Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Best Elliptical Trainers for 2020: Reviews and Comparisons

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Elliptical trainers are some of the most convenient and comfortable fitness machines that you can choose from, due to many aspects. For example, they offer an excellent training setting for a superior cardiovascular boost, a full-body workout, and a great weight-loss potential, with a minimal impact on articulations. That’s why they’re great for a wide array of users. No matter if you’re completely out of shape, you’re no longer young, you’re recovering from an injury or you’re already at a pretty high level of fitness, a decent elliptical machine should be able to offer you the aerobic workout that you need.

But since there are many models out there, it’s only natural to feel a little bit confused when choosing one, if you’ve already decided that this is the training machine that you want to use in the comfort of your home. There are many specific aspects that you should know about elliptical trainers. Within this post, we’ll put them into view, along with a palette of some of the best ellipticals that you can find on the market at the moment. In fact, to begin with, here’s a table with 10 of the best ellipticals training machines for 2020, featuring their core specs.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Elliptical Trainers

UnitSizeMaximum
user
weight
StrideResistanceInclineConsoleWarranty
Schwinn 470
schwinn my17 470 elliptical trainer - 2017
Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:70.1"
W:28.2"
H:63.2"
300 lbs20"Eddy
current,
25 levels
Motorized,
0°-10°
29 programs,
Bluetooth
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1 year
Labor: 90 days
Octane ZR8

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:63"
W:38"
H:59.7"
300 lbs59"Manual,
6 levels
No4 programs,
SmartLink
compatible
Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 5 years
Labor: 1 year
Sunny SF-E3875

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:73"
W:27"
H:67"
300 lbs19.5"Eddy
current,
16 levels
No
24 programs,
Recovery,
BMI
Frame: 3 years,
Parts: 180 days
Horizon 7.0 AE

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:76"
W:24"
H:65.6"
325 lbs20"Eddy
current,
20 levels
Automatic,
20 levels
8 programs,
Bluetooth,
AFG
Fitness
App
Frame: Lifetime
Brake: Lifetime
Parts: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
Sole E35

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:82"
W:31"
H:67"
375 lbsAdjustable,
20"-22"
Eddy
current,
15 levels
Motorized,
0° - 30°
10 programs
Frame: lifetime
Parts: 5 years
Electronics: 5 years
Labor: 2 years
Reebok ZJET 430

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:53"
W:26"
H:67"
265 lbs15"Manual
magnetic,
8 levels
NoTime,
Distance,
Speed,
RPM,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
Recovery
2 years
limited
Schwinn 411

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:53.8"
W:24"
H:62.5"
300 lbs18"Eddy
current,
16 levels
No13 programs,
Bluetooth,
RunSocial
capable
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Console: 1 year
Labor: 90 days
Sunny SF-E3810

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:58"
W:28"
H:68
220 lbs18"Manual
magnetic,
8 levels
NoTime,
Distance,
Odometer,
Speed,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
SCAN
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 180 days
ProForm 150i

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:63"
W:26"
H:66.7"
250 lbs17"Eddy
current,
12 levels
No12 programs,
iFit enabled,
Bluetooth
Frame: 5 years,
Parts: 90 days
Efitment E020

Check Discounted
Price on Amazon


read-review-button-03
L:35"
W:22"
H:54.5"
220 lbs24"NoNoTime,
Count,
TCount,
Calories,
Scan
1 year
limited

Schwinn 470

The Schwinn 470 elliptical trainer has been around for a while, but over the years, Schwinn has brought improvements to it, releasing new versions. So, the model that we’re addressing here is the Schwinn 470 MY17 (2017), or to be more specific, the Schwinn part number 100517.

Frame & Parts

Although the Schwinn 470 elliptical trainer is not labeled as a commercial-grade machine, it definitely has the construction, durability, and range of features at least of a light-commercial one. Its frame is made of thick steel tubing, coated with a rust-resistant and chip-resistant paint finish. It’s a heavy-duty, robust machine that can hold users up to 300 lbs (136 kg) with no problem.

The fully assembled machine is considerably heavy; it weighs close to 170 lbs (~76.5 kg), and this weight provides a lot of stability. Plus, the rear and middle bases of the machine are equipped with adjustable stabilizers, while the front base has integrated transport wheels.

This Schwinn elliptical trainer has two sets of handlebars, one fixed and one mobile. Both have rubberized grips for increased comfort. Also, the fixed handgrips integrate pulse sensors.

The joints between the moving bars integrate high-grade sealed ball bearings providing a smooth operation of the machine. Also, the pedal base bars are equipped with industrial-grade rollers which deliver a steady pedaling motion, and a firm grip on the base rails.

Drive & Resistance

The Schwinn 470 elliptical trainer is equipped with a 20 lbs (9 kg) flywheel which has most of its weight in its perimeter, thus delivering a consistent momentum. It’s also bi-directional, giving you the possibility to pedal in reverse.

The pulley is larger in diameter than the flywheel. The transmission between the pulley and the flywheel is done by a durale poly-v belt. Therefore, the operation of the machine is almost completely silent, vibration-free, and the belt doesn’t need any lubrication.

The machine has a motorized magnetic resistance system. In other words, it integrates a servo motor and a magnetic brake, also requiring to be connected to a power source.

The resistance can only be adjusted from the console. There are 25 distinct tension levels. The first few levels deliver a light resistance, while the 23-25 settings provide the possibility to exercise on a pretty high level of difficulty. The resistance can be adjusted gradually, but the console also has quick selection buttons for the levels 1, 5, 10, 18, 25.

Incline & Elliptical Path

This Schwinn elliptical trainer features an automatic incline system. It offers approx. 10° of incline and 10 distinct positions, from 0% to 100%. The incline increments are 10% (in this case, approx. 1°). Just as for the resistance, there are gradual adjustment keys on the console for the incline, but there also are quick keys for the 0, 20, 40, 70, and 100 positions.

The machine features the Precision Path pedals which not only that provide a non-slip surface, they also have integrated cushioning. The elliptical path is horizontal with the incline set to 0%, and rises at the front when you increase the incline.

In case you’re wondering, the unit’s pedals rise up to 26″ (~66 cm) above floor level. This being said, it’s recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 30″ (~76 cm) higher than your own height.

Last but not least, the machine’s stride is 20″ (51 cm). Therefore, it can accommodate users up to 6’3″ (190 cm) comfortably, providing a satisfying stride during workouts.

Console & Accessories

The machine’s console features two LCD displays both with LED backlight. The top larger one shows the graphs of the programs, workout goals, incline and resistance settings, while the bottom, smaller one covers the main workout metrics, such as time, distance, speed, calories, pulse, and RPM.

