Introduction to ElliptiGO Elliptical Bicycle Reviews
Elliptical Outdoor Bikes are two-wheeler bicycles designed to replicate running without the impact. They combine an elliptical machine– like you’d find in a gym– with a bicycle in a way that sounds weird but in practical use actually makes a lot of sense, and a pleasure to use.
[Click here to view the list of reviews in the set.]
ElliptiGO machines are among the first of such machines. As you might expect, there are many brands and models, especially after the company came out with its breakaway product. But its line of elliptical bikes have not only been among the first, but the most accepted design.
Though there are other products that mimic their designs at much lower price points, their quality, design, and concept justify the differences in its price structure.
Overall, these machines offer various configurations for the common theme of getting a good workout while “going places” in a special device that you ride not by sitting, but by running.
The adjustable foot positioning– like its large (pedal) foot platform enables you to paddle and “walk” along an easy stride comfortably without the danger of being locked in.
Who is it for?
The ElliptiGO bikes have many uses, and practically anyone can use them. It allows for proper use by people in the general height ranges, such as for users ranging from 4’11” in height to well above 6 feet tall, with adjustable fits via its telescoping steering extenders.
It has various quantities of gears such as three, eight or more; and multiple levels of ride control, so you can start off easy and go up a steep hill with relative ease, but you can also increase its resistance to give yourself a workout as hard as you want.
It’s practically for anyone who wants any type of exercise, and especially someone who wants to enjoy the wind outside while performing a workout routine.
That means anyone meeting the height profile from teens to seniors fit the bill perfectly, and if you can walk and are able to balance at anything, you’re good to go.
With easy riding speeds that enable you to happily cruise from 10 to 20 mph (~32 kph) and above, you won’t be breaking speed records knowing this isn’t meant for that, but can give you a level of workout doubled with a level of enjoyment you can hardly find in such a powerful combination elsewhere.
The rider’s foot “walks” (or runs, depending on your speed) the pedal base by rolling it so the bars connecting the mini-sleigh-like foot pads roll the bars at the back that then turns the crank, making the rear wheel start spinning through its chain ring. This really gives you the feeling similar to running, but without the impact and soreness you would otherwise expect after a jog or run.
The handlebars are easy and ergonomic, making for easy steering, so whether you’re on a flat plane, going up a hill, or on curvy terrain, the easy steering mechanisms paired with ergonomic design and multi-level hub, there’s practically no real limit to where you can travel.
Any of these would have made for a good machine, but their combination affords you the solid performance you’d expect, the absence of impact and strain you normally associate with rides outside, and the firm durability you’ve expected in shelling out a not-insignificant amount of coin for it.
Overall it performs at or better than you’d expect on the road, or even exercising at home. But even better, it includes conveniences one can appreciate even when it’s not running, particularly the steering column and front wheels are adjustable and removable, with a dual kickstand to make it convenient to store.
Considerations You Should Make When Buying an Elliptical Bike
More than just a selection based on features (and pricing based on those features) and quality of materials, there are different types of elliptical bikes classified as well as manufactured according to unique functions from which prices are reflected.
While popular elliptical bike brands are built with the same quality, materials, and attention, they vary on the basis of several attributes:
1) Stride Length – The basis for the bike type and selection. Either a shorter, compact stride (intended for a more intense exercise), or a longer, more recreational stride (but still providing as much exercise as the fun in using it)
2) Rider Motivation – Do you intend to use your bike for fitness or more for a recreational cruise? Or do you want to use it for building endurance for performance and competition instead?
Additionally, are you the athletic type at the height of your fitness game, or do you have any health issues, previous injury, anatomical considerations (such constraints in knee, ankle or hip)? There’s a model especially suited for you.
3) General Terrain – Is the general area you intend to be regularly biking on a mostly flat plain, or a more vertically-inclined area such as a hilly or mountainous region?
Additionally, is the area you intend to be biking on a place you expect to be located for the foreseeable future, or will you need a more generalized machine that can adapt to changing environments?
4) Ride Duration – Are you a casual, fun-seeking user that expects to use your device for an hour or less, usually for recreational purposes? Or do you expect to use your machine for longer periods and different goals, such as for endurance purposes or performance training, as athletes do for example?
5) Budget – While all types of these devices provide the same general benefits unique to the category, some models have additional options or are suited for a different type of user that make it more expensive but provide greater versatility, which not everyone may also need.
Stride Length : The Difference Between Compact and Long Stride Bikes
“Compact-stride” bikes have a smaller, vertical radius for elliptical motion, meaning that the rider will be “pedaling” in a more vertical angle (as opposed to the more horizontal one with the long-stride version as noted below) that is more reminiscent of elliptical gym equipment with a more circular motion. It provides a faster, bouncier workout that works the quadricep muscles more than other models. The Arc is the perfect example of this.
