NordicTrack's VR virtual reality fitness bike wore me out at CES

NordicTrack's VR virtual reality fitness bike wore me out at CES

I'll never forget riding a flying horse in VR while pedaling a bicycle and nearly wanting to throw up. That happened years ago when I tried VirZoom, a low-cost stationary bike that worked with fitness games and both mobile and console VR headsets.

VR and fitness biking can be a rough mix. NordicTrack aims to do Virzoom one better with a far fancier machine, the NordicTrack VR Bike, coming this summer. I got to play with it in Las Vegas during CES 2019.

The bike works with HTC's Vive Focus mobile VR headset, playing several VR development software programs games that will sync with the bike's various motion-control features. The VR bike bundle will cost $1,999, which is a lot more expensive than VirZoom. But the NordicTrack VR Bike also has a lot more features than the pretty basic VirZoom ever had. It also comes with a Vive Focus headset (around $599) and a one-year iFit Personal Trainer subscription with workout programs ($396), so the bike only technically costs about $1,000. 

Still, that's pretty lofty, and not far from the all-in cost of a Peloton (mid-$2,000s). (Peloton also has a lower-cost subscription fitness app that works on its own, but it's not as integrated a solution as the company's customized bike.) 

NordicTrack's VR bike has fans for creating a feeling of motion (and ventilation), and the handlebars double as a movable 8-axis yoke for extra flexibility, and are studded with all the necessary game controller-like buttons and triggers to play. VR development software supports Bluetooth audio, connects to the iFit fitness platform, and has varying levels of resistance when biking. Read more 

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