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Consumer Reports: Unusual elliptical cycles

Looking to give your workout a kick-start in the new year? Consumer Reports has tested some very interesting exercise devices that’ll help you burn off holiday treats in no time, if you don’t mind odd stares from your neighbors!
(Consumer Reports) -- Looking to give your workout a kick-start in the new year? Consumer Reports has tested some very interesting exercise devices that’ll help you burn off holiday treats in no time, if you don’t mind odd stares from your neighbors!

Elliptical cycles are like nothing you’ve ever seen. They’re sort of a cross between a bicycle and an elliptical trainer. Like a bicycle, pedaling them puts less stress on your joints. But unlike a bicycle, there’s no seat, so you can’t sit and coast. That may give you a better workout.

Consumer Reports tested two elliptical cycles with 14 different panelists. Because they don’t handle as well as a bicycle, testers found they worked best on paved trails, away from traffic.

This StreetStrider Sprinter 3r has three wheels, and you steer by leaning your body, like you’re skiing. The handlebars move back and forth, so it’s a full-body workout, but the $1,600 price will give your wallet a real workout, too!

The second cycle, the ElliptiGo 3C, rated a bit higher. More like a bicycle, it has two wheels and uses handlebars to steer. But unfortunately, the cost is even more challenging at $1,800!

Both cycles can be used indoors, but you have to buy a separate stand for an additional $300 to $400.

Consumer Reports also tested 31 traditional elliptical machines and named one a Best Buy for $1,000. It’s the AFG 3.1 AE. A big plus, it has features that you find on more expensive machines, such as an automated incline.

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