The console makes available 29 workout programs. From these, 12 are preset, others are custom, and others focus on heart rate intervals. However, the console has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with various fitness apps. In other words, you can sync it with your phone or tablet in order to directly stream your workout data to SchwinnConnect or MyFitnessPal, or use other apps for their workout interface.

An improvement over the older versions of Schwinn 470 is the RunSocial compatibility. RunSocial is an online app that makes available several virtual routes that you can view and follow on your tablet or smart TV while you workout on your elliptical.

In terms of amenities, this Schwinn elliptical trainer offers several. Among them, we can count a sound system, tablet holder, cooling fan, and bottle holder. The sound system consists of two small speakers placed at the bottom of the console. The cooling fan is integrated right between the two speakers. The tablet holder is placed under the larger display of the console and can accommodate just about any type of tablet. And finally, the bottle holder attaches between the two fixed handlebars.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Professional-looking design
  • Enhanced stability
  • Precision Path cushioned pedals
  • Motorized incline – 10 levels
  • Motorized magnetic resistance – 25 levels
  • Dual display console
  • 29 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with various fitness apps
  • Compatible with RunSocial
  • Sound system
  • Cooling fan
  • Bottle holder
  • Tablet holder
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • The fan is not too powerful
  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder
    will cover the top display

Summary

The Schwinn 470 is a robust elliptical trainer featuring a motorized incline system and resistance system. Its console has 29 built-in programs, also being compatible with various fitness apps, including RunSocial. It’s an excellent machine for users of all levels, great for muscle toning, stamina development, intervals, and weight loss. In all, it offers an exceptional price/quality ratio.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner

Although the Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner is not exactly one of the most affordable elliptical trainers, it offers the quality of a commercial-grade machine. It’s also an air glider type of elliptical so it doesn’t have the conventional flywheel resistance system.

Frame & Parts

The Octane ZR8 Zero Runner combines aluminum, steel, and ABS parts in its construction. The sustaining sidebars are steel-made for improved sturdiness, the bars in the moving legs construction are aluminum-made, while the pedals and several other covers in the structure of the machine are made of heavy-duty ABS material.

The fully assembled unit is a few inches shorter than a conventional front-drive elliptical like the Schwinn 470. However, the unit still has an active footprint of 63″L x 38″W (160 x 97 cm). It’s also recommended to assign a clearance of at least two feet all around the unit, for safe access and operation.

The fully assembled machine is quite heavy. It weighs over 190 lbs (87 kg). Therefore, its transport and assembly require two people. But on the other hand, all this weight delivers superior stability. However, once the unit is assembled, it is fairly easy to move; its rear base features transport wheels.

This Octane Fitness elliptical features as a set of mobile handlebars and a curved handlebar which also integrates pulse sensors. The mobile arms offer a multi-grip design, with rubberized handles for a comfortable grip. They aren’t set at an extreme height from the pedals, so most users should benefit from a natural grip and arm position during workouts. Shorter users than 5’0″ will have a grip a bit higher, close to their chest, but this shouldn’t affect the quality of the overall workout.

Drive & Resistance

As we’ve mentioned above, the Octane ZR8 Zero Runner does not have a conventional flywheel-based resistance system like most other ellipticals. Each one of its upright legs has a Stride Control Adjuster dial.

Each Stride Control Adjuster changes the tension for its corresponding pedal. Therefore, in order to benefit from an even resistance for both pedals, you have to select the same position for each dial. However, the resistance adjustment is independent for each pedal. So, if by some reason you want to have inequal resistance for the pedals, it is possible on this machine.

The machine’s resistance system is manual. This means you don’t have to connect it to a power source. Also, the console cannot adjust the resistance automatically. The resistance dial of each pedal can be adjusted as you exercise with no problem. Each dial has three “plus” positions and three “minus” positions.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner offers a dynamic stride with a length up to 58″ (147 cm). Needless to say, this offers a considerably more ample range of motion.

The machine does not have an incline system. However, since it’s a free-motion elliptical, or an air glider, it offers the possibility to lean forward or backward during exercising.

The unit is equipped with a set of large and extra-strong pedals, featuring a rubberized surface to improve foot adherence. Both the pedals and their supporting legs are durable enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg).

The spacing between the pedals is 1.4″ (35 mm). This being said, your feet are positioned on the pedals naturally and the pedaling motion eliminates any lateral stress on the knees and ankles. Also, the pedal step-up height is approx. 5.2″ (13.2 cm), which is not too high. Plus, the rear rubberized step and the fixed handlebar provide safety and balance when you position your feet on the pedals.

Console & Accessories

The unit’s console is battery-powered. It requires 4 AA-size batteries. It’s equipped with a multi-panel LCD display that tracks time, distance, speed, average pulse, pulse, calories, and pace. It also shows stride length. Speed and distance can be set either to metric or English units. While for pulse reading, a wireless Bluetooth HR chest strap is included.

The console makes available three workout modes. These are RUN+, X-MODE and Cross CiRCUIT, plus the free stride mode. The RUN+ mode allows you to set up a series of one to six 15-second to 15-minute intervals of additional motions/activities to your exercise session, creating a unique workout each time. The X-MODE is a virtual personal trainer. In one-minute intervals, the console will prompt you to vary your workout alternating between Run, Step, Lunge, Jog, and Ski. And finally, the CROSS CiRCUIT program is the specific Octane Fitness cross-training workout which combines cardio intervals on the Zero Runner with sets of strength and toning exercises off the machine, using various other fitness equipment such as dumbbells, fitness ball, elastic bands etc.

The console is also SmartLink compatible. Therefore, you can sync it with your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth via the SmartLink app, for online data tracking and other features.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Aesthetic design
  • Transport wheels
  • Adjustable stabilizers
  • Anchor points for elastic bands
  • Extra-long stride range – 58″
  • Adjustable resistance for
    each pedal
  • Large, articulated pedals
  • Step-up element
  • Advanced console with
    three workout modes
  • Online workout data tracking
    via the SmartLink app
  • Bluetooth pulse reading
  • Bluetooth HR chest strap
    included
  • Recovery function
  • Tablet holder

Cons

  • No bottle holder
  • No sound system

Summary

The Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner is a heavy-duty free-motion elliptical trainer. It offers an extra-long stride of 58″, articulated pedals for an impact-free motion, and a console with three main workout modes. The console is also Bluetooth enabled and offers online workout data tracking via the SmartLink app.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3875

The Sunny SF-E3875 is one of the elliptical machines released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2019. So far, this trainer stands at an almost clean 5-star rating on most vendor and fitness websites that’s why we’ve selected it for our page of best elliptical trainers for 2020. It’s a front-drive cross-trainer with a vertical layout for its drive system and automatic resistance.

Frame & Parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3875 features a sturdy frame made of steel tubing. All the steel parts in its construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish; the color used is black, this being the only color available for this model. The only exceptions are the aluminum covers of the base bars that serve as rails for the pedal wheels. They have their natural polish.

