Marcy ME-1017E Elliptical Trainer

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Marcy ME-1017E

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250 lbsNoManual
8 levels

The Marcy ME-1017E is not exactly one of the newest elliptical trainers released by Marcy Fitness. It has been around for a few years but it’s still available and hasn’t been discontinued yet. It’s one of the machines in the “101” series, similar up to a point, to the Marcy ME-1016U upright bike, or the Marcy ME-1019R recumbent bike.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 53L x 24W x 64H inches (135L x 61W x 163H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 76 lbs (34.4 kg)
  • Supported weight: 250 lbs (113 kg)
  • Stride: 13 inches (33 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Pedals: Standard, 3 positions
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, speed, distance, odometer, calories, pulse, goals, scan.
  • Extras: Tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame 2 years

Frame construction and parts

The Marcy ME-1017E has a similar frame construction to the XTERRA Fitness FS150. Its frame is made of steel tubing, the only ABS parts in its construction being the covers of the drive system, the pedal trays, and several other small covers. Although it’s a machine for home use, it still is rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 250 lbs (113 kg).

The fully assembled trainer is not extremely large compared to other ellipticals. It is only 53″ (135 cm) long, and 24″ (61 cm) wide. However, it is recommended to leave at least 24 extra inches (61 cm) all around it for ease of access. Also, the unit is not extremely heavy like one of the commercial-grade trainers but does weigh approx. 76 lbs (34.4 kg). This weight adds plenty of stability. Plus, the machine has a low center of gravity and its rear base is equipped with adjustable polygonal caps that serve the purpose of levelers.

The Marcy ME-1017E elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars; one of them is mobile, the other is fixed. The mobile handlebars feature long grips with rock-climber grips at the top. They are attached to the console mast in the middle and to the pedal bars at the bottom. Therefore, they cannot be locked; they continue to move for as long as you pedal.

The fixed handlebars are attached to the top of the console mast via two bolts. They are non-adjustable. Similar to the mobile handlebars, they have rubberized grips. They also integrate stainless steel pulse sensors and the included console can track your pulse.

The machine’s pedals are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. There are three attachment positions for each pedal. In other words, you can connect them to their bars closer to the front of the machine or a bit to the rear. They attach to their bars via two turn-knobs so they’re fairly easy to adjust.

The pedals don’t integrate any additional cushioning or articulations like the pedals of the more expensive machines. However, just like any other elliptical trainer, the Marcy ME-1017E considerably reduces the workout impact on your joints and back.

Last but not least, all the steel parts in the machine’s construction are coated with a rust-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this model. The covers of the drive system are white/blue, with the “Marcy” logo written in blue as well.

Elliptical path, stride, and step-up height

First of all, the Marcy ME-1017E does not have an incline system. Therefore, the length of its stride and the angle of its elliptical path cannot be adjusted. As it is the case for most rear-drive cross trainers, its elliptical path is not perfectly horizontal; it is slightly inclined forward. Due to this aspect, the ride may seem like descending on a soft ramp and the workout puts more focus on your glutes and thighs.

The machine’s stride is fairly short. It only measures 13″ (33 cm). Therefore, taller users than 6’0″ (183 cm) may not benefit from a complete range of motion. But nonetheless, any user that doesn’t exceed the 250 lbs (113 kg) weight limit should be able to exercise on this unit, and benefit from a full-body cardio workout.

The machine’s step-up height is approx. 6″ (15 cm) while the highest pedal position is 16″ (~40 cm). This being said, it is recommended to place and use this Marcy elliptical trainer in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Resistance and drive

The Marcy ME-1017E elliptical machine is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This means it doesn’t have an internal motor, it does not adjust the resistance automatically, you don’t need an adapter for it, and the console does not have advanced programs. The only power source required for it is a set of two AA batteries.

