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A Review of the 5 Best Elliptical Bikes for Weight Loss

A Review of the 5 Best Elliptical Bikes for Weight Loss

We are often faced with barriers to exercise. You may find yourself saying, “I want to work out, but I don’t have time.” Depending on your geographical location, another typical barrier deals with the weather. You may hear someone say, “I want to work out, but I like exercising outside. When the weather improves, I’ll get more active.” Regardless of your barriers to exercise, an elliptical exercise bike may be the one thing that can get you exercising no matter where you live, how you like to exercise, and no matter what your budget.

How?

Elliptical bikes offer the “best of all world” scenarios, so most people can benefit from having one in their fitness arsenal. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of elliptical bicycles and what the research says. Also, we will give you full reviews of the best elliptical bikes on the market. In this list, we have bikes that will fit the needs of a variety of people and situations. Once you read through all this information, jump down to “The Rundown” section to find quick product specs. After that, check out our elliptical bike workout to get you in tip top shape for using these machines.

Ellipticals vs. Bikes: No Need to Choose

Man Using An Elliptical BikeIf you’ve read some of our other articles about ellipticals and various bikes, then you may be wishing there was a way to get all of the beneficial features in one machine. Look no further than an elliptical bike! So, let’s take a look at what elliptical bikes (in their many forms) can offer:

You Get Both: Outdoor and Indoor Exercise

Aside from enjoying outdoor exercise, science indicates that outdoor exercise like biking is great for your health, your mood, the environment, and the economy (1). Luckily, elliptical bikes can be used outdoors and indoors depending on the specific model. Also, elliptical bikes can be stationary, used as a means of travel, or both. Read the full product reviews to find out more.

You Get Both: Seated and Upright Exercise

As the name “elliptical bike” implies, most models have both seated and upright exercise modalities. Having the option for both gives you multiple exercises, which saves you money on buying additional equipment. According to the research on seated vs. standing exercises, both are important and can be used as a varying “continuum of exercise.” That being said, however, make sure to always challenge yourself. Ultimately, something like an elliptical bike could help people do just that.

You Get Both: Higher Priced and Lower Priced Equipment

Compared to other types of cardio equipment, elliptical bikes vary so greatly that nearly anyone with any budget can purchase an elliptical bike. As you will see in the list below, these 5 best elliptical bikes range in price from about $140 to nearly $1300. While it may be obvious to some, the cost of exercise is a real and valid barrier to exercise, so luckily there are cheap elliptical bikes available for purchase.

You Get Both: Individual and Group Exercise

Whether you enjoy individual exercise or like to work out with a friend, you can find both in an elliptical bike. As you will see, the elderly, the young, the physically fit, and those with suboptimal strength can use elliptical bikes. Since these machines can accommodate most people, you can make a purchasing decision based on who will use this machine and how many people at once will want to use this machine. For the outdoor elliptical bikes specifically, you may be able to purchase a few outdoor bikes so that you can ride with friends or family.

Choosing the Best Elliptical Bike for You 

People Working Out Elliptical BikesNow that you know the benefits of an elliptical bike and some research behind it, you now have some information to help you decide if and which type of elliptical bike is right for you. Keep on reading for a list of Fitnesstor’s top picks in elliptical bikes. Also, make sure you take a look at “The Rundown” section  so you can summarize all of this information. Once you have your elliptical bike on its way to your home, we’ve got an intense sample workout that is designed to help you perform better on an elliptical bike.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

As you go through these reviews, there are several questions to ask yourself. These questions are designed to spark thought about your specific situation and what will keep you motivated to exercise on an elliptical bike. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, these questions will help you identify applicable barriers to exercise. Identifying barriers to exercise will help you avoid burnout and excuses that will ultimately prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.

  • Where will I be exercising most: outdoors or indoors? Does my climate allow me to use an outdoor elliptical bike throughout the year? Is using an elliptical bike outdoors even feasible for me?
  • What is my budget for an elliptical exercise bike?
  • Do I need an elliptical bike combo that has a seat if needed, or can I get by with a bike that is only operated while standing?

Keep these questions in the back of your mind. If you need to, then jot down details about these elliptical bikes and make a checklist based on what you need. Doing so will help make the decision making process much easier!

Fitnessator’s Top Pick 

ElliptiGo Arc 8 – The Best Elliptical Exercise Bike for Outdoor Enthusiasts

ElliptiGo Arc 8 Elliptical BikeWhy We Love It:

We love the ElliptiGo Arc 8 because it is a smooth outdoor elliptical bike that can motivate you to get outside and get exercising. Also, since this machine can be ridden on both flat and incline surfaces, you can take this elliptical bike nearly anywhere!

The Research:

While there is minimal research behind outdoor elliptical bikes, these bikes can be compared to conventional bikes and the outdoor exercise experience they provide. According to the research, biking outdoors, especially in pleasant geographical locations, promotes enjoyment of outdoor exercise. Therefore, purchasing an outdoor elliptical bike like the ElliptiGo Arc 8 can be not only healthy, it can also be a really fun activity. 

