ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike
ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike Review
The ElliptiGO elliptical bike ushers in a new era of sports fitness, combining a low-impact workout found in the elliptical exercise machine and a bicycle. The end result surpasses both elliptical trainers and traditional bikes, in this reviewer’s eyes, and after a test ride many would agree with that conclusion.
Editor’s Review: 5 ofstars
Note: before playing the video – you may want to turn your volume down, the intro music is a bit loud.
Visit www.ElliptiGO.com to Buy Now or Learn More
The ElliptiGO comes in two different varieties, the ElliptiGO 8C and the ElliptiGO 3C. The main differences besides price and selection of colors is in the number of gears. As you might have guessed, the 8C has 8 gears, the ElliptiGO 3C has 3. Besides this difference, the 8S has a different type of handlebar – hard to see from the pictures but you can see it in the videos.
The handlebars on the 8S are “horned” at the end, for lack of a better phrase. Technically the differences are outlined in the table below, but the official description is the 8S features, “Ergon GC3 multi-position ergonomic grips with integral bar ends.” The advantage is in allowing the rider to adjust his or her grip, especially useful for long rides or climbing hills.
Those who plan on using the ElliptiGO on hills are better off with the ElliptiGO 8C, otherwise the 3C is fine for primarily flat areas and general use. Both are designed for high performance, and deliver a low-impact workout.
ElliptiGO 3C Vs ElliptiGO 8C/8S
|Grips||Velo ergonomic grips||Ergon GC3 multi-position ergonomic grips|
with integral bar ends
|Workout Resistance Settings||- 3 different levels of resistance|
- 177% total resistance range
- 33% difference between levels
|- 8 different levels of resistance|
- 306% total resistance range
- 17% difference between levels
|Hill Climbing Capacity||Mild hills (up to 5% grade)||Steep hills (up to 20-30% grade)|
|How To Transport or Store|
- Removable Front Wheel
|Gears or Speeds||3||8|
|Weight||42 lbs (19.1 kg)||44 lbs (20 kg)|
|Storing Height – Front Wheel Intact|
|Storing Height – Front Wheel Removed|
|Gear Ratio Range||.75 – 1.33||.527 – 1.615|
|Total Gear Range||177%||306%|
|Avg Gear Step||33%||17%|
|Gear Inch Range||58 – 103||33 – 102|
|Hub||Sturmey Archer R-SRF 3,|
3 speed hub internally geared hub
|Shimano Alfine SG-S501,|
8-speed internally geared hub
Comparison Table of the ElliptiGO 3C to the ElliptiGO 8C or 8S
The ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike Story
The Need For ElliptiGO
The ElliptiGO elliptical bike has an interesting story. It was born out of sheer necessity when a former Ironman triathlete, Bryan Pate, ended up too injured to enjoy being outdoors running or cycling as he’d grown accustomed to doing.
Bryan discovered that, at 32 years of age, his body was too beat up due to his time in the Marine Corps, being an Ironman-level triathlete and simply being an avid runner. High impact activities had taken their collective toll.
Not satisfied to become a couch potato, Bryan decided to try the low impact machines at his local gym. There, he found the elliptical cross-trainers were one of the machines he could actually withstand. But there was a problem, as any runner can attest: being in a gym versus being outdoors gets old fast.
Since running was out of the question, he contacted his friend, another Ironman athlete: Brent Teal. Brent was a degree-toting mechanical engineer with the same passion for sports and athleticism Bryan had.
The mission was simple: build an elliptical machine that could ride like a bike. After four long years of development in their garage lab, from prototype “Alfa” through to “Delta,” and a couple of patents later – Bryan Pate and Brent Teal revealed the world’s first elliptical bike.
They had to secure the original patent from Larry Miller, inventor of the first elliptical trainer through Precor, who himself patented the idea of using elliptical motion to propel a human-powered vehicle.
Reflecting on the development of the ElliptiGO, Bryan Pate had this to say in an interview for Cameron Leigh James of San Diego’s Daily Transcript,
I wanted [an elliptical bike] and was shocked it didn’t exist. I figured there were others who would want it, injured runners like myself, or for cross-training.”
Bryan was right – the demand for the ElliptiGO elliptical bike has been more than either could have expected. For good reason, too.
ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike Benefits
Mixing the benefits of cycling with those of running, and delivering them in a low-impact fashion, the ElliptiGO offers a mix of benefits – and it’s not just for athletes.
Low Impact = No Injuries
Doctors agree that one of the best ways to train when injured – or to prevent injury – is to use load-bearing exercise with no or low impact. The ElliptiGO delivers.
Whether cross-training or previously injured, this elliptical bike has riders from all walks of life and all fitness levels getting out more often in the fresh air.
