Captiva Elliptical Trainer Review (Cardio Core Training Series)

The Captiva elliptical trainer (Cardio Core Training Series) is an incredibly quiet, well designed trainer with an innovative, electronically adjustable incline feature. Other key features include 9 preset programs, an iPod dock (and charger) and an incredible adjustable stride length of 18-28 inches.

Many of the features are well thought out and intuitive too, but is the Captiva elliptical machine as silent as the manufacturer states? Is the base as sturdy as other ellipticals with a front flywheel and is the cardio core motion as effective as other elliptical machines in this price range?


Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 33 (width) x 66 (length) x 66 (height) inches (167.64 cm x 83.8 cm x 167.64 cm);
  • Fully extended length: 81 inches (205.7 cm)
  • 400 pounds (181.4 kg) maximum user weight
  • 243 pounds (110.2 kg) assembled weight
  • 275 pounds (124.7 kg) shipping weight


Key Features

  • CardioCore motion handlebars
  • 18″-28″ Adjustable Stride on the fly
  • 0-50% Electronically Adjustable Incline
  • 9 Pre-Set Programs
  • Custom Programing
  • Surefit™ Pivoting Foot Pedals
  • Built In Heart Rate Control by Polar
  • iPod™ Docking & Charging
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Best in-class Lifetime warranty included



The Captiva elliptical trainer has a maximum user capacity of 400 pounds so you would expect it to feel incredibly solid and robust; and it is. Despite the rear flywheel, the machine feels safe and sturdy even during full motion.

“I am glad I bought the Captiva ( not the Sanibel), it’s worth the extra $500 because of the stride adjuster and incline adjustment feature.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The comfort of the full elliptical motion is definitely something that should be tried before purchasing if possible. The cardio core motion of the handlebars could feel a little tight on the spine for some people and feels completely different to many other elliptical machines.

Rather than moving your arms backwards and forwards, your arms move from side to side. The motion of the elliptical itself is also very different to the normal ramp system machines. Your feet move in a circular stepping motion which feels a little unnatural to begin with, it can also leave the knees a little sore when used in conjunction with the rampless incline at its maximum 50% capacity.

One big positive of the Captiva trainers design is the ability to adjust the stride to a mammoth 28 inches. This is incredibly beneficial (especially for taller users) as it means you can ensure your stride will be comfortable whichever program or incline position you choose to use.



The Captiva elliptical trainers cardio core motion is designed to work out core muscle areas; the innovative elliptical motion is designed to target key muscle groups without placing any additional strain on the joints. If you can get used to the movement (which takes a bit of doing, we’ll be honest), you will find it works all the main muscle areas as stated by the manufacturer.

“It’s VERY smooth, and VERY quiet!” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

You can certainly work up a sweat using the 9 preset programs which include; Manual, Target Time – Counts up or down from a specified time, Target Distance – Counts up or down from a specified distance and Target Calories – Counts up or down from a specified number and Core Interval resistance program with eight unique intensity levels. The trainer also has basic feedback facilities which include a polar chest strep; the most accurate way to monitor your heart rate. You can also use the handlebar sensors but they aren’t as accurate in comparison.

The Captiva elliptical trainer also has a massive 9 user capacity which means 9 different people can store their information and progress on the machine.

The rear drive technology could help some users excel in their fitness progression while others may simply find the motion too strange and unusual to encourage them to workout, so keep this in mind.


Ease Of Use & Convenience

The Captiva (Cardio Core Trainer Series) elliptical trainer is extremely heavy and will need to be set-up where you intend to use it. Once setup it does have a very compact footprint which is very convenient and space saving.

“The instructions were OK, but you could tell English wasn’t the primary language of the person who wrote them.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The control itself is fairly basic and in all honesty, it isn’t the easiest to use (you’ll probably need to consult the manual) but once you get used to the layout, you should be able to get to grips with it.

What’s more, the water bottle holder is not very big which may annoy some users who like to stay well hydrated during their workouts.

By far the best feature of the machine is it’s incredibly quiet motion. The fact it is nearly silent is really useful and means it is ideal for those living in apartment blocks or flats (or perhaps those living with partners).