Details:
  • Max rider weight capacity is 250 lbs
  • Does not have a seat
  • Elliptical bike weight is 37 lbs
  • ElliptiGo Website Price: $1299
Things to Consider:

Unfortunately, this outdoor elliptical bike is quite expensive, which would make it difficult to afford for most people. Furthermore, if you are looking for multiple outdoor elliptical bikes to use with a spouse, friends, or family, then you may have to fork over thousands upon thousands of dollars to do so! 

Customer Reviews:

Per customer reviews, people love this smooth machine and they love that they can get a lot of use from it. Several customers have put over fifteen thousand miles onto this outdoor exercise bike without issue!

As you may imagine, some customers have trouble adjusting to the mechanics of such a machine. While people claim it’s a fairly smooth ride, some simply dislike how an outdoor elliptical bike works. Prior to purchasing an elliptical bike, consider trying one out at a brick and mortar store.  

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Outdoor enthusiasts would love this product. If you plan (or currently) get most of your exercise outdoors, then consider adding this to your arsenal of outdoor fitness equipment. This awesome and innovative machine can give you a great workout while allowing you to enjoy the outdoors alone or with company.

Fitnessator’s Runner Up 

StreetStrider 3i Elliptical Bike – The Best Outdoor Elliptical Bike for Under $1000

StreetStrider 3i Elliptical BikeWhy We Love It:

If your heart is set on getting an outdoor elliptical bike, then rest assured that the StreetStrider bike gives you similar benefits as the Fitnessator Top Pick, but for a discount. Any price break can help to get you out there and get to enjoying nature! 

Details:
  • Max rider weight capacity is 300 lbs
  • Does not have a seat
  • Has the ability to be used outdoors and indoors (with proper accessories)
  • StreetStrider Website Price: $999
Things to Consider:

The StreetStrider operates with a “lean to steer” mechanism. While the company claims that this is a natural way to operate such a bike, people may need to adjust. Also, if you have any issues with balance or full body coordination, then you may not be able to use this elliptical bike.

Customer Reviews:

Luckily, this model is comfortable for people who are short, average, and taller than average. Also, since it accommodated people up to 300 lbs, most people can fit within the weight limits of this bike.

If you plan on riding over hills, then consider purchasing the StreetStrider 7i model (not included in this list). Between the two, the different numbers indicate the different number of speeds. The 3i model has 3 speeds whereas the 7i model has 7 speeds. According to customers, the 3i model really limits your ability to manage hills efficiently. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Compared to the Fitnessator Top Pick, this model is slightly cheaper while offering the same type of experience. However, perhaps the most attractive feature is that the StreetStrider can be used both indoors and outdoors, so you can just buy this one machine to cover your indoor and outdoor cardio needs. 

Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention

ProForm 2 in 1 Bike – The Best Elliptical Recumbent Bike

ProForm 2 in 1 Elliptical BikeWhy We Love It:

If you’re like many people, then outdoor exercise year-round is just not feasible. So, the ProForm 2 in 1 elliptical recumbent bike is the way to go. On this one machine, you get the option to sit or stand, which can accommodate multiple people in the same household (and accommodate different cardio workouts). 

Details:
  • Max rider weight capacity is 350 lbs
  • This product can be used sitting or standing
  • Contains several fitness programs and connectivity features to track your progress
  • Walmart Website Price: $579.99
Things to Consider:

This is a really large machine, so make sure you have enough space in your home fitness area. Compared to upright ellipticals and exercise bikes, recumbent elliptical bikes take up a large footprint. If you need indoor exercise equipment that is more compact, then check out our article about stair climbers. Also, jump down to the next model since it is both cheaper and smaller than this one. 

Customer Reviews:

As you may imagine, customers love that they can get an elliptical bike combo product for a quarter of the price of the outdoor elliptical bikes! This really makes an indoor model quite appealing.

According to customers, this complex machine comes with a complex assembly! Not surprisingly, customers complain that setup is an all-day process. Above all, give yourself time and have a team handy if possible. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:

For those who cannot work out outside during all times of the year, consider this elliptical recumbent bike. Also, if you have multiple people exercising in your home, then this machine can accommodate the young, old, physically fit, and those who need to be seated during exercise.

The Best Cheap Elliptical Bike

Fitness Reality E3000

Fitness Reality E3000 Elliptical BikeWhy We Love It:

This cheap and highly compact elliptical bike should be your top choice if budget and/or space is your main purchasing factor. Even though you can get both a standing elliptical exercise and a seated bike exercise on this one machine, you don’t have to pay a high price tag!

Details:
  • Max rider weight capacity is 250 lbs
  • This product can be used sitting or standing
  • Able to pedal forwards and backwards on this machine
  • Walmart Website Price: $139
Things to Consider:

While many people will fit within the weight limit of 250 lbs, if you are someone over this limit, consider the risk of using this machine. If someone who is over 250 lbs is trying to use an elliptical bike to lose weight, then make sure you find one that will accommodate you.

