Exercise Bike or Elliptical – Which Suits YOU Best?

Exercise Bike or Elliptical – Which Suits YOU Best?

Truth be told, cardio stinks. However in order for your cardiovascular system to function properly, it’s essential. Two of the best options for cardio are the exercise bike and the elliptical.

Both machines help to improve heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. They’re both low-impact exercises and perfect for people with arthritis or other joint related issues.

Your decision often comes down to personal preference. However there are pros and cons to each. Let’s take a closer look.

Exercise Bike vs Elliptical Comparison

Exercise Bike

There are three main types of exercise bikes: upright, spin, and recumbent. Each has their own set of advantages disadvantages, however all exercise bikes are able to strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. This is also their biggest disadvantage is that they only target your lower body.

Elliptical Trainer

There are also three main types of ellipticals: front-drive, rear-drive, and center-drive. Each of these systems vary based on their drive axle. While ellipticals also work the lower body, most are equipped with dual-action handles that you’re able to work your upper-body too.

people on elliptical


Both machines are low-impact. In comparison to walking or running, you create excess impact on your joints. This can be especially troublesome for people who have debilitating joint and bone problems.

The elliptical was originally designed to simulate the motion of jogging and walking while recovering from a heel injury. As you might expect, a heel injury certainly makes walking difficult.

Exercise bikes are also low-impact, some types more than others. For instance the recumbent bike is can be used by folks of all abilities, even people suffering from neurological conditions.


These days you would assume that a stationary exercise bike would cost significantly less than an elliptical. However both options can reach similar ends of the cost spectrum. As you might expect, the more features the equipment has, the cost increases. For instance, pre-programmed workouts, heart rate monitors, material considerations, and more.


Storage is one of the most important factors for homeowners. Not many people have tons of extra space in their owns or a dedicated room for a gym. If you do, you can skip this section.

In general, stationary bikes are more compact as their footprint is smaller. Elliptical are compact based on their drive axle. Of the three types the center-drive elliptical is the most compact.

cycling woman gym

Concluding Words

There are other more minute considerations, however the choice between an elliptical or an exercise bike boils down to personal preference. If you enjoy riding on a bicycle or enjoy spin classes, an exercise bike is the best option.

However if you’re looking to burn extra calories, then the elliptical is the better option. Since your body uses both your upper and lower body, you’re more apt to burn calories even after you’re done working out.

Take the above factors into consideration and pick a piece of fitness equipment that meets your unique fitness needs.

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