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Going Beyond the Basic Bike

Going Beyond the Basic Bike - Roy M. Wallack | Los Angeles Times

Ever since two Ohio bike shop owners named Wright changed the world, tinkerers have been using the bicycle as a launching pad for new ideas. Now, in an effort to get America outdoors and exercising more, modern-day inventors are tapping the unique efficiency and comfort of the bicycle once again — mating the bike with popular indoor exercise equipment. Below, meet a new elliptical, a rower, an all-body ergometer and even a treadmill — on wheels. Half-elliptical / half-bike.

The offspring of an all-body elliptical machine and a three-wheeler, the Strider uses arm handles, foot platforms and an eight-speed internal hub drive-train to propel you at bike speeds.

The first of several ellipti-bikes set to hit the market soon, the StreetStrider isn’t just a home run; it’s a grand slam — maybe the most exhilarating aerobics machine I’ve ever tested.Best of all, it’s practical as daily exercise for almost anyone of any fitness level or weight. Blending the smooth, satisfying all-body workout and standing position of an elliptical with the mobile velocity and range of a bike, the Street Strider combines outdoor adventure, fitness and ease of use, with a bird’s-eye view that makes you feel as if you’re soaring in the breeze. In a two-hour, 20-mile ride on the bike paths of Irvine and the Newport Back Bay, I climbed steep hills, made fast descents, got dozens of smiles and thumbs-up from adults and kids, and was clocked at a regular cruising speed of 14.7 mph by a passing cyclist. Halfway through, I ran into another happy Strider rider, Shay Sorrells, a recent contestant on “The Biggest Loser” TV show (now weighing in at 325 pounds, down 150 pounds from her peak six months ago) who said she rides hers at least an hour a day.

The device folds up for transport and fits on a roof rack. There is a minor learning curve of five or 10 minutes with the steering, as you must lean to turn, somewhat like skiing.