Customer Reviews:

If you are older or have any joint issues, then know that customers like you claim that this is a great exercise product to use. Since you have the ability to sit or stand, you can challenge yourself on some days and then do an easier workout session while sitting.

One of the biggest complaints for this bike is that it is complicated to set up due to lots of parts and the fact that the assembly manual is too vague. Be sure to get some help with set up.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

We may need a cheap and/or compact elliptical bike for a variety of reasons, but rest assured that people of all ages can use this elliptical bike combo machine. Whether you are a college student on a budget living in a small apartment or you are elderly on a fixed income, the Fitness Reality machine will fit the needs of many.

The Best Outdoor Stationary Elliptical Bike

Stamina Outdoor Elliptical Strider

Stamina Outdoor Elliptical StriderWhy We Love It:

This basic elliptical bike can let you enjoy the outdoors without leaving your property. For those who need to save space at home can place this machine outside on a deck, in a garage, in a shed, or on the patio. You can still reap the benefits of fresh air while staying at home! 

Details:
  • Max rider weight capacity is 300 lbs
  • Does not have a seat
  • Can be placed uncovered outdoors
  • Walmart Website Price: $359.08
Things to Consider:

If you’re looking for a machine that offers various resistance levels, then reconsider purchasing this elliptical bike. Since this is a very basic machine, it does not offer significant resistance. 

Customer Reviews:

While you can’t speed through the streets with this model, you can still enjoy nature! In fact, one customer loves to use this bike on his deck that overlooks his property.

Overall, some customers complain that set up can be difficult. More specifically, some customers claim that the nuts, bolts, and holes do not always align well, leading to the customers having to go to the hardware store or getting replacements from the company. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If you can’t necessarily ride a moving elliptical bike outdoor year round, then consider purchasing an outdoor stationary elliptical bike. You can keep this outside (saving you space in your house) or keep it in a garage or shed. This heavy duty machine is equipped to withstand changing weather conditions.

The Rundown on Elliptical Bikes

After reviewing the Fitnessator’s top picks in elliptical bikes, here’s a breakdown to help you compare the products we discussed:

Product

Less than $400

Indoor or outdoor?

Allows for sitting

Allows for standing

ElliptiGo Arc 8 (Top Pick) Outdoor X
StreetStrider Elliptical Bike Combo (Runner Up) Both X
ProForm 2 in 1 Bike (Honorable Mention) Indoor X X
Fitness Reality E3000 X Indoor X X
Stamina Stationary Elliptical Bike Outdoor X Outdoor X

 

Sample Workout for Elliptical Bikes: Improve Your Skills

We’ve designed this sample workout routine to improve your elliptical biking skills (for both indoor and outdoor biking). Not only will this workout get your heart pumping, but it will train your body in several areas: strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance, and stability.

As you will see, some of these exercises may have recommended accessory equipment. So, you may need to tailor these exercises to fit your equipment arsenal. While most of these exercises can be accomplished with equipment at a commercial gym, those who work out at home may need to get creative.

For each exercise, we designate the specific target areas. This way, you can improvise if equipment is not available. Before starting any exercise routine, especially when using an elliptical bike, be sure to discuss your personalized exercise recommendations with your doctor.

Exercise

Notes

Target Area(s)

Sets

Repetitions

Agility ladder with resistance band
This is a great cardio and strength exercise to help you get conditioned for biking. Using an agility ladder on the floor, wrap a resistance band around your ankles and shuffle back and forth through the ladder. Cardio, legs, glutes 3 7 minutes per set
Reverse lunges with dumbbells
Using adjustable dumbbells, activate the core and glutes to perform these lunges. Repeat on each side. Also, try Bulgarian split squats Legs, glutes, core 3 20
Weight plate planks
Prep for a plank position. Using a weight plate, place the weight plate on your back. Also, you can do this exercise with a weight vest. Core 4 1-2 minutes per set
Push-ups or wall presses
If you are still working on your chest strength, then try doing wall presses. For others who want mega shredding chest and arm exercises, check out these other awesome chest exercises and bicep workouts. Arms, chest 3 20
Kettlebell swings
Activate your core and try to make your movements explosive! Glutes, arms, legs 3 25
Triceps dip
Using a weight bench or a power tower, engage in triceps dips to build strength in the arms Arms 3 10

 

Before You Purchase  

As you can see after reading this article, elliptical bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Also, they can be used in a variety of environments, so choosing the best elliptical bike for you can be tough! Again, before you purchase an elliptical bike combo, make sure you ask yourself a series of questions:

  • Where will I be exercising most: outdoors or indoors? Does my climate allow me to use an outdoor elliptical bike throughout the year? Is using an elliptical bike outdoors even feasible for me?
  • What is my budget for an elliptical exercise bike?
  • Do I need an elliptical bike combo that has a seat if needed, or can I get by with a bike that is only operated while standing?

Once you know the answers to these questions, choosing the perfect elliptical bike for you may be a little easier. If you need more help, then make sure to refer back to our full product reviews and the side-by-side comparison chart of the 5 best elliptical bikes.

Where will you be using your new elliptical bike? Outdoors? Indoors? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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