On 18 December, a new gym opened in downtown Sacramento, California. When its members attend a cycling class, they'll be riding on expensive exercise bikes that generate electricity, help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and maybe give them some motivation for pedaling harder. TheSacramento Eco Fitness gym estimates that it will recover the approximately US $26,000 price tag for its 15 eco-cycles in one year. Yet in a 2011 IEEE Spectrum feature, mechanical engineering consultant Tom Gibson estimated that a human can only generate about 50 to 150 watts of electricity during an hour of cycling-hardly enough to power a gym. He concluded that electricity-generating bikes were a "marketing gimmick" and that it would take "decades" for gyms to recuperate the initial investment. Eco Fitness founder José Aviña sees things a little bit differently. "We want [our members] to be proud of the hard work they put in every time they show up to cycle," he writes in an email. The 15 … [Read more...] about Are Stationary Bikes that Generate Electricity Making a Comeback?
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