Although the unit’s drive system has a vertical build, the fully assembled unit still is fairly large. It is approx. 63″ (157 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide, while its highest point is given by the top of its moving arms which reach approx. 70″ (178 cm) above floor level.

The machine’s metallic base is a one-piece element. Due to this aspect, this cross-trainer provides superior sturdiness. It also has a dual rail system for the pedals which leads to better stability and a sure-footed feeling during pedaling. Plus, both the front and rear bases of the machine have adjustable stabilizers, while the front base also has transport wheels.

Drive & Resistance

The Sunny SF-E3875 is equipped with an eddy current resistance system. Therefore, it requires an external power source. It also offers automatic resistance adjustment; in other words, its console can control the resistance automatically, depending on the selected program.

This Sunny elliptical trainer makes available 16 difficulty levels. The first few provide little pedaling difficulty, which makes them great for recovery training. Conversely, the 15-16 levels considerably increase the pedal tension, allowing you to burn more calories, reach a higher pulse rate in a shorter period of time, and overall, benefit from a more consistent workout.

The machine integrates a balanced flywheel for a smooth pedaling motion. Its exact weight is not specified but considering that the machine weighs approx. 189 lbs (86 kg), its internal flywheel should be at least 20 lbs (9 kg). The flywheel is also bi-directional; this means it allows reverse pedaling.

This cross-trainer is equipped with a heavy-duty drive belt. This being said, its drivetrain does not require any periodic lubrication. It also produces considerably less vibration than a chain drive and the usage of the machine is almost completely silent.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3875 does not have an incline system. Therefore, the angle of its elliptical path and the length of the stride are non-adjustable. The unit offers a fairly long stride. It measures 19.5″ (49.5 cm). Thus, the machine should accommodate users up to 6’3″ (190 cm) with no problem, allowing a complete leg extension.

The machine is equipped with a set of heavy-duty pedals. They are designed to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). They are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. Although they are not articulated, the machine provides a very smooth ride with a minimal impact on the joints.

Although it’s a front-drive elliptical trainer, its elliptical path is slightly inclined forward. Therefore, the pedaling motion feels like descending on a very soft ramp. Therefore, it puts more focus on the glutes, but overall, it delivers a pretty consistent workout for multiple groups of muscles.

Console & Accessories

The Sunny SF-E3875 is equipped with a mid-range console. It features 6″ LCD display with LED backlight that tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, watts, calories, and pulse. It also has an odometer reading and shows the target heart rate.

The console does not have online connectivity but does have 24 workout programs to keep you motivated. The list includes 1 Manual, 12 Preset, 1 Watt, 1 Body Fat, 5 HRC, and 4 Custom User programs.

The console is not telemetric. This means it cannot communicate with any wireless HR transmitters. However, the machine integrates pulse sensors to which you can hold on if you want to monitor your heart rate during your workouts.

Other notable features and accessories that we can mention here are the tablet holder, the bottle holder, and the HR zone sticker. The tablet holder is integrated into the console, right above the LCD display. And finally, the HR diagram sticker on the console shows the heart rate zones that you should aim for depending on your age, in order to benefit from a better aerobic output, fat burn, etc.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame – 300 lbs capacity
  • Adjustable stabilizers
  • Transport wheels
  • Lifting handle on the
    rear base
  • Large pedals
  • 16 levels of eddy current
    resistance
  • Maintenance-free belt drive
  • Fairly long stride (19.5″)
  • 6″ LCD display console
  • 24 workout programs
  • Pulse reading function
  • Recovery function
  • Goal settings
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • HRC diagram on the console

Cons

  • No incline
  • No online connectivity
  • No sound system

Summary

The Sunny SF-E3875 is a mid-range elliptical trainer designed for home use. It features an eddy current resistance system with 16 levels, and a console with 24 workout programs. It has a fairly sturdy construction and offers fairly decent comfort. It an excellent machine for light to intense cardio, stamina development, and weight loss.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE is one of the ellipticals released in 2018 but still remains one of the best in 2020. It’s a heavy-duty machine featuring an eddy current resistance system and automatic incline. Although it’s not advertised as a commercial machine, it definitely offers at least light-commercial quality.

Frame & Parts

The Horizon 7.0 AE features a sturdy Six-Star frame designed to help you maintain an ideal body position during workouts and to maximize comfort. It has a heavy construction weighing over 194 lbs (88 kg); this weight is reflected in its overall stability. Plus, its middle and rear bases have adjustable stabilizers while its front base has transport wheels.

This elliptical trainer combines cylindrical and ovalized tubes in its construction for improved aesthetics. Most of the steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish, with the exception of the incline bar covers which are aluminum-made.

The machine is equipped with two heavy-duty pedals. As we’ve mentioned above, the pedal trays are made of durable ABS material. Each pedal is attached to a metal plate welded directly to the pedal arm. They are rated for a weight capacity of 325 lbs (147 kg) which is characteristic to most light-commercial cross-trainers.

Like most other ellipticals, the Horizont 7.0 AE has two sets of handlebars, fixed and mobile. The fixed handlebars feature pulse sensors and incline/resistance controls. The moving arms have long and curved grips.

The fully assembled unit if fairly large. It is approx. 76″ (193 cm) long, and 24″ (61 cm) wide. Therefore, it may not fit too well in a small room or apartment.

Drive & Resistance

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE is equipped with an eddy current resistance system. This means it requires an external power source. Also, its console can automatically control the resistance and incline.

The machine offers 20 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver little pedal tension, great for low-intensity cardio workouts or recovery training. The top 18-20 levels, on the other hand, provide considerably more resistance, great for anyone who wants a consistent workout and extra fat burning possibilities.

The machine’s internal flywheel weighs 23 lbs (10.4 kg). It’s a fairly heavy flywheel for an elliptical, which means the pedaling motion offers a bit of extra momentum. Also, its drive system uses a belt, not a chain. Therefore, its drivetrain doesn’t require lubrication and the pedaling motion is very smooth and silent.

An important aspect with regards to the unit’s drive system regards the pedal bar structure. Each pedal bar is equipped with a roller system that hugs the rail. This design offers improved stability. Plus, each roller is rubberized to minimize noise.

Incline, Stride & Elliptical Path

The Horizon 7.0 AE features an automatic incline system. This means you can adjust the unit’s incline during exercising without having to step off the machine. The incline motor controls the two base rails of the machine increasing or decreasing their elevation depending on your setting, or on the selected program profile.

The unit offers an incline range between 0% and 20%. The incline increments are 0.5% but the console also offers quick incline selection for levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 20.

