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The Fuel Fitness E5 elliptical trainer is quite similar to the older SOLE Fitness E35 model. It basically has the same console and specs. Although it’s not sold as a commercial machine, it definitely has the durability and capacity of at least a light-commercial elliptical.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 82L x 31W x 67H inches (208L x 79W x 170H cm)
- Assembled weight: 231 lbs (105 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)
- Supported weight: 375 lbs (170 kg)
- Stride: 20 inches (51 cm)
- Pedals: Cushioned, adjustable (3 levels)
- Incline: Automatic, 20 levels
- Resistance: Eddy current, 20 levels
- Console: 10 programs, Bluetooth
- Extras: Bottle holder, tablet holder, sound system, cooling fan, HR chest strap
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 2 years
The Fuel Fitness E5 elliptical machine features a heavy-duty frame, made of steel tubing. The fully assembled unit is quite heavy; it weighs over 230 lbs (~105 kg), weight which provides exceptional stability. Even if you’re close to the maximum weight capacity and you engage in a more demanding workout, you can be sure that it won’t rock or wobble during your workouts. Plus, its base stabilizers are equipped with adjustable, rubberized levelers.
All the steel tubes within the frame construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black. However, the rail bars of the incline system feature aluminum covers which only have their natural polish. Of course, the machine also integrates ABS parts. The covers of the drive system, the covers of the incline system, and several other small covers are made of durable ABS material.
The Fuel E5 elliptical is a fairly large machine. It is approx. 82″ (208 cm) long, and 31″ (79 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side of the machine, and at least one foot of clearance at the front and rear. These being said, the unit may not fit too well in a small room or apartment. And, of course, its frame does not fold.
This elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars. The moving ones have a multi-grip design. They also integrate incline and resistance controls. They are directly attached to the pedal base, thus, they cannot be locked; they move for as long as the pedals are moving. The fixed handlebars have short grips. They integrate pulse sensors, and the console can monitor your heart rate.
The pedal system features a set of heavy-duty steel bars. Even though the pedal trays are made of ABS material, they are designed to support users up to 375 lbs (170 kg). They are fairly large, approx. 15″ (38 cm) so they can accommodate footwear of all sizes. They do not have extra gel cushioning, though, like the pedals of the ProForm Endurance 920 E.
Two last features that we must mention here, are the rear lifting handle and the front transportation wheels. Needless to say, these considerably ease the relocation of the machine, if needed. Therefore, it can be moved by only one person despite its weight.
Incline system, stride, and step-up height
First of all, it is important to mention here that the machine’s pedals are adjustable. Each pedal has a pin at the rear which allows its front-to-back angle adjustment. There are three adjustment positions for each pedal, offering angles of 0°, 5°, and 10°. This is quite a useful feature as some users may get foot numbness due to the nerves compression, and adjusting the pedals angle can eliminate this problem. Plus, they also have a 2° inward tilt, to promote a more natural foot positioning.
Similar to the XTERRA FS5.9E, the Fuel E5 has an automatic incline system, placed at the rear of the machine. It involves a motor connected to the console and a double rail system which lifts the pedals and changes the position of the elliptical path.
Since the incline system is motorized, the unit’s incline can only be adjusted from the console or the controls on the left handgrip. There are 20 incline levels available; the incline can be adjusted gradually from the console or left grip controls, but the console also has quick selection buttons for the 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 levels.
The Fuel Fitness E5 elliptical machine offers a 20-inch long stride. This being said, it can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) promoting a complete range of motion.
The pedal Q-Factor (spacing between the pedals) is fairly narrow. It is approx. 2″ (5 cm), thus, the positioning of your feet on the pedals is natural, without any lateral stress on the knees and ankles. Also, each pedal delivers an elevation of approx. 20″ (51 cm). Therefore, it’s best to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that’s at least 25″ (64 cm) higher than your own height.
Drive and resistance
The Fuel E5 is a front-drive elliptical machine, so its flywheel is integrated into the front unit. It is a mid-range 25 lbs (11.3 kg) flywheel and has a balanced structure, designed to provide a consistent momentum and a steady pedaling motion. It also permits back-pedaling.
The unit’s drive system uses a belt transmission. This type of drivetrain comes with several advantages. First of all, you don’t have to worry about its lubrication. Second, it generates considerably less vibration than a chain drive, and third, it promotes a noise-free operation.
