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Life Fitness E1 Go Cross-Trainer

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Life Fitness E1

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L:81.7"
W:30"
H:58.9"
400 lbs20"14Frame: lifetime
Parts: 5 years
Console: 3 years
Labor: 1 year

The Life Fitness E1 is a cross-trainer that offers a heavy-duty construction similar to the commercial units. However, it’s not a machine rated for commercial use as it only comes with an in-home warranty. It’s not one of the newest elliptical trainer models from Life Fitness; for reference, this is the E1-XX00-105 model which was released in 2014. However, it’s still available to this day and continues to benefit from positive reviews from users.

Before we proceed with the presentation of this fitness machine, there is one important aspect that we must mention here. There are two types of console available for this unit, the basic Go console, and the Track Connect console. This unit includes the Go console.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 81.7L x 30W x 58.9H inches (208L x 76W x 150H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 211 lbs (96 kg)
  • Supported weight: 400 lbs (181 kg)
  • Stride: 20″ (51 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Resistance system: Eddy current, 20 levels
  • Console: 14 programs, 2 user profiles
  • Amenities: Tablet holder, accessory holders
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 5 years / Resistance system 5 years / Console 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Life Fitness E1 elliptical trainer features a rear-drive construction, similar to the ProForm Smart Strider 735. It doesn’t have a folding design, though, and its assembled footprint is rather large. It takes approx. 81.7″L x 30″W (208 x 76 cm) of floor space when fully set up, and on top of these dimensions, it is recommended to allow at least 24″ (61 cm) of clearance all around the unit for safe operation and easy access.

The machine is considerably heavy; fully set up, it weighs approx. 211 lbs (96 kg), while the package weight is approx. 242 lbs (110 kg). These being said, it is recommended to be transported and assembled by two people.

On the other hand, all this weight plays quite an important role in the machine’s overall sturdiness and stability. Even if you’re close to the maximum load capacity of 400 lbs (181 kg), you can be sure that it won’t move or wobble during usage. Plus, both its base bars are equipped with adjustable, rubberized stabilizers.

Despite the unit’s weight, once it is assembled it is not too difficult to move. The rear base integrates two transport wheels which facilitate its relocation.

Needless to say, this Life Fitness cross-trainer features a steel frame construction. In fact, there are very few ABS parts within its frame; the most important ones are the covers of the flywheel and the pedals. All the steel parts are double-coated with a chip-resistant and corrosion resistant paint finish. The color used is dark gray, with the “Life Fitness” logo painted white, these being the only colors available for this unit.

Resistance system

The Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer is equipped with an eddy current, automatic magnetic resistance system. This means the machine needs to be connected to a power source in order to make the resistance available. A 120-volt circuit is necessary for it. The adapter is included with the unit, and its connection point is above the rear base. Also, the resistance adjustments can only be done from the console.

The unit’s resistance system consists of a small servo motor and a magnetic brake. As you select a certain difficulty level on the console, the motor will adjust the position of the brake assembly in relation to the flywheel, in order to produce more or less resistance.

The machine makes available 20 resistance levels. Although the top 18-20 resistance settings offer quite a bit of tension and can help you break a sweat easily, this cross-trainer is not exactly made for highly intense training. It’s basically a machine for light to medium cardio training.

Drive system and elements

Most fitness machines with an eddy current resistance system feature a belt drive system and the E1 elliptical trainer from Life Fitness doesn’t make an exception. It actually has the WisperStride drive technology, integrating a heavy-duty poly-v belt, which generates almost no noise during exercising. Also, as opposed to a chain drive, a belt drive doesn’t require lubrication and produces considerably less vibration. These being said, the pedaling motion is extremely smooth, almost silent.

The integrated flywheel is balanced which also adds to the steadiness of the pedaling motion. Its weight is not specified, but given the size and overall weight of the machine, it should be between 20-30 lbs (9.0-13.6 kg). The flywheel is also bi-directional. This means you can pedal in reverse and the resistance will remain constant, while the console will continue to track your distance traveled, calories burned and the other metrics.

With regards to the pedals, this elliptical features standard ones with no cushioning, as the E3 and E5 models. But nonetheless, due to their placement and the WhisperStride drive system, the pedaling motion generates almost no stress on your joints. The pedals are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They have a non-slip surface and an elevated inner border to improve foot stability.

