Street Rambler (StreetRambler) Outdoor Elliptical Bike: Durability and Performance

I have owned my Street Rambler for about 20 months (1 and 34 years) and thought I would share a little information about the things that have gone wrong, the costs to fix them, and some high-level analysis of the outdoor elliptical bike’s performance. This is not a review; I have no standard for comparison (i.e. a Street Strider elliptical).

Let me preface this by stating: The Street Rambler is awesome! I really enjoy riding this bike and feel it offers an excellent workout. If you can find one for a reasonable price, I encourage you to jump on it.

Background

I ride the Street Rambler about twice per week on average (in New Mexico, the weather generally permits riding year-round). Based on duration of ownership, routes and ride frequency, I estimate I’ve put around 1,100 miles (1770 Km) on the bike. I have found that a comfortable cadence falls between 60 and 65 RPM. By my estimation, it would be difficult (and dangerous) to exceed a 80 RPM cadence. The Street Rambler’s structure would likely not tolerate that intensity for long.

Issues and durability

I am pleased to say that nothing major has gone wrong with the bike during this time. The Street Rambler does wear out tires quickly, but that is the only real concern. Using flat-proof tires/tubes helps alleviate this; had I realized this sooner, I would have saved a few replacements.

As with any bike, I recommend that you perform a quick checkup at least monthly. For me, the checkup includes: cleaning and lubricating the chain, lubricating all bearings and joints, and tightening all hardware (bolts, nuts, screws, etc.) as needed.

Overall, I have spent around $150 keeping the Street Rambler on the road over the last 1.75 years. The issues and associated costs are outlined in the table below.

Part # of Replacements Cost (each) Cost (total)
Tire (front) 5 $9.39 (USD) $46.95 (USD)
Tube (front) 3 $7.14 (USD) $21.42 (USD)
Tire (rear) 2 $13.39 (USD) $26.78 (USD)
Tube (rear) 2 $5.99 (USD) $11.98 (USD)
Broken Spoke (front) + wheel truing 1 $30 (USD) $30 (USD)
Separated Pedal (left) [bolts/nuts] 1 $5 (USD) $5 (USD)

The tire, tube and spoke replacements were run of the mill. I suspect the broken spoke was a result of my allowing the wheels to become untrue (wobbly), hence the wheel truing expense. Since having the wheels trued 3 months ago, I have not broken any more spokes.

The separated pedal was the only structural issue that occurred. There are 2 brackets welded to each lower arm that support the pedals. Both brackets broke away from the lower arm at around the same time (left side only). My crude (but so far effective) fix is shown below; I drilled through the pedal and lower arm and affixed them together with 2 bolts, washers, and nuts. I am sure this weakened the lower arm’s structure but so far (~6 months into the fix), so good. If you have the skills and equipment, welding the brackets would likely be a better option.

Street Rambler pedal separation fix - top view (fix circled)

Street Rambler pedal separation and fix - bottom view (damage and fix circled)

Note, I did not include the costs of solid/flat-proof tires and tubes in this analysis; technically, my costs were higher because of those purchases, BUT most of the tire wear and replacements noted above occurred before I switched to the 100% flat-proof setup.

Performance (gearing and speed)

To fairly quantify the performance of the Street Rambler, I opted to use gear inches (and meters of development) and the approximate speeds that are attainable at various cadences (RPM).

Gear / Speed Gear Inches (Meters of Development) Approx Speed @ 60 RPM Approx Speed @ 75 RPM
1 39” (3.1) 6.9 MPH (11.1 KM/h) 8.8 MPH (14.2 KM/h)
2 54” (4.3) 9.7 MPH (15.6 KM/h) 12.1 MPH (19.5 KM/h)
3 74” (5.9) 13.2 MPH (21.2 KM/h) 16.4 MPH (26.4 KM/h)

This bike has moderate gearing compared to typical hybrid and road bikes; combined with the fact that the mechanics of ellpiticalling limit RPM vs. traditional cycling, you can see that the 3-speed Street Rambler is not incredibly fast. I will reiterate, it is incredible fun though!