Outdoor Elliptical vs. Elliptical Bike: Best Choices for 2018
So, you’re looking for an elliptical exercise to help maintain a fit body. After all, not everyone enjoys getting his or her exercise from a rapid-running treadmill. Did you know there are more options available than the average elliptical machine at the gym? The Elliptical bike has become a trending topic lately. It allows people to go outside, use a machine on wheels, and get that natural elliptical motion. You can ride up hills, down the sidewalk, or off-road while getting a solid workout. The elliptical trainer on the other hand, has more of a traditional look, very similar/almost identical to the machine you see in the gym. By far, the biggest difference between the two is that one is idle while the other is mobile.
Ultimately, a buying guide comparing the two products is crucial. This buyer’s guide will help you compare an elliptical trainer to an elliptical bike, and will likely take you one step closer to finding what works best for you. Sure, the differences are evident at the surface level; one is a bike and the other is an idle machine. But there are other qualities involved that can help consumers become more decisive when choosing between the two.
Difference between Bike & Trainer
The Elliptical bike is basically a bicycle that is powered by the movement of the pedals resembling that of an original elliptical. In other words; if you combine a bicycle with an elliptical trainer, the result will be an elliptical bike. The machine has two small wheels, as well as two pedals. There are also two handles with a gear shifter on one side and a handbrake on the other. Using this type of machine is essentially running without impact. You are basically standing on a bike with this product.
Two brands have dominated the online market for elliptical bikes: ElliptiGO and Zike. Granted, there are likely other entities out there that offer a similar product, but not nearly as popular as these brands. You will soon see that the top five elliptical bikes in 2018 consist of ElliptiGO and Zike.
The biggest element you need to consider for any type of elliptical bike is the weight limit. This ultimately deters those who might be heavy on a scale but are looking for a comfortable method of exercising.
Compared to the bike, the Elliptical trainer is stationary and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Most of these machines have an LCD display that allows the user to monitor their progress. Those who prefer this type of exercise machine likely enjoy being in the comfort of their own home or exercise area. The biggest advantage that the elliptical trainer has in comparison to the bike is that it can work out both the upper body and the lower body at the same time. Having handlebars that are connected to the foot pedals helps users create swift motions that help with full body exercises instead of exclusively targeting one specific area of the body. Select trainers also have a USB port that can connect their electronic device to the machine and track stats.
Top 5 Elliptical Bikes
The ElliptiGO 8C is the most popular elliptical bike in the world! It really has all you would want from a product in this category. Unfortunately, its price tag kinda reflects that. You know … “you get what you pay for!”. Well, you can rest assured this is a quality machine. It has a long stride length, running-like motion, and wide gear range.
This elliptical bike tops the chart because of its easy accessibility and color options. This machine allows you to feel the burn of your exercise while riding on extreme surfaces. In addition, you will rarely feel any impact when going through with hard strides. The ElliptiGO 8C is at the top because it is the perfect combination of value and performance. The comfort levels it provides and cosmetic options truly give it a superior value.
- Available in three different colors
- Can easily climb any type of steep hill
- High price
Having an elliptical bike like the Zike Saber Hybrid bike will promise to challenge you physically. You can tackle any hill or unstable surface with the bike’s 7-gear system. This system allows you to shift gears for faster speeds and climbing hills. Having hand brakes also help with control when it comes to this bike. If you do decide to down hills, it will be important to have the ability to stop at a moment’s notice, without getting hurt of course. The bike is made primarily of aluminum, so it is likely to be durable as long as it’s not sitting in the rain. The long elliptical strides will work out your lower body while helping you move quicker. This model comes in a sleek, all-blue model.
One of the biggest downfalls to this bike is that it can’t hold much weight. The recommended weight for the Zike Saber Hybrid bike is at about 200 pounds. Anything more can severely slow down the bike and as a result, your workout will suffer. This has been an issue for most riders, as there are quite a few fitness buffs over that weight measurement and looking to trim down or maintain their current weight. Another downside to this elliptical bike is the pedals. While they are long and offer enough room to move your feet around, there aren’t any edges that prevent foot slippage. For those that like to go wild while on the elliptical bike, this could become a problem while on the road. THIS BIKE is currently unavailable on Amazon for now, but we have lots of great options – just read on!
- 7-gear system allows users to change speed levels
- Has brakes in both front and back
- Price is high
- Doesn’t work well for adults over 200 lbs.