The Captiva elliptical machine does have an iPod dock and speaker system but these features are fairly limiting for all users. Firstly you need to have an iPod or you can’t use the dock, which is incredibly annoying for those who want to use the system who don’t own a compatible Apple product.

“There isn’t a place for a book, but I’ll be watching TV anyway.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

Secondly the speakers are below par which is quite common with inbuilt elliptical music systems but is a little annoying nonetheless.

The most entertaining part of the machine is the movement which will contribute towards the novelty factor initially and interest you enough to encourage you to workout. You should also find that the incline is enough to vary your workouts regularly and push your fitness levels. If you can’t get used to the motion however, you’ll probably not want to continue use.



  • Frame – Lifetime
  • Braking system – lifetime
  • Parts and electronics – 5 years
  • Labour – 2 years


The Final Verdict

“I strongly recommend this machine and am really pleased with my purchase.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The Captiva elliptical trainer (cardio core training series) is a well built, innovative machine with intuitive design and usability. Unfortunately the machine is very much something you should, if possible, try before you buy.

The completely different style of movement may well alienate some users and be that bit too different to get used to. Aside from this, the machine is feature-packed and offers a lot for your money. However, at just over $2000 dollars, you need to know you’ll at least enjoy the basic workout movement on the machine as well as the other features.

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Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer is a budget elliptical with a basic range of workout features and adjustability options. It falls into the budget elliptical category but doesn’t have many of the extras that similar elliptical machines in the same budget do have.

The machine itself has 9 basic workout programs, 8 resistance levels and an 18-inch stride length. At under $500 dollars, the machine has a few varied features and an accessible price point, but does it deliver on quality and most importantly; is it good value for money?


Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 29 (width) x 55 (length) x 67 (height) inches (74 x 140 x 170 cm)
  • 275 pounds (125 kg) maximum user capacity
  • 163 pounds (73.9 kg) assembled weight
  • 178 pounds (80.7 kg) shipping weight


Key Features

  • Front-Drive Elliptical Frame
  • Feedback options; Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate, Incline, Watts
  • Flywheel weight; 6.5 kg / 14.3 lbs
  • 9 Programs – Choose Goal Option (Time, Calories, Distance) and Terrain Type (Manual, Hills, Reverse Train)
  • Contact Grips for heart rate monitoring
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • ECB Magnetic Brake
  • 8 Levels of resistance
  • 18-inch Stride Length



The fact the Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer has a flywheel at the front means it feels generally sturdier than those which have the wheels placed at the back.

“I’m 220 lbs and 5’5 and I feel very comfortable on it.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The arm reach is fairly comfortable and allows for full extension which is great for optimum full body workout results and inclusion of key target muscle areas such as biceps and triceps. As mentioned, the trainer has an 18-inch stride length which is the same as most standard elliptical machines; unfortunately it can make working out a little uncomfortable for those who are taller or who have longer strides.

The foot pedals are also standard and basic (no real grips or cushioning)  which means longer workouts can start to hurt the bottom of your feet.

The elliptical movement itself is generally quite smooth and solid feeling although the parts do need greasing often and the components need to be tightly connected to prevent any knocking. The machine can also knock around a little if used to its full capacity which detracts from the overall feeling of quality and safety.



Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot to play around with in the way of exercise on the Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer. There are 9 basic programs available which are; Choose Goal Option (Time, Calories, Distance) and Terrain Type (Manual, Hills, Reverse Train) but they really lack innovation and variation.

“You can get an intense workout from this machine and I feel it is very comparable to the ellipticals I use in the gym.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The programs would more than likely get a little boring and repetitive over time but are adequate for a good, overall workout and are particularly suitable for those new to elliptical machines or on the start of their fitness journey. he programming doesn’t seem to incorporate much imagination which is fairly obvious during the repetitive workouts. This doesn’t really make the most of the machine or show it off to its full capacity which is a real shame.

The heart rate sensors on the handles are poor and don’t really give an accurate reading; it’s unfortunate that the machine doesn’t have a chest strap and telemetry features as some lower priced ellipticals do; these offer a much more accurate reading.

