Ever wanted to go mountain biking without actually going mountain biking? Neither have we, but now you can with the new ‘ebove™ B\01 Bike’ from Noreweigan startup Activetainment.
So what’s the deal then? Well, take your average exercise bike and add gears, breaks, movable handlebars and a realistic tilting function for a start.
Then build in a 14″ touch screen displaying a reactive, 3D-animated outdoor world and chuck in the Oculus Rift gaming function to make it even better if you’re sitting on a fat wad of cash at home.
The end result is as realistic a cycling simulator as you’re probably going to get, but the main response from our team in the office is still this: why not just go outside and cycle?
It remains the Quorn of the cycling world. It’s better than nothing, but it’s still a poor substitute…
As impressive as this is, it remains the Quorn of the cycling world. It’s a poor substitute – and no doubt a pretty expensive one at that – for what is quite easily achievable by stepping out your front door and climbing on a saddle.
For a start, you can’t crash, so unless you have a personal trainer by your side waiting to punch you in the face every time you slip up, it’s just not going to be the same. There’s no danger!
We’re also betting you can’t pull rad tail whips when you fly off a kicker, and it’s probably frowned upon to shotgun a beer every time you finish a run as well – something essential for immersing yourself in the spirit of the sport.
The riding modes raise a fair few questions too. Namely, why on earth is there a ‘sightseeing’ option? Who wants to go sightseeing in a fairly poorly animated, scarcely-populated world of edgy corners and endless glitches.
We know the slogan is ‘indoors become outdoors’, but surely sightseeing is a step too far. It’d be like claiming you’ve been to the Eiffel Tower because you’ve looked at in street view on Google Maps. It’s just wrong, and slightly troubling, on so many levels.
Is this the future of riding then? One where people would rather pretend to ride their bike than actually ride it, and one where its not-uncommon to ask for virtual directions to the Arc de Triumph?
Probably – well, hopefully definitely – not.
It could make gyms a little more interesting, however, and it could be cool for folk with no mountains in sight – on the condition, of course, that it then inspires them to take a road trip and find the real thing.
An enjoyable bit of light entertainment this may be, but it is certainly not a replacement for riding. Obviously.