Another product from Zike, this particular elliptical bike serves the smaller consumer. For the light-weighted riders trying to get in a solid exercise, the Zike Z150 WingFlyer elliptical scooter bike will help them accomplish their goals. This elliptical bike is specifically designed for age 10 to adults that weigh up to 160 pounds. The Zike Z150 has a steel frame that is extremely difficult to blemish, as well as aluminum alloy wheels that will hold up against the worst weather conditions. An additive to the rugged wheels is the air filled tires, which will hold up 160 pounds of weight without collapsing while out on multiple surfaces. In addition to the durable features, this bike has exceptional grip on the handlebars and a handbrake for easy breaking when you want to stop. These additional features make it easier for riders to focus on using their legs for effortless strides while on the road. The pedals have reflectors behind them so you can safely use this bike while it begins to get dark and be visible to oncoming cars behind you.
Another plus to the Zike Z150 is the price. Most elliptical bikes on the market vary in price but tend to be on the more expensive side. Luckily for those interested, the price of the Z150 WingFlyer won’t break the bank. You can easily find this product for less than $300, which is reasonable in comparison to some of the more popular elliptical bikes.
Similar to the Zike Saber bike, the Z150 limits its users by creating an elliptical bike that holds less than 250 pounds. In result, bigger people looking to find an elliptical bike will pass on this because they simply don’t fit the description. While height doesn’t play a factor in using this item, weight is crucial and affects how well this bike rides. Something else that might deter the more competitive athlete is the fact that this bike doesn’t have gears that can be used to shift into different speeds. In this scenario, those people will likely consider purchasing the Saber Hybrid bike, as long as they meet the requirements.
- Reasonable price
- Patented smooth ride system enabled
- Grips and reflectors enhance visibility at night
- Folds up to easily for storage
- Can only hold people weighing no more than 160 lbs.
- Doesn’t have gear shift
The ElliptiGO Arc 8 is the best example of gaining value based off contributing to an investment. While this elliptical bike might not be the cheapest on the list, it definitely proves to be one of the more reliable bikes available. The first thing most riders will likely notice is the reduced weight of the bike. This elliptical bike is significantly lighter in comparison to other bikes such as the Z150 and even the ElliptiGO 8C. Many users have claimed that this elliptical bike is so light, that it strongly resembles the feeling of running on air. This is a major plus for riders as they won’t feel weighed down when out on the bike. The Arc 8 doesn’t discriminate either. This elliptical bike can effectively serve those from the professional athlete to the average individual looking to improve their fitness level.
The biggest value point of the ElliptiGO Arc 8 is its efficiency. The Arc 8 has been known to provide riders with a much more effective workout in less time than a traditional run or bike. The ElliptiGO brand is so confident in their product, that they claimed riders can potentially burn 33% more calories than the average bike. This will encourage people to go out more and use the bike, especially if they have a busy schedule and are on a time crunch. Riders also have some form of a choice when choosing the Arc 8! This elliptical bike is available in both black and green, so those for looking for an elliptical bike that stands out would be grateful for a color other than black.
The negative feedback on the ElliptiGO Arc 8 has been quite minimal. In comparison to other elliptical bikes, the weight limit for this bike is generous. Individuals that are at around 250 pounds can use this elliptical bike without any noticeable issues. Granted, those that are above that weight will have frustrations regarding this limit, but for a lightweight elliptical bike, 250 pounds is a fair weight limit. As far as price is concerned, this elliptical bike is available at over $1200. Yes, some can consider this a high price; but it is well worth it when you add up the benefits of using this product. Of course, people on a budget may be deterred by such a price, but for those who can afford it, they are making an investment in their health and time that can give them a substantial return.
- Very light
- Burns more calories than the average bike
- Allows riders to comfortably stand
- Difficult to assemble
- High price
Finally, the fifth best elliptical bike available in 2018 is the Zike Z600. This elliptical is recommended for those that are ages 11 and older and subsequently supports no more than 180 pounds. The stem and handlebars can adjust this easily portable elliptical bike so that it can be folded into most compartments, whether it is in your car or the closet. These adjustable features also help those who may be significantly tall or short and looking for a workout. The aluminum caliper brake in the front of the bike can help users easily stop, even if they are riding at a high speed. The Zike Z600 has a 6-speed grip shifter that can change the speed level of the bike itself. You might decide that you need to change gears while off-road, or on the sidewalk, and this 6-speed shifter will help you do just that.
