To choose the right elliptical bike, you need to know what your needs are: soft strengthening or intense cardio training? And you need to decide which technical characteristics you’ll favour: mechanical or motorised setting? Your choice will also depend on the space available in your house.
THE RIGHT ELLIPTICAL BIKE FOR THE RIGHT USE
Every elliptical bike is designed to provide maximum comfort for a specific use. You need to first figure out your usage goal to choose the elliptical designed for it. The more intense your usage is, you will need more pedalling fluidity and amplitude that will provide you with comfort and everything else that you need to perform.
Soft strengthening and physiotherapy
When using an elliptical bike for soft strengthening or physiotherapy, you will need to favour comfort over performance. Lumbar comfort is more crucial than pedalling power. The Domyos bikes are designed to ensure a straight back when using them. All elliptical from the Domyos range will then be fitted for similar kind of needs.
Intense cardio training
For an intense cardio training or for performance, the possibility of changing the position will provide a variety of usage options as well as comfort. In this case, target ellipticals designed with mobile arms and multi-positions fix handlebars, with a larger pedalling amplitude.
Make sure you always keep a straight back! A “well designed” elliptical should ensure the right position. Whatever is your hand setting (fixed handlebar or mobile arms), keeping a straight back allows you to solicit the midsection muscles (by sheathing), the top and the low body and to exercise for a longer time. Don’t hesitate to try this out in the store. Even when the arms are at the maximum distance, your back should still be straight.
Comfortable pedalling is smooth pedalling. The weight of the wheel influences the fluidity of pedalling. That, however, is not the only factor. The weight repartition on the wheel, the transmission system are some of the other factors. Domyos’ transmission systems have been designed to provide smoother pedalling.
A 3,5 kg wheel provides a much smoother pedalling than a 6 kg one. While testing the bike, make sure you find the comfort of pedalling that will allow you to pedal for a longer time.
Depending on your target, the amplitude of pedalling, determined by the diameter of the inertia wheel, will also have an impact on the success of your exercise. The bigger the diameter is, the larger your movements will be.
Type of resistance adjustment: Mechanical or Motorised?
The “mechanical” adjustment is very user-friendly: just by turning the knob, the user can pull a cable which will bring a magnet closer to the inertia wheel, so the resistance will be higher and pedalling, more difficult.
The “motorised” adjustment will allow the user to change the setting directly from the control panel. This offers two benefits: more levels of difficulty and the possibility of setting some training programs with variable tensions that will change automatically. The programs will be designed for different targets: to burn calories, to get ready for performance…
The control panel
Every control panel will give you the basic information: speed, distance, running time, average number of calories burnt etc. Some models display the heart rate (nothing is more precise than a heart rate monitor belt to measure your heart rate, so try and favour models that come with one, like the VM510). Then, depending on the model, you will have more or fewer programs, some compatibilities (coaching, mp3…) and an increased ease of reading the information provided thanks to backlighting or big screens.
The user maximum weight
It changes from one model to another. The Domyos range offers models with user maximum weights from 110 to 130 kgs, and even up to 150 kg for the Kettler Satura model. Make sure your bike is designed with stabilisers to ensure a safe use even on an uneven floor.
To choose the right bike for your needs, don’t forget to think about the space available in your home. You will probably need to fold it and store it: favour bikes with stabilisers and transport rollers.
BODY AREAS WORKED
An elliptical bike is a hybrid machine between a bike and a stepper. It allows working on the whole body. Ellipticals are usually used to lose weight and burn fat.