As co-inventor Bryan Pate designed, getting out of doors to exercise without fear of injury is the big purpose of ElliptiGO bikes. No more being stationary, locked indoors in a gym – with this bike, getting out is the idea.
Better Visibility, Safe in Traffic
Riding the ElliptiGO puts the rider in a better line of site for road traffic. Unlike recumbent bikes, which are notoriously difficult for drivers on the road to see, the elliptical bike rider will be standing in an elevated position.
Many riders around the 5′-10″ range or thereabouts will be able to see over most SUV’s as well, giving them better reaction time for hazards ahead.
No More Saddle Sores
One of the drawbacks of traditional bikes is the seat. Some studies even show prostate problems associated with bicycle seat designs for the avid cyclist, and it is well-known that traditional bike seats can contribute to erectile dysfunction in men and general numbness in the tailbone area of both sexes.
With the standing posture of the ElliptiGO, these problems are all alleviated: there is no seat.
Ergonomic Design Means no Back Pain
In fact, because of the standing position of the rider on this elliptical bicycle, the overall posture is ergonomically correct. The handlebars adjust in height to accommodate most riders, and the head, shoulders and neck as well as lower back are not impinged (another problem of the seated position of bicycles).
Engage the Core Muscles
Another benefit of standing versus sitting is that the abdominal muscles, or “core” muscle group, is engaged to maintain posture. This results in more upper body engagement than a typical bike ride.
Can Be Used as A Stationary Elliptical Machine
Using the ElliptiGO is great during warmer months – but what about the dead of winter or during rainy season? No worries there: the bike can be used with a simple device called the CycleOps Fluid stationary trainer that allows the bike to be used indoors, like a standard elliptical trainer.
Renowned coach and columnist Jenny Hadfield has even created workouts for both indoor and outdoor use, all available at the ElliptiGO website.
Jenny has created 4 indoor workouts to use with the CycleOps Fluid trainer and ElliptiGO’s elliptical bicycle.
Adjustable Stride for Various Workout Benefits
Like a high quality elliptical machine, the ElliptiGO elliptical bike has the ability to adjust the stride length to accommodate a wide range of rider heights, moving from 16 to 25 inches.
In terms of “feel” of the workout, the stride naturally lengthens as speed increases in running – so increasing the stride length (easy to do on the ElliptiGO) makes it feel like you are running on air, or gliding.
A number of ultra-marathoners and serious athletes and triathletes have agreed that the famed “runner’s high” is absolutely achievable on the ElliptiGO, and one reason so many fans have arisen with this relatively new concept.
ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike Workouts
This is one of the better features of the company website, it’s more in-depth coverage than you might be used to – but the website www.ElliptiGO.com has a section for ElliptiGO workouts, created by athlete and coach Jenny Hadfield, designed for marathon runners.
Remember, the ElliptiGO elliptical bike was created by athletes – but it’s not just for athletes (see the “Customer Reviews” section for video testimonials of both athletes as well as everyday, regular people who love to ride but don’t want the joint pain).
The workouts on the site are aimed at cyclists, marathoners and triathletes, but they also include tips on using the ElliptiGO for the uninitiated (and this review is being composed by a non-runner: I simply love to ride and feel the wind in my hair, and I love low impact exercise).
Quick F.A.Q.’s About The ElliptiGo
Many people ask the following questions about the ElliptiGO, and it’s understandable – it is a unique concept. Here are some quick frequently asked questions:
Can the ElliptiGO climb hills easily?
In a word – yes! The ElliptiGO 3C is great for moderate hills, with a grade of up to 5%, great for overpasses and simple hills. The 3C is designed for primarily flat terrain.
The ElliptiGO 8C (also the ElliptiGO 8S) can climb hills up to a 30% grade, like a billy goat. In fact, it’s easier on the elliptical bike than a normal bike, even a mountain bike, because you can put your full body weight to bear on the foot platforms.
Is it as fast as a regular bike?
Speeds have been recorded up to 28 mph, and many have already ridden ElliptiGOs on fierce routes like the Californian “Death Ride” – all while ending up finishing with fellow cyclists.
But the aerodynamics of the ElliptiGO are not as well-suited for high speeds, like winning the Tour de France or other timed races – this is because of the increased drag of the upright position of the rider.
Will it fit in my car?
This depends on the car. But take a look at this picture:
As you can see, it depends! Many with SUV’s, vans, station wagons and the like have no trouble. The front wheel can be removed, as well as the steering extension, to collapse the bike into an overall height of 27″, the length with the wheel on is 75″ (a little less without the front tire).
