How to Choose the Best Outdoor Elliptical Bike
Who said exercising has to be boring? Thanks to new technology there is now a new type of elliptical bike to enhance your cardio workouts.
Elliptical bikes provide a great low impact way to burn calories. Using an elliptical bike is also a great way to change up your normal cardio routine. You will enjoy burning more calories and also gain improved posture & coordination.
With outdoor elliptical bikes you can enjoy your cardio outside in nature. You can also join groups of other outdoor elliptical bikers turning it into a group activity.
Outdoor elliptical bikes allow you to take your cardiovascular fitness to a new level. There is also less risk of injuries or damage to your joints.
Adding an outdoor elliptical bike to your fitness equipment might be a great choice for you. Read our review to see if one is right for you.
What is an Outdoor Elliptical Bike?
Imagine a device that combines the mobility of a traditional bicycle and the motion of an indoor elliptical trainer. You know what a bike is but what’s an elliptical trainer? It’s a stationery exercise machine used to simulate walking or running without causing excessive pressure to your joints. An outdoor elliptical bike is a device that uses a running like elliptical motion to propel it.
Now that you have an idea what it is you’re probably wondering where this interesting idea came from.
The elliptical bike is a relatively new concept with the first prototype being completed in mid 2006 and a patent first registered in 2008.
The machine basically imitates the motion of running. This brilliant idea came about when the inventor was filming his daughter run while he drove his car beside her.
Types of Outdoor Elliptical Bikes:
These bikes come in a wide range such as:
- Three wheel elliptical bicycle: With this three wheeled mobile bicycle the rider can expect to achieve a full body, weight bearing, low impact cardiovascular workout. The Street Strider falls under this category.
- Two wheel elliptical bicycle: As the name suggests this bicycle balances on two wheels such as the ElliptiGo.
Today these outdoor elliptical bicycles are manufactured by different brands. We’ll review the most popular.
The StreetStrider consists of a T-shaped lower frame and balances on three wheels. (Two in front and one at the rear). It gives you the combined benefits of jogging, skiing and cycling without the physical stress on your joints and body.
The StreetStrider has a leaning mechanism for steering as well as brakes and a multiple gearing system much like a traditional bike.
This is the most popular brand of outdoor elliptical bicycles. This bicycle is very stable and easy to ride. It requires about the same amount of balance as riding a traditional bicycle.
The braking system consists of hand levers that have rim brakes on the front and rear wheels. With this model you can change gears by using a trigger shifter located on the handlebars.
There are a few lines under this range such as:
- Stand up bikes (SUB): This type uses a cycling motion but delivers a more efficient and comfortable workout.
- Long stride bikes: This type has a running like elliptical motion which delivers the ultimate in riding comfort, performance and versatility.
What’s the difference between these two?
The SUB provides a quiet lightweight performance while the long stride bike gives the smoothest ride which is easy on the joints. With this model you can ride for hours without experiencing any discomfort.
The SUB ‘s custom pedal offers a lightweight responsive design which is designed to channel energy to motion whereas the long stride bike provides stability and comfort.
The long stride has multiple foot positions compared to the SUB meaning more muscle groups are targeted.
The ElliptiGo is the most popular elliptical bike because it was the first ever elliptical bike to be introduced on the market in 2010. Plus, it provides a perfect combination of price and performance with effective results.
Undecided which outdoor elliptical bike is better for you? Read our StreetStrider vs ElliptiGo comparison.
Now let’s review a few models so you can pick yours.
The Top 5 Best Outdoor Elliptical Bicycles
1. ElliptiGO Arc 8 Outdoor Elliptical Bike
Are you a new outdoor elliptical rider looking to purchase your first bike but working on a budget? Then you might like this affordable model.
Its sleek aluminum frame makes it the lightest elliptical bike on the market so it’s easier to ride. Since you’ll be riding in a “natural” stand up position stress on your neck and back is reduced. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the pain that comes with sitting on a bike for long hours.
