Why Our R&D Team Might Make You Disappointed
Here, our co-founder, Fredrik Correa, reveals the insider’s story on our recently launched family of flywheel training devices and a behind the scenes look at the Exxentric R&D mission.
Those who know me know I’m not the guy that can easily hold back information and keep secrets. I love to discuss and pitch ideas and tell people what we have been working on. However, in a professional business, there are some benefits to keeping some cards closer to the body. For many months, we have been working to bring you some new updates, and now the news is finally out and I have the green light from the marketing department to write down my thoughts about all the new stuff. I’m so excited I don’t know where to start.
First a little background. Just going back one year when the kBox4 was about six months old, the R&D team was only me. We had no full-time engineer or workshop for prototyping. We didn’t even have a CAD system. However, our vision was clear. We wanted to build devices to offer new solutions to old problems and help everybody out there to get stronger and healthier in the best way possible. Growing a strong R&D foundation was a priority. Fast forward to today and our R&D team fills a whole conference room, and we consist of six people in total, not counting the production staff that often play a big part in our prototype work. It’s been a good year for Exxentric, and now we are happy to be able to let our customers benefit from all the work during the last nine months.
Before going into the details. The headline is not only click bait but something I had to say to many of our existing customers at CSCCa in Fort Worth. We had some of our updated and new devices there on display as a pre-release teaser, and the reaction from many was “but we just got a bunch of stuff from you a few months back, and now you release this!” So a bit of disappointment about missing the new updates, but of course mixed with a lot of enthusiasm for all the new features and devices.
To be clear, all coaches we met loved the updates and I think everyone agreed that the time has never been better to add flywheel training devices to the tool box.
So what about the new devices? Let’s start with the familiar ones, the kBox4 Lite and Pro.
Between the two units, we have seen a bunch of people select the Lite for the wrong reason: the lower price point, thereby having to say no to features of the Pro which they wanted. Nothing wrong with managing a tight budget and spend money wisely but we wanted to be able to offer a smaller professional unit for coaches and physios who need a very competent unit with a smaller footprint.
This is why the kBox4 Lite now has a built-in kMeter II (the new generation), the automatic belt-retract system (“auto-retract”), it can attach foot blocks and it can now also accommodate up to four flywheels instead of only two. It also got a few pounds lighter in the process, so your perfect travel companion is here. The kBox4 Pro has been our bestseller so far and it has also gone through more changes and updates since the first release. The auto-retract and belt lock systems have been gradually updated, and now it also got a built-in kMeter II with this update. The best part is, prices for both units remain the same!
The new kMeter II is built from a completely new motherboard with all the features that come with new tech, less energy expenditure and more computing power. It is mounted on the kBox and comes with two AA batteries installed and is always in sleep mode when not in use. You can wake it up with your app, connect and use it straight out of the box. No on/off switch, no wires or connector. The potential for updates to its “intelligence” is also there, since it now has a feature to update the firmware which allows us to gradually increase the amount of information collected for you from the sensors and other features.
So, stuffing the existing kBoxes with more features and improving the premium end is, of course, nice but we wanted to do something for all home users, weekend warriors, lower level teams with smaller budgets or anyone looking to install kBoxes all over a whole institution, facility or gym franchise. That’s why we developed the new kBox4 Active. Active is the same size as Lite, but heavier due to a steel chassis instead of aluminium as in the Pro and Lite models.
It also has an auto-retract installed since we have started to regard this as a must-have convenience, it just makes training so much easier and faster, and we honestly don’t want to sell units without it anymore. Just like it’s premium relatives you can attach a foot block to it for lateral exercises. It doesn’t come with a built-in kMeter but it is kMeter ready. You can buy this as an extra accessory and get it mounted from the factory, or buy it afterwards and install it in a few minutes.
Active can accommodate two heavy flywheels, which is enough for a lot of applications in strength training, even for elite athletes. The best part is that it will retail at only €1,410 / $1,585 for a starter system, so we hope that this will allow for many more to get the kBox experience.
For all kBox4 units, we are also releasing a floor attachment kit. This was something we had to sacrifice for the stackability when going from generation 3 to 4. However, we now have a simple anchor solution. You just need to fix one plate to the floor with two screws, and then you can attach or detach your kBox in just a few seconds without being too invasive in your gym environment and without any tedious work screwing the kBox on and off a bunch of attachment plates.
That’s not all. There have been a lot of questions about horizontal exercises, and we have seen many use the kBox for this purpose by mounting the kBox on the wall. We don’t have a problem with that, but now you don’t have to invest in an extra kBox4 platform to put on the wall because now we got the kPulley!
The kPulley is a device for horizontal movements, it is only 5 kg (10 lbs) and comes in basic parts so you will be up and running within minutes if you got a decent wall and a power drill. It also has the kMeter II built-in and will allow you to pull from about 40 cm height to 220 cm, and you can quickly adjust the height with a sliding pulley in seconds when you go between different exercises. The retail price including the kMeter II is only €1,750 / $1,955 for a starter system, so now you can experience the kBox feeling in entirely new ways.
On top of that, we are also working with our accessories, the crucial connection point between user and device. We now offer the Head Harness for all of you wanting to incorporate flywheel training for neck strength. We got more stuff in the pipeline here, rest assured.
So, are we done? Never. The R&D team is expanding with another mechanical engineer to arrive in less than five weeks, and we will continue our relentless work to meet your demand for world-class quality and service.
In the meantime, there’s still a few days left on our launch offer, and, as always, if you want to add something to the wishlist just let me know!
/Fredrik Correa, M.D., co-founder