The unit’s resistance system is composed of an internal magnetic brake connected to the tension dial on the front upright bar by a steel cable. By turning the dial clockwise, the brake moves closer to the flywheel which increases the magnets’ pull. This leads to an increased pedaling difficulty.

There are 8 tension levels available on this elliptical trainer. The lowest level generates little resistance, great for conditioning and recovery training. The 8th level, on the other hand, provides significantly more resistance, simulating a hill climb and giving you the possibility to train on a higher level.

Similar to many other fitness machines equipped with a magnetic brake, the Marcy ME-1017E has an internal belt drive system. This being said, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. Plus, you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking the rear unit of the machine apart in order to lubricate the transmission. A belt drive in an elliptical or exercise bike doesn’t need lubrication.

The trainer’s internal flywheel is perimeter-weighted. This type of structure improves inertia, adding consistency to the ride. Its exact weight is not specified, but considering that the fully assembled machine is 76 lbs (~34 kg), its flywheel probably doesn’t weigh more than 20 lbs (9 kg).

The flywheel allows reverse pedaling. This is a plus, as you can put some diversity into your workouts. When pedaling in reverse, the console continues to measure your workout data.

Console unit

The Marcy ME-1017E elliptical trainer is equipped with a console similar to the one on the ME-1018RE rower. It doesn’t have any online connectivity features, nor it is compatible with any online fitness apps. It also does not have preset programs.

The unit features an LCD display that tracks time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse. It also has an odometer function. The speed and distance values are shown in English units (MPH, miles) only; there is no option for Metric units. Also, the unit is not telemetric. This means it cannot read your pulse through a wireless HR chest strap. It can only read your pulse if you hold on to the metallic sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars.

The console unit is pretty easy to use. It has three buttons – Mode, Set, and Reset. The Mode button allows you to select the workout metric that you want to view on the display, or to select the Scan Mode which rotates all the metrics showing each one for 6 seconds.

The Set button allows you to set up training goals for time, distance, calories, and pulse. If a goal is selected for time, distance, or calories, the display will indicate the remaining value until you reach your selected goal (it counts down to zero). If a goal is selected for pulse (between 40-240 BPM), the unit will beep to notify you that you have reached your goal. The Reset button clears all the values on the console to zero.

As we’ve mentioned above, the unit’s console is battery-powered. It requires two AA batteries (not included). It starts up automatically when you begin your workout on the elliptical, or when you press the Mode button. It also automatically turns off after four minutes of inactivity.

One last feature about the console to mention here is the device holder. This accessory consists of a small folding shelf integrated at the bottom of the unit. It can serve as support for your tablet or smartphone. However, the console does not have any connection ports (USB, AUX, etc) to dock your device.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main unit of the machine comes pre-assembled. You only have to attach the two base bars, the front upright bar, the pedals, the moving arms, the fixed handlebars, the console, and connect the resistance cable. This may take more than an hour, but it’s far from being a complicated task. The manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions and all the necessary tools are included.

Once the machine is assembled, you don’t have to worry too much about maintenance. The internal parts don’t need lubrication. The unit’s joints may require lubrication from time to time. Other than this, you only have the keep the unit clean and periodically check for any potential loose bolts or parts.

The Pros

  • Fairly sturdy frame – can support users up to 250 lbs;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Mobile arms with an ergonomic design and rock-climber grips at the top;
  • Fixed grips with pulse sensors;
  • Smooth and quiet belt drive system;
  • Large pedals with three adjustment positions;
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance;
  • LCD display console that can track time, distance, calories, pulse, speed, and odometer;
  • Goal setting functions for time, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • Device holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • A tablet placed on the device holder will cover the console controls;
  • The display doesn’t have LED backlight.


The Marcy ME-1017E is an elliptical trainer made for home use. It features a manual magnetic resistance system with 8 difficulty levels, and a console that can track time, distance, total distance, speed, calories, and pulse. It’s a fairly decent machine for light to medium-intensity cardio workout, interval training, muscle toning, and weight loss.

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