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Friday, May 3, 2013

ElliptiGO vs StreetStrider- Find the Best Elliptical Bike

Elliptical Exercise Machines Let You Train and Ride

Three ElliptiGO elliptical cycles on a sidewalk
ElliptiGO- hybrid of bicycle and elliptical trainer
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

One problem with exercise equipment is that people quickly lose interest.  Workouts can become boring.  Treadmill machines often include a video screen so that you can watch TV or even simulated scenery as you exercise to help hold your interest.  Some stationary bikes include a video screen and resistance control to simulate riding a specific route, making the workout more interesting.  ElliptiGO and StreetStrider take your workout to an entirely new place- moving down the street on an elliptical exerciser.  Which is the best elliptical cycle?

ElliptiGO Elliptical Bicycle

ElliptiGO is an elliptical exercise machine with wheels that actually moves while you are exercising.   Like an elliptical exerciser, you use the ElliptiGO in an upright, standing position.  Riding around on an ElliptiGO would attract some attention- this is an unusual looking machine.  It sort of reminds me of an elongated Segway HT with elliptical pedals.

ElliptiGO is a cross between bicycle and elliptical exerciser.  It has brakes activated by hand levers similar to brakes on a mountain bike.  ElliptiGO uses handle bars for steering and has gears to make climbing hills easier.  You can get 3, 8, or 11 speeds depending on the ElliptiGO model you choose.  If you plan to ride on hills, the 8 and 11 speed models are recommended.

ElliptiGO is designed to provides a serious cardiovascular workout as well as an interesting riding experience.  Most people interested in ElliptiGO are focused on getting intense exercise and finding an alternative to running.  Since ElliptiGO works like an elliptical exercise machine, it is easier on feet, knees, and hips than running.

Since ElliptiGO has 2 wheels, you'll need to balance it, similar to riding a bicycle or scooter.  The standing position while riding an ElliptiGO allows you to use your whole body to propel you up hills- sort of like standing up while riding a bicycle to climb a steep hill.  Weighing in at about 40 pounds, ElliptiGO is fairly heavy compared with road bikes.  ElliptiGO can reach speeds of 15-25 mph.

You can use ElliptiGO with a stationary trainer- this allows you to use ElliptiGO indoors during winter months as a traditional elliptical trainer.

ElliptiGO models are priced ranging from about $1799 - $3000, depending on model.
ElliptiGO models include the 11R, 8C, and 3C.
Manufacturer website:

StreetStrider Elliptical Cycle

Red StreetStrider on a stand in a living room with woman exercising
StreetStrider- hybrid of cross-country ski machine and tricycle
Image Courtesy of FitnessFreakLA by CC-SA3.0

StreetStrider provides a cross country ski machine workout on a stand-up trike.  StreetStrider has 2 wheels in front and one rear wheel.  The 3 wheel design virtually eliminates the need to balance, and you can come to a complete stop without putting your feet down.

Unlike ElliptiGO, you pump your arms in addition to your legs to propel StreetStrider.  But how do you steer StreetStrider?  The answer is lean to steer.  You shift your body weight to the left or right to make StreetStrider turn.  That way you can keep pumping your arms, even in turns.

StreetStrider weighs about 50 pounds, about 10 pounds more than ElliptiGO.  Gear options include a 3 speed model (Sprinter 3r) and an 8 speed model (Summit 8r).  Like ElliptiGO, you can use StreetStrider with a stationary trainer for indoor workouts as shown in the picture above.

