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Merach 526 Elliptical Trainer

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
ResistanceInclineFitness
monitor
Merach 526

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L:47.2"
W:23.6"
H:62.2"
350 lbsManual
magnetic,
8 levels
N/ATime,
Speed,
Distance,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
Recovery

The Merach 526 elliptical machine has a pretty similar design, weight capacity, and dimensions, as the Merach 526D that we’ve already covered here. However, it is not motorized and only offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance. Also, its console does not have pre-set workout programs.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 47.2L x 23.6W x 62.2H inches (120L x 60W x 158H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 84 lbs ( kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 20 lbs (9 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Stride: 14 inches (35.5 cm)
  • Incline: N/A
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness monitor: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, goals, recovery
  • Extras: Device holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Frame construction

The Merach 526 elliptical trainer features a frame made of steel tubing. It’s made of 44mm steel tubes. Most of the tubes in its construction are cylindrical, with the exception of the median base bar which is rectangular, and the pedal bars which are oval. All the steel tubes are coated with a black, corrosion-resistant paint finish.

The machine features two sets of handlebars. The mobile ones have long grips with ball grips at the top. They attach to the unit’s front upright mast and to the pedals. Therefore, they will move for as long as you pedal and cannot be locked. The fixed handlebars attach to the front mast under the console. They incorporate pulse sensors, so if you hold on to them, the monitor can track your pulse and run its recovery function.

The machine is fairly heavy. It weighs approx. 84 lbs. Therefore, the packaged unit may require a box trolley for transport. However, once the elliptical is fully assembled, you can easily relocate it as its front base integrates a set of small wheels. Also, the caps of the rear base bar have a polygonal design and can be used as floor stabilizers.

This elliptical trainer is not too large, compared with other models, such as the NordicTrack SE7i, for example. It is only 47.2″ (120 cm) long, and 23.6″ (60 cm) wide. You’ll still have to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it, though, for ease of access and safe usage.

Pedal construction, stride, and elliptical path

The Merach 526 elliptical trainer is equipped with a set of durable pedals. The pedal trays are made from a durable type of thermoplastic material. They are 14″ (35.5 cm) long, and 5″ (12.7 cm) wide, so they’re large enough to accommodate shoes of all sizes. They have front, inner, and rear guards for improved foot stability. Also, at their highest position, they reach approx. 16.5″ (42 cm) above the floor. Thus, it is recommended to place and use this machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20 – 25 inches (51 – 63 cm) higher than your own height.

The machine’s pedals do not have any articulations or additional cushioning. However, their bars have three attachment positions for the trays. Thus, you can have them a few inches closer to the front or to the rear of the machine. Also, they’re rated for a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs (159 kg).

This elliptical trainer does not have an incline system, like the Schwinn 470. Thus, the length of its stride and the angle of the elliptical path are non-adjustable. It offers 14″ (35.5 cm) of stride so it should be able to accommodate users up to 6’2″ (188 cm). Taller persons should still be able to use this elliptical, but they may not benefit from a complete leg extension.

Similar to other rear-drive elliptical trainers, the Merach 526 has a slightly inclined forward elliptical path. This means that the pedaling motion feels like a descent on a soft path and leads to a workout that puts more focus on your thighs, glutes, and calves.

Resistance and drive

As opposed to the Merach 526D model, the Merach 526 elliptical has a manual magnetic resistance system. This being said, you don’t need a power adapter or an external power source for it. But on the other hand, the machine cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

The resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on the front upright bar of the machine. Therefore, when you turn the knob left or right, the magnets change their position in relation to the flywheel. This changes the intensity of the internal magnetic field, which leads to more or less pedaling difficulty.

The machine only offers 8 levels of resistance, as opposed to the Merach 526D which offers 24. The first tension level delivers a fairly light tension level. Conversely, the 8th level of resistance simulates a hill climb and offers a more challenging workout setting.

This Merach elliptical trainer integrates a perimeter-weighted flywheel. This type of construction is meant for superior inertia and a for a more consistent momentum. The flywheel is also fairly heavy; it weighs 20 lbs which is not bad for a home-use machine.

The flywheel is bi-directional. In other words, you can pedal in reverse, if you want. When pedaling in reverse, the resistance remains constant, given by the selected tension level. Also, coasting is not possible on this trainer. If you stop pedaling, the internal flywheel will also stop spinning.

Last but not least, the machine is equipped with a belt drive system. It integrates a poly-v J6 belt, highly resistant to stretching and abrasion. Since it’s a belt, and not a chain, it does not require periodic lubrication. It also provides a very smooth traction, generating slightly less vibration than a chain.

Fitness monitor

The Merach 526 is equipped with a fitness monitor that offers a few extra features over a basic one. First of all, it has an LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections. It shows time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse simultaneously, so you won’t have to keep scrolling through them manually. The pulse reading function is grip only. It cannot read pulse from a wireless transmitter.

The monitor unit does not have Bluetooth connectivity or pre-set programs. However, it offers the possibility to select workout goals for time, distance, and calories. If a goal is selected for any of these metrics, the monitor unit will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero.

The monitor unit also has a pulse recovery function. Thus, it can give you a fitness score at the end of your workout based on your pulse recovery. The scores range between F1 – excellent, and F6 – poor.

The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires two AAA batteries which are not included. It starts up when you begin pedaling and automatically turns off if it does not detect any activity on the machine for more than 8 minutes. It also integrates a small shelf which can serve as support for your phone or tablet. However, it does not have any connection ports for your device.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of the elliptical with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts do require user assembly. You will have to attach the two base bars, the front mast, the pedals, the moving arms, the fixed handlebars, and the fitness computer. This may take more than an hour of your time but the process is pretty straightforward. Plus, the manual provides clear assembly instructions and all the necessary tools are included.

For maintenance, you only have to check for loose bolts and parts and lubricate the joints in case they begin to squeak. It’s also recommended to keep the machine clean and wipe the sweat that may fall onto the frame at the end of the workout. The internal mechanism does not require lubrication.

The Pros

  • Solid construction – can support users up to 350 lbs;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Fixed handlebars with pulse sensors;
  • Moving arms with ball grips at the top;
  • Perimeter-weighted (20 lbs) flywheel for improved inertia and motion stability;
  • Large pedals with front and side guards for improved foot stability;
  • Three attachment positions for each pedal tray;
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance (manual adjustment);
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse;
  • Workout goal functions for time, distance, and calories;
  • Recovery function;
  • LCD backlit display;
  • Device holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • All the necessary tools for the assembly are included.

The Cons

  • No online connectivity;
  • No backlight on the fitness monitor;
  • No pre-set programs.

Summary

The Merach 526 is an elliptical trainer made for home use. It is equipped with an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, a 20-lb flywheel, and a fitness monitor that tracks the most important workout metrics. It can support users up to 350 lbs and offers 14″ of stride. Overall, it offers a pretty decent construction and range of features. It’s great for light to intense cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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