When we compare ellipticals and indoor cycles, the method with which we compare them shifts. When we compared both of them to treadmills, there was a clear difference in cardio mentality. Ellipticals and cycles are related in that neither seeks to accomplish a “running” motion. Cycles are more in tuned to an actual biking experience but still don’t represent the outdoor ride to the fullest.
True, you’re going to get different workouts with both of these machines but at the same time both will work your muscles (mostly lower body). Endurance and stamina are going to be the key to your success with these machines, and most of that buildup is a mental game. Most of the time when you’re running out of breath, it’s not a physical, but a mental problem. The more you believe in and strive towards your goal, the quicker you will achieve it.
Now that we’ve pumped you up, here we will put indoor cycles and ellipticals up against one another.
- Give you a different range of motion and work different muscle groups than cycles.
- Allow you to increase your foot speed without the fear of falling over.
- Handlebars allow for some upper body movement and exercise.
- Closer to an actual biking experience and allows for different levels of resistance training.
- Works a variety of muscles due to the positioning of your body.
- Built primarily for endurance enhancement.
- Not ideal for competitive runners of any sort.
- The location and movement by which your feet hit the ground are not the same as normal walking or running.
- Doesn’t give you the same experience as actual running (moving your arms, moving in a general direction).
- Still not the same as riding on an outdoor bike (tires on the ground and turning).
- Not a “running” machine. Most cycles will be in a sitting or horizontal position.
- Stationary positioning gives the body an unnatural feeling when switching between indoor and outdoor bikes.
As expected, you’re going to have to decide what workout you want. There’s nothing wrong with choosing one machine over the other. You can still conduct exercises that work the same muscles as the machine you didn’t purchase, just not in the same motion or frequency.
Ellipticals overall are going to be more expensive than cycles, mostly due to size and the components that go into each machine. That being said, all of the machines on our lists are the ones that users frequently comment and are likely to remain loyal to.