Training Indoors on ElliptiGO Elliptical Bikes

ElliptiGO Indoor Training

Training Indoors

On days when you can’t ride your ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle outdoors, you can use a stationary trainer to ride your bike inside or on a covered deck or patio. There are many trainer options available with the required 20” adapter kit for the rear wheel, but you can view our recommended trainer options. We even have training videos and programs available to help keep you motivated while working out indoors.

Check out Coach Jenny Hadfield’s Four Challenging Indoor Workouts for ElliptiGO or watch some of our Winter Workout Series videos to find fun indoor options for getting you through those unfortunate times of inclement weather.

What is it like to ride the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle on a stationary trainer?
As people who love outdoor exercise, we were a bit hesitant at first to try the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle indoors. We were pleasantly surprised by how much fun the indoor workout is on the ElliptiGO bike. If you use music or a heart–rate monitor to maintain a certain level of intensity during your workout, you can really get an incredible cardio workout indoors. (Imagine your own private spinning class, but you’re riding in a more comfortable, upright position.) For a better sense of the indoor riding experience, check out the short overview video below.

When would I use my ElliptiGO elliptical bike on a stationary trainer?
There could be many different scenarios when you might use your ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle on the stationary trainer. Certainly, on days when you can’t ride outdoors because of inclement weather or it’s too dark, the stationary trainer offers a great substitute. In addition, you could also mount your bike on the trainer if you wanted to focus on doing some speed or interval work indoors as a complement to your outdoor training program. Also, for any ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle rider who is undergoing serious rehabilitation or physical therapy, starting to ride the bike on the stationary trainer first at a low-intensity level might help in building cardio-base and leg strength before graduating to riding outdoors.

Where can I use the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle on an stationary trainer?
You can use the ElliptiGO bike on the trainer in any location that has a flat, stable surface and has enough room for you to mount/dismount and for the drive-arms to cycle through a full rotation. For your safety, we recommend that you set up the trainer in an area with ample space and ceiling clearance to allow you to mount and dismount comfortably on both sides and you make sure there is sufficient clearance on all sides of the drive-arms when they are in motion. Another important safety precaution is to keep children or pets away from the ElliptiGO elliptical bike when it is mounted on the trainer in order to avoid any accidental pinch injuries to small hands or paws from the drive-arms.

How do I gauge intensity, speed or distance on an indoor trainer to equate my indoor workouts to my outdoor rides?

  • Distance – Distance is the first way to measure your indoor efforts. By using your ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle in conjunction with an indoor trainer and cadence device, such as a Cateye Strada, you can measure the distance you are riding based on the revolutions your rear wheel makes within the trainer stand. This setup allows you to focus on covering distance intervals measure against time for workout accuracy and measurement.
  • Time – For those who do not have a measurement device, but own a basic stopwatch, time is the best metric for measuring a workout. Due to a study completed in conjunction with UCSD EPARC, it has been found that the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle has a 1:1 ratio with running for energy expenditure when compared using heart rate (HR) or perceived exertion (PE). This allows a rider to mimic any outdoor or running workout on their ElliptiGO elliptical bike by replicating two metrics, time and effort.For example, someone looking to replicate a workout of 5 x 1 mile at 7:30/mi pace with 3 minutes of recovery between would simply ride for 7 minutes and 30 seconds at the same effort (either HR or PE) as they would have put forth running with an easy 3 minutes of riding between intervals. At the end of the workout, the rider will have accomplished the same physiological effects as if they had run the workout.
  • Heart Rate (HR) – Heart rate is one method of measuring effort. To measure HR, a rider will need a basic heart rate monitor. These come in the form of either a wrist-watch and correlating strap or, nowadays, a wrist-watch with built-in monitor. By replicating HR and duration, any workout can be replicated on the ElliptiGO bike.
  • Perceived Exertion (PE) – For those without a HR monitor, perceived exertion is another tool for measuring your workout that doesn’t require additional equipment. With the findings from the UCSD Study, we know that HR and perceived exertion are very closely correlated. If you are good at exercising by feel (or want to learn to become good at it), perceived exertion is a good option. By exercising at the same PE, for the same amount of time as the interval you would have completed either running or cycling on your ElliptiGO bike outdoors, workouts can be replicated very closely with the indoor setup.
  • Cadence – The average maximum cadence one can achieve on the indoor trainer is around 85-90 rpm – for one complete revolution of one drive arm. If you are counting steps: each power phase of both drive arms, then 160 rpms would be a very hard workout indeed – equivalent to 80 rpm, and would be doable at a high intensity level. In our own use of the trainer, we have found that 85 rpm is close to the max, and riding at this intensity in the 8th (hardest) gear, equates to approximately 30mph on a flat road.
    Rather than try to match your outdoor cadence while completing and indoor workout, it is better to focus on simply increasing or decreasing cadence to adjust intensity. When you are looking to increase intensity, focus on increasing cadence and vice verse when looking to decrease intensity. There are a variety of cadence meters that can track this electronically to give you exact measures. These are best for making sure that cadence doesn’t drop as fatigue sets in since they give an exact number/measurement.
  • Gear/Resistance – Like cadence, gearing can also help you adjust intensity. For example, at any given cadence, the higher the gear on the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle, the higher the intensity of that interval. Increasing gearing and cadence both will therefore increase intensity significantly. A hilly run can be replicated on the ElliptiGO bike by adjusting the gearing in increments both up and down as you complete a session. By maintaining cadence, but increasing and decreasing the resistance of the stroke, the stimulus will replicate the feeling of running up and over hills throughout the session.

How do I set up my ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle on the stationary trainer?
For the step-by-step process of how to assemble your trainer out of the box and mount your ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle on the trainer, please view this video.

Basic accessories that will help your make your riding experience more enjoyable include:

  • Riser Block for the front wheel
  • Floor Mat/Beach Towel


Additional/Optional accessories include:

  • Water Bottle & Holder
  • Fan
  • Hand Towel
  • Audio/Visual Entertainment

Do you have any indoor training programs available that I can follow or use as a reference for my workouts?
Coach Jenny Hadfield has developed Four Challenging Indoor Workouts on ElliptiGO bikes.

Additionally, the Winter Workout Series provides tips and tricks for various indoor workout sessions that replicate outdoor rides and runs. With the assistance of these videos, we hope to help you get through rough weather times, whether that’s a stormy afternoon or the snowy winter season.

If you have any specific training questions or requests for an indoor training program, please email us at training@elliptigo.com

For any additional questions about the indoor riding experience, please email us at info@elliptigo.com. If you are interested in purchasing an indoor trainer for your ElliptiGO elliptical bike, please visit our online store.


Posted December 2, 2014 by Tennille in Training & Research, updates
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