You may have already seen these bizarre contraptions outside. Elliptical bikes look like they came out of some futuristic movie. But, the design and capability of this exercise equipment may be foreshadowing of modern machines to come.
Although elliptical bikes are pricey, since the first model was available in 2010, they’ve increased in popularity. Check out the rest of our article to find the best elliptical bike for outdoors and indoors.
What is an elliptical bike?
As you can tell from the name, an elliptical bike is an exercise machine that’s a hybrid of an elliptical and a bicycle. The bottom half of the machine resembles your standard bike except there’s no seat. For the entire ride, you’re in the upright position.
The models made by some companies differ in their design. Some companies manufacture stand-up bikes or elliptical bikes with pedals that have a circular motion, while other models have a pedal system and a striding motion. Moreover, some models have regular bike handlebars while others have elliptical handles that move back and forth while you ride.
With that said, there may be a learning curve depending on the mechanism of the elliptical bike.
Unlike traditional gym equipment, outdoor elliptical bikes provide a unique experience, because they can be used indoors too. So, for a change of scenery, you can switch up your surroundings if need be.
Health benefits of an elliptical bike
The great thing about using a machine that incorporates an elliptical and a bike is that you can get the health benefits from both.
First, ellipticals and bikes are low impact machines. They’re much easier on your joints because you’re not pounding the pavement or surface repeatedly with every step.
Ellipticals are advantageous because not only do you get an intense lower body workout but it’s one of the only cardio machines that can give you an upper body burn with each stride. Using an elliptical has shown to increase your heart rate and activates your lower body muscles more than when using a treadmill. Additionally, compared to both a bike and a treadmill, the elliptical increases activation of your biceps, triceps, chest muscles and trapezius.
In the same study it was found that there’s greater lower body activation when using an elliptical and treadmill over a bike. However, the reasoning behind these results may be related to the sitting position when using a bike. If you stand up while cycling, you’re engaging your core muscles to maintain your balance, stability and proper form. Plus, you’re loosening up those hip flexor muscles that tend to get tight from sitting down. Lastly, when pedalling you’re working your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves and if you stand, the muscle activation increases.
Best elliptical bike combo
Here’s our pick for the best outdoor elliptical bike. We chose this particular model based on the ease of use, versatility and design.
ElliptiGO bikes come in 3 different models, with various levels of resistance. For the purpose of this article, we’ve listed the specifications of the 3C model.
The ElliptiGO 3C is the beginner bike, which is best suited for flat terrains or smaller hills. But all the ElliptiGO elliptical bikes are long-stride models that mimic a runner’s stride. The long-stride motion evenly activates your legs and core, which truly gives you the feeling of running on air.
- Weight: 42 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
- Storing Height with front wheel: 32″
- Storing Height with no front wheel: 27″
- Total Length: 75″
- Gears/Speeds: 3
- Stride Height: 2.5-5.8″
- Stride Length: 16-25″
- Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee
The frames of all the ElliptiGO bike models are made of solid, high-quality aluminum. And the fork is 20″ chro-moly with a 1.5″ steerer. These materials are often used in higher end bikes. The handlebars of the 3C are similar to a bike and have two finger brake levers, while the brakes are found on both the front and rear wheels. The wheels themselves are 20″ aluminium aero profiles, which makes for a faster ride.
The steering column height is adjustable and locks into place. The stride height and length are also adjustable which enables you to adapt the ElliptiGO 3C to each user.
Unlike stationary bikes, there’s no flywheel mechanism. This means that your body is entirely responsible for moving the bike forward. But this bike can only be used on dry, paved roads and paths. So, even though it’s meant for outdoor use, it’s not convenient for all-season riding.
Luckily, the ElliptiGO can be used indoors… for a price. For an extra $499 USD, you can purchase the Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer. This durable trainer attaches to all models of the ElliptiGO. It includes a front stand to hold the steering column and a resistance attachment for the rear wheel. The resistance unit allows you to customize your workout at home and increase the intensity.
The other 2 ElliptiGO models are the 8C and 11R. Accordingly, the 8C has 8 resistance levels while the 11R has 11 resistance levels. They vary slightly in weight and components but their dimensions are the same, as is the stride length and height. The important difference between the models is their functionality. The 8C is suitable for flat or hilly roads but the 11R is made for extremely hilly areas as well. So, you should think of where you’d use this machine the most and what athletic level you possess.
Good value for money?
The cost of the ElliptiGO 3C, 8C and 11R are $2,199.00, $2,699.00 and $3,699.00 respectively.
In our opinion, you must take into account the cost for repairs and parts, as it’s not as easy as simple bike repairs. The 30 day money back guarantee also doesn’t seem adequate coverage for the cost.
However, if you have the money to invest in ElliptiGO, go get it! We strongly recommend taking one for a spin by visiting the test ride locations on the company’s website. The ElliptiGO is an incredibly innovative machine with tons of health benefits and offers a creative option to stay fit.