Welcome to the Fitness Machines

This trio of new fitness products will max out your cardiovascular output and get you in the best shape of your life

We’re always on the lookout for workout gear that’ll help our readers get to the next level. This means investigating a lot of products — some good, some hilariously bad. After weeding out the pretenders, we’ve come up with three new machines worth checking out.

EVO Fitness Bike

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Product Weight: 135 lbs.
Colors: Gray, pearl, black
Price: $1,150–$1,300, depending on model

For those of you who live in a colder climate, committing to year-round outdoor cycling could mean slapping snow tires on your bike and pedaling around in a snowsuit like some lunatic yeti. You’re better off checking out the EVO Fitness Bike.

We know what you’re saying: “What makes this exercise bike any different from the one at my gym, or for that matter, the bulky monstrosity my dad used to pedal in his tube socks back in the ’80s?” While it’s true that exercise bikes haven’t undergone any mammoth changes since then — you still sit on them, grab the handlebars and pump your legs — the EVO incorporates two crucial advancements:

First, there’s no chain. No belt. No flywheel. The EVO works off a planetary gear system. Instead of a chain connecting two gears, a planetary system consists of one or more outer or “planet” gears meshing with a central or “sun” gear. Upshot: a smoother, more problem-free ride.

Second, the EVO’s frame isn’t fixed in position. Instead, it sways side to side, which mimics how a bike moves when you muscle up an incline. This persistent sway forces you to maintain your balance and activate your core muscles, providing a total-body workout.

Jacobs Ladder

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Product Weight: 260 lbs.
Color: Black
Price: $3,995

Does the idea of pulling yourself up an endless ladder sound like a thrill? Or does it sound like a Sisyphean chore that fills you with existential dread? Either way, you’ve got to try it.

Jacobs Ladder is the equivalent of a stair-stepper or StepMill, but with a ladder instead of stairs. The ladder is set at a 40-degree angle, offering the most natural and comfortable climbing motion. This angle also takes stress off the lower back, hips and knees. Unlike a lot of other stationary cardio machines, Jacobs Ladder provides a greater range of motion by engaging both your upper and lower body in addition to your core, thus maximizing your efforts.

“As a rule, the more muscle mass you utilize during any activity, the greater the oxygen consumed, which is directly correlated to the calories you burn,” says Neal Pire, an exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine. “Unlike stair climbers, with Jacobs Ladder you can’t hold on to the sides.”

ElliptiGo Bike (11R Model)

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Product Weight: 39.4 lbs.
Color: Various
Price: $3,500

Do you hate recumbent bicycles and all they stand for? Does the specter of a dumpy fellow in spandex astride a recumbent bike drive you to madness? Does the smile on that man’s face — a supercilious grin that says: My bicycle is more efficient than yours! — make you want to wrap his flapping ponytail around his pencil-neck and choke him purple? Rest assured: These are perfectly natural feelings. Embrace them.

Better yet, try the ElliptiGo bike — the anti-recumbent. Instead of sitting down, you stand up. Rather than pumping your legs forward and back, you pedal in a cool elliptical pattern. The ElliptiGo works on the same ergonomic principles as the elliptical machines found in most gyms. The smooth motion of the machine and emulated by the ElliptiGo makes it a perfect choice for those who’ve suffered or are susceptible to impact injuries caused by excessive pressure on the joints.

The ElliptiGo varies slightly from an elliptical machine in that it doesn’t have moving armatures to grasp; it has handlebars just like a bike. An 11-speed gearing system allows the machine to reach 25 mph, and by gearing down, you can climb the same steep hills that you could tackle on a standard bicycle. A stride-length adjustment ensures that the ElliptiGo can be used by riders of all heights.

 

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