You can easily navigate any terrain for instance climbing steep hills because it has eight gears to shift between. While getting comfortable on the bike you can cruise comfortably or sprint off the start line when you’ve become a pro. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a low impact cardio workout thanks to its compact stride.
This model is designed with your comfort in mind. It has adjustable foot positioning keeping your feet comfortable without being locked in. The removable telescopic steering extender makes it quick and easy to adjust so riders of any size can use it easily.
Say goodbye to running injuries during cross training thanks to this bicycle. Ultimately it’s safe to conclude this is a fun way to work out while achieving better results in less time.
However you might want to be careful to avoid hitting any potholes because unfortunately this bike does not come with shock absorbers. Check current price.
2. ElliptiGO 8C Outdoor Elliptical Bike
This bicycle offers versatility at its best. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness this is your go to bike. Even if you just want to enjoy a comfortable cruise as an outdoor exercise this is ideal. The bike makes for a fun and easy workout session with effective results.
When you shop you want great price and performance, right? This could be it: This model has a long stride length, running like motion and a wide gear range for optimum performance. It’s suitable for anyone from professional athletes to fitness enthusiasts to recreational riders so the whole family can use the same gear.
Because of the multiple gears you’re not restricted to a certain type terrain. You can climb any hill a road bike can climb.
Word of advice: You might want to avoid riding on dirt roads because pebbles and rocks on the road can cause some cosmetic damage to your bike. Check current price.
3. ElliptiGO 11R Outdoor Elliptical Bike
Looking to take a ride over those hilly terrains? This high performance racing machine is designed for long distance endurance and you can take it up any incline with ease.
It’s one of the lightest and most capable elliptical bicycle you can find thanks to its carbon fiber drive arms & 11 speed hub. Unlike the ElliptiGO 8C this model gives you another low gear to tackle the steepest of climbs and two more high gears to apply power during high speed descents. Now that’s high performance at its best.
Despite its high power it offers a smooth and fun ride. You have the option of enjoying either indoor or outdoor exercises because you can set it up on a stationery trainer inside (Sold separately) if the weather outside is bad.
This is an extremely portable bike thanks to its foldable steering. Check current price.
4. Street Stider 7i Outdoor and Indoor Elliptical Bike
The StreetStrider 7i is a premium outdoor and indoor elliptical bike that is perfect if you want a high quality bike that you can enjoy no matter the weather conditions. The StreetStrider offers a full body workout due to its pull and push strider poles ensuring you are not only working out your lower body but also your upper body.
The StreetStrider 7i is built from high tensile steel and can support up to 300lbs. The dual front and rear disc brakes provide great stopping power as well.
The StreetStrider's adjustable arm levers allow it to be used by people from 5 to 7 feet tall. Storing your bike is also very easy as it folds up allowing it to be kept in your closet or transported easily if you are traveling and want to take it with you.
The 7 speed transmission allows you to easily switch between cruising, power sprinting, or hill climbing depending on the terrain and your workout.
You can also use your StreetStrider indoors with the included indoor training stand if the weather is bad or if you would prefer to watch your favorite TV show during your workout.
The StreetStider is one of the higher priced outdoor elliptical bikes so if you are on a strict budget this may not be the bike for you. The high quality build, full body workout, and included indoor training stand, which makes it more versatile, are the reasons for its higher cost.
5. ElliptiGO SUB Outdoor Stand Up Bike
Enjoy a fun and effective full body workout session in a short time with this outdoor elliptical bike. Expect to burn at least 33% more calories than when you use a regular bike, which is ElliptiGo’s claim. You can enjoy the familiar bicycle pedal stroke with this machine minus the neck, back and seat pain of course.
This model is light and portable so you can ride or travel with it anywhere with ease. Whatever your goals are, be it fitness or just moving from point A to point B this is will work just fine.
In case you thought you’re too heavy to ride this bike it can support people that weigh up to 250lbs. You can climb steep hills of up to 20- 30 % gradient plus it has a sprinting speed of 20+ mph on flat terrain.
