Elliptical VS Stationary Exercise Bike

  • June 26, 2017
Elliptical VS Stationary Exercise Bike

There has been constant back and forth on the stationary bike versus elliptical debate. Some fitness trainers believe that elliptical machines are better because of their low impact, yet intense exercise routines.

However, they are wrong.

You'll gain more utility using a stationary exercise bike in your house. It allows you to stay in shape while also practicing the motions to ride an actual bike.

By the end of this article, you'll see why an exercise bike is a preferred choice amongst professional cyclists instead of the elliptical machine.

Throughout the article, we'll compare the two machines based on the :

  • ​Safety
  • ​Workout effectiveness
  • ​Space ​saving
  • play-circle-o

That being said, we are ready to get on with our comparison. Make sure to read it thoroughly to see which machine will work the best for you.


Safe exercise bike workout

For beginners, the stationary bike is the better option. It allows the user to simulate the motions of an actual bike ride.

All it requires is the time to work out and the ability to pedal. ​Upright exercise bikes are a safer alternative because it allows people of all ages to utilize within minutes.

While the Elliptical is known for having almost no negative impact on the body, it's still not a safe option for beginners to use.

The elliptical requires a mixture of hand and leg movement to work properly. Sometimes this positioning can be a bit awkward during its first usage.

The main reason why stationary bikes win this category is that almost anyone can use them.

Children, elderly and people with disabilities can get the most out of an exercise bike. It offers an easy and simple way to get in shape without the complexity of an elliptical machine.

Winner: Exercise Bike

Workout Effectiveness

In this short section, we compare both the exercise bike and elliptical based on their effectiveness. The exercise bike is designed to help users burn calories faster than any other anaerobic exercise machine.

On the other hand, the elliptical is mainly used for HIIT purposes. Read further to see exactly how both machines are great for increasing your workout effectiveness.

Exercise Bike VS Elliptical For Weight Loss

The ​exercise bike has a slight advantage over elliptical machines when it comes to calorie burning. Based on Harvard's medical school website, vigorously pedaling on a stationary bike is proven to burn more calories than that of an elliptical.

Exercise bike for weight loss

According to the study's results, a 155-pound person will burn 391 (Exercise Bike) and 350 calories (Elliptical) after 30 minutes of usage in each machine. Because of this, exercise bikes are perfect when it comes to calorie burning.

Winner: Exercise Bike

HIIT Effectiveness

The Elliptical is the clear winner in this category.

HIIT exercises are designed for the full body to be utilized. During HIIT workouts, the body tends to burn the maximum amount of fat within a short amount of time.

By the end of the exercise, your calories will continue to burn due to the intensity of the workout.

Meaning that you'll want to have a machine that's able to put more than just one body section for work.

The elliptical is great at creating a full cross training workout, due to its handlebars helping the user use their upper body while also working to strengthen the leg muscles.

HIIT training on eliptical machine

​One of the main advantages an elliptical has over an exercise bike is its HIIT effectiveness. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and the elliptical is a staple machine for this form of exercise. This is because the elliptical causes the user to use both their arms and legs while working out.

While you can use a stationary bike for HIIT training, you're only going to target your leg muscles. Elliptical machines provide not only a full body workout but also has an adjustable elevation setting to increase the intensity of your workout. Thus, the elliptical is great if you're planning to maximize your HIIT effectiveness.

Winner: Elliptical

Space Saving

Folding exercise bike

When it comes to saving space, the exercise bike has an advantage over the elliptical.

If you're planning on investing in a cardio machine for home, then the exercise bike is the better choice.

Exercise bikes are easier to transport and have less moving parts. Plus, it's harder to break than an elliptical because it has fewer moving parts.

Another reason why people opt for exercise bikes is because they are inexpensive.

On average, a good exercise bike will cost at least $500 while a quality elliptical will cost around $1,000.

For those trying to work at home on a budget, the exercise bike is the safer option.

Winner: Exercise Bike


Sometimes, you need your mind to be stimulated during your workouts. ​Indoor bikes win in this category because the machines require only one simple range of movement. Your movements are more controlled, and the machine makes less noise than an elliptical.

To prevent workout burnout, we suggest riding while watching TV. Do this for at least 30 minutes while the TV keeps your mind entertained. By the end of the workout, you'll feel refreshed and won't have to waste extra time for your muscles to recover.

Winner: Exercise Bike


We believe the Exercise Bike is a great piece of exercise equipment to have at home. It's versatile, simple to use, and allows you to watch TV during your workouts.

Exercising while watching TV

For those wanting to get the most calories burned and have toned legs, then the exercise bike is the perfect equipment to buy.

Elliptical machines are also ideal for exercise. While they are larger and more expensive than exercise bikes, they do allow you to get a full body workout. HIIT training is its primary purpose and should be used if you're planning on doing such exercises.

Recently, exercise bike and elliptical combo machines started to become a new trend. These machines give you the advantage of both machines while also setting the foundation of a healthy workout.

You should try getting a combo machine if you are serious about getting in shape.

Which machine do you like the most?

Share a comment below and let us know what you think.

About the Author Daniel Jackson

ExerciseRig.com serves as my way to keep people informed and motivated with their home fitness while providing plenty of guidance and advice when buying new products to help them reach their goals. My own story is a bit unconventional from what you may be used to. Although I was never severely out of shape, a severe knee injury actually resulted in me emerging more in form than ever, mostly thanks to equipment such as exercise bikes that I used during my long rehab journey. I’ve remained in shape ever since, and I now focus my efforts on sharing what I’ve learned from all my research and hands-on experience with a variety of home exercise equipment and workouts, passing it along to my readers. If you’re in need of unbiased, genuine, and real fitness equipment advice, this is where you need to be.

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