This elliptical trainer offers a standard 20″ stride. This means it can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm). The minimum height of the pedal is approx. 10″ (25 cm) while the maximum height is 16″ (40 cm). Thus, you should use the machine in a room with a ceiling height that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Since the machine features an incline system, the angle of the elliptical path is variable. Differently put, at 0% incline the pedals are slightly inclined forward. Conversely, with the incline set to maximum, the elliptical path becomes a few extra degrees inclined forward.

Console & Accessories

This Horizon Fitness elliptical trainer includes a multi-function console. To begin with, it has an LCD display with LED backlight, and a LED display. The LCD display shows time, distance, watts, calories, RPM, pulse, incline, and resistance. It also shows the distance traveled as a 1/4 mile track. The LED display is divided into four sections which show time, resistance/incline, distance/pace, calories/pulse.

The console is telemetric. This means it can read your pulse through a wireless (Bluetooth) chest strap. However, this accessory is not included.

The console has two workout modes, one with profile programs, the other with target profiles. It offers a total of 8 programs, some of them with multiple difficulty settings. The profile-based workout programs are Manual, Hill Climb, My First 5k, Fat Burn and Custom. The target programs are for Distance (13 settings), Calories, and Target Heart Rate.

The console also has online connectivity. It is compatible with the AFG fitness app for iOS and Android. This means you can track your progress online, and also benefit from various other features.

Among other features and accessories, we can mention the sound system, the cooling fan, the USB port, the tablet holder, and the bottle holder.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame – 325 lbs capacity
  • Professional-looking design
  • Enhanced stability
  • Transport wheels
  • Rear lifting handle
  • Ergonomic, durable pedals
  • Maintenance-free belt drive
  • Motorized incline 20 levels
  • Motorized magnetic resistance – 20 levels
  • Incline and resistance controls
    integrated into the fixed handlebars
  • Standard 20″ stride
  • Dual display console
  • 8 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with the AFG Fitness app
  • Sound system
  • Cooling fan
  • USB charging port
  • Bottle holder
  • Tablet holder
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • The fan is not too powerful
  • HR chest strap is not included

Summary

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE is a heavy-duty elliptical trainer offering 20 levels of eddy current resistance, 20 levels of automatic incline, and a console with multiple programs and online connectivity. It’s an excellent machine for light to intense cardio training, intervals, stamina development, and weight loss.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

SOLE Fitness E35

The SOLE E35 elliptical trainer has been around since 2013, but since then, a new improved version has been released (at the beginning of 2017). This SOLE Fitness elliptical still remains one of the best machines for 2020. It’s a heavy-duty machine and offers an impressive range of features, plus online connectivity.

Frame & Parts

The SOLE Fitness E35 features a durable steel frame with a front-drive design. It’s a heavy structure machine, with an assembled weight over 200 lbs (91 kg). All this weight adds a lot of stability, plus, the machine’s bases are equipped with adjustable stabilizers. Despite its weight, the fully assembled unit isn’t too difficult to move, though; its front base has transport wheels, while the rear base features a lifting handle.

Most of the steel parts within the frame construction are coated with a black paint finish, resistant to corrosion. The rails feature aluminum covers, which are not painted.

The machine is fairly large; it’s 82″ (208 cm) long, and 31″ (79 cm) wide. This means the unit isn’t exactly the best choice for a small apartment.

There are two sets of handlebars on this machine, one mobile, and one fixed. The mobile handlebars feature a multi-grip design. They integrate incline and resistance controls. The fixed handlebars have a simple design and incorporate metallic pulse sensors. Both sets of handlebars feature rubberized grips.

Last but not least, the pedal bars glide on a dual rail system. They’re equipped with high-grade wheels composed of sealed ball bearings and a silicone coating for a smooth and silent ride.

Drive & Resistance

The SOLE Fitness E35 elliptical trainer is equipped with a 25 lbs (11.3 kg) flywheel which has a balanced structure in order to deliver a steady and continuous motion without any bumps. It also gives you the possibility to pedal in reverse; thus, you can diversify your workouts. The transmission uses a heavy-duty, poly-v belt. Therefore, the pedaling motion is very smooth and silent.

This SOLE elliptical trainer integrates an eddy current resistance system. In other words, it uses an automatic magnetic brake with digital control. The machine needs to be connected to a power source in order to make available the resistance. Also, the resistance can only be adjusted from the console, or the controls built in the mobile hand grips.

There are 20 resistance levels available. The 1-3 settings deliver a low level of difficulty, which is perfect for beginners, elderly users or users who require recovery training. Conversely, the 18-20 settings give you the possibility to train on a high level of difficulty, an excellent choice for an intense cardio workout.

Incline & Elliptical Path

This elliptical machine features an automatic incline system. In other words, its incline system is motorized. There is a small motor placed at the rear of the machine which controls the dual rail system. It makes available 20 incline positions.

With regard to the unit’s elliptical path, there are at least a few important aspects to mention. First of all, at 0° incline, the elliptical path is horizontal; but as you add incline, its angle changes, which results in a riding feel that resembles going uphill. Also, the unit’s stride is approx. 20″ (51 cm).

The pedals are articulated, which means they have extra cushioning. Each pedal is 2° inclined inward in order to provide a more natural foot positioning. Also, each pedal has three adjustment positions, from 0° to 10°.

Console & Accessories

The SOLE E35 elliptical machine includes an advanced console featuring a large, 7.5″ LCD display with blue LED backlight and large, easy-to-read digits. It covers all the important workout metrics, including, time, distance, calories, pulse, RPM, speed, and the incline/resistance levels selected.

The console is telemetric. Not only that it can read your pulse via the sensors in the fixed handlebars, it is also compatible with various HR chest strap transmitters. A wireless HR chest strap is included with the machine as well.

There are standard programs available, these being Manual, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, and Interval. Along with these, the unit also makes available two custom user programs and two heart rate programs. The custom user programs allow you to create your own workouts, save them, and re-use them every time you want. The HR programs are set for 60% and 80% of the maximum heart rate.

As opposed to the older E35 version, the newer one offers Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with various online fitness apps, such as Sole® Fitness App, Fitbit®, Record by Under Armour®, Mapmyrun®, and Apple® Health. Thus, you can sync your smartphone or tablet with the machine in order to directly stream your workout data to one of these apps, use a different workout interface, compete with others etc.

There are several non-fitness features incorporated into the console as well. These are a sound system, a cooling fan, a tablet holder, and an accessory holder. The sound system consists of two speakers at the top of the console. There also is an audio jack in and a speakers port at the bottom of the console. This sound system is compatible with any MP3 player, smartphone or tablet, so you can listen to your music through the machine’s speakers.