Why compromise on your style when working out? Pick this stylish and comfortable bike which is designed to eliminate neck, back & seat pain.
You can use this device for weight bearing exercises such as wearing a weight vest while riding to rev your heart rate and help maintain bone density. Check current price.
Factors to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Elliptical Bike
Ever since their introduction these bikes have been gaining popularity. Below are a few benefits that might explain this and why people are prepared to spend more to own one.
What are the Benefits of an Outdoor Elliptical Bike?
1. Eco Friendly
Any device that needs no electricity, batteries or energy giving technology to get it to function is a winner. If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll like that there’s no burning of fossil fuel resources involved to get it started—just your energy.
2. Weight loss
Looking to lose a few kilos in the shortest possible time? The motions involved when riding this outdoor elliptical bike are enough to burn off those extra calories, and fast.
3. Exercise Without Hurting Joints
Are you familiar with the notion no pain no gain? I’ll have you know it doesn’t apply when using this outdoor elliptical bike. By using this device you’ll enjoy the following:
- You can do feet and lower body exercises with minimal strain to your joints
- Your lower leg pushes down the mounting steps meaning your feet don’t have to leave the steps during a ride
- The pedals and steps move fluently thereby protecting your back, knees & hips
- Less crouching when riding means improved posture
In case you don’t have a home gym to keep it in when not in use, you’ll be happy to know that some models of are very portable. You can simply fold them up for easy storage.
It fits in any small space such as a dorm or a small office. Its portability also means you can travel with it easily by simply pushing it under the bus seat.
5. Different Exercises
The mere fact that you pedal in a standing position is enough to provide you with core body strength. Depending on your preference and goals this bike provides you with the movements of different exercises including:
- Indoor elliptical training
6. Health Benefits
This outdoor elliptic device will provide you with the following health benefits:
- Building you muscles – especially the lower body
- Cardio workout to keep your heart healthy
- Developing core muscles of the abdomen, hips as well as for your upper & lower body
And you get fresh air while you’re at it.
You don’t have to worry about over exerting yourself with this bike. Why? You can easily adjust it to different levels and speeds to suit your current fitness level. You have the option of pre-setting it to match the intensity you desire. If you want rigorous training you can adjust the incline or resistance of the bike.
Since you’ll be riding it outdoors you can also adjust the settings to suit the physical surroundings you plan on riding to.
Want to keep track of your progress? You can purchase a heart rate monitor or track distance with your smart watch or phone.
You don’t have to be a professional to operate an outdoor elliptical bicycle. It’s light weight and easy to use. These elliptical bikes are so flexible in their applications that they are suitable for most people regardless of age, gender or fitness level. And yes, it’s even safe to use while you’re recovering from certain injuries.
How Much Do Outdoor Elliptical Bikes Cost?
An outdoor elliptical bike will cost you anywhere between $399 to $1,999 depending on the model, brand, and quality of bike that you purchase. Before saying that is way to much money to spend when I could go buy a regular bicycle that will only cost $150 - $200 you have to realize that outdoor elliptical bikes are built differently, have many more parts and are intended to serve a different purpose.
Different Use - While bicycles are built first and foremost as a mode of transportation, outdoor elliptical bikes are built to help you exercise and lose weight while getting you around. You will typically burn 30% or more calories on an outdoor elliptical bike than on a regular bike.
Less Stress - Due to the standing position of an elliptical bike there will be much less strain on your neck shoulders and back making longer rides more comfortable.
Full Body Workout - Outdoor elliptical bikes such as the StreetStrider 7i offer a full upper and lower body workout which you won't get on a regular bike.
Quality - while there are many brands of bikes that you can go and buy that will last a summer or two at most very cheaply there are really no low quality outdoor elliptical bikes the are all built from high quality materials and will last for many years which means they will be more expensive.
Not Only Outdoor - While these elliptical bikes are intended to be used outdoors some including the StreetStider mentioned above also come with an indoor stand so that it can be used indoors like a traditional elliptical trainer when the weather is bad. Having an indoor and outdoor elliptical bike in one saves you money and gives you more options for your workouts.
