Togu
Bike Balance Board

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The TOGU Bike Balance Board 3B allows you to effectively train your balance and improve your motor skills for mountain biking. It is the ideal complement for your endurance, strength and riding technique training and optimises your sense of balance. The different bases for the Bike Balance Board allow you to adjust the level of difficulty to your personal training level and constantly adapt balance and strength exercises to suit your abilities.

You can use the ball as a base for your Bike Balance Board 3B to develop a perfect sense of balance and improve your motor skills while mountain biking. You can regulate the level of difficulty of your workout via the amount of air in the ball, whereby the board reacts quickly or slowly to your (balancing) movements. Less air in the ball makes the board slower, and individual exercises easier to complete. Little by little you can increase the training effect by putting more air in the ball, train your core and improve your skills on the trail.

The Red Roll helps especially with pushing and pumping training, and improves your skills in this area significantly. These skills give you more speed on your mountain bike. Through regular training with the 3B black and the Red Roll, you can train your movements to become reflexive so that you can concentrate on the really important elements on the trail. The TOGU 3B black with the Red Roll offers full connectivity to GARMIN®, so that you can individually document and evaluate performance indicators during pushing and pumping in the GARMIN® App Connect™.

Strength endurance is of particular importance in mountain biking. The Jumper Mini is particularly suitable for starting training with the 3B black Bike Balance Board, as it enables strength endurance training on an unstable base. You can place your feet on the platform of the 3B black like you would on your bike and, for example, do squats or shift your body’s centre from left to right and back again to strengthen your core. You can use additional weights to further enhance your training, for example in the form of a weight vest.

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LEVELNINE manufactures exceptionally high-quality products that incorporate the collective expertise of the worldwide bicycle industry accumulated over decades. TOGU has more than 50 years of experience in the production of high-quality fitness and training equipment. TOGU and LEVELNINE are two strong brands that complement each other perfectly.
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Togu Bike Balance Board 3B black: Core training for mountain bikers
Togu is a German brand known worldwide for its fitness equipment, and has its headquarters and production facility in Prien am Chiemsee. Back in 2015, the company launched the Bike Balance Board, which is also used by mountain bike pros like Nino Schurter and Raphaela Richter for training. The Bike Balance Board 3B has been developed in cooperation with LEVELNINE, offering new training features for mountain bikers who want to improve their skills. We spoke with Markus Braun from Togu about training with the 3B black and the positive effects on riding technique for mountain bikers.

bike-components: What is the basic idea behind the Bike Balance Board?

Markus: More speed and more style when mountain biking - and of course higher safety! Mountain bikers typically train endurance, strength and riding technique – here the Bike Balance Board 3B black complements training possibilities and improves motor skills. Motor skills are the basics of riding technique: the elementary skills needed for mountain biking. The better motor skills are trained, the better your riding technique can become. Important to know: Training with the 3B black is NOT riding technique training, but balance and strength training.

And what "elementary motor skills" do I need when biking – or to put it another way, why is motor skills training so important for mountain biking?

To that end, let's take a look at the mountain bike and its rider. The hands grip the handlebars and the feet are on the pedals. Apart from pedalling, the mountain biker can only move his body’s centre, the core. These exact core movements are improved during motor skills training, increase your speed and give you some style!

What motor skills increase your speed - do you have any examples?

Examples include pushing and pumping. When pushing, the biker moves his body’s centre backwards as quickly as possible, at the same time pushing the bike forwards and thus accelerating it. In practice, you push off roots or edges and use them to make your bike accelerate. In a race, pushing can make all the difference! Another example is pumping. When pumping, there is an additional movement from bottom to top. The pumping motion is also used when approaching a curve. With this you can 'shoot' yourself out of the curve.

What motor skills give the rider style – do you have an example here too?

All motor skills improve your style – for example when cornering: There you should not only turn your head into the curve, but also turn your body to the vertical axis into the curve. Advanced mountain bikers further shift the body’s core to the side. Pro riders simultaneously move the centre of the body forward and unload the rear wheel so that the rear wheel reduces grip to the ground and glides smoothly around the turn. That looks better already!

You're describing mountain bike manoeuvres here, as presented in riding technique books.

Yes – virtually every riding technique book shows the stages of movement for the various mountain bike manoeuvres – and now the kicker: All these manoeuvres are combinations of movements of the core that can be trained with the Bike Balance Board. Keep doing it until you can do it without thinking. These instinctual moves put less stress on the brain and give you the freedom to concentrate on other things while biking – like reading the route, for example. Put another way: These moves are CAN-DO! It's not just the theoretical knowledge of how to perform a movement on a mountain bike that will take you further, but mastering it. The ability to execute movements instinctively, quickly and precisely gives you speed and style!

