When a hobby gets out of hand
How one rebellious triathlete decided to build an indoor bike without a flywheel
Bas van Rens used to be a triathlete in The Netherlands. He was training for Kona, the Triathlon World Championship, when he noticed a big problem. Every time he trained indoors during winter, he couldn’t help feeling that the sensation of riding was just not true.
When he started to train outdoors at the beginning of a new season, it felt like he hadn’t trained the right way. It frustrated him: he just wasn’t ready for his outdoor challenges. Bas wanted to improve his training by building a new indoor bike for himself, but it all got out of hand. Bas started his project at home, in the attic. At first, he used the Lego of his two sons to create a prototype. Soon the project spread throughout the house, and Bas decided to look for his first team members. Then he realized this wasn’t a hobby anymore, but a company. He moved everything to an office space. TrueKinetix is located in a Dutch town called Heemstede since the beginning of 2019.
Our first awards
That same year we won two awards, and we delivered the first TrueBikes to cyclists who had the same problem while training indoors. The TrueKinetix team is still growing, and every member works on the same goal: improve indoor training equipment for athletes and cycling enthusiasts.
Why is indoor cycling different from outdoor cycling?
We have all experienced how indoor cycling is different than cycling outdoors. This is why: The weight of a customary flywheel mechanisms, even though their weight can be as high as 25 kilos, their rotation speeds result in only an effective cycling weight of about 8 kilos. This limits their ability to store energy severely, and therefore also their ability to create resistance. As a result, the flywheel stops spinning too quickly when you stop pedaling and speeds up much too easily.
While increasing the flywheel weight is simple, the problem is that the weight needed to replicate both external and internal resistance amounts to 450 kilos. However, there was already a device with the capacity to almost instantly start and stop 1,500 kilos: a car engine.
The end of the flywheel and the beginning of the TrueBike
Eliminating the flywheel became the first step to the true solution. Switching to a powerful engine, demanded an equally advanced software with the capacity to instantly calculate the correct resistance at all points of a pedal stroke. With a robotized system, we were able to do this and virtualize energy, enabling us to switch from a 450-kilo flywheel to a 0-kilo true resistance, with a simple few thousand calculations of its robot brain.
Yet, our new innovation was all but simple, causing constant burn outs of traditional electronic boards. So, as we had once done with the flywheel, we threw them out. Only this way, by combining the most recent developments in mechanics, electronics and programming, the TrueBike was born.
Resistance replicated perfectly
The TrueBike was created to get every rider ready for his next outdoor adventure by preparing him both physically and mentally. Constantly switching from outdoor to traditional indoor training requires a physical, but also a mental adjustment, as one’s mind tries to make sense of the different cycling feel. With the TrueBike there is no adjustment because resistance is replicated perfectly. There is only one true feel. This is felt in the neuro-muscular level, where muscles are being stimulated at the same points, and same intensity, as they would be outdoors. This allows the rider to increase their power. The result is an indoor training session that is not only more enjoyable, but also more dynamic and rewarding.
The future of indoor training: our vision
Our work is done when all indoor sports are experienced as their outdoor equivalent. To get there, we operate on four levels.
Robotizing neuromuscular loads
Flywheel-based, water-based and motorized indoor training equipment still can't top outdoor muscular loads and resistance. Robotizing movements with hundreds of accurate adjustments per second is the only way to experience the real thing, indoors.
Data optimization for the Quantified Self
Physical performance optimization has become a matter of percentages. TrueKinetix brings in science- based training equipment that makes that very important difference. Backed up by pro sports training institutions and athletes.
Bringing your training environment indoors
Outdoor training is getting harder all around the world. Climate change and growing populated areas make it less safe and less comfortable. Indoor training is gaining ground. We're here to make that experience as similar to the outdoors as possible.
Creating a social training experience
Let us be honest. Science and technique form the basis of our products. But we also understand the power of social interaction. That's why our products are increasingly compatible with popular training platforms.
In 3 years, the idea of one rebellious triathlete managed to provoke, stimulate, and inspire a group of cycling enthusiasts, specialists in their own field, to work together for one purpose.
Want to join our team? TrueKinetix offers unique challenges on the edge of high-tech, people and sports: we are always interested to hear from ambitious people. Please get in touch with us via email@example.com.