A comfortable bike will make the difference between a pleasant ride or cutting it short. If you intend on riding it for long hours ensure you select one that you’re comfortable with in terms of:
Whether it’s the steering or pedal, the bike should be easy and comfortable to operate.
Other Elliptical Riders
Many communities have groups of elliptical riders that you can join to add variety to your workout experience. You’ll meet fellow elliptical riders and participate in group rides.
If you’re a newbie, you’ll benefit from demos and other valuable information. You can participate in elliptical bike rides if you’re the competitive type. It may be wise to consult them before you make a purchase, so you know you can keep up and ride where they ride.
There are certain accessories you’ll need to keep your outdoor elliptical bike riding smooth and safe no matter what the road presents you with. These include:
- Trainers: Attaching this means you can use your bike indoors. Some trainers will allow you to customize each ride by simply shifting gears.
- Trailers: Just in case you want to take your little one with during your workout session, you can tow them behind you.
- Car racks: For easy transportation of your bike.
- Toe cages: Toe cages help you maximize acceleration if you want to win that competition.
How many gears and speeds do you need? Sure, it’s mostly powered by your effort, but gears and speeds will help you adjust depending on the terrain you’re riding on. Some bikes have up to 8 gears to navigate different terrains for instance if you’re riding uphill.
You need to consider the routes you’ll be using so you pick the bike with the correct number of gears to suit your activities.
How Does it Differ From the Traditional Bicycle?
Firstly say goodbye to saddle soreness. Instead of sitting down and pedalling as you normally would with a traditional bicycle, because it doesn’t have a seat, you’ll be standing the whole time. You don’t have to worry about discomfort in those classic sore spots you endure when riding a traditional bicycle such as the butt, neck, arms and hands.
Unlike the traditional bike the outdoor elliptical bike can literally roll in the streets. How?
You simply push the pedal steps down and slightly forward then the wheel follows & rolls. With this bike you forego the strenuous movement involved when pedalling a traditional bike.
Are Elliptical Bikes Good For Weight Loss?
Combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet elliptical bikes can help you lose weight. Elliptical bikes offer many benefits over regular bicycles and regular cardio workouts.
- Zero impact unlike running on a treadmill
- Full body workout unlike a stationary bike or stair stepper
- Multiple muscle groups are worked at the same time
- You can very the intensity whenever you want to keep your heart rate at its optimal level
Do Elliptical Bikes Burn More Calories Than A Treadmill?
Treadmills burn slightly more calories than a traditional elliptical bike but elliptical bikes are more zero impact and put less stress on your joints than treadmills. Some elliptical bikes like the StreetStrider 7i (reviewed above) offer a full body workout allowing you to burn more calories especially compared to a regular bike.
Another benefit of outdoor elliptical bikes is that you are not stuck in one place as you are on a treadmill, you can travel from place to place and enjoy the outdoors while getting a great workout.
How Fast Can an Elliptical bike Go?
Outdoor elliptical bikes are not as fast as regular bicycles but can still achieve decent speeds. The typical top speed is 15-20 mph for a regular rider and can exceed 25 mph if you are a strong rider.
Why Are They Expensive?
Yes, we understand the hype but do they have to be so expensive you might ask? Be prepared to spend a few extra dollars if you want to add this bike to your fitness collection. Why? Since they combine two machines in one and are not as mass produced as traditional bikes they do cost more.
Let’s put it this way: You’re basically getting a bicycle and an elliptical trainer for the price of one device. Also, it gives you a ton of additional functionality and the benefits are well worth the expense.
It’s clear: Any device that gives you an effective workout session in the shortest possible time with fewer injuries is definitely worth considering. If you can no longer run like you used to but are looking for a low impact exercise routine, then this can be the answer to your problem. And to top it off it’s fun and easy to use.
Why be confined to your four walls when you can enjoy an equally effective workout—if not better—while enjoying gorgeous scenery outdoors?