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The RipRow balance board will whip you into mountain biking shape

RipRow™ - Get faster while you get stronger
What do you get when you mash up a pedal-free exercise bike, a rowing machine, and a balance board? Quite possibly something like the RipRow, the mountain biking training tool you never knew you wanted, but now may find yourself desperately keen to get hold of.

Now that we’re firmly out of summer and veering rapidly in the direction of winter, the thought of using your cold and wet weekends to go mountain biking suddenly becomes a lot whole lot less appealing for most of us. It’s also important to hold onto your core strength, coordination, balance, and sense of confidence on a bike during the off-season months. This is where the rugged-sounding RipRow comes into play. While stationary gym bikes have been around for a long time, a machine that’s built specifically with mountain biking in mind has been in much shorter supply. Until now, at least.

The RipRow is the creation of mountain biking coach, enthusiast, and author Lee McCormack, who has spent the past four years working on it. Its smart design can be both pushed and pulled for carrying out strength exercises, while the unstable base is perfect for improving your strength and balance. To use it, “riders” straddle the aluminum frame like they’re riding a mountain bike and then utilize the handlebars to move the frame around, battling against 12 levels of adjustable resistance.

While we’ve not had the opportunity to put it through its paces, RipRow’s creator claims that, by making these movements, it is more than capable of replicating the varied movements required for cycling a bike over rough terrain, as well as up and downhill. You won’t get to see any gorgeous scenery while you’re using it (well, unless you put it on top of a mountain, we guess!), but you’ll certainly get a good workout in the process.

The RipRow’s first production units are currently being manufactured in Boulder, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of December — making them the perfect Christmas gift for the mountain biker in your life. Although with pricing set at $1,199, you’d better make sure that the mountain biker in your life is worth it.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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