Traditional outdoor exercise can often involve putting extra stress on your body, leaving you feeling tired, stiff and full of aches and pains. Running can be painful on your joints, especially if you suffer from ankle, knee or hip problems and cycling can put you in an uncomfortable position, with bad posture, leaving you feeling tight and weak across your body when you get off the bicycle.
Most indoor exercise options offer you the chance to do the same movements, but with lower impact and with machines like the recumbent exercise bike, stepper or elliptical machine, there are plenty of indoor options that will help you to burn calories without putting stress on your body.
All You Need to Know About Elliptical Bikes
But what do you do when you want to exercise outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and views that come with it?
What do you do when you don’t want to sign up for an expensive gym membership just to use one piece of equipment?
Well, you take your well-being into your own hands of course and buy a piece of equipment which you can use whenever you want, one that helps you to burn more calories than most other options and is also low impact on your body, leaving you free of the wear and tear you would experience with other machines.
In this review, we are going to look at an elliptical exercise bike (elliptical street bike), which is one of the best options for you when it comes to exercising outside the gym.
1. StreetStrider 3i Outdoor + Indoor Elliptical Cross Trainer
The StreetStrider 3i is an Elliptical exercise bike that can be used outside or inside, giving you a full-body workout wherever you decide to use it by combining the benefits of cycling, skiing or jogging into one handy piece of equipment.
StreetStrider says that you can build muscle and burn up to 1000 calories an hour whilst using the bike meaning you will burn fat and improve your conditioning every time you use it and you won’t have to worry about putting extra stress on your joints as it is low impact exercise that doesn’t put extra stress on your body.
Using the bike indoors is easy, simply use the indoor trainer stand, which converts the bike into a stationary elliptical in only a matter of seconds and you can begin working out in the comfort of your own home.
However, if you prefer to get outside and enjoy the weather, keep it set up for outdoor use and head outside.
The 3-speed transmission helps to make the StreetStrider more fun and enjoyable to use and is perfect for short to medium strides and when trying to navigate flat roads or the gentle hills you might find on your route.
The 3i has a ‘lean-to-steer’ function, which makes turning around corners much easier and further adds to the smooth riding experience.
With adjustable arm levers and extendable foot platforms, the StreetStrider is all about comfort and as it caters for users between 5ft to 7ft tall, most adults should find this bike easy to use.
The easy folding feature makes transporting the bike easier than you’d believe and with the dual front and rear disc brakes providing amazing stopping power you will know you’re safe and stable when using the StreetStrider.
The high tensile steel frame and 3 wheel platform offer excellent support for all riders, up to 300lbs, and with fun and comfort being a big part of the StreetStrider, you can enjoy a full-body workout every time you use it.
The StreetStrider is fun, comfortable and easy to use and with the added bonus of being ready for indoor or outdoor use, we really like the StreetStrider.
The fact you can get a true full-body workout whilst using this bike is certainly a bonus and the ability to burn more calories, without putting pressure on your joints or holding your body in a poor postural position for a long period of times is another positive for us, not to mention the added core workout you will receive from having to stand and stabilize yourself whilst using this bike.
If there were any drawbacks about the StreetStrider it would be the overall size of the bike. Although it does fold for easy transportation it is quite large which you will certainly notice when using it, but that is only a slight con, as otherwise, it is a great bike.
2. ElliptiGO SUB
Designed for outdoor use, the ElliptiGO SUB is best described as a traditional bike, except without a seat. It’s a stand-up bike that offers a full-body workout and promises to help you burn 33% more calories than using a traditional bike. There’s no seat, meaning you have to stand to use the bike but also meaning that your core will be engaged throughout the ride.
You will feel the effects of using the SUB on your legs and upper body and as this ElliptiGO bike is a weight-bearing exercise, you will feel your muscles working as your heart rate climb faster than normal.
The idea behind this bike is to be quick and nimble, ready to respond to whatever it is you want to do as you make your way around whilst also being comfortable and not leaving you with back or neck pain like a normal bike would.
One look at this bike and it shouldn’t surprise you that the pedal stroke is similar to a normal bicycle but the SUB doesn’t require you to hunch over, putting stress on your back, neck, shoulders or arms, instead, you stay upright throughout as you move your legs to power the bike.
Available in different colors, the SUB is compact, lightweight and powerful and whilst riding you will be able to climb steep hills of up to a 20-30% gradient or sprint on flat terrain, hitting over 20 mph as you move.
With a maximum rider weight of 250lbs, most users should find the SUB comfortable and easy to use, giving you a great option for exercising and traveling when outdoors.
The ElliptiGO SUB is a great bike that really works the entire body and can act as a great tool for exercising and burning calories. Despite its size, the SUB can handle hills or flats comfortably, all whilst still being nimble enough for everyday travel and exercise.
It has become popular amongst people that are looking for a low impact exercise option and who also want to work hard without putting stress on their body and while the consistent opinion amongst everyone that has used one is that the ElliptiGO SUB is a fantastic bike that provides an amazing workout we are happy to report that we feel the same.
The ElliptiGO SUB bike is a great choice if you’re wanting to exercise outside and also really push yourself during your workout. It’s a lightweight, compact bike that packs a punch, so if you’re looking for a cycling alternative that doesn’t leave you with back and neck pain, you may have just found it.
3. ElliptiGO 3C
Bigger than the ElliptiGO SUB bike the 3C has been designed for indoor or outdoor use as a low impact alternative to traditional cardio exercise. You can exercise indoors by using the stand to secure the bike in place before you exercise, or use the bike outdoors and enjoy what ElliptiGO describes as ‘running on air’.
