Exercise Bikes vs Ellipticals: Which is Best For You

As you get set to take your training inside, one question you may find yourself asking: are exercise bikes as good as elliptical machines?

Well, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. In this comparison of exercise bikes vs ellipticals, we’re going to teach you the fundamental differences between these machines and the things you should factor in. 

exercise bikes vs ellipticals

Without sufficient knowledge about exercise bikes and ellipticals, it can be overwhelming to decide which one can help you reach your fitness goals. And that’s precisely why we’ve come up with this comprehensive guide.

What are Exercise Bikes?

As the name suggests, exercise bikes are explicitly designed for low-impact workouts. Like regular bikes, exercise bikes provide physical benefits; however, they don’t provide the same experience. 

Nothing beats riding outdoors, but exercise bikes are valuable under undesirable weather conditions. For instance, when it’s not possible to cycle outside because of the rain- an exercise bike is a great alternative. 

An exercise bike can be costly, especially those models equipped with high-technology. There are, however, low-priced options that will deliver the same results. Some of these bikes also don’t take up a lot of space in your home.

What are Ellipticals?

Like exercise bikes, ellipticals are great for low-impact workouts. It is an effective home workout machine for burning calories, enhancing muscle strength, and improving cardiovascular health. The first ellipticals ever sold in the market took up much space, but manufacturers have tried to make some improvements over the years. 

Ellipticals vary in price depending on quality and features, but generally, they’re not as inexpensive as exercise bikes. 

Exercise Bikes vs Ellipticals: Price Comparison

If you’re so committed to getting into shape, there’s a good chance that the machine’s price might not be your primary concern. But, of course, that’s not to say that those who set a budget for themselves cannot be considered committed to getting fit! 

In this comparison of exercise bikes vs ellipticals, we’ve included the price of each exercise machine to help make your decision a bit easier. 

The minimum amount you will have to spend on a decent exercise bike is $200-$500, while good elliptical machines sell for $700-$1000. Elliptical machines are quite high-priced than exercise bikes, and there’s a reason for this- they’re incorporated with a lot of advanced technology. 

Again, if money is not your biggest concern, choose an excellent elliptical machine. But if you have to follow a budget, some affordable exercise machines will still push you to the edge and offer great value for your money. 

Risk of Injury

The risk of injury is another primary consideration when choosing a good exercise machine. 

As mentioned, both exercise bikes and ellipticals are low-impact machines, so this should mean that you don’t have to worry about the risk of injury.

However, even when exercise bikes are low-impact, research argues that it puts your knees at a greater risk of injury. This could be due to the repetitive pattern of using the exercise bike. On the other hand, Ellipticals may put your back at risk if you are not following the proper positioning during your workout session.

Overall, injuries on exercise bikes are more common, so ellipticals win when considering safety. 

Space Required

Your space at home should also influence your buying decision. For example, we mentioned that manufacturers have tried to make ellipticals as compact as possible. But if we compare these elliptical machines to exercise bikes, they take up far more space.

If you choose ellipticals over exercise bikes, you have to spare more space in your workout area. Ellipticals will work your arms and legs simultaneously, so you should leave enough room around your elliptical machine. This is if you don’t want to hit walls or any furniture in your home.

In addition, ellipticals are much heavier than exercise bikes, so you may have to put an exercise mat on the floor before putting the elliptical machine in place. Place the machine on a spot where you feel most comfortable working out because you won’t move it quickly as the exercise bike.

Therefore, considering space in comparing exercise bikes vs ellipticals, exercise bikes take the cake. We recommend getting a folding exercise bike because it is the most space-saving exercise bike!

Ease of Use

Since you’ll be using these at home most of the week, if not every day, you might want to consider ease of use. This is very important if you’re still a  beginner at working out. The machine of your choice will determine if you will drop off or continue the program. 

There’s a good chance that you’ve learned to ride a regular bike when you were little, so exercise bikes should be relatively easy to use. 

In this comparison of the stationary bike vs the elliptical, the bike wins the crown. Most people learned to ride a bike when they were very little, so it’s a natural movement that comes easily. The elliptical, on the other hand, you might find you struggle with a bit at first.


Next, consider the maintenance requirement. Find out how often the machine needs servicing!

If the machine of your choice breaks down often, you may have to call a repair technician. Unfortunately, this means you will have to spend more money on that machine.

It is unlikely for well-designed machines to need maintenance often. Still, in this comparison of exercise bikes vs ellipticals, we found that exercise bikes have a more negligible probability of breaking down. 

Total Body Workout

While exercise bikes allow intense workouts, it’s mostly your legs that are working. If your goal is to work your legs, glutes and arms, ellipticals do not disappoint.

study found that ellipticals will work several muscles in your body compared to exercise bikes.

Summing Up: Exercise Bikes vs Ellipticals

Exercise BikeEllipticals
Risk of InjuryModerateLow
Space RequiredSmall Large
Ease of UseEasy to UseUncomfortable at first
Total Body WorkoutActivates Fewer MusclesActivates More Muscles

If you have a limited budget, exercise bikes are your best bet. Exercise bikes are also the best option if injury risks are one of your biggest concerns. 

If you are short on space, choose a folding bike. If space isn’t an issue, and you want to work out your arms and legs, go for ellipticals. If this is your first time working out, choose exercise bikes so you won’t have to worry about the ease of use. 

If you don’t want to pay the additional cost of your exercise machine, choose exercise bikes because these bikes are low maintenance. This also means less frustration on your part.

And of course, if it is the total body workout that you’re aiming for, don’t hesitate to spend money on a good elliptical machine.

Did we miss out on any important consideration? We’re happy to hear from you!

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