Are you looking for the best elliptical machine on the market? If so, then you’re probably inching closer toward your fitness goals. Over the past few years, elliptical trainers have become increasingly popular thanks to providing a low impact option for working out. Many fitness enthusiasts now consider the elliptical machine as their go-to calorie-burning workout. The cushioned pedals and smooth circular motion ensure that the joints are not placed under excessive pressure. In addition, elliptical trainers also work out the upper body. A few minutes on the machine can be all you need to improve muscle tone and burn those excess calories.
But before you get too excited, you must first equip yourself with the right knowledge about what features to look for in an elliptical machine. This buying guide should help you get started and better prepare for your purchase.
One of the first things you need to consider is the amount of money you’re willing to spend on a new elliptical machine. It helps to understand that trainers are usually divided into multiple tiers: basic, standard, and elite. Of course, basic models have the lowest price points, but you can’t expect them to have all the bells and whistles. Standard and elite options provide more features but come with higher price tags.
When it comes to price, always remember to stick to your budget. You should establish what your fitness goals are. If you do not need heart rate monitoring programs, adjustable console, and other advanced features, then you don’t have to pay for them. There’s nothing wrong with buying a basic trainer if it adequately suits your purpose.
Elliptical machines can take up quite a bit of space. For this reason, you should plan ahead and determine where the machine will stand in your home. If you don’t have a lot of room, then you may be limited to compact models or those with a foldable design. Also, consider elliptical trainers with wheels for easier portability. Note that elite trainers are usually larger because they come with frames made from durable material such as steel in order to accommodate heavier weights.
Brake, Resistance System, and Flywheel
Now it’s time to get a little more technical. The durability of an elliptical machine primarily depends on the brake and resistance system as well as the weight of the flywheel. It’s recommended to go for trainers that utilize magnets for resistance. A popular choice is an electronic magnetic resistance system. The same goes for the brake system. An electromagnetic type enables you to control resistance with a push of a button. And when it comes to the weight of the flywheel, understand that heavier translates to a smoother stride.
Console and Customizable Features
This is where personal preference really comes into play. There are plenty of console features you can do without. These include Android or Apple compatibility, built-in speakers, and internet connectivity. LCD screens are also becoming a staple in newer models. Obviously, elite trainers should be your number one option if you want to enjoy all these extra features. But as mentioned earlier, there’s no need to force things if you don’t have the budget or the need for these advanced options.
When it comes to customizable features, you may think that they’re unnecessary. In reality, however, they can have a tremendous impact in your overall workout experience. For one, having a customizable stride makes it possible to train multiple muscle groups. An adjustable incline can also come in handy if you’re looking for an additional challenge. And adjustable pedals mean your lower body doesn’t have to endure a lot of strain.
This is something a lot of buyers tend to overlook. Remember that when manufacturers offer a warranty, it shows the level of trust they have in their elliptical machine. Basic models usually come with shorter warranty periods. More expensive ones can offer a warranty on labor and parts anywhere from 3 to 5 years.
Now that you know the most important things to consider when doing your shopping, it’s time to get down to business. Below you will find some of the best elliptical machines that are designed to provide the most value for your money.
Our Top 5 Ellpiticals for 2017
1: Bowflex Max Trainer
Price: Starting at $999
The Max Trainer by Bowflex is one of our favorite fitness machines on the market and something that I use almost every day of the week for my primary workout. While the Max Trainer isn’t officially an elliptical in the classic sense of the term, I still like to group it in the elliptical category. It functions in a way that is very similar to most ellipticals, but it combines the workout that an elliptical provides with a stair climber. This creates a much more effective workout, and according to the folks at Bowflex you only need to use the Max Trainer for 14 minutes per day to see amazing results. On top of that, I have found that its motion is a lot smoother when compared to other ellipticals, so I find that I enjoy using it a lot more.
The Max Trainer currently comes in three different models: The M3, M5, M7. We have full reviews for all of these here on FlexMasterGeneral.com, be sure to check those out for more detailed write-ups about this amazing machine. I personally like the Max Trainer because of its sleek, compact design, it’s affordable pricing point and the fact that it produces amazing results.
In addition to that, Bowflex offers a generous warranty, free shipping, and a variety of financing options, making everything convenient and affordable if you decide to make the purchase.
