MuscledHorse saidIt depends on what you want to accomplish really. The whole "what is better for cardio?" question is really a false one. You should be varying the intensity of your cardio throughout the week, and using different cardio equipment helps accomplish that end as well as preventing your body from becoming too adapted to a specific a routine that it stops growing and responding. SO, the correct answer is all choices--bike, stairs, elliptical, treadmill, endless ladder--are good ones, just be sure to vary them and work at differnt intensities throughout the week.
Oh yeah, and that whole better at buring calories "fat burning zone stuff is a bunch of BS too. The simple factor is you have to burn more calories than you consume for weight loss. However, if you are wanting the thing that will burn the most the quickest, then the "Endless or Jacob's Ladder" winds that hands down as the most physically demanding of all cardio machines.
You forgot something here: study after university study has shown that HIIT does three things: 1. It preserves lean muscle mass. 2. It causes metabolic activation. 3. It raises cardia threshold. That's not to say that you can't train for in a HIIT way on any particular apparatus. However, training on stairs is about 7 times the load as training on the horizontal, and really up the intensity part.
It IS true that steady state cardio burns fat, but, it does not push cardiac threshold, nor does it lower HBA1C, nor increase insulin sensititivy.
HIIT and weight bearing exercise, in as little as three 20 minutes sessions a week can PREVENT type 2 diabetes.
While duration is important to just fat burn, it wrecks lean muscle mass, lowers metabolic rate, and does nothing for cardiac threshold. HITT is hands down a better choice, if you can do it.
Almost all experts (from cardiologist to excercise science) now lean towards HIIT.