In recent years, ellipticals have become increasingly popular amongst fitness enthusiasts. This sudden rise is in great part due to their multiple benefits and many functionalities. This type of bicycle is a very simple and effective way to train, allowing you to work out like a pro without leaving the comfort of your home.
Many models and types of elliptical bikes are available on the Australian market. We designed this article to give you all the information you need about this wonderful training machine. We hope it will help you find the model that’s just right for you. If you know exactly what you need, you’ll be able to stay within your budget.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best elliptical trainers in the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about elliptical trainers
- 3.1 What is an elliptical trainer exactly?
- 3.2 What is the difference between elliptical trainers and other fitness machines?
- 3.3 What types of elliptical trainers are available out there?
- 3.4 How much do ellipticals cost?
- 3.5 How much space do elliptical bikes need?
- 3.6 Where can I buy an elliptical trainer?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- While certain elliptical models are for professional environments, others are tailored for domestic use. The latter are usually smaller, partly because they’re designed to be folded and stored away.
- The weight supported by the machine is an important aspect to consider: this usually ranges between 100 and 130 kg. Remember that it is always better to opt for a model that can withstand more weight than your own. For example, go for an elliptical trainer that supports 120 kg if you weigh 110 kg.
- The position of the flywheel is key for your workout. Smaller models have it at the centre, while rear flywheels offer the smoothest and most comfortable movement. If you’re a pro looking for a true challenge, front flywheels provide the greatest resistance and a more complete exercise.
Ranking: The best elliptical trainers in the market
Let’s have a look at the very best ellipticals available on the Australian market. We’ve designed this section to help you find the most suitable model for you or your loved ones. You’ll also learn to choose the resistance you like best and the type of device that’s just right for you.
No. 1: PowerTrain 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer[amazon box=”B077PK9XRZ” description_items=”0″]
PowerTrain’s cross-trainer offers incredible value for money as pointed out by past customers, and there’s no wondering why it has become Amazon’s Choice in the category. This fitness equipment isn’t just the elliptical trainer you need to achieve your fitness goals: it also doubles as a stationary bike so you never get bored of training at home.
The front flywheel offers greater resistance so you’ll be able to improve whether you’re a beginner or a pro. The reversible movement allows you to work on different muscle groups, and the on-board display gives you all the info you need about your workout. The seat height is adjustable. Note that the product comes with a 12-months warranty.
No. 2: LifeSpan Fitness X-18 Cross-Trainer[amazon box=”B07CJX6CMR” description_items=”0″]
LifeSpan is a US-based company that strives to provide fitness equipments for a healthier lifestyle. Their X-18 cross-trainer is a quality mid-range machine that offers 8 different levels of magnetic resistance that you have to adjust manually through a knob located below the display screen. The stride length is 33 centimetres.
Providing standard data such as time and speed, the screen is also paired with the built-in hand pulse sensors to indicate your heart rate as you work out. Coupled with the rear flywheel, the heavy duty belt offers smooth movement for a more comfortable workout. This model also includes the reversible motion function.
No. 3: Elliptical Cross-Trainer by Endurance[amazon box=”B077WCHGBB” description_items=”0″]
Australian company Endurance Treadmills closes our top 3 in style with their elegant elliptical trainer. The structure of this model is very similar to LifeSpan’s X-18, but it offers a little more which may come in handy when you’re starting to get in real shape. Supporting up to 140 kilos, this cross-trainer is designed for just about everyone.
Its 16 different resistance levels mean you’ll be able to train for hours while pushing your limits and improving your health. While this product has a higher price than others on this list, it also offers a higher quality and performance. Note that Amazon’s offer is a very interesting price in comparison to the company’s online store.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about elliptical trainers
You haven’t come this far if you’re not really planning on getting your very own elliptical bike. Our comprehensive shopping guide is designed to drive you towards the cross-trainer that’s just right for you. Why is that? It’s pretty simple: you’ll be making a financial investment on your health by buying an elliptical trainer.
What is an elliptical trainer exactly?
Also called a cross-trainer, it is a cardiovascular exercise machine or “cardio machine”. Designed to exercise gently, this alternative is a great option to work out all of your body’s muscles simultaneously. The good thing is that exercising on an elliptical trainer doesn’t get so boring!