The cooling fan is placed at the top of the console as well, right between the two speakers. The tablet holder is under the console display; it’s long and wide enough to accommodate any tablet. And finally, the accessory holder is molded into the bottom part of the console.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame – 375 lbs weight capacity
  • Professional-looking design
  • Enhanced stability
  • Adjustable pedals
  • Motorized incline – 20 levels
  • Motorized magnetic resistance – 20 levels
  • Large display (7.5″)
  • 10 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with various fitness apps
  • HR chest strap included
  • Sound system
  • Cooling fan
  • Accessory holder
  • Tablet holder
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • No buttons for quick resistance
    and incline adjustment
  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder
    will cover the console display

Summary

The SOLE Fitness E35 definitely has the structure and range of features of a light-commercial elliptical machine, even though it’s meant only for residential use. It’s a machine equipped with motorized resistance and incline, has 10 workout programs to choose from, and online connectivity. It has an impressive weight capacity and adjustable pedals. In all, it offers an outstanding value for the price.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Reebok ZJET 430

Reebok has released several ZJET 430 products in 2019, such as an elliptical trainer, a treadmill, and an upright bike. To avoid any confusion, the ZJET 430 elliptical is the Reebok part number RVJF-12211RD. So far, this elliptical machine has a fair share of 4-5 star user ratings this being one of the main reasons we’ve selected it for our list.

Frame & Parts

The Reebok ZJET 430 elliptical trainer has a steel frame construction but most of its base along with the drive and resistance elements is covered by the ABS guards. The steel parts in the unit’s construction are powder coated with a durable paint finish, while the ABS covers are red/black, these being the only colors available for this model.

The fully assembled machine has a fairly small footprint compared to other models. It is 53″ (134 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide. However, it still is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it for safe usage. Also, with all the parts assembled, the ZJET 430 elliptical weighs approx. 114 lbs (52 kg); this weight adds to its overall stability. Plus, in terms of stability, the unit has adjustable levelers on both its base bars.

This elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars, one fixed and one mobile. The fixed handlebars integrate pulse sensors. The moving handlebars feature long grips with ovalized grips at the top. Just as for most other elliptical trainers, the moving arms cannot become stationary. They’re directly attached to the pedal bars and continue to move for as long as you pedal.

Drive & Resistance

The Reebok ZJET 430 features a manual magnetic resistance system that consists of a magnetic brake attached to the tension knob on the front upright bar of the machine through a steel wire. By turning this knob, the brake changes its position in relation to the flywheel which leads to more or less resistance.

The unit makes available 8 levels of resistance. The first level delivers a fairly light pedaling difficulty, great for recovery training or light cardio workouts. Conversely, the 8th resistance level offers considerably more pedaling difficulty, great for anyone who wants to burn extra calories.

This Reebok elliptical trainer is equipped with a 15.4 lbs (7 kg) flywheel that has a perimeter-weighted structure. Therefore, not only that it provides superior inertia, but it also delivers a very smooth and steady pedaling motion. The flywheel is bi-directional; in other words, you can pedal in reverse on this machine.

The unit’s drive system uses a belt. This means you don’t have to worry about its lubrication. It also generates considerably less vibration than a chain drive.

Stride & Elliptical Path

Like most elliptical trainers in this price range, the Reebok ZJET 430 RVJF-12211RD does not have an incline system. Thus, you cannot adjust the position of its elliptical path. Also, its stride is not variable. It measures 15″ (38 cm), so the machine should offer enough range of motion for users up to 6’2″ (188 cm).

The unit features a rear-drive construction. Therefore, its elliptical path is slightly inclined forward. This means that a ride on this machine feels like descending on a very soft ramp or hill. This adds a bit of extra burn for your thighs and gluteal muscles.

The machine’s pedals are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They have inner guards and a non-slip surface for extra foot stability. They aren’t articulated, but they do have three attachment positions to their bars. Thus, you can place them a bit closer to the front or to the rear of the unit, so the machine would fit your height better. Also, the pedals are durable enough to support users up to 265 lbs (120 kg).

Console & Accessories

The console included with the ZJET 430 elliptical machine does not have online connectivity or preset programs, but does have a console that offers quite a few extra features over a basic fitness meter. To begin with, it has an LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show all the workout parameters at once. It tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories burned, and pulse. It is not telemetric, though. In other words, it can only read your pulse through the integrated sensors; it cannot communicate with smartwatches or HR chest straps.

The console unit offers goal tracking for time, distance, speed, and calories burned. It a goal is selected for any of these workout metrics, the unit will display the remaining value until its completion. There is also a Recovery function. This indicates the user’s level of fitness. It measures the amount of time it takes your pulse to return to normal after the workout, and based on that, it will give you a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor).

Other notable accessories included with this elliptical cross trainer are a tablet holder and a bottle holder. The tablet holder is integrated into the console. The bottle holder attaches to the front mast of the machine.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Transport wheels
  • Adjustable levelers
  • Large, ergonomic pedals
  • Three positions for each
    pedal
  • Pulse sensors
  • Manual magnetic resistance
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Quiet belt drive
  • Multi-window LCD display
    console
  • Goal settings
  • Recovery function
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • No incline
  • A tablet placed on the tablet support
    will cover the console display
    Summary
  • No online connectivity

Summary

The Reebok ZJET 430 RVJF-12211RD is a rear-drive elliptical trainer made for home use. It is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system, offers fairly decent ergonomics, and a console with a large LCD display, and target settings for the main workout metrics. It’s an excellent machine for light to medium-intensity & low impact cardio training, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Schwinn 411

The Schwinn 411 elliptical trainer has a different design from the 470 model. It’s more compact and does not have an incline system, but does have a Bluetooth console compatible with RunSocial.

Frame & Parts

The Schwinn 411 is quite a small machine for a front-drive elliptical. It is only 54″ (137 cm) long, and 24″ (61 cm) wide. Therefore, it may be a great choice for a smaller apartment. However, despite its small footprint, the fully assembled unit is fairly heavy; it weighs approx. 100 lbs (45.5 kg), so the transport of the boxed unit requires two persons. This weight provides extra stability. Plus, both base bars of the unit have adjustable levelers.

This Schwinn elliptical trainer has a similar construction to the Sunny SF-E3875 that we’ve already presented here, but its base only has one rail bar for each pedal wheel, not dual rails.

The Schwinn 411 features two sets of handlebars, one mobile, one fixed. The mobile handlebars have long, upward grips with rounded grips at the top. They connect to the console mast and the pedals, and therefore, they continue to move for as long as you are pedaling. They cannot move independently from the pedals.

Drive & Resistance

The Schwinn 411 elliptical trainer features an eddy current resistance system. Therefore, it requires an external power source. Also, the console can automatically adjust the resistance, depending on the program in use.

The unit’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake and a servo motor. This being said, when the resistance is adjusted, the motor moves the brake closer or farther in relation to the flywheel which increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty.