An Up-Close Look at the Max Trainer:
2: Sole Fitness E95S
Sole take things up a notch by building on their best-selling model, the E95, and offering a feature-packed version. The new Sole E95S boasts of several adjustable features that can hardly be seen on other models in the same price point. At just $2,199.99, it’s easy to see how this elite elliptical machine proves to be the leading choice on the market today.
Sporting a 38mm steel frame, this model can accommodate up to 400 pounds. The machine isn’t compact by any means, but the transport wheels make it easy to move around. What’s great about the Sole E95S is that you can customize different features based on your needs. These include an adjustable stride, adjustable console, and varying resistance levels.
The console area features a 9-inch LCD adjustable screen, moving in an up/down motion so you can adjust it to the right height. The foot pedals measure 15 inches and have an inward slope of 2 degrees, making each stride easier on the ankles and feet.
Sole also offers an impressive warranty. You can enjoy a lifetime warranty on the frame and 5 years on parts and electronics.
3: ProForm Hybrid Trainer
If you’re in the market for a compact and sleek elliptical machine, then you can’t go wrong with the ProForm Hybrid Trainer. It features a 2-in1 design, transforming from an elliptical trainer into a recumbent bike by doing three simple steps. The latest model provides several welcome changes including a heavier flywheel, a more functional console area, and more customizable features.
ProForm has a built-in 16 workout programs. It comes with an LCD screen that provides basic functions and shows key information regarding performance. The iFit Bluetooth smart enabled console also allows you stay on top of your workouts by getting access to programs designed by professional fitness trainers.
The adjustable and cushioned pedals allow for smooth and safe strides. This model also utilizes Silent Magnetic Technology, making this trainer run very quiet.
At only $399, the price of ProForm Hybrid Trainer proves hard to match given all its great features. The warranty covers the frame for 5 years and parts and labor for only 90 days.
4: Nautilus E614
BEST Price: $598
Want an elliptical machine for the family? The Nautilus E614 can prove to be the ideal solution for you. It features 22 workout programs that suit different fitness levels. Although it’s limited to two user profiles, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The other outstanding features of this model more than makes up for this small con. One of which is the acoustic chambered speakers, providing crystal clear sound quality while you work out. The grip heart rate also offers accurate readings so you can stay on top of your health.
Equipped with a DualTrack LCD system, it’s very easy to monitor your progress while enjoying a good read on your mobile device. Nautilus Connect also lets you keep track of your fitness goals and export data. The large footplates should equate to a smooth experience, although the stride length of 20” may not suit all body types.
The Nautilus E614 is priced at $999. The warranty isn’t the most impressive: 10 years on frame, 2 years on mechanical, 1 year on electrical, and 90 days on labor.
5: Sole Light Commercial E98
The Sole Light Commercial E98 proves to be one of the top picks right now. With a history of providing feature-packed models at competitive prices, Sole once again delivers with the all new E98. It boasts of tech-related upgrades that make it more attractive than ever. Now, you can enjoy Bluetooth connectivity and use it with Sole Fitness’ mobile app. Using this app enables you to turn your mobile device into the trainer’s control center. You will have the ability to save your stats and monitor your progress with ease.
Other upgrades include a tablet holder, making it easy for you to access your app and playlists while training. It also comes with a 10.1-inch screen with adjustable angle. The Light Commercial E98 also has speakers that provide decent sound quality.
This model comes with a heavy, 34-pound flywheel. This guarantees that each stride is as smooth as possible. The pedals have a 20-inch stride with adjustable angles. The E98 also sports both stationary and moving handlebars, both of which come with comfortable grips. The power incline is the reason why this model proves to be miles ahead of the competition. With more than 20 elliptical paths to choose from, you ensure that every workout session is more intense than the last.
ne is the reason why this model proves to be miles ahead of the competition. With more than 20 elliptical paths to choose from, you ensure that every workout session is more intense than the last.
At $2,499, the Sole Light Commercial E98 offers an outstanding value for the money. The warranty is also top notch: Lifetime on frame, 5 years on parts and electronics, and 2 years on labor. This model ranks among the top choices for light commercial settings.
The bottom line is you really can’t go wrong with any of the ellipticals on this list. Of course, each one we mention brings its own set of unique features and functionality, so it will be up to you to decide which one will best meet your unique needs. Either way, we hope that we’ve provided you with a good start for picking out the right machine for you!