Price is slightly above average for the Zike Z600 Hybrid bike. This model is slightly above $500, which isn’t the highest price on the list, but definitely something pricey for a product that supports a limited market. If the weight limit were higher for this bike, it would be more understandable to see this bike being sold at its current price. This has become a noticeable trend with the Zike brand, and while there are some bikes that can hold up more weight, it can potentially become detrimental to the brand in its entirety.
The BAD NEWS?! This bike is currently not available (at least for awhile) from Amazon.
- 6-speed shifter changes how fast you can go
- Front brake is very strong
- Easily portable
- Only supports up to 180 pounds maximum
- Difficult to assemble
Top 5 Elliptical Trainers
This machine from Schwinn looks like an ideal elliptical trainer. The Schwinn 470 might arguably have the best LCD display on this top five list. This elliptical trainer has a dual track LCD window system that allows users to monitor up to 13 displays. This system is significantly more advanced than other displays on this list, and will be a selling point for most people who need to track their progress. The Schwinn 470 comes with about 29 different programs, as well as goal tracking, so you can keep track of your results while increasing the difficulty of your workout. Having such a variety of programs will help users tailor the machine to their overall goals. After all, some people want to lose weight, while others want to improve their stamina, and select majorities of people want to do both.
Having a machine that can customize a workout is most definitely a valuable asset to have. Have you ever felt that something became way too easy after you went through the motions thousands of times? If you’re someone who plans to utilize this machine daily, you are bound to get bored if you decide to use the same resistance level. Luckily for those who have the Schwinn 470 elliptical trainer, this machine has over 25 levels of resistance that allows users to choose how easy or difficult they want their strides to feel like. In addition to performance-related features, this elliptical machine from Schwinn has a USB port that can be used to charge your smartphone or mp3 player while working out.
Despite the advanced technology used in this elliptical trainer, there are a few common issues that consumers have encountered. One issue is the difficult assembly. The average person that doesn’t work with tools can take multiple hours trying to put this machine together. So why not get someone to do it for you right? You can do that, although it can cost over $100 extra just for an expert assembly. This might not be an option for someone who is looking for a bargain on a high-quality machine.
- Dual Track LCD Window System
- Comes with 29 different programs
- Has up to 25 levels of resistance for ongoing use
- Charging USB port allows users to charge their phone while exercising
- Tough to assemble
- Subpar durability
- Price is slightly higher than average
The Exerpeutic Aero Air elliptical trainer arguably has the best value in 2018. It can be sold with or without an equipment mat, which can help protect the floor from becoming damaged due to a heavy amount of weight sitting on it. The mat is waterproof, so no amount of sweat or liquid will get onto the floor itself, and it will help reduce the amount of noise produced by the machine. The catch with the equipment mat is that the overall cost will become significantly higher by the time you click the purchase button.
The most obvious upside to this elliptical trainer is the low price. In comparison to other machines; including the elliptical bike, the Exerpeutic Aero Air is an absolute steal. Without the equipment mat, you can find this product for under $100, and with the mat, you’re looking at buying for slightly over $120, which is still a good deal if you consider the fact that you can use it every day. The LCD display has the ability to help people track speed, distance, calories, and time. This part of the elliptical trainer would be a lot more useful if it were a larger display. Those who are looking for a machine that decreases the amount of stress put on the joints will be pleased with the Aero Air elliptical. Based off of the way that the machine was designed, it produces a natural motion which helps take away the pressure from the joints as you put less weight on your legs and more force towards your strides.
The only argument one would bring is the position of the LCD display. Instead of having it directly in the face of the user, the display on this elliptical trainer is at about knee level. This can potentially cause neck discomfort for users if they find themselves consistently looking down just to read a display that isn’t very big in the first place. Some have also stated that their machine broke down after a few uses, so durability is definitely in question when considering this product.
- LCD display provides accurate measurements
- Ridges on the foot pedals help prevent slippage
- One year warranty provided
- Fairly cheap
- Not very durable
- Strides are too short for some people
- LCD is small and placed too low
This elliptical trainer from the Body Rider brand looks very similar compared to the Aero Air machine. Body Rider provides its buyers with a workout video, which helps them learn how to effectively use the machine and get the most out of their workouts. Having this form of guidance will help buyers engage with the product itself while working on their fitness goals and getting in better shape. The fan wheel inside the machine is chain driven, and according to Body Rider, it is supposed to aggressively reduce the amount of noise generated by the elliptical trainer. While some consumers have agreed to this claim, others have stated that the machine does, in fact, make noise from time to time, and can become bothersome after an extended period of time.