The bike doesn’t have a seat and has been designed to be used in a “stand up” riding position. This reduces stress and pressure felt on your neck and back which you would normally get from your position on a traditional bike and also means you get a truly full-body workout, working your legs, core and arms all at the same time.
The standing position feels more natural and is similar to running, but with no impact on the hard ground below, you will experience the smooth running on air feeling already mentioned.
The 3C is all about fun and with ElliptiGO saying you can expect to burn 33% more calories than a traditional bike, you can get even more enjoyment out of your ride as you also burn fat and lose weight in less time than a normal cycling session.
The 3C has 3 gears and is equipped to tackle gentle hills or long flats, where it can reach speeds of 23 mph and really start to move. It also has an adjustable stride length and adjustable handlebar height, helping you to find your optimal comfort level and positioning on the bike.
The 3C is a fun and comfortable exercise bike that makes exercising all year round easy and realistic. You no longer have to worry about making it to the gym or braving the cold weather conditions as you can use the 3C as you see fit, indoors or outdoors and plan around the weather.
With a key staple of the 3C being the feeling of “running on air” it should come as no surprise that this model has proved very popular with runners who want a low impact cross-training variation to their programs or who are recovering from a previous injury and it’s easy to see why.
The ElliptiGO 3C is a comfortable, compact and very efficient piece of equipment which would be a welcome tool when looking to get fit and burn calories and its simple design means you can tackle most terrains with ease and with pace.
The fact that you can burn so many calories whilst using the 3C was an added bonus for us, and something we certainly appreciated and when you take into account how low impact the 3C is it makes it a no brainer if you’re looking for an outdoor exercise that doesn’t cause you pain.
However, If we had to highlight a weakness of the 3C and offer up something we would improve, it would be the climbing ability, as it can climb mild hills of up to 5% grade, which depending on where you live and where you want to use the bike, can limit your options. Otherwise, the 3C is a very solid bike that would be a welcome addition to your collection.
Streetstrider Vs ElliptiGo
When comparing the bikes above and trying to make your choice, you will see you have two distinct options. The Streetstrider or the ElliptiGO, but which one is best for you?
Both are reputable brands and both produce very high-quality elliptical bikes so how do you decide?
Wheels and Balance
The Elliptigo bikes only have two wheels, whereas the StreetStrider has three.
If you’re an avid bike rider and someone who actually enjoys riding a bike then an elliptiGO may be the better option for you as it is closest to an actual bike.
In this way, the StreetStrider could be a better option for a beginner as it offers more support and better balance.
Handling and Maneuvering
The handlebars on the elliptiGO bikes are fixed in place, like a traditional bike, whereas the StreetStrider handlebars work like a traditional elliptical machine and require you to move your arms backward and forwards to move the bike. For this reason, the StreetStrider may work you harder and help you to burn more calories but actually, when it comes to steering and being able to move the bikes, there’s not much between them as both brands move well.
Speed and Hills
All of the bikes in this review had a similar 3-speed transmission, getting up to 20+ miles per hour. However, what should be noted is the difference in their ability to handle hills.
With the StreetStrider requiring you to move your arms as well, it can make steeper hills just a little bit harder, but that could be a good thing if you want the bike which helps you to work harder and burn more calories.
StrretStrider is far more comfortable and here it must be said that the extra wheel, which aides balance and support, makes for a much more controlled and comfortable ride.
That extra wheel does make this bike a little bigger but it may be worth the trade-off if you feel better on the bike.
The handlebars are padded and easy to grip on both bikes so there is little to pick between here.
Both elliptical exercise bikes are high-quality and either would be a great choice for an outdoor elliptical bike, but in the end, it really comes down to personal preference.
If you’re a more experienced exerciser, whether that be as a runner, biker or something else, then the ElliptiGO may be the choice for you, but if you’re relatively new to exercise, or not a very strong bike rider, the extra stability and support of the StreetStrider may be better for you.
Ultimately both brands are very strong and produce high-quality bikes, it’s just down to your own choice and which one you may prefer.
If you know you want to get better on the elliptical bike and really start to improve then it may make more sense to get an elliptiGO bike from the beginning, otherwise, if you’re just wanting to have fun, you can’t go wrong with the StreetStrider.
Elliptical Bikes Vs Elliptical Trainers
Although the motions of an elliptical bike and an elliptical trainer are almost identical (actually, some of the bikes can be used indoors, like an indoor elliptical bike), there are certain differences between the two which when looking to decide between buying a bike, or a trainer, could sway you either way.
Much of the mechanics are the same, although the bikes do tend to run off a different gear system to help navigate the streets and any hills you encounter with ease.
The bikes have been designed with outdoor use in mind whereas the elliptical trainers are for use indoors, at home and it shows.
Although you can use some of the elliptical bikes indoors, you won’t find any media trays, LCD screens or heart rate monitors to help you keep track of your progress, you will, however, be able to get to work and exercise whenever and wherever you want.
Both the bike and trainer offer low impact exercise options but the traditional elliptical trainer is probably more suited for beginners or someone who is completely new to exercise as it is not as daunting and is easier to manage as it is fixed in place and doesn’t move.
When you break it down and look at the two options there isn’t much to choose from, both offer great low impact ways to exercise, however it is worth noting that if you like the idea of working out, outside, and don’t want to run or cycle, then an elliptical bike is the right choice for you.
You may not be ready yet, especially if you’re new to exercise, but by going for a bike, that can be used indoors, you will have the opportunity to build up your confidence before actually taking your bike on the road.