Dr Henry Thomas. The final product is the conclusion of six earlier prototypes, each of which have been tested and refined. It is a well resolved, performance training tool for runners and is backed by published data and analysis in peer-reviewed journals including Sports Technology (1) and The Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning (2).
3) It is not for the faint hearted
Running on the Bionic Runner is not a stroll in the park. Just like running, there’s no seat, so you can’t sit down for a rest. Just like running, you can’t watch TV whilst you’re out training. It’s for serious runners who train hard. It’s relentless, ruthless and, most importantly, rewarding.
Unlike running, there is no impact and the fixed footpath prevents your lower limbs from over extension. This eliminates the most common causes of running injuries - the impact loading of joints; muscle strains; and ligament tears.
The compact mid-foot stride of the footpath will also help to retrain your running gait to be more energy efficient, which, along with the gears, allows you to safely add strength and resistance training into your schedule. Combined, this means you can now train harder and more effectively than you ever have before, with a lower risk of injury.
Thanks to its patent pending 60:40 swing/stance phase timing, the Bionic Runner allows you to exercise the same muscles as you would running (without the risk of injury).
It also offers the same intensity as running, unlike cycling or cross training. You can therefore use the Bionic Runner as you would a normal training session, to perform Fartlek, Intervals, tempo, resistance and HIIT sessions.
No, like anything it forms part of your overall training. You can, however, shift a major part of your running fitness training to the Bionic Runner, leaving you free to focus on form when you do run.
Convenient - The Bionic Runner folds quickly, so you can easily take it in your car to where you like to run, or store it under your desk when you use it to commute to work.
Aerospace Design - It's engineered to withstand the abuse of daily use. All the parts are forged or extruded, machined to exacting tolerances, heat treated for strength, anodised for protection and bonded together for precision.
Built on Science - We only make claims about our products that are backed by research data. We actively conduct scientific research and publish our results in peer reviewed sports science journals.
The Bionic Runner was created by Australian entrepreneurs, Steve Cranitch and Dr Henry Thomas. To read their biographies, download our Press Kit by clicking here.
We believed there was a better way to train. A way to train harder, run faster and remove the risk of injury. Our solution, after four years of hard work, is the Bionic Runner.
Back in 2011 we set up our research facility - a 20ft shipping container - at the Queensland Department of Agriculture's Bundaberg Research Station. The Station provided the perfect location to design and test our early prototypes, as it is secure and private with a variety of different road surfaces.
The Bionic Runner was designed and engineered here by our Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Dr Henry Thomas PhD, who drew on the principles of aerospace engineering to finesse each prototype. It took us 30 months (and six prototypes) to refine the design and mechanism for the Bionic Runner, and another 18 months to ensure we could manufacture the final design at an affordable cost.
Yes, and they love it. Here's a sample of their feedback
“It did feel like you’re running, you can feel the running muscles working - not the riding muscles” Anita Mitchell, marathon runner
"Very easy to operate, very easy to balance. Actually a bit of a workout on the legs - I pushed it up to fifth gear on the main road. Great fun actually - I might ride off with it!” Unnamed User with fractured left knee.
“I’ve just had a go on the Bionic Runner. I’ve got to have one because it’s got to be good for me. At an advancing age I like to run - I’ve always liked to run - and it has to prolong my running life. I’ve got to have one, straight away!” Dr Michael Holt,Westside Sports Medicine
“It works exactly the way you want it to work. You can feel immediately that the muscles you want to engage are being engaged. You feel very erect on it - you feel the posture is right. It’s great.” Unnamed user at Noosa Triathlon.