In terms of resistance, the Fuel Fitness E5 elliptical is equipped with an eddy current braking system. It consists of a magnetic brake and a servo motor. This being said, you have to connect the machine to a power source in order to adjust its resistance. The unit can also adjust its resistance automatically. For example, if one of the preset programs is in use, the elliptical will adjust the resistance throughout the workout, depending on the current segment of the program.
The machine makes available 20 levels of resistance. The resistance can be adjusted from the controls incorporated into the right mobile grip, or on the bottom right corner of the console. Also, just as for the incline, the console offers quick resistance controls for the 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 levels.
Although the console of the Fuel E5 doesn’t have online connectivity, nor it is compatible with any fitness apps, it does provide plenty of programs and other features to keep you motivated and entertained. To begin with, it has a 7.5-inch LCD display with LED backlight and large digits, easy to read. It tracks time, speed, RPM, pace, distance, calories, and pulse. The distance is also shown as a 1/4 mile (400 m) track with a lap count function.
The console is set by default to English units (miles, MPH, lbs). However, its internal software allows you to change it to Metric units (km, kmh, kg) if needed. Also, it can read your pulse through the metallic sensors integrated into the fixed grips, but it is also telemetric. In other words, it can read your pulse through a wireless HR chest strap, and this accessory is included.
The console makes available 10 workouts programs. The first one is the manual program. This allows you to freely adjust the resistance and incline during your workout, and monitors your workout stats. The next five programs are preset. They offer various grid layouts, including Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Interval, and Calories. The 7th and 8th programs are user-defined programs. They give you the possibility to input your personal data such as weight or age for a better data analysis, and also create a custom workout layout. Finally, the 9th and 10th programs are heart rate programs. The first one is set to 60% of the maximum HR, while the second is set to 80% of the maximum HR.
Of course, the console offers several other extra features. To begin with, it has a built-in sound system which consists of two speakers. It is compatible with most MP3 players of smartphones. It is also Bluetooth compatible, so you can sync your device with the console to play your music through with without an AUX cable. A workout fan is incorporated between the two speakers. It is pretty large in diameter, so it provides a pretty decent cooling during a more intense workout. A media shelf is placed under the console display; you can place your phone or tablet on it in order to use it during your workouts. And finally, the console assembly also integrates an accessory/bottle holder.
Assembly and Maintenance
The drive and resistance elements of the machine are already assembled, attached to the front part of the frame, and concealed by the ABS covers. The incline mechanism is also pre-assembled and attached to the rear part. Therefore, you only need to connect the two main parts (front and rear) together, the console mast, the console, the moving arms, the pedals, and several small covers. This may take more than an hour. However, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions and schematics. A basic toolkit is also included.
For maintenance, it’s recommended to keep the rails of the machine clean to prevent any damage to them. It’s also recommended to periodically check for loose or broken parts, remove the dust and the sweat that may fall onto the frame or console. The internal parts of the machine don’t require any lubrication or maintenance, at least not for a very long period of time.
- Sturdy frame, with a weight capacity of 375 lbs;
- Aesthetic design;
- Adjustable stabilizers on all bases;
- Transport wheels;
- Lifting handle at the rear;
- Ergonomic, large pedals with 3 levels of adjustment;
- 2° inward tilt for the pedals to provide a natural, stress-free foot positioning;
- 2″ narrow Q-Factor allowing a biomechanically correct stride;
- Smooth and quiet belt drive;
- Automatic incline, 20 levels;
- 20 levels of eddy current resistance;
- Multi-grip mobile handlebars;
- Incline and resistance controls integrated into the moving handlebars;
- Pulse sensors;
- Large LCD display, LED-backlit, offering excellent readability;
- 1 manual program;
- 5 preset workout programs;
- 2 custom workout programs;
- 2 heart rate programs;
- Wireless HR chest strap transmitter included;
- Sound system included, Bluetooth capable;
- Cooling fan included;
- Tablet holder included;
- Bottle/accessory holder included;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- No online connectivity;
- A tablet placed on the tablet holder will cover the console display;
- No USB port for data transfer or tablet recharging.
The Fuel Fitness E5 is a heavy-duty elliptical trainer, offering 20 levels of eddy current resistance, 20 levels of automatic incline, a wide array of workout programs, and various extras such as sound system, cooling fan, etc. It has an impressive 375 lbs weight capacity, and adjustable pedals, a feature that many other ellipticals don’t have. It’s perfect for light to intense cardio workouts, interval training, stamina training, and weight loss. And finally, it’s not exactly one of the most affordable trainers, but definitely offers excellent value for the price.