This machine will help you achieve all your health goals. Cardio-training rooms in fitness centres usually have different types, and some of them even offer elliptical trainer classes. Comfort isn’t the only reason these machines have gained so much popularity.
What is the difference between elliptical trainers and other fitness machines?
The cardiovascular exercise that elliptical bikes offer is based on oval movements; you’ll have guessed that this is also the origin of the name elliptical. While this movement is quite similar to that of traditional bicycles, it was designed to involve many more muscle groups, while protecting your leg joints from common adverse effects.
This means that this machine is ideal if you’re starting your journey into fitness. On the other hand, you will benefit from the reduction of pain and injury caused by repeated impact against the asphalt if you’re an experience athlete. This machine helps you work out your upper and lower body at the same time. This table shows you the different advantages of using an elliptical trainer:
What types of elliptical trainers are available out there?
We bet you didn’t know that there are different types of elliptical bikes, each one offering specific characteristics that make it unique. These differences actually determine the way in which you train and the workouts that you can configure. Let’s have a look at them:
- Front drive: The flywheel of these machines is located at the front. The movement is more levelled than that of other types, and the stride is the biggest of all. This should be your go-to if you’re looking for more demanding training.
- Rear drive: The flywheel is set at the rear of the equipment, therefore providing greater inertia. This results in a more ergonomic, smooth and comfortable step. Fewer parts can move, which means that the maintenance required isn’t as important. These models are particularly adapted for use in gyms and at home.
- Central traction: These are the smallest models of the lot. The mechanism located at the centre means that the structure is sturdier. This type of elliptical trainer provides the most natural position for your body.
- Folding trainers: As the name indicates, these models can be folded, which is particularly interesting if you want a competitive model but simply can’t afford the space. They offer the same features as standard models.
- Outdoor trainers: This will be your best bet if you really don’t like training between four walls. If you enjoy a good run, know that these models allow you to do just that, but without the pains that go along with it. No more damaging your joints! You may never have heard of them, but they’ve actually become extremely popular in the United States. The performance and features they offer are the same as indoor models.
How much do ellipticals cost?
Performance and additional features will greatly impact the cost of the specific model you’re looking at. The price range on the market is quite wide, and aspects such as materials and brand will also influence the final price of the machine. Each manufacturer designs its elliptical trainers based on their own criteria and with specific features that will determine the cost of each model.
However, here are the three price range categories to give you an idea:
- High range: elliptical trainers designed for professional use, from $800 and up
- Medium range:: prices vary between $300 and $800
- Low range: models for domestic use, with prices ranging from $100 to $300
You can’t forget about your budget when you’re looking for your very own elliptical trainer. Make sure the models you look at are within your price range. We’ll always recommend you to invest a little more than planned and opt for a quality equipment. Offering a longer useful life, the best machines will allow you to achieve all your goals and more.
We’re not saying that you should spend indecent amounts of money on your elliptical trainer, but quality does matter. Don’t forget that the investment you’re making is for your health!
How much space do elliptical bikes need?
As you’ve probably noticed already, the dimensions can be quite different from one model to another. Here’s the first question you should ask yourself: how much space are you willing to dedicated to it in your home? This will be key in you choosing the most suitable cross-trainer for your home; size is comfort, and comfort is essential.
You definitely won’t need the same model if you can just leave it where it is when you’re done working out, or if you have to tuck it away in a tight space. Like we discussed above, domestic ellipticals are naturally more compact that professional models. How easily you can move it around can be a very important factor to consider depending on the space you have. You may want to opt for a model with foldable wheels and grips.
Generally speaking, standard measurements will fall within the following values:
- Length: 180/200 cm
- Width: 50/60 cm
- Height: 160 cm
Where can I buy an elliptical trainer?
Most malls and department stores will sell them in their sport section. You’ll find a variety of cross-trainers on sale in retail stores such as Harvey Norman, while sports-specific shops like Rebel Sport or Decathlon naturally offer many models.
However, the Internet is where you’ll find the widest range of models, brands and types of elliptical trainers to choose from. Amazon, Ebay or even Etsy should have everything you need. If for some reason you can’t find what you want and are looking for something more specific, you should have a look at sports equipment pages or directly go to the brands’ own websites.
