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Elliptical Trainers – You Get What You Pay For!
Everyone wants a bargain, I know I do. But in the process of finding a bargain you inevitably will have to compromise. That compromise can come in either quality or service. This is particularly true when buying fitness equipment, and more specifically elliptical trainers.
The price range of an residential elliptical trainer can vary from 0 - ,000. Some are designed to self-destruct after minimal use, while others are commercial quality. So which is the best value for your exercise needs and goals? That depends on your personal needs and goals. Below are a series of price ranges for elliptical trainers. See which one best suits your needs:
0 - 0
At this price range you are buying an oversized clothes hanger. These elliptical trainers are built with cheap components, and are poorly constructed. They are backed with a 90 day parts and labor warranty. There is a reason why the manufacturers back these elliptical trainers with a limited warranty. These machines tend to have a small, and restraining stride. Their elliptical motion is short and choppy. Getting the machines serviced can be a nightmare. This category tends to be dominated by the type of products you find in the mass merchant stores.
0 - ,000
You are still in a price range where you may have more than normal maintenance problems. Particularly, if you plan to use the elliptical trainer on a regular basis. At around ,000 you are starting to get into some machines that offer a degree of reliability. Especially with the machines that have at least a 1 year labor warranty. The most popular models in this price range are Horizon, ProForm and Nordic Track.
,000 - ,500
In this price category you are starting to get a machine that is better engineered, and has a smoother elliptical motion and stride. The programming will offer more options and challenges. Some will come with heart rate control. If you plan to use the machine for extensive use, or if there will be multiple users, then you should upgrade to the next category. Recommended brands in this price range include Smooth, Sole, New Balance and Schwinn.
,500 - ,500
In this category you are getting good value. You can find some models that have nice long strides, up to 20”. The mechanism is relatively quiet. The machines are heavier, and therefore feel more stable. Many have heavy-duty flywheels that contribute to a very smooth elliptical motion. The warranties are reasonable extensive. For example, most Sole ellipticals come with a 5 year parts and 2 year labor warranty. Recommended brands include Smooth, Sole, Vision Fitness and Life Fitness.
Now you are starting to get into commercial quality elliptical trainers for the home. These machines are built to the highest engineering standards. They are whisper silent and the motion and resistance is as smooth as it gets. Two of the best examples of elliptical trainers in this category are Precor and Life Fitness.
My only criticism is, at this range some of these brands are overpriced. But if money is no object then these are the elliptical trainers you want to own. If you should have any service issues, you can expect professional and courteous attention.
So what is the best elliptical trainer for your fitness needs? One that feels right and gives you a pleasurable workout. It should be well-engineered and hold up to the rigors of your exercising. And it should be backed with a warranty that puts the responsibly for the first year or two of service on the manufacturer.
About the Author: Fred Waters worked in the fitness equipment industry for a number of years, and is author of the Elliptical Trainer Reviews site. Check out the latest reviews on the most popular elliptical trainers.