Whether you have recently been bitten by the fitness bug or are looking to purchase an elliptical to add to your at-home exercise equipment arsenal, a pricing guide can be extremely helpful. Guides can help you in being an informed consumer by purchasing exactly the right item that fits your needs. This article aims to help guide you to the best elliptical bike purchase for you and your budget.
What To Look For
If you are looking into getting into an elliptical bike, it can be easy to get turned around with which company to go with. A handful of companies produce elliptically driven bikes, but they are not all the same. Below are some key things to look for before you buy an elliptical bike.
Speeding through the streets on an elliptical bike can be fun, but being able to slow down is imperative to your safety. For elliptical bikes, there are two common kinds of brakes that you’ll find. This includes disk brakes and rim brakes.
Rim brakes offer a cheaper upfront cost; however, after a while, the rim of the wheel will wear and need to be replaced. Wheels are one of the more expensive bike parts, and the upfront cost savings of going with rim brakes will end up costing you more in the long run.
In contrast, disk brakes utilize a separate disk attached to the wheel to provide braking force. Not only are these brakes cheaper to replace, but they also provide more reliable and stronger braking capabilities.
For an elliptical bike, you should go with a company that utilizes disk brakes like StreetStrider, because the bike’s wheels are specialized and would cost quite a bit to replace. Going the disk brake route will allow you to cruise with confidence knowing your braking system is robust. Disk brakes will also reduce the amount of money you will need to spend later down the road when braking components need to be replaced.
Upper Body Engagement
The only elliptical bike to fully simulate a proper full body elliptical workout is the StreetStrider lineup. Many companies can simulate the elliptical leg movements but are unable to pair this with the necessary arm movements to engage the upper body. Instead, the arm holds are replaced with a standard bike handlebar, which fails to engage the muscles in the arms as much as a typical elliptical machine.
The most renowned benefit of an elliptical is the full-body workout it provides. Bikes that eliminate the moving arm holds when converting an elliptical machine into a bike reduce the effectiveness of the workout and deprive the workout of upper body engagement. StreetStrider bikes allow you the freedom of taking your elliptical workout anywhere without the need to compromise on the workout's effectiveness.
Another critical thing to look out for is the ability to maintain upright stability. The best way to be stable on a standing elliptical bike is to have a bike with three tires. With three tires, you can come to a complete stop without having to get off the bike. This makes stopping and going much easier and safer. StreetStrider utilizes a three tire bike layout that provides ample stability for a start and stop, allowing you to easily navigate stop and go areas like a city.
Stationary Bike Capability
Elliptical bikes are often thought of as a fun outdoor exercise machine, and while it is most definitely fun, the fun does not have to be restricted to just the outdoors. StreetStrider bikes can be paired with their indoor trainer stand to provide an elliptical workout in the comforts of your home.
The freedom to utilize the bike indoors or outdoors makes the StreetStrider bikes adaptable to any weather conditions. Rain or shine, you can rest assured knowing that you'll be able to get your workout in.
What Are The Differences Between StreetStrider Models?
For StreetStrider elliptical bikes, it is essential to understand the differences between models and see the underlying components that lead to a more costly product. Taking a deep dive into the models’ different components is the first step in determining which one is right for you. The main differences between each model are the transmission, adjustable castors, and tires.
The transmission is perhaps one of the most significant components of the elliptical bike. It directly impacts how the bike rides and feels rolling down the road. The job of the transmission and drivetrain is to translate the elliptical motion provided by the legs and arms into circular motion to power the rear wheel. While this fundamental process does not change from model to model, the number of gears and derailleur systems do differ.
The concept of gearing in a transmission allows for a single bike to be able to change gear ratios on the fly. Having more gears and being able to tweak your gearing ratio through the transmission lets you find the perfect gear for the pace, incline, and resistance.
Gearing in bike transmission gives you varying amounts of mechanical advantage. Essentially you are changing the number of times the wheel spins per revolution of your feet. Higher gears provide more wheel revolutions per peddle, where lower gears give fewer wheel revolutions per pedal but require less effort.
The main differentiator between StreetStrider models is the number of gears. The more gears in the bike, the more adaptable the bike is to changing inclines.
The StreetStrider bikes have a patented lean-to-turn mechanism that allows you to intuitively lean into the turn to maneuver the bike. All StreetStrider bikes come equipped with this system, but only the 8s and 11s models can adjust the steering caster.
By adjusting the caster angle, you can essentially adjust the sensitivity of the steering. One can tailor the riding experience to suit their preferences. With a higher caster angle, you introduce better in-line performance at high speed, while a lower castor angle provides better low-speed performance. This adjustability allows you to have the lean-to-turn exactly how you like it.
Tires are a commonly undervalued component of a bike, but in reality, they play a large role in ride quality and ensuring you get from point A to point B. The minute a tire goes flat, you have to change a tire instead of enjoying a good cruise.
For StreetStrider models 3i, 7i, and 8s, the tires are a standard 20” x 1 3/8”, ISO 37 x 451 Tire. For the top end 11s model, the tires are upgraded to an Innova tire with Sport Guard puncture resistance. Innova’s puncture-resistant tires allow you to ride in confidence, knowing you are less likely to get caught with a flat tire with the 11s.
Elliptical bikes are a great way to get your workouts in a fun and unique way. Knowing the ins and outs of elliptical bikes and what makes for a better bike allows you to have a better understanding of the right bike model that will fit your budget, needs, and preferences.