The financial investment you’ll be making by buying an elliptical bike isn’t something you should take lightly. You might not know exactly what features to look at unless you’re a fitness expert. We designed this comprehensive shopping guide to give you all the information you need to know about elliptical trainers’ key features.
- Transmission belt
- Stride length
Also called an inertia wheel, this feature is one of the most important in a cross-trainer. It doesn’t only determine the type of machine you’re looking at, but also the way in which you pedal. The flywheel is basically the modern version of your traditional bike chain. It consists of an iron disc through which movement is activated when you start pedalling.
Note that the fact that the disc always goes faster than your pedalling indicates its smoothness: the faster the flywheel goes, the smoother pedalling is. The flywheel also determines the resistance of your cross-trainer: heavier models will lead to greater resistance, which actually impacts your joints. We strongly suggest you opt for a lightweight flywheel.
Before magnets came along, friction straps were used in elliptical bikes to increase resistance. However, the belts wore down machines and were very noisy, which lead to them being replaced with magnets. The latter have a much longer useful life and are easier to configure than belts.
This is actually the part responsible for the noiselessness of the pedalling. The magnets receive force from the flywheel’s movement, which transmits heat to them. This is the process through which they work and gain speed. This is also the reason why magnets need to be heat-resistant in order to function well and have a longer life cycle. Here are the two types of cross-trainers in regards to magnets:
- Aeromagnetic: They offer higher quality magnets. The structure is designed with grooves through which air can enter, therefore cooling the equipment.
- Electromagnetic: These models integrate transformers that convert electricity into magnetic energy. Also designed with ventilation holes, they need to be connected to a power outlet to work.
This is undeniably the main characteristic of elliptical trainers, and what separates them from treadmills and other cardiovascular exercise machines such as stationary bikes or rowing machines. The resistance helps you control how easy or how hard your workout is, and having a good resistance will be key if you have serious training goals.
Naturally, these very goals will determine how much resistance you want to put in your workout. You won’t do the same training for a race as to simply burn calories or improve your metabolism. Each type of exercise will require you to adjust the resistance.
Two types of resistance are available:
- Mechanical: A simple mechanism unlocked when the central button is turned on. The tension cable that brings the magnet and the flywheel together is activated.
- Motorised: This allows you to adjust the resistance directly from a screen, and tends to offer more resistance levels for you to choose from. They even have built-in training programs.
The transmission belt is the connection between the flywheel and the pedals. This factor is a key factor in the life of the equipment: a higher quality belt will mean you can use your cross-trainer for longer. This is why you seriously need to consider how often you’ll be using it; we strongly recommend investing in a high-end belt if you plan on working out every day.
The transmission belt is the part responsible for bearing the brunt of your workout, and you won’t have to get the very best if your elliptical trainer is for casual use only. However, we can’t emphasis enough on the need to invest in a stronger belt if your training is more intense.
We’ve already explained that this had a direct influence on the smoothness of your pedalling. A longer stride length means the machine will provide greater benefits to your health. The more basic models offer lengths around 18 to 20 centimetres, while professional cross-trainers can go up to 55 centimetres. Models designed for taller individuals can even reach 65 to 70 centimetres.
Responsible for defining this value, pedals are also in charge of sustaining the continuous movement of the elliptical bike: look for a model that is comfortable and practical for you. The pedals can be adjusted to different resistances, and moved back and forth depending on your needs.
Elliptical trainers truly are one of the most complete cardio machines available on the market. Depending on the flywheel’s position or the resistance, each type serves a specific function and is tailored to a particular type of training. You’ll always find the equipment that’s just right for you.
Go for a folding model if your end goal is to stay in shape or to lose a few extra pounds you’re carrying around. Designed for domestic use, these cross-trainers are very practical as you can store them anywhere you like when you’re done working out. You’ll also find models for professional use.
These machines are the ones you find aplenty in fitness centres. Coupled with front flywheels, they generally offer high-endurance capabilities. Go for the most sophisticated models if you really want to improve your performances and the quality of your training. Models featuring electromagnetic magnets allow you to set the resistance, duration and tilt you want.
It’s your time to shine and choose the elliptical trainer that’s just right for you. We’re that you’ll get the best cross-trainer on the market if you follow our shopping guide. Let your fitness journey towards a better health begin!
(Source of featured image: Bujdoso: 80782650/ 123rf.com)