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Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical Trainer

UnitSizeSupported
weight
StrideConsoleWarranty
Evolve 3

Check Discounted Price
L:69"
W:28"
H:69"

300 lbs20"32 workouts,
ViaFit
capable,
Passport
ready
Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 3 years
Labor: 1 year

Although it’s not a commercial grade elliptical trainer and doesn’t even have an incline system, the Evolve 3 from Horizon Fitness continues to benefit from a wide amount of positive reviews from many users. The main reason for that is its amazing folding design, but the quality of its overall construction also plays an important role in it.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 69L x 28W x 69H inches (175L x 71W x 175H cm)
  • Stride length: 20 inches (51 cm)
  • Assembled weight: 175 lbs (79.3 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lbs (8.1 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Incline: No
  • Resistance system: Eddy current, 20 levels
  • Console: 32 programs, ViaFit connectivity, Passport ready
  • Extras: Sound system, tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Evolve 3 elliptical trainer from Horizon Fitness is quite a well-constructed and balanced machine. Most of its frame components are steel bars. There also are several PVC parts, such as the footpads and several covers, including the motor and flywheel shields. But nonetheless, the machine is considerably sturdy as it can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). 

This Horizon Fitness elliptical trainer offers excellent stability. To begin with, its base frame has a set of six adjustable levelers with large rubber pads. On top of that, the fully assembled machine is considerably heavy; it weighs ~175 lbs (79.3 kg), and this weight also plays an important role in its overall stability.

The best part about this elliptical trainer is its FeatherLight™ folding design. Its rail and pedal section folds up and integrates a hydraulic cylinder which assists you with the unfolding. With the frame fully folded, the machine’s footprint becomes 41″L x 28″W (104 x 71 cm), offering better storage possibilities. Plus, the middle base bar is equipped with two large silicone wheels which facilitate its relocation. Differently put, you won’t have to handle its full weight of 175 lbs when moving it.

The machine’s frame features an aesthetic, professional design, which can be quite a motivation factor. All the steel bars in the frame are double coated with scratch-resistant and corrosion-resistant paint. The color used is black, but the rails of the pedals feature a chrome finish. Also, the cover of the main rail and the guards of the machine’s internal mechanism are gray.

Stride, elliptical path, and step-up height

The first aspect to mention here is that the Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 elliptical does not have an incline system. Therefore, its elliptical path is horizontal, which results in a natural stride. However, considering that this machine features a front drive, some users may still have the feeling that they are going uphill, on a very soft ramp.

The stride is non-adjustable. Its length is 20″ (51 cm), which means that the machine can accommodate comfortably users between 5’2″ (152 cm) and 6’2″ (190 cm). Shorter users may find the stride a bit too long, and workouts will be a bit more demanding, while taller users may find it too short, which will result in more focus on the lower leg muscles. In case you’re looking for a machine with an adjustable stride, check out Octane Fitness Q47x.

The pedal step-up height is 10″ (25 cm); however, the highest point of the pedal is approx. 16″ (40.6 cm). This being said, in order to avoid any ceiling issues, make sure to assemble and use the machine in a room with a ceiling height at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive and resistance

First of all, the Evolve 3 elliptical trainer features a set of large, pivoting pedals, with an anti-slip surface. They can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes and promote a natural positioning of your feet.

The pedal bars are equipped with large rollers; their glide over the machine’s rails is extremely smooth, without, generating a comfortable feel during your workouts. All the machine’s joints, including the pedal rollers, integrate industrial quality ball bearings, designed to last a lifetime.

The Evolve 3 elliptical is equipped with two sets of handlebars, mobile and fixed. The mobile bars offer a multi-grip design, with long rubberized grips. The fixed bars have a horizontal layout rather than upright, such as for the Schwinn MY17 470 or the AFG Sport 5.9AE. They’re equipped with EKG sensors and by holding on to them, the console can monitor your heart rate.

The machine integrates a balanced, perimeter-weighted, mid-range flywheel. It weighs 18 lbs (8.1 kg) and delivers a pretty consistent momentum, with a smooth, stable feel. It’s also bi-directional. Differently put, the machine gives you the possibility to pedal in reverse, if you want to diversify your workouts.

The transmission between the crankset and flywheel is carried out by a heavy-duty belt. This results in a quiet operation of the machine. It also doesn’t require any maintenance.

This Horizon Fitness elliptical trainer features an eddy current resistance system. This means that its resistance is exclusively controlled from its console, and for the console to become operational, you have to connect the machine to a power circuit (110 volts and 220 volts). The power cord socket is located above the machine’s front base; the box contains a power cord with the adapter.

The machine’s resistance system consists of a small servo motor and a magnetic brake. As you select a certain resistance level from the console, the motor will change the brake’s position in relation to the flywheel adjusting the pedal resistance accordingly.

