By Idai Makaya
On 12 March 2017 we took the new ElliptiGO Arc 24 compact-stride elliptical bike on a spin, alongside the ElliptiGO 11R long-stride elliptical bike, to make comparisons and to evaluate the new Arc 24-gear bike in relation to its ‘lesser-geared’ stablemates.
The video above mainly compared the ElliptiGO Arc 24 to the ElliptiGO 11R elliptical bike, but it also gives some insights into why the ElliptiGO Arc 24 differes from the 8-speed ElliptiGO Arc 8. To quickly summarise my views on the differences between the 8-speed and 24-speed ElliptiGO Arc bikes, please note the main points below:
1. Smoother gear changes. This is probably partly because the 3-speed SRAM hub changes between the ratios very slickly and the 3-speed hub gears are probably used more often the the 8-speed deraileur gears when riding the ElliptiGO Arc 24.
2. Smaller steps between gears – and the ability to select the exact gear ratio required for any particular riding situation (instead of just chosing the closest gear ratio required).
3. Speed. The Arc 8 has a lower ratio top-gear, whilst the Arc 24 is geared about 25% higher than even the range-topping ElliptiGO 11R.
4. Endurance. On all ElliptiGO bikes high pedal cadence tires your legs faster than lower cadence. In this way the ride characteristics and riding strategies when riding elliptical bikes probably differ from conventional bikes considerably. If you ride with higher gear ratios your legs are slower to tire on an ElliptiGO bike. Higher gear ratios also allow you to pedal at faster speeds when descending – or when under the influence of a tailwind.
This is especially important for the Arc model, because its higher stride/step causes lactic acid to form in the legs during harder, longer-duration rides at a faster rate than when riding for the same duration (and at the same effort) on a long-stride EllptiGO bike. If you can pedal more lightly after hill climbs, especially when going down the hills, that constant gentle motion helps clear away the lactic acid quickly – and keeps your legs ‘fresher’ for longer. The Arc 8 builds up lactic acid in the rider’s legs at a noticeably faster rate than the Arc 24.
5. Bar-end grips make your upper body and hands more comfortable when riding the ElliptiGO Arc 24 bike. These grips can be added to the ElliptiGO Arc 8 as after-market modifications, but they come as standard on the ElliptiGO Arc 24.
6. Higher gear ratios make it easier to ride one-handed on the ElliptiGO Arc 24 (compared to the ElliptiGO Arc 8). That’s because you need a reasonably high pedal resistance to be very stable when riding with one hand on an ElliptiGO bike, especially on flat ground or down hills.
The video above pretty much tells the full ElliptiGO Arc 24 story – and also gives some comparisons to the ElliptiGO 11R bike. The ElliptiGO Arc 24 is certainly different, it is fantastic to ride – and it definitely has a place in every ElliptiGO rider’s training arsenal! Have a watch of the video above and see what you think…!
Below there’s also a video of a longer ride I did on the ElliptiGO Arc 24, showing that it does potentially have some long-distance cycling applications as well, although it’s probably less suitable for very long rides than the long-stride ElliptiGO versions…