This Schwinn elliptical trainer offers 16 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver a light pedaling tension, great for users who have suffered from injuries, or for anyone who wants to perform a light workout. Conversely, the 16th level allows you to put more focus on your leg muscles and achieve a high cardiovascular rate in a very short time.

The weight of the internal flywheel is not specified. However, considering the weight of the trainer, this element probably weighs between 15 – 25 lbs (6.8 – 11.3 kg). It’s a balanced flywheel and provides a very smooth pedaling motion. Also, the machine has a belt drive system. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about its lubrication.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The Schwinn 411 elliptical does not have an incline system. This means you cannot adjust the angle of its elliptical path, nor the length of its stride. It also has a horizontal elliptical path. This means the pedaling motion delivers a very natural pedaling feel, with minimal impact on the joints.

The unit’s stride is 18″ (~46) which is quite impressive for a unit of this size. This being said, the unit should provide a satisfying range of motion for users up to 6’0″ (183 cm). Also, the pedals step-up height for this trainer is approx. 9″ (23 cm).

The machine’s pedals are made of durable ABS material and attached to steel bars. The pedal rollers are rubberized to minimize noise and add to the smoothness of the ride. They integrate heavy-duty sealed ball bearings. Also, the pedals are rated for a weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg) which is not bad for a home-use machine.

Console & Accessories

Since the Schwinn 411 has an automatic resistance system, it is equipped with a mid-range console that has 13 workout programs. Not only that, it also has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with various fitness apps such as RunSocial. This is a mixed-reality app that gives you the possibility to run on a virtual trail based on a certain existing world trail.

The console unit is equipped with a multi-panel LCD display that shows multiple workout metrics at once. It tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse. It offers both imperial and metric units for the display of speed and distance. It is also telemetric; this means it can track your pulse rate through a Bluetooth HR chest strap transmitter. This accessory is not included, though. However, you can still keep track of your pulse by using the integrated pulse sensors.

Among other notable accessories included with this Schwinn elliptical, we can count a tablet holder and a bottle holder. The tablet holder is integrated into the console; the bottle holder attaches to the front mast of the unit.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame – 300 lbs capacity
  • Adjustable stabilizers
  • Transport wheels
  • Large pedals
  • 16 levels of eddy current
    resistance
  • Maintenance-free belt drive
  • Fairly long stride (18″)
  • 5.5″ LCD display console
  • 13 workout programs
  • Pulse reading function
  • Goal settings
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder

Cons

  • No incline
  • No sound system

Summary

The Schwinn 411 is a compact elliptical trainer made for home use. It features a motorized magnetic resistance system with 16 levels. Its console makes available 13 programs, Bluetooth connectivity, and RunSocial compatibility. It also has a durable construction and an impressive weight capacity of 300 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3810

The Sunny SF-E3810 is a light-capacity version of the SF-E3875. It’s also a trainer with a manual resistance system. It’s one of the newest elliptical machines released by Sunny Health & Fitness in the second part of 2019.

Frame & Parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3810 elliptical trainer features a frame made of steel tubing with a rather small drive and resistance construction. The fully assembled machine is lighter compared to other similar models. It still weighs 86.6 lbs (39.2 kg) though, and provides excellent stability. However, it only has a weight capacity of 220 lbs (100 kg).

The unit’s base frame is made of two main parts, the rear part with the pedal rail bars, and the front part that sustains the drive and resistance elements. All the steel parts in the machine’s construction are powder coated with a gray paint finish, this being the only color available for this Sunny elliptical.

This machine is pretty compact. It is 58″ (147 cm) long, and 28″ (71 cm) wide. It’s also important to mention here that its moving arms have pretty long grips. Their top reaches approx. 68″ (173 cm) above floor level which is a plus for tall users. The moving arms also have ball grips at the top.

Drive & Resistance

The Sunny SF-E3810 features a manual magnetic resistance system. Thus, it doesn’t require a power adapter or an external power source. The only power source required for its console is a set of 2 AAA batteries.

The unit’s resistance system consists of an internal magnetic brake which is connected to the tension dial on the front mast. By turning this dial, the brake changes its position in relation to the flywheel which increases or decreases the pedal resistance. It makes available 8 levels of resistance.

The machine integrates a perimeter-weighted flywheel. This type of flywheel construction adds a bit of intertia to the ride. Its exact weight is not specified, but as a general idea, it should be around 10-20 lbs (4.5 – 9.0 kg). It’s also bi-directional allowing reverse pedaling.

Similar to most other fitness machines with a magnetic resistance system, the Sunny SF-E3810 has a belt drive system. This means you don’t have to lubricate it; it also means that the pedaling motion is very smooth, vibration-free.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The trainer’s elliptical path promotes a natural pedaling motion. At its lowest level, each pedal is positioned at a flat (180°) angle, while at the highest level, the pedals are inclined forward by a few degrees. This puts a bit of extra focus on the glutes.

The machine does not have an incline system. Therefore, the angle of the elliptical path cannot be adjusted. Also, the length of the stride remains fixed. It is 18″ just as for the Schwinn 411. This means it should be a comfortable machine for any user up to at least 6’0″ (183 cm).

This Sunny elliptical trainer features a dual-bar pedal system. The top bars sustain the pedal trays while the lower bars are equipped with large silicone wheels that slide on the base rails. The pedals are non-adjustable and don’t have any additional cushioning.

Finally, the maximum pedal elevation is approx. 20″ (51 cm). Therefore, it is recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 25″ (63.5 cm) higher than your own height.

Console & Accessories

Since the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3810 doesn’t have an automatic resistance system, its console cannot control the resistance and does not have preset workout programs. It’s basically just an exercise meter.

The unit’s console features an LCD display that tracks time, distance, total distance (odometer), speed, calories, and pulse. It has goal settings for time, distance, and calories. It also has a Scan Mode that rotates all the workout metrics on the display showing each one for six seconds.

Two other notable features to mention here are the tablet holder and the HRC sticker. The tablet holder is integrated into the console above the LCD display. It is large enough to accommodate any tablet. The HRC sticker is situated on the top section of the console; it indicates the heart rate zones that you should aim for depending on your age, in order to benefit from a better aerobic output, fat burn, etc. This can be a plus, as most trainers only have this diagram in their manuals, so in this case, you don’t have to always consult the manual.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact frame
  • Aesthetic design
  • Adjustable stabilizers
  • Transport wheels
  • Large pedals
  • 8 levels of manual magnetic
    resistance
  • Bi-directional flywheel
  • Maintenance-free belt drive
  • Fairly long stride (18″)
  • LCD display console
  • Goal settings
  • Pulse reading function
  • Tablet holder
  • HRC diagram

Cons

  • No bottle holder
  • The console does not have
    backlight
  • No pulse recovery

Summary

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3810 is a manual magnetic elliptical trainer designed for home use. It offers 8 levels of resistance, a comfortable elliptical path, 18″ of stride, and a performance monitor with target settings for time, distance, and calories.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

ProForm 150i

The ProForm 150i is one of the most affordable elliptical machines from ProForm. Although it doesn’t have an incline system, it does offer a pretty impressive range of features and a programmable console.