The pedal stride is 20″ (51 cm), and is non-adjustable. This is a pretty comfortable stride for a range of users between 5’0″ and 6’2″ (153 – 188 cm). Taller users may find it a bit short.

The machine does not have an incline system. This is a notable minus for a unit within this price range. However, it does compensate through the sturdy construction and the extremely smooth drive.

The pedal step-up height is fairly low, approx. 8″ (20.3 cm) above floor level. The highest pedal position will add a few inches to this height; therefore, it’s recommended to place the unit in a room with a ceiling that is at least 15″ (38 cm) higher than your own height.

Although the Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer is a rear-drive machine, its elliptical path is horizontal. This means that the pedaling motion does not have the downhill feel like other machines with a rear-drive.

There are two sets of handlebars available on this trainer, one mobile, and one stationary. The mobile arms have a simple design; their connection points with the pedal arms and the console mast integrate heavy-duty ball bearings which add to the smoothness of the ride. The stationary “bullhorn” handlebars integrate pulse sensors. Both types of handlebars feature rubberized grips for superior adherence and comfort.

Console

As we’ve mentioned above, there are two types of console compatible with the Life Fitness E1 trainer, the basic Go model, and the Track Connect model. The console included with the trainer is the Go model. 

This console is equipped with a 7-inch LCD display with integrated blue LED backlight for improved readability. It tracks all the required workout metrics including time, distance, speed, heart rate, target heart rate, calories burned, current resistance level, the workout profiles and a message center reading.

For speed and distance, both imperial and metric units are available. For heart rate reading, you can either use the sensors integrated into the stationary handlebars or the included wireless HR chest strap.

The message center section provides instructional information to the user from the moment the first key is pressed. The message center will coach the user through setting up a workout, including selecting a workout and entering time, level, and other workout specific information. Also during the workout, if certain workout feedback like pace and METS are turned on in the Settings Menu.

In terms of workout programs, the console features 12 preset ones and 2 custom ones; plus, there’s the Manual workout which allows you to adjust the resistance manually as you exercise.

The 12 preset program database includes interval programs, programs that focus on calorie burning and fat loss, and programs for muscle toning. There’s a random program which will automatically generate a set of workout profiles for you, in case you want something new every time you step on the machine.

The console has two user profiles which allow two users to save their personal data such as weight and height. There is one custom workout program for each user profile. The custom programs allow you to create a program that fits perfectly to your fitness needs.

The console unit also has goal setting functions for time, distance, and calories burned. You can select one target value for each one of these metrics and the unit will begin to countdown from it until it reaches zero.

In terms of extras, the console features a tablet holder which is situated under the keypad. This support is large enough to host any type of tablet. However, the console does not have a USB port or any other connection port for the tablet. It also doesn’t have online connectivity as the Track Connect console.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main frame with the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. Therefore, you only need to attach the base stabilizers, the console mast, the moving arms, the pedals, and the console, connecting the wires. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. All the necessary tools for the assembly are included, while the manual provides excellent assembly instructions.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. It’s recommended to apply some lubricant into the machine’s joints during assembly; this way, they won’t require any further lubrication for a long time. Other than this, you should periodically check the machine for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Commercial-grade construction;
  • High weight capacity – 400 lbs;
  • Transport wheels on the rear base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers;
  • Large, anti-slip pedals;
  • WhisperStride drive system which generates almost no noise during operation;
  • Fixed grips with pulse sensors;
  • Motorized, magnetic resistance with up to 20 levels;
  • Large LCD display with LED backlight;
  • 12 preset programs;
  • 2 custom programs;
  • 2 user profiles;
  • Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
  • Wireless heart rate reading;
  • Wireless heart rate chest strap included;
  • Tablet holder;
  • Dual accessory holder;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No incline system;
  • No sound system;
  • No online connectivity.

Summary

The Life Fitness E1 is an elliptical cross-trainer with a rear-drive, 20 levels of automatic magnetic resistance. It includes the Go console which offers 14 workout programs, 2 user profiles, and wireless pulse reading. It features an extremely durable construction with an impressive weight capacity of 400 lbs. It’s a machine for light to medium cardio workouts, weight loss, muscle toning, stamina development, and recovery training. And finally, even though it lacks features such as an incline system, or online connectivity it still offers excellent value and quality for the price.

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