Monday, March 12, 2012

Eight Pointer

Meet the Eight Pointer … as it is called in our house.

Some of you have heard about this lovely machine, but now you actually get to see it.  While Rob hasn’t been stopped by the local paper yet as was predicted he has certainly received many, many comments as he is biking and there have been those who have stopped him to take a closer look at this bike.  He has learned to bike with his head straight ahead to avoid contact with people or he would end up late for his destination too often.

So here is the Eight Pointer

P1090615 2_1  P1090617 2_1

 P1090619 2_1

What is the Eight Pointer?  Basically … an elliptical trainer on wheels.   Rob complained about the fact that his legs get all the work out and he needed to do more arm work.  Rob bikes to school at least 3 days a week.  It’s 5 km’s which he bikes in 15 minutes.  When we lived in the city there were a few times where we would both leave school at the same time, him on his bike and myself driving.  He would take the bike route and make it home the same time as me, he has even beat me before.  He only knows one speed and that’s full speed!   While doing his memory work Rob likes to walk, he walks the neighbourhood by the college and then does the escarpment stairs, another good workout for the legs.  So he figured it was time that his arms got a work out too.  Being Rob, it wasn’t just a matter of doing some push ups and chin ups and such … nope he had to find an effective way to use his time.  Taking extra time out just to work his upper body did not make sense and so he got thinking that there must be a way to work his arms at the same time as working his legs.    And that is how the idea of the Eight Pointer was born.

I know, you’re all wondering why it’s call the Eight Pointer.  This is not it’s permanent name, but it will do for the time until a better name comes up.  Eight Pointer has nothing to do with the actual design, look, etc of the bike … anyone who is doing Weight Watchers will understand where the name Eight Pointer comes from.  It now takes Rob 20 minutes to bike the 5 kms to school and when he gets off the bike at school he is beat … talk about cardiac workout.  20 minutes one way, 20 minutes back …4 points each way, gives Rob 8 exercise points each time he drives it … hence it began to be referred to as the Eight Pointer in our home (to differentiate from the 6-pointer, the normal bicycle).

Rob has dreamed about this machine for some time.  Last year the idea came to him and all our mocking and laughing at him did not change his desire to make a Street Strider.  He had found the Street Strider online and fell in love with it.  But it being rather costly he figured he would have to settle on making his own.  And so he purchased an Elliptical Trainer off Kijiji to use and then scrimped and saved whatever bike pieces he could find in order to put together his machine.  He had a dream and he was going to make it work, no matter how frustrated his wife got with the idea and the amount of time and money he invested into the machine. Not wanting to copy the Street Strider too much, he designed his own front axle.  After a number of modifications, he scrapped his ‘original’ design and went with what you now see.  You can imagine my frustration at this point, but he just kept “wasting” his time on it.  While it isn’t the cheapest contraption out there, it is far cheaper the purchasing a Street Strider and he sure is proud of his Eight Pointer.

Some more pictures and a video with Rob riding the bike. 

 P1090622 2_1 P1090623 2_1 P1090626 2_1 P1090627 2_1 P1090634 2_1 P1090639 2_1



He makes it look easy, but those who have attempted to ride it can attest to the fact that it takes some talent to learn to manoeuvre it and turn it. He thinks that his original axle design would actually have worked ok …. he just hadn’t learned how to ride it yet. Regardless, the current design is still superior to his original. The concept is the same either way, that to steer, you simply lean the bike over, and by so doing, you activate steering links to turn the wheels one way or the other. At full speed he can lean over and the “8-pointer” will cut and “turn on a dime”

And for those with “half a brain”  (as Rob says, not me) will know what these pictures are suppose to show… that means I don’t have half a brain, but I already knew that!

P1090510           P1090511 P1090512 

So there you have it.  The Eight Pointer … except we are really looking for a better name for the Eight Pointer.  Rob loves the Street Strider name, but seeing as it’s already taken he’s going to have to be original with his name.  Anyone want to take a stab at it and help us find an appropriate name for this machine?   


Rob said...

Disclaimer: I have no intention of putting this bike into production. If you want one, get the real thing from StreetStrider. You will get what you pay for... I wouldn't be able to sell it for less. They've used top quality parts, have good support for their product, and is half the weight as my 105 pound machine!

Carmen said...

Rob, That's so YOU!! That (designing) was as much a brain workout as it's now a body workout. Looks like you go pretty fast on it. Now you can have fun, workout and get where you need to go all at once. Talk about efficiency!

Carmen said...

And does it work better when you say "ty-ya-ya-ya-ya voom voom"?!

Rob said...


That only helps when I run BESIDE the bike :)
As for being efficient, a bicycle is more efficient. (Although I should try the real machine before I say too much, it being half the weight). I thought I'd have the leg power of a bicycle + my arms. Truth is, by not hanging onto handle bars, I have no anchor to put the power to the peddle. Basically, its only my body weight that does the work now. I don't seem to gain what I lose. But to compare apples to apples, I would have to pull I05 pounds on a bike.....

amymom24 said...

This is really neat, Rob! Well done!

Is it really only 5km to school? Did I miss you moving or something?

Rob said...


Thanks! Glad you like it.
Move to the city? Ya right. :)
No, we didn't move. I get a ride into Hamilton with my next door neighbour who is an EA at Timothy. So I leave a bike with an old neighbour from when we did live in the city, (an bachelor neighbour from church), and I bike from there to the college. It's a really nice arrangement. This winter has been great for my commute!

amymom24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amymom24 said...

Ahhhh, that makes much more sense:) Yes, it has been a great winter for it!