Outdoor fun just gained momentum by combining the glide of a bicycle and the ease of an elliptical with the workout of a treadmill. Elliptical and ski machines are some of the best workouts you can find but they come with one big drawback: they are indoors only. The ElliptiGo Stand Up Bike just opened up a lot of scenery, fresh air, and miles of roadway to the stationary elliptical machine.
Take your workout outdoors on the bike path or in the neighborhood by trying out an ElliptiGo. This bike-and-hike hybrid is a blast for all ages. Since ElliptiGo is so new, we’ve reviewed four models for comparison.
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ElliptiGo Stand Up Bike (SUB)
An ElliptiGo is the blend of bicycle and ski machine we’ve all been waiting for, because it offers the great workout of an elliptical machine but without the dull indoor setting. The ElliptiGo is also adds a touch of scooter to the mix, because the driver has a great panoramic view of the horizon as she or he pedals forward.
Using an ElliptiGo is fantastic exercise because it combines comfortable riding position, a full-body workout, and a substantial aerobic challenge without all the negative joint impact. More than that, ElliptiGo provides fun that transcends its novelty. The riding position enables a far better view than either bike or skateboard.
Product Range and Description
The ElliptiGo comes in several models, from the basic SUB that mimics a foldable bike but adds stairstepper-like pedals to the Longstride Family that looks like an elliptical machine on bicycle wheels. We compare the SUB with the ARC 3, ARC 8 and 3C.
The 3C is a Longstride, while the ARC 3 and ARC 8 are compact-stride models that offer a great workout but don’t quite give as fluid an experience as the Longstride. All models offer a blend of running, cycling and cross-country skiing motions, but the SUB offers the best alternative to bicycling by removing seat and neck strain from the equation. We detail the specs of each below.
These bikes range from $$$ to $$$$$, with the SUB being the most user-friendly entry model and the Longstride rivaling comfy recumbent bikes in cost.
How it Compares
We picked four models for comparison of price, ease of use, features, design quality, and warranty.
- ElliptiGO ARC 3
- ElliptiGO ARC 8
- ElliptiGO 3C
At $$$, the sub is eminently affordable for solving so many bicycling problems.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
Easy to get going, this stand-up elliptical machine has shorter range of motion than a standard indoor elliptical machine and thus a choppier feel than the more expensive Longstride models. It is more like a bicycle and less like the experience of running, so isn’t as smooth as models with long wheel bases. Working the quad muscles is easy on this bike but it is a more assertive exercise.
This SUB is easy to use, but not as relaxing as longer wheel bases like the 3C and beyond. The engineering of this design channels circular energy into forward motion and results in a quiet performance.
The SUB is adjustable in both height and length, and this customizability makes it truly a one-size-fits-all vehicle. It is far more portable than the larger models, and the pedal interaction is similar to shorter elliptical machines. The bike is lightweight, easy to store, and is compatible with indoor stationary trainers. The small wheels and comfy steering make it a straightforward and uncomplicated design that is hassle-free in terms of long-term maintenance.
This bike is designed for short (20-minute) to moderate (40-minute) full-body workouts and meets the needs for fitness at these levels. For an entry-level, easy-to-operate bicycle, the design is ideal. The workout is short and intense, but without any joint impact or neck strain. In terms of burning calories, this is the best designed of the ElliptiGo models. It isn’t the fastest or the most relaxing, but for an intense workout with a panoramic view, the SUB is ideal. The custom pedals require no straps but imitate elliptical machine pads and fit all foot sizes.
The warranty for all ElliptiGo products is the same and offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee and replacement of any manufacturer defects.
- Intense workout
- Removes cycling neck strain
- Great view
- Easy to operate
- For use with indoor trainers
- Adjustable, one size fits all
- Less relaxing than longer models
- Balance is more challenging
- More of a bike than an elliptical trainer
- Shorter training periods recommended
ElliptiGO ARC 3
The ARC 3 adds a little more of a running or skiing experience than the SUB, with a longer wheel base. ARC 3 owners choose this model for a more intense workout with a fairly relaxed ride.
Price (Approximate only) $$
At less than $$$$, the ARC 3 is the most affordable elliptical bike on the market.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
The ARC 3 provides an excellent, intense workout and combines the best of bicycling (low impact, great distance) with the best of running and skiing (requires balance, works smaller muscles, aerobically intense). But the ARC 3 – again, like all ElliptiGo trainers – offers something else: scenery enjoyment without having to “look up” if skiing or “head bob” if bicycling. The ARC 3 is a tad easier to use than the SUB, but doesn’t quite meet the mellow and relaxing ride of the Longstride Family series. It’s adjustable, fits anyone, and has killer pedals. Portability beats all models except the SUB.
The features on all ElliptiGos are user-friendly, especially the ability to adjust frame height and stride length. Like its cousins, it is a lightweight bicycle. What makes the ARC 3 and ARC 8 mid-range models different from the SUB or Longstride is the combination of a smooth ride, longer stride, and more security when standing upright and gaining speed. The pedals on these models (3 and 8) have straps for more foot security – because there is more forward to back motion and less up and down motion as in the SUB or a bicycle – yet have the long profile for foot stability.
