|Precor EFX 576i|
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15° - 40°,
Although the Precor EFX 576i elliptical trainer was released more than ten years ago, it is still available at the moment, and it is still one of the best cross trainers on the market. It offers a similar range of features as the EFX 835 that we’ve already reviewed here, but has a slightly different console, and only 14 workout programs.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 80L x 32W x 68H inches (203L x 81W x 173H cm)
- Assembled weight: 338 lbs (153 kg)
- Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
- Stride: 21 – 25 inches (53 – 63 cm)
- Incline: Automatic, 15° – 40°
- Resistance system: Self-powered, eddy current, 20 levels
- Console: 14 programs, goal settings
- Extras: Device holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 1 year / Labor 90 days
The Precor EFX 576i elliptical trainer features a heavy-duty construction designed for commercial use. Its frame combines oval, rectangular, and cylindrical tubes for improved sturdiness and aesthetics. All the tubes feature a durable double-coated paint finish. The color used is light gray, this being the only color available for this model.
The cross trainer also integrates several plastic parts. For example, the drive system casing, the pedal trays, the median cover of the ramp, and the incline mechanism cover are made from a tough thermoplastic material.
The EFX 576i is one of the largest cross-trainers available. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 80″ (203 cm) long, and 32″ (81 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it, for safe usage and easy access.
Like all the other Precor cross trainers, the EFX 576i does not have a folding system. It is also pretty heavy. Its net weight is 338 lbs (153 kg). Thus, the transport of the packaged unit requires two persons. However, once the trainer is assembled, it can be moved by only one person as its front stabilizer features transport wheels.
Pedals and handlebars
The Precor EFX 576i cross trainer is equipped with a heavy-duty set of pedals. Their trays are made of durable ABS material. They are attached to two steel tubes, have a textured surface, and side guards for improved foot stability. They are non-adjustable, but they’re pretty large, 15″L x 7″W (38 x 18 cm) so they can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They’re also solid enough to support users up to 350 lbs.
The spacing between the pedals is pretty narrow, only 2.4″ (6 cm). This being said, your feet won’t be too far apart so the pedaling motion is natural, without any lateral stress on your knees and ankles. Also, at their lowest point, the pedals are 8″ (20 cm) above the floor, while at their highest, they are at 22″ above the floor (55 cm). This being said, it is recommended to use this machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 25″ (64 cm) higher than your own height.
The trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars, one mobile, the other one fixed. The mobile handlebars attach to the front mast of the machine and to the pedal system. Thus, they will move for as long as you are pedaling; they cannot be locked to remain stationary. They have longer grips than the fixed handlebars. The fixed handlebars attach to the upper section of the front mast, right under the console. They have shorter grips and integrate metallic pulse sensors.
Incline and drive systems
The Precor EFX 576i elliptical trainer is equipped with an automatic (motorized) incline system. This means that you can adjust the incline during your workout. It also means that the console can adjust the incline automatically.
The unit’s incline system consists of a motor and a lift integrated into the front base section. The lift is connected to the dual-track ramp on which the two pedals slide. Therefore, when you adjust the incline, or when the machine adjusts the incline automatically, the lift elevates the front section of the ramp. The front sections of the pedals feature wheels and they slide through the side grooves of the ramp.
The machine offers 20 levels of incline while the actual incline range falls between 15° and 40°. The console shows the selected incline level (from 1 to 20), not the exact current angle of the cross ramp. Since the incline is adjustable, the machine’s stride length adjusts as well. The stride range is 21 – 25 inches (53 – 63 cm), the machine provides a pretty ample range of motion and should be able to accommodate users of all sizes with no problem.
Needless to say, the trainer uses a belt drive system. This being said, you don’t have to worry about taking the drive unit apart for drivetrain lubrication (a machine with a chain drive may require this). The exact weight of the internal flywheel is not specified. However, it is perimeter-weighted in order to provide a consistent and stable pedaling motion. It is also bi-directional, so you can pedal in reverse if you want.
First of all, it’s important to mention here that the Precor 576i cross trainer is self-powered. In other words, it has an internal power generator that transforms the kinetic energy created by your pedaling, into the power necessary to run the console, adjust the incline, and the resistance. This being said, you don’t need to connect the machine to a power source, but a minimum rate of motion must be maintained for the console to power up. There is also the option of a power adapter (not included), though. If connected to a power source via the adapter, you don’t need to maintain your motion to keep the console running.