The StreetStrider 8 speed model is priced starting at about $1800.
Manufacturer website:

A Zike step cycle looks like an interesting low-cost alternative to ElliptiGO or StreetStrider at around $500:

ElliptiGO vs StreerStrider: Which is the Best Elliptical Bike?
  • These elliptical exercise cycles both look like a lot of fun and would be great for people who are looking for lower impact exercise than running
  • If you are looking for an alternative to riding a bicycle for exercise, elliptical cycles are worth considering:
    • A bicycle requires a seated, hunched over posture  
    • Recumbent bikes or recumbent trikes require a reclined posture  
    • Elliptical exercise cycles use a standing up posture
  • With a stationary trainer, these can be used year-round indoors or outdoors.
  • As with any exercise equipment the key question is- would you really use it?  The ability to ride it like a bicycle seems like a nice feature.
  • These cycles are fairly expensive.  You could get really lucky and find one of these at a garage sale cheap.
  • You could check craigslist for a used one.  These are fairly unique, so the market for used ones may be limited, creating an opportunity to drive a bargain (maybe).
  • Look for the best elliptical bike deals on eBay:

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  1. Thanks for posting this. With spring weather FINALLY here I've been looking at an ElliptiGO vs. a StreetStrider since I can no longer ride bikes due to a disc issue in my lower back. I still stay active, lift several times/week in the gym, etc. so I'd like something to go on rides with my family, get exercise, and have some fun (running bores me to tears). Fortunately there are dealers for both machines in my area so I was able to test each before making a decision. As a result, I found significant difference between the ElliptiGO (GO) and the StreetStrider (SS).

    1. IMO the SS gives you more of a workout b/c it forces you to use both arms/legs for propulsion vs. the lower body on the GO. However, the GO is more efficient for movement which allows you to ride at higher speeds and longer distances compared to a SS. A GO can tackle steep hills like a nimble goat while I had problems with the SS.

    2. On the SS you steer by leaning your body while the GO is more like steering with a bike. I was surprised at how sensitive the SS was with slight shifts in your weight but it makes sense since this is how you steer. I think the learning curve is higher with the SS b/c you need more time to work on balancing as you move more body parts. Steering/moving on the GO felt more intuitive to me, primarily b/c it behaves more like a bike by turning the handles.

    3. At 6'4 I approach the upper limit for a SS (6'6) but I still had problems finding a comfortable fit. If there was a way to increase the stride length I didn't find it but for me the stride was too short. As a result I occasionally brushed the front stem with my knees and felt I couldn't generate as much power compared to the GO. Compared to ellipticals in the gym, the handles on the SS are much closer together. Given my height and wingspan I think having more space between the handles would've provided me to pump faster and more fluidly. The GO accommodates riders up to 6'10 and allows you to adjust the length of the stride. I used the longest stride available and it felt more natural, much like the ellipticals I've used in the gyms for nearly 10 years. The SS has a higher weight capacity though, 400-lbs in the model I was looking at vs. 250-lbs for the GO.

    4. Neither the SS nor the GO are cheap and the GO is more of a price pig compared to the SS. This was easily the toughest hurdle to overcome when deciding to buy one. But a common thread from both SS and GO riders is that you can’t put a price on health and for many their only regret was not getting one sooner. Biking is no longer an option for me and even running causes problems in my knees/back after a few miles. For me the models I was looking at (both 8 speeds) would cost me $1,800 for the SS and $2,500 for the GO. However, the SS was on sale so it normally sells for $2,000. Also, I was only able to find one dealer in my area for the SS and they’re a medical supply company. The GO is sold by a major bike shop with several locations. Assembly for the GO is included while it would cost me extra to have the SS put together (I’m not a mechanical whiz so I’d always opt for assembly, especially with something costing so much and involving a lot of moving parts).

    In the end I went with the GO because it did a better job meeting my needs. Even though it cost more, I felt it handled better compared to the SS with respect to speed, climbing hills, etc. I wanted something I could go on bike rides with my family and get exercise around town (which has several large hills). In the same amount of time you’d spend on one of these machines I think the SS provides a more demanding workout b/c it’s less efficient and requires both arms/legs, but make no mistake that both machines will give you a run for your money.

    1. Special K, thank you for your detailed comparison of StreetStrider and ElliptiGO from your test drives and purchasing experience. I also had a hard time choosing a winner between these two good choices. I hope you enjoy your ElliptiGO!