Just like other elliptical machines that have upper body handles, the Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer has an advantage because it works out both the lower and the upper body. Depending on what your training regimen is, you can hold onto the handles and participate in upper body movement, or you can just use your legs and focus on your lower body. Either way, the Body Rider trainer is built for you to get on and start getting in shape. You can also change the level of resistance by moving the friction knob located towards the end of the handlebars.
- Comes with a workout video that teaches users how to use machine
- Handlebars allow users to engage in both upper and lower body motions
- Interior fan reduces noise from the elliptical trainer
- Difficult assembly
- Not durable
- Movement isn’t very stable
The Nautilus E614 is very similar to the Schwinn 470. It also has a Dual Track LCD display and can show up to 13 workout stats for the user. There are 20 different resistance levels that can be utilized on the Nautilus E614, so users can continue to challenge themselves as they start to grow accustomed to whatever level they start on. The USB port used on this machine provides a handful of services that are useful to the user. Not only can it charge an electronic device, but it can also export data to myfitnesspal.com, making it very easy to share information from your smartphone onto your machine, and vice versa.
One of the more impressive features of this elliptical is the acoustic speakers. These are primarily used for loud sound, so you can better understand your stats while on the run. Another intriguing feature of this product is the grip heart rate. This allows you to easily track your current heart rate by simply gripping onto the handles and waiting for the machine to gain the information needed.
- Dual Track LCD display
- 22 different exercise programs
- 20 resistance levels
- Finds heart rate through grip
- Large speakers enhance sound
- Breaks down easier than average
- Occasionally squeaks
This elliptical trainer is quite unique, mostly because of the way it looks. The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is different compared to other items on this list mostly because it does not have upper body elements. This machine is unique because you can use it sitting down, virtually anywhere that allows you to. If you work at a desk and have become concerned that you might not have time to exercise, the Stamina In-Motion elliptical trainer may be an ideal option for you. There is a small display visible right between the feet, which can be used to track different statistics, such as calories burned, stride count, and the total time in which you are exercising. As far as the price is concerned, this product is fairly affordable for the average person. It is priced under $75 and based off of what you get, it is a fair price range.
This machine is very low impact because you don’t necessarily need to put weight on your lower body by standing. By sitting down, you are preventing inevitable pressure that occurs within the knees, back, and ankles. The pedals also have tread on them so that you won’t slip when using the trainer. Going back to the design, the biggest difference between this elliptical trainer and any other one on the list is evidently the lack of handles. While this absence eliminates the upper body, you can take this machine wherever you need to go and burn some calories!
- Easy to use; lightweight
- Has electronic monitor that tracks statistics
- Sturdy construction
- Reasonable price
- Available in three different colors
- Doesn’t have handles for upper body workout
- Not the best for standing up
We are finally at the end of the list. So, what do you think? In 2018, one cannot simply look for an “elliptical” without going into detail and find an exercise item that meets their fitness needs. By analyzing both elliptical trainers and elliptical bikes, readers can now acknowledge the obvious differences between the two, as well as the more subtle differences that might not be visible to the consumer. When push comes to shove, this decision is based on a personal preference. Depending on what you are looking for in a fitness product, some people might be comfortable with a traditional elliptical trainer, while others can gain a better experience out of an elliptical bike. If you’re the type of person that likes exploring the neighborhood while simultaneously getting a quick exercise in, you might value the elliptical bikes slightly more than you would a trainer. On the other side of the spectrum, those who would prefer to stay in the same place while working out will be more pleased with the elliptical trainer, because they will be idle at all times, yet burning calories.
For anyone that weighs over 200 pounds, an elliptical bike may not be an option unless it is the ElliptiGO Arc 8. This is the biggest downside elliptical bikes. There is no such thing as a truly “perfect” exercise machine. The biggest takeaway from this guide should be that everyone has different needs and choosing an elliptical-like machine comes down to their goals and what they value in an exercise machine. Regardless of whether you are an ultra-competitive athlete, or just someone trying to get some cardio into your schedule, both of these elliptical machines can take you one step further towards reaching your fitness goals.