The ARC 3 optimizes fit, performance, and ease of use in its relatively compact design and adjustable features, and hill climbing is far superior to the long-stride models made for extensive, mostly flat, riding. With the ARC 3 and ARC 8, steeper hills are no problem but speeds of up to 18 mph are possible. As in all ElliptiGo bikes, the size range for riders comes standard with the ARC 3. A pivoting foot platform allows for better positioning and more flexibility in tackling hills. The foot platform straps are standard on this model.
Like all ElliptiGo stand up trainers, the warranty is for full money back within 30 days.
- Adjustable stride length
- Adjustable height
- Decent hill climber
- Intense to moderate workout
- Great for flats or hills
- Pivoting foot platform
- Fairly transportable
- Accessories such as water bottle frame extra
- Handlebars need to be removed for most car transport
ElliptiGO ARC 8
The ARC 8 is the best marriage of price and relaxing ride, and for most owners, offers a compact bicycle for transport to the bike path or neighborhood workouts.
Price (Approximate only) $$
ElliptiGo promotes this model as “the best balance of performance and price”, and at $$$$ is comparable to high-performing road bikes.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
Easy to use on flat and sloping terrains and will climb better than the ARC 3. For longer rides and gaining speed over variable terrain, this is the most practical of the stand-up bike models. As with all these Elliptigo stand up bikes, the stride length and handlebars are adjustable. Seven speeds with thumb-activated shifters add to the overall smoothness of the ride. At the smaller size, this bike is portable when the handlebar is dropped and, like its cousins, can adapt to indoor trainers for workouts in adverse weather.
Multi-speed, easy shifting, plus a secure footbed make this a well-rounded iteration of the stand up trainer. The workout can range from short and intense to an hour or more (depending on your fitness level). The ARC 8 offers the best balance of features and ride. It requires owners to purchase additional accessories such as a water bottle cage, but offers the one-stop ElliptoGo Enthusiast Accessory Bundle for $264, which includes a bike computer, repair kit, headlight and taillight, water bottle set up, and insulated bottle.
The ARC 8 is lightest of all Elliptigo bikes. The ARC 8 offers the best integration of design specs from a machine that can cruise for up to an hour without exhaustion, to a stand up bike that can negotiate hills and valleys. This optimizes cost in a user-friendly machine. The gear setup meets the standards of high-end road bikes with ease of shifting, and the extreme adjustability of handlebars means the ARC 8 is portable and doesn’t waste storage space. The short chain doesn’t disintegrate into slackness like recumbent bikes, and the simple frame style combines elliptical and bicycle in the best possible combo.
A 30-day money-back guarantee comes with all ElliptiGo trainers.
- Best ride of all shorter ElliptiGo trainers
- Great cost-feature ratio
- Climbs hills
- Highly adjustable
- Secure footbeds
- Versatile beyond the bike path
- Relatively expensive
- Handlebars need removal for most transport
This entry-level exemplar of the Longstride Family will take your beloved elliptical experience outdoors.
Price (Approximate only) $$$
Longstride bikes cost between $$$$ and $$$$$; the 3C is the entry level model at $$$$.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
To use a boat analogy, this is the longer, sit-on-top kayak. Easy to mount, easy to balance, and gives more speed for effort put in than the shorter, smaller bikes. This ElliptiGo is pricey, but the best option for serious fitness. The Longstride family models don’t require as much focus to learn or stay balanced because of the smoothness of the ride.
The 3C offers the same adjustable handlebar, great braking, and versatile steering of less expensive models but has a much longer wheelbase which makes for a more stable ride. This ride is more like running and less like cycling but removes all the joint impact. Riders will love the lightweight frame and adjustable stride length. This model will handle gently rolling hills but balks at anything sudden or steep, and is best used on long, flat stretches. The adjustable features make this model a cut above cheaper ElliptiGos, and the running feel is impressive.
A fitness machine like this needs stability, which the 3C brings. The more expensive Longstride models are all highly adjustable, and accommodates riders from under 5 feet to up to nearly 7 feet in height. The handlebar offers several levels of adjustment, and the ergonomic handlebar styling is helpful as you learn to use the 3C and find your stride. The 3-speed hub allows for speeds of up to 25 mph. This bike is slow to gain speed but easy to maintain speed once a comfortable rhthym is reached. The Elliptigo is also compatible with indoor trainers.
The 30-day money-back guarantee is helpful, because this machine is harder to use than a bicycle and requires some getting used to. We’ve given this category 4/5 stars on all the trainers, because we feel a 90-day warranty would be more appropriate, since it may take some users a bit more time to decide on whether or not this new-fangled contraption will be worth the investment. However, if you get enough use out of it within the 30-day period, you can definitely find time to make that decision!
- Entry-level price
- Mimics running
- Easy on joints
- Terrific view
- Superior aerobic workout
- No neck strain
- Relaxing ride
- Fastest of all ElliptiGos
- Learning curve
- Hard to transport
- Requires a garage or carport
- Doesn’t handle steep hills
A decision about which ElliptiGo bike to choose requires asking yourself, “Do I want more of a stair-stepper or a ski machine?” The Longstride will give a long, smooth stride as it advertises, but unless you have a garage, live next to a bike path, and have the funds saved up, it isn’t optimal. The ARC 8 is a great compromise and can negotiate beyond the bike path for possible commuter use (if you can take it inside).
Of all the ElliptiGo models, we like the SUB best, because it acts more like a bicycle but solves the problem of neck strain and pressure that afflicts older or long-distance riders, while still offering a great fitness and cross-training challenge for weekend warriors and athletes alike.
Featured Image via Pixabay