The StreetStrider elliptical cross trainer is a unique exercise machine that combines the low-impact workout of an elliptical trainer and the forward motion of a bicycle. The StreetStrider is a mobile elliptical device that provides green transportation while burning calories and increasing strength, stamina, and stability.
How It Works
Like a traditional elliptical machine, the StreetStrider provides an upright workout that challenges the upper and lower body. Like a bicycle, the StreetStrider moves forward with effort - in this case, the pedaling motion of the feet and the pushing and pulling of the handlebars with the hands. The harder the user pedals, the faster the unit goes, much like with riding a bike.
A Unique Exercise Option
The StreetStrider is unique in the sense that the inventor - Dr. Dave Kraus - took a machine most typically found in gyms and turned it into a form of transportation. "The StreetStrider provides a natural, weight-bearing, jogging-like exercise that is ideally suited for humans, as we are designed for jogging," says Kraus. "In fact, StreetStriding is even better than jogging because it is low impact and full body, providing exceptional cardiovascular benefits. The ability to carve while steering the StreetStrider gives the exhilarating sensation of skiing downhill, so the fun factor is substantial, providing motivation to maintain StreetStriding as part of a daily regimen."
A Good Cardio Workout
Though muscles are challenged while using this equipment, the StreetStrider primarily provides a cardio workout. It's ideal for exercisers who want a challenging cardio workout without high impact to the knees. It's also appropriate for people trying to lose weight as it is a high calorie burner. A study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that users burned more calories with a StreetStrider than with a stationary elliptical machine - approximately 12% more calories, said the study.
Some Coordination Necessary
The StreetStrider requires some coordination and balance in order to go, so it may not be suitable for all people. "Many people learn how to ride the StreetStrider in less than 5 minutes, and even customers who do not ride bicycles and are not regular exercisers often become comfortable with StreetStriding in a matter of 15-20 minutes," said Kraus. "After becoming familiar with their StreetStriders, many customers are amazed at how fast their performance and endurance levels increase." This equipment has a weight limit of 400 pounds.
The StreetStrider As Transportation
Dr. Kraus says the StreetStrider is an excellent option for green transportation. "Aside from a helmet, no special clothing is necessary to ride a StreetStrider, and it is fairly easy to achieve 10 mph on level ground," says Kraus. "When StreetStriding, you are upright and elevated, with excellent visibility of your surroundings, plus everyone can easily see you. By outfitting the StreetStrider with baskets or a cart, you can carry groceries, laptops or even kids, so the StreetStrider is perfect for green transportation."
The user manual for the StreetStrider urges users to take care when using this equipment outside of "controlled environments." The manual also advises that each state may have varying laws regarding the use of a StreetStrider in public areas and urges users to use safety equipment as needed, including, but not limited to:
- A protective helmet
- Eye protection
Cost and Reviews
Purchased new, these units start around $1000 and go up to as high as $3000, depending on model and feature. StreetStrider offers monthly payment plans, which range from around $50 a month up to around $80 a month. Reviews on the StreetStrider website are largely positive, as are independent reviews on Amazon. A reviewer on PavementRunner, a running website, gives the equipment high marks for providing a full-body workout and lists a few minor "cons" based on his experience reviewing the unit:
- Users must take a little time to get accustomed to the use of the StreetStrider.
- The unit draws attention, so users must be ready for public interaction.
- The unit is large and heavy, so not necessarily easy to transport.
Maintenance and Parts
Beyond the user manual, the StreetStrider support website provides direction and tools for assembly, maintenance, and repair. Bike repair shops may be able to complete routine repairs or maintenance on these units, but call ahead to make sure the technicians are comfortable working with these types of exercise equipment. Routine maintenance is important as described in the owner's manual to ensure proper performance and avoid injury.
An Interesting Form of Exercise
"People of all fitness levels have found that the StreetStrider provides excellent exercise, notably even the best exercise some of them have ever tried," says Kraus. "It's been successfully used by all kinds of people, from overweight individuals trying to avoid bariatric surgery to world-class athletes looking for alternative performance conditioning. The StreetStrider has also been used by people of all ages, including even nonagenarians, who want to maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle." If you're looking for an interesting, different way to work out that will turn heads, a StreetStrider may be a good option for you.