Frame & Parts

The ProForm 150i is an elliptical machine for home use but does offer a weight capacity of 250 lbs (113 kg). Its core frame is steel-made, but there also are several ABS parts. Among them, we can count the pedals, the console case, and the covers of the drive system.

The unit is smaller than other ellipticals with a front drive but still is a fairly large machine. With the frame fully assembled, its 63″ (160 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide. It also weighs approx. 127 lbs (57.6 kg), but once it is assembled, its transport can easily be done via its front transport wheels.

The machine features two sets of handlebars. Both have rubberized, simple grips. The fixed ones also have integrated pulse sensors.

The whole frame is coated with a corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only version available.

Drive & Resistance

This ProForm elliptical trainer features an automatic magnetic resistance system which consists of a servo motor and a magnetic brake. The resistance can only be controlled from the console. Also, some of the programs will auto-adjust the resistance if selected.

There are 12 tension levels available. The first 1-3 levels provide a very light resistance, great for recovery training, or for users with disabilities. Conversely, the top 11-12 resistance settings provide enough resistance to give you the possibility to break a sweat, improve stamina, and tone leg muscles.

The machine uses a belt drive. The weight of the internal flywheel is not specified, but given the dimensions of the machine and its overall weight, we can safely say that it should be between 12 and 20 lbs (5.4 – 9.0 kg). It’s a balanced flywheel that delivers a smooth pedaling motion. It’s also bi-directional, allowing you to pedal in reverse.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The ProForm 150i features a fixed stride which is 17″ (43 cm). This means it can provide a satisfying range of motion for users up to 6’0″ (183 cm). Also, the pedals raise at approx. 20″ (51 cm) above floor level, so it’s recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling of at least 25″ (63 cm) above your own height.

The unit’s elliptical path is pretty much horizontal, delivering a natural motion. The pedals do not have any cushioning, but nonetheless, like most ellipticals with a front-drive and rear rails for the pedals, the pedaling motion generates very little impact.

Console & Accessories

The first aspect to mention here is that the console can be powered by a set of four D batteries, but the machine can also use a 110-220V – 6V, 2A adapter. This adapter is not included.

The console has a backlit LCD display, divided into three sections. It tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, pulse, and calories. For the pulse reading, you can use the integrated sensors, but the console unit can communicate with several types of HR chest strap transmitters.

The console offers 12 preset programs and has buttons for quick selection of the program duration. It’s also Bluetooth enabled and iFit compatible. Therefore, you can sync it with your phone or tablet in order to directly stream your data into your iFit account, or use the iFit app as your fitness meter directly on your device.

In terms of amenities, there are two features to mention here. These are the sound system and the tablet holder. The sound system consists of two small speakers placed at the top of the unit. It is compatible with most MP3 players, smartphones, or tablets. It has an audio jack and volume controls, while the sound rendered by it is superior to the speakers of most smartphones or tablets. The tablet holder is placed under the main display. It can serve as a shelf for most tablets.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Transport wheels
  • Rear levelers
  • Large, ergonomic pedals
  • Pulse sensors
  • 12 levels of eddy current resistance
  • Telemetric console
  • 12 preset programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • iFit compatible
  • Sound system
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • No incline
  • A tablet placed on the tablet support
    will cover the console display

Summary

The ProForm 150i is a mid-range, front-drive elliptical trainer featuring an eddy current resistance system, and an iFit compatible console with 12 built-in programs. It’s an excellent machine for light to mid-range workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s one of the most affordable machines with Bluetooth connectivity and a programmable console, and so far, it benefits from a positive feedback from most users.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

Efitment Air Walker E020

The Efitment Air Walker E020 is an air walker or free-motion elliptical trainer that does not have a built-in resistance system. But on the other hand, it provides an extra-long stride and a lateral foot extension during exercises. It’s a light-capacity machine, though, made for home use; it does not offer the heaviness of the Octane ZR8 that we’ve already presented here.

Frame & Parts

The Efitment E020 is made of steel tubing. Even though it does not have a flywheel or other elements like the conventional ellipticals, it still weighs approx. 40 lbs (18 kg).

The fully assembled unit has a pretty small footprint. It is approx. 35″ (89 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide, while its highest point reaches approx. 54.5″ (138 cm) above floor level. It’s important to mention that its frame is foldable. The two front and rear base stabilizers can be brought close together, while the pedals can fold up, in order to reduce the unit’s length by approx. half.

This Efitment air glider features two sets of handlebars, one fixed and one mobile. The fixed handlebars have short, rubberized grips. They don’t integrate pulse sensors. The moving handlebars feature longer grips, with ball grips at the top. Also, since the mobile grips are directly attached to the pedal bars, they cannot be locked in a stationary position. They continue to move for as long as you pedal.

Stride & Elliptical Path

The Efitment E020 Air Walker offers a maximum stride of 24″ (61 cm). Since the unit doesn’t have a crank system and a flywheel, the length of the stride is variable, depending on your height. In other words, you can pedal at a smaller pace, or with a wider range of motion, up to 24″.

Considering the length of the stride and the size of the unit, the Efitment E020 can accommodate users up to 6’2″ (187 cm). Its pedals can support users up to 220 lbs (100 kg). They are made of durable ABS plastic and have inner and front guards for extra foot stability.

The unit’s elliptical path is horizontal. You can change its angle slightly if you change your posture. However, since the machine is not extremely heavy, this is not recommended as you can lose balance. The unit is intended for a straight posture.

One last aspect to mention here regards the lateral motion of the pedals. Each pedal offers a free side or rotating motion. Therefore, you can diversify your exercises if you want to focus different groups of muscles.

Console & Accessories

Since it’s a pretty basic elliptical trainer, the Efitment E020 also has a basic exercise meter. This is also the only notable accessory included with the unit.

The included exercise meter features an LCD display. It tracks time, steps per minute (count), total steps (total count, and calories burned. The unit does not have a pulse reading function so it cannot communicate with an wireless HR chest straps.

The meter unit is very easy to use. It only has one button. By pressing it repeatedly, you can scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that interests you the most. Or, you can select its Scan Function that rotates the four metrics, showing each one for a few seconds.