And why is it advantageous to train motor skills with the 3B black?

Efficiency! The result is achieved in less time and training goes faster! In addition, the risk of injury is significantly lower, especially with movements that you are not yet good at! In addition, there is Flow Perfect®, a training system specially developed for the 3B black, which follows the principle of learning motor skills – every movement and every combination of moves is 'learned' in 4 steps:

  • Rough motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Reflexes
  • Reflexive movement under difficult conditions
Mountain biking pro Raphaela Richter with the Togu 3B Black

Mountain biking pro Raphaela Richter with the Togu 3B Black

How do professionals train with the 3B black?

Professionals already have a high level of motor skills – for recreational athletes it can be different. Pros like Nino Schurter typically train on level 4. Nino has integrated the Bike Balance Board, the predecessor of the 3B black, into his circuit training. You can see this very well In his video series 'The Hunt for Glory.’ On level 4, reflexive movements are executed under difficult conditions – conditions can be things like tired muscles or distractions caused by others – just like in a race or difficult situation on tour.

What things do I have to consider if I want to train with the 3B black?

The speed of movement with the 3B black should be as high as possible, because fast moves give you more speed and more style!

BUT: Beginners are often not able to perform such moves fast at all. Moves with the 3B should never be overly-demanding, but must always be challenging in order for the workout to be effective. To achieve this, the speed of the 3B is set before the start of a training session. Simply use the air pump to increase or decrease the amount of air in the Red Roll or Ball – the more air, the faster the 3B!

How does an "amateur" train with it?

A good place to start is training to push with the Red Roll. The requirements to keep your balance are lower compared to the ball – you get a sense of achievement quite quickly. Pumping can be trained in the next step. Cultivating pushing as a reflex in the first training step is also recommended with the ball. The high-low motion can then be turned into muscle memory in the next step. These movements should be fully “automated” one at a time when using the ball. Then pushing and high-low moves can be combined while pumping and re-automated.

Then there are three options for the next training step:

  1. Increase the amount of air in the Ball or Red Roll – this will make the 3B black faster, and the movement has to be learned again.
  2. For example, learn another new movement by shifting the centre of the body side-to-side and back again.
  3. Continue training on level 4. Level 4 training means involuntarily executing a learned movement under difficult conditions, such as muscle fatigue or other distractions.

Regardless of which training step you’re on, the next training step should never be performed on the same day! Taking breaks produces better training results.

How can I tell if I’m performing a move reflexively?

That's pretty easy to figure out. If I am able to do math or converse fluently while moving, then the move is automatic! By the way, there are Bike Balance Board customers who practice their moves during conference calls!

How long or often should I train with the board?

Your very first training with the 3B should include two practice sessions with at least two repetitions each. Each repetition lasts 40 to 80 seconds, and there must be a pause of 20 to 40 seconds between repetitions. Each repetition should be stopped when the move can no longer be performed cleanly.

What is clear, however: Errors are part of training with the 3B – they are unavoidable. In addition to the failed attempts, breaks also have a great influence on the success of your training – without making mistakes and taking breaks, your training wouldn’t be successful!

In the course of training with the 3B, you should try to extend each unit of exercise, i.e. perform moves with the 3B black for longer periods and / or increase the number of repetitions.

The first workout with the 3B will probably take less than ten minutes. As training progresses, the volume increases. Experience has shown that training for 15 or 20 minutes typically leads to good results – more time does not necessarily lead to better results. Basically, you can train with the 3B every day, but twice a week is the minimum if you want to make progress.

What exercises can I do with the board?

We have already covered pushing, i.e. the movement of the body centre from front to back, we have covered high-low moves, rotation around the longitudinal axis and lateral shifting. We have also talked about pumping as a combination of pushing and high-low moves. Further movement combinations are shown on the training chart (see download on the right). It is recommended to train a sequence of moves. The possible combinations are very diverse. Important: It's all about speed and style – i.e. speed and precision of movement are key – so increasing the amount of air, i.e. increasing the speed of the 3B, always leads to new challenges and a new, higher level of skill!

You suggested training motor skills with the Red Roll and the Ball – how is the Jumper Mini, the third tool for the 3B, used?

The Jumper Mini trains very basic and simple movements with the 3B. The platform on the Jumper Mini tilts to the side and forms a movable base, so to speak, which increases the effect of strength-endurance training. For this purpose, for example, squats are suitable. To do this, stand on the 3B at a distance from the handlebars and gain the necessary freedom of movement. The two rear windows in the platform can be used to position the Jumper Mini. Strength-endurance training with the 3B can be increased by using external weights – this can be a weighted vest or simply a backpack filled with drink bottles.