“Once you get going you get into a rhythm and you can feel your glutes and everything starting to operate.” Greg Swan, competitive endurance runner
“It mimics running far more than an elliptical - an elliptical is more like cycling just standing up - so it definitely mimics the running motion far more. I think it also uses your core more, too, than when you normally run, so that you balance.” Jennifer Egan, competitive endurance runner, carrying injury
“It’s great - a great tool. I’m a running coach and teach people running technique and I think what this does as a cross training tool is really assimilating the running gait - especially for people trying to land under their hips - here you can’t do it as you have your feet locked in so you’re always landing in a mid-foot gait. I think it’s a great tool for someone building up their fitness, getting back into running after an injury - just because I see so many people getting injured from running because it’s such high impact and there is no impact here [with the bionic runner]. It’s just very good cross training - better than running.” Norbert Petras, Running Coach and competitive runner
"It’s very low impact and a great workout. A lot better than being in a gym. Love it.” Unnamed user at Noosa Triathlon
“My ITB didn’t hurt. When I run [on the road] I instantly feel my ITB and I couldn’t feel that. I felt my glute and some strength in the arch of my foot. [The Bionic Runner] made me use the proper biomechanics, preventing me from turning my right leg out, which is causing the stress fractures all the time. But it doesn’t allow me to do that and I can feel the back part of my leg working. It makes you work, too. I’m puffing! But my knee or my shin hasn’t hurt a bit." Melanie Long, competitive marathon runner, suffering tibial stress fracture
In a nutshell, at the end. We are just a few short months away from shipping the finished product to you, the owners of the very first Bionic Runners in the world.
As you read this, we already have actual units off the production line being tested to confirm EU, AU and USA standards compliance.
We spent 30 months in R&D refining the design, working closely with athletes, coaches and sports physiotherapists to perfect the frame geometry so that it closely matched running without impact. We spent a further 18 months focusing solely on manufacturing, ensuring we could deliver our forged and bonded frame design at the most compelling price point.
We have already taken delivery of all the bicycle components; have completed tooling of all the forged and extruded parts; and have started putting together the sub-assemblies for the first 500 units. Everything is on track for our delivery date.
So far, the work we’ve done on the Bionic Runner has been limited to a small audience. Research, design, development and testing have all been conducted rigorously, yet relatively quietly. And this is where you come in, Kickstarters.
The Bionic Runner is real. The moulds are made, we’re assembling product as we speak, and athletes are getting truly amazing results from training with it. Now we’re offering you an exclusive - to be the first in the world to train with the Bionic Runner. The first in your running community to get a true training advantage. Where you can train harder from day one, but avoid injury. So click on the rewards on the right, because once you’ve trained with the Bionic Runner, you’ll never want to train without one.
The Bionic Runner has already received significant media coverage worldwide.
Also featured on:
Sydney Morning Herald
Run Oregon Blog
Recover Your Stride
To download our Press Kit, click here.
Risks and challenges
Having spent the past four years working on the Bionic Runner, we've done all we can to minimise the risks and challenges we could face at this stage of our development.
We are confident in our design, production and distribution channels, and are excited to deliver the first 500 Bionic Runners to you in March 2015. However, we're not naive, and whilst we are confident in our capabilities, we know there are always challenges in bringing a new product to market.
Here is an outline of the potential risks we face, and what we have done to mitigate them:
Unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, we've already put in the hard yards sourcing and testing manufacturers and producing Bionic Runners to our very high standards. Our journey took us from Taiwan to China, but we now have a trained team of manufacturers who hand make and test each Bionic Runner before distributing to you.
REGION-SPECIFIC CERTIFICATION DELAYS
Because the Bionic Runner is classified as a bicycle, we have to meet certain criteria. A Bionic Runner has been sent for testing and certification in the US, EU, Australia and New Zealand. We are confident the Bionic Runner meets all the criteria it needs, but any changes requested will impact delivery in that region.
As a precision piece of engineering, each Bionic Runner is individually tested before being sent out. Should your Bionic Runner arrive in anything other than perfect condition, however, we've put in place a warranty and customer service program to ensure your investment can be honoured and dealt with smoothly.
1. JST, 6(3) 2013, Use of an asymmetric ovate footpath to overcome the mechanical constraints imposed by non-impact cross-training devices in high-intensity exercise
2. JASC 21 Supplement 2 | 2013 Conference Proceedings, An athletic coach’s experience training with the Bionic Runner® – a new non-impact closed kinetic chain exercise device.
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