The unit’s resistance system uses an eddy current (magnetic) brake. There is also an internal servo motor that mediates the console and the eddy current system. Therefore, when you adjust the resistance, or when the console runs one of the pre-set programs, the motor will make the necessary adjustments to the magnets’ pull in order to increase or decrease the pedaling difficulty.
One of the main advantages of the eddy current brake system, is that the brake doesn’t actually touch the flywheel so there is no internal friction. Due to this fact, the pedaling motion is extremely quiet and smooth.
The machine makes available 20 resistance levels ranging from 18 watts to 720 watts. The lowest resistance level delivers a light pedaling load, great for warm-ups or recovery training. Conversely, the 20th tension level provides considerably more resistance simulating a hill climb.
The Precor EFX 576i is equipped with a multi-function console. It features several LED displays that show different workout metrics and other workout-related data. For example, the two top displays indicate calories burned and heart rate, the large display shows the program segments, the center display provides additional program information, while the four bottom displays indicate time elapsed/time remaining, incline level, resistance level, and distance/strides-per-minute/total strides.
Speed and distance can be set either to imperial or metric units (they’re by default set to British Imperial). Also, the console can read your pulse if you hold on to the sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars of the machine, or via a wireless HR chest strap (this accessory is not included).
The console has 6 workout modes with 14 workout programs in total. Each workout mode has its quick access key on the console. These are: Manual, Heart Rate, Interval, Weight Loss, Variety, and Performance. The Manual mode covers the manual program (which allows you to pedal freely making resistance and incline adjustments as you like). The Interval mode covers two programs: Interval and Total Body Interval. The Variety mode covers four programs: Cross Country, 1 Gluteals, 2 Gluteals, and Custom. The Heart Rate mode has only one HRC program; this adjusts the resistance of the machine based on the selected heart rate percentage in an attempt to keep you within that particular heart rate zone. The Weight Loss mode also covers only one program. And finally, the Performance mode covers 5 programs, these being Hill Climb, Fitness Test, 1 Cross Training, 2 Cross Training, and 3 Cross Training.
Workout goal settings are also available. For example, you can set a calories goal, or a time goal for your session, and when one is selected, the console will count down from the selected value. There is also a workout summary function that shows your workout data at the end of your sessions.
The console does not have Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. However, it is compatible with the Precor Personal Viewing Systems (PVS). It also integrates a device holder on which you can place your phone or tablet.
Assembly and Maintenance
The machine’s base frame with the pedals, drive and resistance systems, and the incline ramp, comes pre-assembled. However, you will need to attach the front masts, connect the console wires, add the console, the moving arms, and the fixed handlebars. This may take more than one hour of your time, but the process is not too complicated and the manual provides clear assembly instructions. Also, a basic toolkit for the task is included.
For maintenance, it is important to keep the machine clean, especially the tracks of the pedal wheels to prevent any damage to them. The joints may also need lubrication if they begin to squeak. You can actually lubricate some of the joints during assembly. It is also recommended to periodically inspect the machine to make sure that there are no loose bolts or parts.
- Commercial-grade construction – can hold users up to 350 lbs;
- Aesthetic design;
- Transport wheels;
- Adjustable levelers on bases;
- Fixed handlebars with pulse sensors;
- Mobile handlebars with long grips;
- Silent drive system;
- Motorized incline, 20 levels (15° – 40°);
- Long stride for an ample pedaling motion;
- Self-powered eddy current resistance system with up to 20 levels;
- LED display on the console that shows multiple readings simultaneously;
- 14 pre-set workout programs;
- Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
- Device holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Easy to assemble;
- Compatible with Precor PVS accessories;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- No online connectivity;
- Heart rate chest strap is not included.
The Precor EFX 576i is a commercial-grade elliptical trainer. It features a self-powered, 20-level eddy current resistance system, a 20 level automatic incline system, and a console with 14 workout programs. It also has a super-solid construction with a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs. It’s a machine for users of all levels, great for low to high-intensity cardio, interval training, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s not exactly one of the most affordable cross trainers but definitely offers excellent value for the price.