“Long-stride” models, on the other hand, provide the smoothest rides that are even easier on your joints. As its name suggests, the strides made with this type of bike are longer and more horizontal, providing that exercise you’d expect but making for more comfort and versatility, in a striding motion that more like running (compared to the more “bouncy” style of the compact stride machines. All the models except the Arc are long-stride machines.
Elliptical bikes are a far more versatile apparatus than the machines that have inspired their creation (that of bikes and elliptical trainers, separately) because not only can they be used either indoors or outdoor, you can even make your selection based on the goals you have.
For example, a certain model would be good if you wish to use it recreationally while using another one for exercise or training oriented objectives.
The difference isn’t just superfluous because you can tailor your decision specifically to what you wish to achieve, and there is a model especially tuned for your primary goal.
While elliptical bikes can be used in just about any condition or terrain, selecting one with your general surrounding terrain in mind can make for an optimal purchase, use, and enjoyment overall.
Since these aren’t cheap machines, these criteria would go a long way towards the lifetime enjoyment you can derive from it.
There is a model best used for areas that have mostly flat, open terrain; while there are models (and gear-selections) that come highly recommended for frequent climbs on hilly terrain or mountainous areas.
Will you be biking mostly outdoor? (Any of the models would be perfect.) Or do you wish to have a machine with the versatility to allow you to also exercise and use it indoors? (Any of the models excepting only the Arc would be great.)
These considerations are important because you wouldn’t want to pay for excessive features you may not use a lot, if at all. At the same time, your temperament, budget, and use-case may be the type where flexibility is required or preferred.
As much as happy users ride much more over time– especially when compared to their initial expectations– the frequency of use from the beginning increases due to the fun of using these machines, you may have specific schedules to maintain or have goals that require longer training periods.
Elliptical trainers in the gym are notorious for being boring (research even says so), outdoor ellipticals are a different beast.
There are specific models best suited for your needs. The Arc, for example, is best for rides of an hour or less (though you can naturally use it as long as you want), while the other models with longer strides fare better for longer rides.
While your mileage may vary and provide for various other conditions that could affect your experience, the above are the more important criteria to consider and are the conditions commonly decided upon by buyers.
The Great Indoors, the Freedom to Also Ride Outdoors
Admit it, while treadmills, steppers, and gym-standard ellipticals enable enough exercise endorphins to make you feel good, the amount of exercise time at the same place and staring at the wall or TV can get tedious to downright monotonous.
Not with these units— because while you can also do all that stationary training indoors if you choose to, you don’t have to be constrained to that permanently. The elliptical bike lets you do all that and do them outside, cruising along in style to the jealous looks from the rest of the ambulating masses.
The High Impact of Being “Low Impact”
Best of all, it is “low-impact”, meaning you aren’t putting much explosive impact and strain on your feet, legs, joints and body as you would other exercises (including running, whether outside or on a treadmill), because you’ll be swinging your legs forward and back as if walking or running, to move.
The Experience is Hard to Describe
And that’s a good thing because while almost everyone is accustomed to the joys of riding a bike, the particular configuration of this type of machine lends itself to such novelty, but also an intrinsically separate layer of engagement different from the regular fare from which we’ve become accustomed.
One of its units, the Arc, for example, is unique because it’s intended to provide more of an intense workout that is especially heavy on the quads (quadriceps), while the other models (all of which are of the “long-stride” variety) are made for a more inclusive and balanced function.
Ease of Assembly
All of the models are generally easy to use, except in the beginning when their novel use factor can feel very strange at first and may need getting used to for some.
They’re relatively easy to assemble. It doesn’t even require specialized tools, with the exception of an Allen wrench. It comes with a clear and detailed user’s manual (which is good if you want all the information but can be cumbersome if you just want to get riding already).
However, there are also plenty of external resources (from the company and its users) such as videos, diagrams and other assets available online. While these may not be immediately advisable as opposed to the company’s own documentation, you can use both and still get the job done faster and safer.
Overall, assembly can take 30 minutes or so. Just pay close attention to the common pitfalls and the most important elements such as attaching front brakes.
This machine is a different animal and requires a different approach to many of the things people normally take for granted during its use.
For example, despite advice to the contrary, people ride their bikes and bicycles with one hand, and while running use the other hand to do something like hold a bottle of water to drink, answer the phone, or be a multitasking ninja with their mobile device.
But these machines are designed so you also exercise your hands and upper body. And because you’re in an upright (standing) position, the walking or running action to provide motion is bouncier than a sitting pedal, making one-hand attempts at control an almost sure-fire path to a wipeout.
With this and other examples, the key to remember is to treat this apparatus with the same respect as you would with any new device, and not assume it is like any other machine you’re used to. Doing so will allow you to enjoy it like a boss. And how!
Onward to ElliptiGO Reviews
Serving as a fine alternative to the desk bike with its own special basket of goodness, these wonders of modern biking and fitness innovation enforce the growing theme of new ways of exercising; and the modern trend towards making workouts a lot of fun.
While the above covers a brief overview that applies to practically all the models in general, it’s time to delve into each one in our series to give you the differences, pros, and cons of each one.