One of the all-time most commonly asked questions about the best elliptical trainer, is which make and model is actually truly the best. With so many out there to choose from people just what to know which one of them all is the one that they should select. Unfortunately it just isn’t that cut and dried. The problem you see, is that there are just too many variables to consider.
Price is a big one but it’s definitely not the only consideration. Features and things like warranty packages are just a couple of the items that will be on most peoples check lists. So to make things simpler for you and anyone else who is interested I’ve scouted out some facts and figures on five models that have tended to receive the highest marks on a handful of popular & trusted fitness sites.
I’ve done the research so you don’t have to. This doesn’t mean that this report is the end-all of information packages on these popular fitness machines. Rather, it’s simply meant to be a tool to be used to help you become familiar with the differences and similarities in what is purported to be the best machines in each given price range.
$350 – The Healthrider 330 Elliptical Trainer
The Healthrider 330 is possibly the best elliptical machine falling in the entry level category. Understand that although it has received high marks, it’s only when compared to other models in its price range. For instance, the healthrider 330 is purported to be a little bit uncomfortable when compared to more expensive models and also simply can’t be expected to last as long and be as durable as substantially more expensive models, particularly under heavy use.
Even so, those who have tried this particular machine report back that it does have a good stride and for the price also contains a surprising amount of features. Those features that are included in this machine are as follows: 12 levels of digital resistance, adjustable upper body handlebars, 18” stride, rear flywheel, EKG grip heart pulse sensor, workout fan and a one year warranty on parts and labor.
$600 – The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Trainer
If you’re looking for a better quality machine with more feature options but still want to stay well under the thousand dollar mark, the Schwinn 430 may be the best elliptical machine to fit the bill. It receives consistently high reviews and the Schwinn name has for decades been synonymous with quality bicycles and exercise equipment. Now bear in mind that while an 18” stride length will be adequate for most people, taller users will tend to find it short.
Keep in mind mind that the service warranty only covers labor for 90 days which is a very short time frame. This, combined with the fact that elliptical machines in general can be somewhat challenging to work on and you have a recipe for problems, if the machine breaks down. Its standard features include the following: 16 resistance levels, eight workout programs, moving handlebars for upper body workout, warranty – 2 years parts & 1 year electronics.
$850 – The NordicTrac AudioStrider 990 Elliptical Machine
This is a machine that allows you to have a good measure of thefeatures that would be expected in a machine costing well over a
thousand dollars, yet to still be able to remain well under that thousand dollar threshold when paying for the machine. Features like a stride length that’s fully adjustable from 18” to 20” and a hefty 325 pound maximum user weight. Even so. Make no mistake about it. This machine does have its shortcomings that keep it from competing head to head with better rated elliptical machines in a higher price range. Another great option in the price range is either the Bowflex M5 or Bowflex PR1000.
For instance, while it is noted for having a nice solid feel, there have been complaints of it squeaking. Another area of users complaints is in service when their machine has needed repairs. Owners have reported that standard repairs and parts orders can take longer than normal. Some of its most notable features are as follows: Motorized incline, 24 workout programs, built in speakers, iFit technology (uses 8 week workout program cards), folding space saving design, fan, warranty – 1 yr parts and in home service & lifetime on frame.
$1300 – The Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer
Once you venture over the thousand dollar mark, you begin to encounter a different class of elliptical trainer and this model in particular is one of the highest rated in its price range. The Sole E35 is recognized in particular for being quiet and sturdy. It also consistently receives high marks in independent challenges. This machine is well recognized in the industry for its warrant packages which covers the frame for five months and parts and electrical for a full five years.
Its stride is not adjustable but it is set at 20”, which makes it a comfortable machine for most people to use. There have also been some complaints regarding unsatisfactory customer service which is worth noting. Some of its features include the following: 16 resistance levels, wireless heart rate monitor, 8 workout programs, manual handlebars, blue back-lit LCD display, 25 pound flywheel, calories burned reporting, fan, bottle holder and built in audio system.
$3000 The Agile DMT Elliptical Trainer
This is obviously an expensive model, but for those who can afford it, the the Agile DMT is a very highly rated as the best elliptical machine in its price range that comes with more than enough key features. Features that make using it as delightful as one could possibly expect. To start off with the adjustable stride length goes from 19” to 24”, which means that pretty much anyone who gets on it will see that it’s a perfect fit.
It’s a tank that weighs in at a full 390 pounds and that translates directly into a smooth and stable ride. However; be aware that this machine does need to be assembled and this sheer size and weight can make this a difficult task for most people. Its features though are quite impressive and they are as follows: Super convenient “light touch” thumb controls on handlebars, 400 pound user weight capacity, 12 separate elliptical motions, wireless chest strap, 20 resistance levels, 9 built in programs, water bottle, warranty 5 yrs parts 2 yrs labor lifetime frame.