The unit is battery-powered. It uses two AAA batteries. It also has a sleep mode to which it will enter if it doesn’t detect any movement on the elliptical.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Small footprint
  • Folding frame and
    pedals
  • Large pedals
  • Extra-long stride
  • Lateral and rotating
    motion possibilities
  • Ball grips on top of the
    moving arms
  • Adjustable stabilizers
    on the rear base
  • Transport wheels
    on the front base

Cons

  • No pulse sensors
  • No resistance system

Summary

The Efitment E020 is a free-motion glider elliptical trainer featuring a folding frame with a weight capacity of 220 lbs. It offers a fairly long (24″) stride with a horizontal elliptical path. Its pedals can rotate and move outward, features that other glides do not offer. It’s a great machine for light to mid-range cardio, muscle toning, and weight loss.

Check Price on Amazon & See User Reviews

As you can see, the selection of elliptical training machines presented above covers a range of models from the most basic, to some of the most inclusive. You should be able to find one in there that fits your needs and budget. However, before we finally close this article, there are several important aspects that must be clarified about ellipticals.

Why Should You Buy An Elliptical Training Machine?

One of the main reasons to invest in a quality trainer pretty much stands for just about any other fitness machine: it’s the possibility to workout from the comfort and safety of your own home. You’ll be able to watch your favorite TV shows or online streams, you’ll be able to listen to your favorite music without bothering anyone, you won’t have to wait in line to use the elliptical, and you won’t be stressed out that others are waiting for you to finish. They are also more appropriate for home use than treadmills as they produce much less noise; the cadence noise, thumping, and stomping sounds usually generated during a run on a treadmill are non-existent when using an elliptical.

During the cold seasons running outside can be risky, or simply impossible; therefore indoor training is the best option. However gym fees may be quite costly, and by saving the money for several monthly subscriptions, you may gather just enough to buy a decent elliptical trainer.

Another important reason to get an elliptical machine is the low impact training that it can offer. Even the most basic models can supply a safer workout, and with a much less impact on the joints than a treadmill or even an indoor cycling bike. When riding an elliptical machine, your feet maintain contact with the pedals at all time, and this way there’s virtually no cadence related shock on knees and ankles. On top of that, many models feature pedals with pivoting mechanisms and extra cushioning, in order to provide maximum comfort. This makes elliptical trainer a great choice for users with articulation problems, or for users recovering from various injuries.

An elliptical trainer offers a full body workout. The elliptical motion engages many groups of muscles, not just the legs and lower body. Also, there are models with pivoting handlebars, such as the Yowza models, which offer a much better workout for the arms, shoulders, and torso. This being said, these machines are great for muscle toning and calorie burning. Depending on your weight and the intensity of workout you’re undergoing, you can actually burn 7-800 calories per hour on this type of fitness machine, or even more.

Since elliptical machines are excellent for cardio training, they can successfully be used in interval workouts. Adding the minimal impact on the joints that they provide, it’s actually recommended to use over treadmills in interval workouts.

Last but not least, an elliptical machine promotes a healthy, upright posture rather than the leaned forward, slouching posture promoted by indoor cycling bikes, which may generate all kinds of back problems.

Main Differences Between Commercial Grade And Home-Use Ellipticals

You ought to know these differences in order to make sure you end up with a durable piece of equipment when it comes to an elliptical. Also, since there are intermediate models, this will help you see better which models have a better price/quality ratio.

To begin with, most commercial grade ellipticals are equipped with shock absorbing mechanisms and cushioning, eliminating completely the stress on ankles and knees, and maximize the contact of the pedals with your feet during your training. This also generates a more stable and smooth feel. On the other hand, the cheaper models have simple pedals, without any shock absorbing system, and in general, without any articulation. Don’t get this wrong though, using a fitness machine of this type, with simple pedals still offers a workout with much less stress on the joints than running. But the more advanced machines improve the elliptical motion by a lot.

All gym-class ellipticals feature a motorized, automatic incline, offering more or less incline percentage. On top of that, they offer various onboard workout routines which will automatically adjust incline and resistance. Conversely, the basic ellipticals don’t offer this feature. However, there are mid-level ellipticals, such as the Nautilus E614 or ProForm 520 which feature a manual incline. In case of a manual incline system, even though you won’t be able to adjust the slope during your workout, you can still have this possibility, which leads to a more diversified workout spectrum.

Footprint and overall assembled weight are pretty large in gym-grade ellipticals. Most of them have a length and width of approx. 80″ x 26″, taking quite some space, and weighing over 200 lbs, which may render transport and assembly rather problematic. On the other hand, many basic models have a much smaller footprint and a weight lower than 80 lbs. Maximum user weight is also an aspect to look at, especially if you need to shed several dozens of pounds. If some of the basic models can only support 220 – 250 lbs of user weight, most commercial grade ones are made to support users of 400 lbs or more.

There are huge differences between the consoles of basic models and commercial models. Basic models typically feature a basic computer, which tracks calories, time, speed, distance, and some of them can track pulse as well. However, gym grade models have quite advanced and multifunctional consoles, with multiple workout apps, built-in cooling fans, sound systems, Bluetooth, and online connectivity.

Advantages of a Variable Stride

One really important aspect with regards to ellipticals is stride length. And we dedicate a whole title to it because this aspect really needs clarification.

In general, in most ellipticals with an incline mechanism, the stride is more or less variable. As incline is increased, so is the stride. Therefore, at a maximum incline, the stride also reaches a considerable increase, and sometimes the pedaling motion becomes closer to a stair climb, rather than a walk, or jog.

The stride length of an elliptical machine is really important as it directly influences the consistency of your workout. For example, a machine with a short stride, of 13″ isn’t exactly fit for an intense workout. Exercising with such a stride pretty much resembles a light stroll, at a small pace. Commercial ellipticals usually offer an adjustable stride, beginning at 19″ – 20″, and up to 32″. It goes without saying that such an elliptical can also offer a heavy-duty workout, for a maximum cardio burn.

Now, it’s important to realize that by using the same stride length, and maybe with the same training routines, may lead to a certain acclimation of your body to that specific training. Thus, the final rewards may be reduced over time. But by adding to incline and stride, or alternating stride lengths and training intensity, you can maximize the efficiency of your training. That’s why, if you’re going to opt for an elliptical trainer, it’s a good idea to invest in one model which offers a decent incline capacity.

Final Word

The elliptical trainers that we have listed here are some of the highest-rated at the moment on most fitness and retail websites. Most of them benefit from a clean 5-star rating, which pretty much means they’re top-quality fitness machines. They all have a solid construction, most of them have a motorized incline and resistance system, a programmable console, Bluetooth connectivity, and they can pretty much accommodate a wide range of users, height and weight-wise. All of them offer a great price/quality ratio, currently being some of the best elliptical machines. Also, our list here covers all budgets; some of these trainers are priced under $250, while others are close to $2,000.

Content Protection by DMCA.com