What is the Praep ProPilot?
In this article, we review the Praep ProPilot which is a clever little product that enables you to transfer your bike handlebars into an effective training tool. The ProPilot has won multiple awards and like many MTB products was developed by bikers for bikers.
Praep have gone the extra mile to make their product even more interesting by linking it with a smartphone app to track your workouts, train harder through gamification and even challenge your mates.
Priced at €79 for just the ProPilot and €129 for the cheapest package that includes a set of handlebars (handlebars are required but you can use your own), is the ProPilot more expensive than it’s worth? Let’s find out.
What do you get with the ProPilot?
The ProPilot comes with clamps for both Ø31.8mm and Ø35mm handlebars. A nicely branded Allen key and a magnetic sticker to enable you to connect your phone to the ProPilot if you desire and want to make use of the app.
Along with the above, you can download the free app available for both Android and iOS.
Praep ProPilot Review
First thoughts on the Praep ProPilot is that it is a really nicely designed product. They’ve clearly put a lot of effort in to design something that is both simple and ergonomic.
Installing the handlebars is very easy as long as you follow the clear instructions. Select the correct clamp for you bar diameter and then tighten the Allen bolt. Simple!
The ProPilot has three positions. Beginner, Advanced and Pro. Note that you can only use the app in the pro mode so that is the position I set my handlebars at. Beginner and Advanced both have a flat base whereas pro is angled in all directions.
Once you’ve set the handlebars to the correct angle it’s time to apply the magnetic sticker to the back of your phone. I decided to stick this to an old phone case instead of directly to my phone as I use wireless charging which this sticker would prevent from working.
Now that everything is set up ready to go, I got into position and attempted my first press up. First thing you immediately notice is how the ProPilot makes it far harder to do a basic press up. The reason is that all of sudden your no longer in a stable position. You are forced to engage your core and upper body muscles to stabilize yourself. Essentially the Praep ProPilot is preparing you for those heavy hits on a bike where you have to use all your strength so as not to collapse into your bars and crash.
After attempting a few pushups I decided to download the app. At the time of downloading the Apple AppStore review was only 2 stars which was a little worrying, however, I didn’t experience any of the issues others mentioned in their reviews and I think the app is a great idea. They have used gamification to encourage users to train harder and longer. I think it could be improved upon but it’s a great start.
The app uses both a proximity sensor for counting pushups and the gyroscope for stability. There are games to play or videos of downhill trails to watch and you can even compete against your friends. I would like to see them add daily challenges and leaderboards to increase user retention and give users a reason to use the device every day.
The Praep ProPilot is nicely designed and well thought out. It’s made and sold in Germany so expect to view prices in Euros and to pay for international shipping.
Praep have gone to town on their brand image and it’s apparent throughout all areas of the product. The fonts, tone of voice and styles are consistent which comes across making it stand out from other products on the market.
Priced at €79 plus shipping for just the ProPilot and €129 with bars is quite a hefty price but the product does do exactly what it promises and it does it well. Using the ProPilot you instantly feel your muscles engaging to stabilize yourself. It’s really not a big leap to see how training on this device helps you when on your bike.
The app offers an additional level of depth to the product giving you a reason to train longer and harder. I would like to see some additional features added such as daily challenges and some leaderboards to encourage me to use the ProPilot every day, however, I think the negative reviews on the App store are unfair as I didn’t experience any of the issues mentioned.
The Praep ProPilot is a great addition to your training toolkit and as long as you use it consistently you will certainly see some great gains.
What do you think?
So what do you think? Sold on introducing the Praep ProPilot into your training routine? Will it give you the drive to work out longer? Or do you think it’s not worth the money?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.