Founded with a passionate vision in 2001, Octane Fitness, LLC, today is the market leader in elliptical cross trainers in the United States – and the only company in the world whose sole focus is low-impact cardiovascular exercise equipment. From day one, Octane has been relentless in its pursuit to deliver breakthrough, performance cross training in the form of premium products; innovative, effective workouts and unparalleled personalized service.
Founders Dennis Lee and Tim Porth drained their savings accounts and re-mortgaged their homes to launch Octane Fitness in Lee’s basement in Coon Rapids, a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
“The idea was that if we focus on one segment of the exercise market, we could do better than all of the big companies that are trying to be all things to all people,” Lee says.
Octane created its first prototype in October 2001 and hand-delivered the first products for home use to retailers in November 2002. The first machine sold 45 minutes after it was delivered!
In October 2004, the company launched its first product for the commercial market, and private equity firm North Castle Partners purchased Octane in January 2005. Lee and Porth retain a minority interest, a seat on Octane’s board and still run the company day-to-day.
The company distinguishes itself in a crowded industry and an incredibly competitive product category by its strategic, unwavering focus on product innovation and sales and service excellence.
Growth and recognition
Experiencing significant growth each year, Octane today has 44 employees, an international subsidiary in the Netherlands and an office in the United Kingdom.
Since 2003, Octane products have received more than 41 Best Buy awards from numerous leading consumer publications, and in June 2007, Lee and Porth won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Award in the consumer products category.
Leading the way
True to its mission, Octane Fitness has developed a multitude of product innovations that have driven the elliptical category, including:
QuadLink™ drive and Body-Mapping Ergonomics™ -- deliver fluid, natural motion and comfort
SmartStride™ – monitors exerciser’s pace and direction and automatically adjusts stride length
Converging Path™ handlebars – mimic natural path of upper body
MultiGrip – handlebars offer customization and variety
X-Mode™/GluteKicker™/ArmBlaster – maximize cross training, interval work and exercise effectiveness
In 2008, the company revolutionized exercise with the introduction of the one-of-a-kind xRide seated elliptical, which combines the total-body, low-impact benefits of traditional ellipticals with the comfort and support of a seat. Outperforming other seated products, research shows that exercisers on the xRide use 343% more glutes and burn 23% more calories than those on a recumbent bike at the same perceived exertion level.
And in 2010, Octane gave people another great way to exercise with its exclusive CROSS CiRCUIT®, which combines cardio on the elliptical with strength training intervals for ultra-effective, efficient workouts.
Today, approximately 455 retail stores worldwide Europe and Asia sell Octane’s 12 home models and 6 commercial units globally.
Moving forward, expect even more and better ways to exercise and to maximize your motivation, benefits and results from this innovative, fueled company.