Even if you’re new to the exercise world, you’ve probably heard about elliptical machines due to their widespread popularity. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: what is an elliptical and why should I want one. An elliptical is an all-in-one exercise platform that allows users to emulate walking, running and stair-climbing without leaving the house. Some of the biggest elliptical machine benefits include versatility, value and ease of use. The great thing about elliptical machines is that they’re fairly affordable and can act as multiple workout devices simultaneously. You can buy a new or used elliptical machine which makes for even greater value for money with a good deal.
So – which cross trainer to buy? If an elliptical machine sounds appealing, here are five models worth considering.
If you need a cheap elliptical now, the Goplus 2 IN 1 Elliptical Bike is your ride. Measuring 59.5″ long, 37″ high and just 24.2″ wide, it’ll fit into even the most cramped home office you can imagine.
Capable of supporting riders of up to 250 lbs, it’s suitable for the vast majority of indoor fitness freaks. Its LED display rattles off details like distance traveled, speed and calories burned in an easy-to-read format. Cranking up resistance is as simple as turning a single knob.
The biggest selling point of the Goplus 2 in 1 is affordability. At just under $100 on Amazon, there really is no other small elliptical machine that can match its value at this price. It’s easy to assemble, easy to use and quiet to boot. More importantly, it’s built to last. Its surprisingly comfortable seating arrangement is actually superior to some models that are twice the price. The only problem with the Goplus 2 in 1 is that it isn’t a good fit for tall characters. If you’re over six feet in height, opt for a bigger elliptical that can handle your frame.
Above the starter level, the Schwinn 430 Elliptical is the next logical step. In terms of ergonomics, its spacious footplates make working out for long periods of time a breeze. While the Schwinn 430 has all the mechanical bells and whistles, the electronic features are the real head turner.
The patented Schwinn DualTrack™ LCD window system tracks a variety of fitness metrics like time, distance and calories to begin with. The Schwinn Connect™ feature makes exporting data to any device a breeze. Dash-mounted resistance keys allow you to accelerate workouts as you see fit on the fly without breaking your stride.
The pros of the Schwinn 430 are too numerous to sum up in one paragraph. However, it should be noted that it’s a gem of a machine for the money. Besides sealed speakers, a cup or phone holder and heart rate monitors built into the handle bars, it boasts an almost silent air fan that feels like a jet engine when you’re really sweating. Self-leveling feet make it easy to adapt to any environment.
On the con side, this is a machine that isn’t the easiest to assemble. Other than that, this Schwinn delivers exactly what you’d expect for the asking price. Long story short, it’s a serious portable elliptical machine for serious people.
For most would-be workout fanatics, the Nautilus E616 represents a major step up from introductory at-home elliptical trainer machines. Weighing in at 186 pounds, it’s a sturdy customer that boasts a 20” Precision Path stride length, a motorized incline mechanism, cushioned foot plates and 25 levels of eddy current resistance.
The back-lit Dual Track LCD can support up to four user profiles and comes with a USB port for charging. Its high-tech handles feature sensors that detect heart rate by default. Bluetooth connectivity works well with Nautilus Connect™, Nautilus Trainer™ and MyFitnessPal to name just a few top-notch apps.
At its price point, the Nautilus E616 Elliptical is pretty much the highest rated elliptical machine on the market. Due to integrated levelers, center frame supports and transport wheels, it’s a wildly versatile device. It even has the typical creature comforts like fans and speakers.
A 10-year frame warranty guarantees reliability for users up to 300 lbs. Considering the fact that it currently retails in the mid range, it’s also a fantastic value when the hardware and software expansion features are considered. The only major con is the documentation, which is less than clear on some points when it comes to initial assembly.
If you’re looking for the best elliptical to buy to replace a gym machine, the Sole Fitness E95 is it. This 215-pound maniac is 27″ wide and 62″ high, which means that it can comfortably accommodate individuals weighing up to 400 lbs. Oversize foot pedals and adjustable handlebars round out the comfort selling points nicely.
Like many of its high-end competitors, the E95 features handle-based sensors to monitor heart rate. Touch button ramp control allows you to increase the incline up to 30 degrees. Its 6.5″ LCD display enables users to hook up MP3 players and Bluetooth devices while running through six pre-set workout regimens.
If you want an elliptical with practically zero downsides, the Sole Fitness E95 is the way to fly. In many ways, it’s the best elliptical exercise machine on the market due to its stellar performance. Beyond that, the lifetime frame warranty and five-year electronics warranty ensure that you’ll get your money’s worth.
While it does retail for a hefty price, you get what you pay for with the E95. Furthermore, this exercise powerhouse doesn’t suffer from the depreciation you’d experience with other models. If you need to move across the country and can’t take it along, finding a buyer won’t be tough.
Considered by many to be the Mercedes-Benz of elliptical machines, the Precor EFX 835 will absolutely change how you look at exercise equipment. This beast boasts CrossRamp technology that allows users to adjust the elliptical path height while enjoying a smooth, low-impact workout.
With 15 workout pre-sets and 20 resistance levels, it can adapt to any exercise regimen. Incline can be adjusted from 13 to 40 degrees as need be. It also features telemetry heart rate monitoring via its built-in Polar chest strap support. Virtually any exercise app you can think of can be used with the EFX 835 given a little tinkering.
Ultimately, the Precor EFX 835 is a true commercial-grade machine. It’s the kind of gear that you’ll see at pricey gyms. Unimpeachable build quality is backed up by a lifetime frame warranty as well as a 10-year electronic warranty. Its Lexus-like operation during a workout has to be experienced to be believed.
The electronics are like something out of the latest Star Trek movie. The only big con, as you might expect, is the price. However, most consumers in the market for a machine like the Precor EFX 835 probably aren’t all that worried about paying their rent on time.
Whether you desire a used elliptical machine or a new one, finding out where to buy an elliptical is a chore. The good news is that all of the stellar gear detailed above is available on Amazon.
For the beginners and penny pinchers, the Goplus or the Schwinn 430 are the bee’s knees. The Nautilus E616 is a great option for middle-of-the-road buyers.
The Sole Fitness E95 and the Precor EFX 835 are best left to die-hard fitness nuts. In any event, any of the models mentioned here will deliver superlative elliptical performance no matter what.