There are 20 difficulty settings available. The first 1-5 settings provide light resistance, great for recovery training or warmups. Conversely, the final 17-20 resistance settings simulate a steep climb, promoting an intense workout.

Console unit

The Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 elliptical trainer is equipped with a mid-range console, featuring a 5.5″ diagonal LCD display with LED backlight. The display shows multiple workout metrics simultaneously, so you don’t have to use a SCAN function to continuously rotate them. It indicates time, speed, distance, RPM, Watts, calories burned, heart rate, and the current resistance setting. The left large circle on the display covers the heart rate, while the profiles of your workout are shown on the right side, in between the workout metrics.

The console is telemetric. It can read your pulse wirelessly via an HR chest strap transmitter. This accessory is not included, though, so if you don’t have you, you can only benefit from a pulse reading by using the sensors into the fixed handlebars.

The console is ViaFit™ enabled and Passport™ ready. It has an internal Wi-Fi module and allows synchronization with a tablet or laptop, in order to establish a live connection to your ViaFit account. This way you can directly save your workout data online, share it with your social media profile, in order to help you keep an eye on your progress and make sure you continuously improve. Passport is a Virtual Active technology which can make your workout more enjoyable, providing high-definition footage from various places around the world, with coordinated ambient sounds. But since the console doesn’t have an advanced monitor, in order to use Passport with this machine, you will need a Passport player to connect to your TV. This accessory is not included.

However, even if you don’t use ViaFit™ or Passport™, the console still has 32 built-in workout programs to keep you motivated. These are:

1. Manual mode. This is the “start-and-go” program, which allows you to control the resistance as you like during your workout.

2. Calories. This category allows you to select up to 6 workouts, with targets between 100 and 600 calories. For each calorie workout selected you will also have to select a resistance setting; the console will calculate the overall calorie output based on your weight input for the current profile.

3. Distance. There are 10 distance workouts including 1 mile, 2 miles, 5k, 5 miles, 10k, 8 miles, 15k, 10 miles, 20k, and half marathon goals;

4. Steps. This program category features 10 step-based workouts, using an average stride length. It includes workouts of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, and 10,000 steps.

5. Intervals. This category includes 3 interval workouts great for improving your fitness level and stamina.

6. Performance. The workouts under the “performance” category are 2 in number. They involve watts. You can choose between interval watts and constant watts.

Finally, the console includes to non-fitness features. One is the integrated sound system and the other is the tablet shelf. The sound system is compatible with most smartphones, MP3 players or tablets. It’s located at the bottom of the console unit. The audio socket is on the left side, and the box comes with an audio cable adapter. The tablet holder is placed right under the main controls of the machine. Therefore, placing a tablet or a magazine on it is a bit inconvenient as it will cover the controls and partially the display.

Assembly and Maintenance

The base of the machine, along with the pedals, motor, and the other internal parts, comes pre-assembled. So, the assembly basically requires you to attach the console mast with the console and the mobile arms. This shouldn’t take more than 20 min. The included manual provides all the necessary assembly instructions. All the tools required for the assembly are included, with the exception of a Phillips screwdriver.

For maintenance, it is recommended to periodically check the integrity of the machine; if there are any loose parts they should be re-tightened; if there are any broken parts, they should be replaced. It’s also recommended to keep the machine clean, especially the rails, and prevent any liquids from reaching the console.

The Pros

  • Solid frame, with a weight capacity of 300 lbs;
  • Aesthetic, professional-looking design;
  • FeatherLight™ folding frame;
  • Adjustable stabilizers;
  • Transport wheels;
  • Ergonomic, pivoting large pedals;
  • Smooth and quiet drive;
  • 20 levels of eddy current resistance;
  • Multi-grip mobile handlebars;
  • Pulse sensors;
  • Fairly large, multi-panel LCD display with blue LED backlight on the console; 
  • Telemetric console – can read your pulse via a wireless HR chest strap;
  • ViaFit™ and Passport™ ready console;
  • 32 pre-set programs;
  • Sound system included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No incline function;
  • Stride is non-adjustable;
  • Wireless HR chest strap transmitter is not included;
  • No cooling fan.

Summary

The Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 is a mid-range elliptical trainer for home use. It features a FeatherLight™ folding design, motorized magnetic resistance with 20 levels, pivoting pedals, and a telemetric console with 32 pre-set programs and ViaFit/Passport compatibility. It doesn’t have an incline function but does compensate with features that other machines in this price range don’t have. It’s a perfect trainer for workouts of all sorts, for muscle toning, weight loss, intervals, endurance training and also recovery training. And finally, it’s not exactly an affordable machine but does offer excellent value and quality for the price.

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