SPORT - INTERVIEW
Bryan Pate, Co-Founder and CEO of ElliptiGO
SPORT - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
ElliptiGO offers a brand new solution for anyone looking for a great way to exercise outdoors and have fun. Their products combine the best features of running, cycling, and the elliptical trainer to deliver a unique exercise experience that is now used by some of the best athletes in the world. The ElliptiGO delivers the cardio benefits of running without any of the impacts. Compared to cycling it is full-body and much more comfortable. Compared to the indoor elliptical trainer, the ElliptiGO is much more useful and fun because you actually get to go somewhere instead of being stuck in a gym. If the weather isn’t cooperating, there is a stationary trainer system that allows their products to be used indoors as well. Bryan Pate is one of the co-founders and he had the idea for an elliptical bicycle. I had the opportunity to ask Bryan Pate, who brought this idea to life with his friend Brent Teal, about their life-changing invention.
Bryan, before talking about ElliptiGO bikes, could you tell us about your background and design & industry experiences? Who is Bryan Pate?
I grew up in San Diego and played a lot of contact sports through high school. I went to Stanford on an ROTC scholarship paid by the US Marine Corps. I joined the Marines as a lieutenant and spent 4.5 years as a Marine. At the end of my time in the Marines, I got into triathlon and competed as an Ironman in 1999. A few years after I got out of the Marines, I went to NYC to attend Columbia Law School. Upon graduation, I came back to California and clerked for a federal judge. I was playing competitive soccer at the time and found myself unable to run for exercise because of all of the poundings from running and soccer. I had to give up the sport, and that's when I thought of the ElliptiGO. I called up Brent Teal, a friend of mine, fellow triathlete and mechanical engineer, to pitch him the idea of working on creating the ElliptiGO. When I finished my clerkship, I started working as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. The ElliptiGO project really started to take off, so in 2008 we both quit our jobs and focused on ElliptiGO full-time, as we have done ever since then.
What is the most special aspect of bikes for you?
It lets me experience the joy of running again - something I thought had been taken from me forever.
How did you come up with the idea of combining the features of running, bikes, and elliptical trainers on the same bike?
It was really out of my own personal need. I wanted to compete again, and bikes are just too uncomfortable, and racing bikes are too dangerous. I like the elliptical trainer motion, but I hate being stuck in the gym. Taking that motion and putting it onto a bike just made so much sense to me.
Could you tell us about ElliptiGO Inc. and your team?
We have a fantastic team. The majority of our employees have been with us almost from the beginning. In fact, more than 60% have been here for more than 9 years. It's pretty special - and they are a fantastic team. All of our success really comes from the effectiveness of the team.
What have you paid attention to the most in the design and development process of ElliptiGO bikes?
We really paid attention to the mechanics and experience of running. That's what we focused on initially.
Could you tell us about ElliptiGO bikes?
We have 7 models broken into three families. The price is really tied to the length of the stride. That's the most complicating factor in the product. The longer the stride length, the more expensive the product. Our most popular family of bikes is our long-stride family. The 8C is the most popular model of all. That is the family that really recreates running. Also, all of our bikes work with our custom indoor trainer stand, so people can use them indoors like an elliptical machine and then take them outdoors as well. That makes them a year-round option for exercise.
You have designed ElliptiGO bikes in three different styles. What are their distinctive features?
The long strides really replicate running. The Arc family is quiet, smaller, lighter, and still has an elliptical motion, although a shorter ellipse. It's great if you want elliptical motion but don't need to replicate running. Finally, the SUB family of bikes has a circular motion, just like a bike, so it's familiar and easy to get used to. It's also the lightest, least expensive, and most versatile product line because it includes our mountain bike model, the MSUB.
What are the benefits of Stand Up Cycling?
You get a low-impact, full-body workout in a very short period of time that is fun and gets you outdoors for the psychological benefits of exercising outside. There is no better way to get your cardio training done than on an ElliptiGO.
How can we choose the right one for us?
The best thing to do is to use our bike finder on our website. That way, you can select based on your own personal preferences.
What type of accessories do you offer?
Almost any accessory for a bike will work with the ElliptiGO. We have toe cages, lights, fenders, bags, bells, horns, tool kits, etc.
What do you enjoy most about using ElliptiGO bikes in your daily life?
That it gives me that feeling of running outside again.
Social media platforms are a new showcase for innovative brands. What do you think about the power of social media on buyers' decisions?
I think it's significant - social media definitely informs people's buying decisions.
How can our readers follow ElliptiGO?
Sign up for our newsletter on www.elliptigo.com
How can our readers buy ElliptiGO bikes and accessories?
Through our website (www.elliptigo.com) or at one of our dealers.
What is next for you?
ElliptiGO is my future.
Thank you Bryan for your time.