It is shown in the Cal-Train (most trains have a bike car), an SUV and a convertible (not sure the type of car) – just to show the ability to fold the ElliptiGO 8S or 3C.
Is it difficult to maintain your balance?
This was a main concern in the preliminary design of ElliptiGO, but the discovery was that the long wheel base makes balance easy. First time users say it’s much like a Scooter or regular bike, easily learned in minutes.
It is also easy to mount and dismount, but takes some practice. Those who are used to bike riding should have no problems whatsoever.
In fact, many are able to learn to ride it in under 10 minutes.
How does the this elliptical bike perform in traffic?
The ElliptiGO handles exceptionally well in traffic, and the height of the rider makes his or her visibility much more enhanced than on a regular bicycle. Because of the height advantage of the standing rider, traffic hazards are easier to spot early on, and other drivers have no trouble seeing the bike coming.
What are the brakes like?
Just like on a mountain bike, the handles contain the levers for the brakes which are rim brakes on both tires.
How many speeds are on ElliptiGO?
There are 8 speeds to the 8S/8C models. The 3C has 3 speeds, and they are all located at the hub to the rear of the bike. The gears are shifted by the trigger-like shifter, which are on the handlebars.
Unlike a 10-speed or other bike, the ElliptiGO doesn’t need to be in motion to shift gears, due to the planetary gear design.
Does the ElliptiGO adjust for different riders?
Yes – the overall height of the steering column can be adjusted as well as the stride length. Anyone from 5′ to 6′-8″ should find it to be a comfortable ride.
ElliptiGO in the Media
If you want a centralized place to find the ElliptiGO media coverage (it’s pretty extensive), you can visit www.ElliptiGO.com and look navigate to Company > In The News.
The ElliptiGO elliptical bike has been covered rather thoroughly in media, including:
- The Wall Street Journal
- Men’s Journal
- Shape magazine
- Popular Science
- Competitor Magazine
- Fitness Magazine
- Runner’s World
- Triathlete Magazine
- Good Morning America
- NBC’s The Doctor’s TV Show
…just to name a few! The stories are covered in snippets at the official ElliptiGO website, click here to read them.
ElliptiGO Customer Reviews
Like the media coverage above, the website covers a number of customer reviews for the different models. Here are a couple of videos showcasing actual customer reviews and some top athletes’ impressions of the ElliptiGO elliptical bike – and a graphic representation of what customers actually think of the ElliptiGO after their purchase (a tag cloud):
ElliptiGO Customer Service
One of the great things about the ElliptiGO company is that they are real people with a keen eye for customer service, yet another reason they merited my 5-star review. They understand that some might feel odd about ordering online – although more than half of their customers buy online, which is saying a lot about the value of their product – so they offer the following:
There is a 30-day, money-back guarantee with the ElliptiGO elliptical bike. Many are lucky enough to find a dealer in their area, to set up a test ride, but the network is still growing at present, the company is still new.
So while they are expanding, and since a lot of customers can’t find a dealer nearby, a lot of customers simply order online. The money-back guarantee protects their investment (though these occur infrequently, for good reason).
On the company website, you will find full warranty information which states:
- 5 years: Frame
- 2 years: Fork, Drive Arms, Crank Arms, and Steering Column
- 1 year: All Other Components, Paint and Decals
There is a full PDF of the coverage, and a wealth of information. Please visit ElliptiGO.com if you have any questions.
Final Thoughts on the ElliptiGO
Thank you for reading, and I hope I’ve covered your questions on the ElliptiGO. My final thoughts and personal opinion is that this bike is an ergonomic answer to anyone serious about staying fit, or who just wants a fun and easy-on-the-joints way of enjoying the outdoors.
The elliptical bike is perfect for stay at home parents wanting to get into shape or those who want an affordable commuter vehicle for short trips around town. With no gas tank to worry about and no joint pain to be concerned with, it’s a great investment for commutes in a 15-20 mile radius.
It’s an incredibly addicting ride for overall fun and fitness. If it’s anything, ElliptiGO’s a fun ride!
Finally, for athletes wanting a solid cross-training device but who don’t want to be confined to the gym, this is the perfect cross-trainer to have. When the weather just doesn’t seem to cooperate, then getting indoors and setting up the CycleOps stationary trainer to use it as an indoor elliptical trainer ensures you get a workout all year round, no gym fees needed.
This is one of the few products I’ll unashamedly put my 5 stars on, without reservation – it rides like a dream and if you have lower back pain or knee pain, you’ll notice you can ride this for a surprisingly long time.
What Do You Think? Leave Your ElliptiGO Review Below!
If you’ve had the pleasure of riding the ElliptiGO elliptical bike, then by all means tell us all what you thought of it, and why, along with your starred rating!