Words: Anna Beck

Photos: Mike Blewitt

What is the Praep ProPilot? The ProPilot is one of the latest offerings from Praep, a German company innovating mountain bike and motocross training. Essentially, it’s an unusually shaped shaped triangle with one curved edge, that receives a 31.8mm or 35mm flat bar: you can BYO grips (we tested their ‘training' grips, made of silicone) and voilà: the ProPilot is assembled. It is rated for users up to 150kg.

 

Praep have also considered the environment, using all plastic free packaging.

 

I received the ProPilot base kit, which features a bar and grips and the Propilot unit. Praep state that ‘with its differently shaped sides, the ProPilot simulates the different stressors of biking…the unstable core training goes directly into our deep muscles and trains strength, stability and balance from the centre of the body to the wrists’. Basically, it’s a sweeeet wobbly set of handlebars to workout with, adding specificity to your everyday gym routine.

 

 

  •  

Out of the Box 

Set up was pretty easy: it’s a simple matter of assembling the unit and ensuring its tight with an Allen key. It comes with three settings, beginner, advanced and pro, and for someone starting out I definitely recommend the beginner setting.

From here, you can check out workouts on their website or YouTube, or download the free Praep app for a range of other activities and workout modalities you can use to get bulk swole for shredding the bike park. The app is compatible with all phones with a gyroscope sensor.

User Experience 

I used numerous coaching clients when testing out the ProPilot. By and large their experience was that using the app creates a more engaging user experience, and overall people enjoyed the novelty of the ProPilot and the multiple levels of difficulty that can be adjusted with a quick twist of an Allen key. The app was also a clear winner.

Personally, I started with the workouts on their website, and though they incorporate some lower body exercises into the routine (ie: squats while holding the bar) really, I found the biggest benefit of using the Praep was for core stability and upper body workouts: no surprises there.

Their short workouts were challenging and definitely made you feel the proverbial ‘burn’, but using the Praep app took the ProPilot to another level. There are different ways to work out, you can select footage from multiple enduro runs, use the standard workout, and even have a pushup competition with your friends. Into gaming? Perfect, there is even a gamified training app where you can ‘steer’ to avoid obstacles. 

The only gripe I had with the app is that the magnetic function of the Praep/phone interface only works on the ‘pro’ setting due to it being the flat surface of the ProPilot that the magnet needs to be located on (which is on the ground in the movie setting). Most people will take a while to get to that level of stability and control, and as such won’t be initially able to benefit from what is a pretty awesome user experience.

Sweet Gains and Highlights

The ProPilot is a nice weapon in your training arsenal that keeps things specific enough to really stay engaged and looking forward to some ‘off the bike’ training. My favourite app game was the game of BIKE, which is essentially a plank and stability game with periods of ‘steering’ forcing more muscle recruitment than a static plank.

I also really liked the fact that despite it initially just looking like an aid for push ups, it really came to life with the workouts and can be made more versatile with the use of resistance bands (which can be purchased from the Praep website), and for those not wanting to hit the gym for heavy squats, it offers an all in one package for off the bike conditioning.

You can buy the ProPilot in a range of packages, from the unit by itself (buy bars and grips!) to a whole set-up including bars, grips and resistance bands. 

Check out more cool fitness gadgets here

RRP:$259.95

From: rotationdestination.com.au

Hits :

  • Mix up your training
  • Lots of MTB specificity
  • Engaging via app usefulness

Misses :

  • Best use of the app needs advanced use
  • Just another gadget