The feedback options are; Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate, Incline and watts which are basic but adequate. Overall, the Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer really doesn’t stack up that well in terms of performance as there as much better options out there.


Ease Of Use & Convenience


The Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer is easy and convenient to assemble and operate. The console is incredibly simple to use and isn’t confusing in the slightest.

You can quite easily get started on your workout with ease as soon as your machine is assembled and greased. The fact that the screen is not backlit means it is fairly difficult to read and would be very hard to see in a room that is not well lit.



“There is a small lip on the console which allows me to put my Kindle Fire 8.9 inch or iPhone 4S there as I listen to music or watch television, which is very nice.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

Unfortunately, there are no bells and whistles with the Horizon EX-57 trainer and it shows. More often than not, if the basic machine shines through, the extras are just an added bonus and aren’t the main feature. The programs and feedback options available are adequate and give a decent workout but may not entertain more seasoned elliptical users long term.

The machine itself is pleasurable to use, it is just a shame the programs available aren’t a little more innovative. The 8 levels of resistance go some way towards customization capabilities, which means you can make the workouts more difficult for yourself if you want to and also vary your exercise routines as well.

If it’s any consolation, there is a ledge on the console that could be used for a book, e-reader or tablet PC.



  • Frame – lifetime
  • Parts – 1 year
  • Labour – 1 year


The Final Verdict

“All-in-all, I’m very happy with this machine. I especially like the 1 year electronics and parts and the 1 year labor warranty.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

For under $500 dollars, the Horizon Fitness ex-57 Elliptical Trainer definitely falls into the budget price range. It is a well-rounded machine with basic, well designed features that work well. Unfortunately, when compared to other ellipticals in the same price category, it does fall a little short in the way of extras, customization and adjustability capabilities.

It is best suited to those new to elliptical training or those who may not feel the need for all the extra bells and whistles when it comes to their exercise machine. It’s good for the price, but it definitely doesn’t stand out as the best value elliptical in its price range.

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Horizon fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Horizon fitness EX-69-2 elliptical trainer is a sophisticated, well-built elliptical machine with a great range of intuitive features and workout capabilities. The machine comes with plenty of extras including; 10 preset programs, a 20-inch stride and 20 different resistance levels. It also boasts an inbuilt speaker system, inbuilt fan and 7 feedback options.

For under $1000 dollars it’s a well-designed elliptical with plenty of fun features and exercise options. It is also the successor to the original Horizon Fitness EX-69 and includes a few new and improved features as well as a beautiful new design.


Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 22 (width) x 73 (length) x 65 (height) inches (56 x 185 x 165 cm)
  • 300 pounds maximum user weight (136 kg)
  • 185 pounds assembled weight (84 kg)
  • 201 pounds shipping weight (93 kg)


Key Features

  • SixStar Certified™ platform for the most natural feel you’ll find on an elliptical.
  • 20” stride length accommodates everyone in your household, no matter how tall or petite
  • 5.75” bright LCD display to view workout feedback with just a glance
  • 20 resistance levels and 5 manual incline positions offer versatility
  • 10 Programs – Manual, Speed Intervals, Endurance Intervals, Peak Intervals, Cardio Burn, Muscle Toner, Strength Builder, Nature Trail, Peak Descent, Mountain Climb
  • MP3-Compatible Speakers, Audio-In Jacks
  • COOLfit™ Personal Fan
  • GoalCenter™ Performance Tracking
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Reading Rack & Accessories Tray
  • ECB Magnetic Brakes
  • 14.3 lbs (6.5 kg) Flywheel
  • Oversized Foot Pedals



The Horizon fitness EX-69-2 elliptical trainer features a SixStar certified platform which adds a really comfortable and natural feel to the base, making the elliptical movement smooth and enjoyable. The oversized footpads are comfortable and a good size, offering added enjoyment to longer workouts.

“I’m a 5’9″ girl and I am very comfortable using this elliptical and it works great for me.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The manual incline positions do unfortunately create a minor physicality issue because they change the position you are in to more of an extreme than you may have been expecting. The inclines create a ‘downhill’ feeling to the workout which doesn’t feel natural and can actually end up pinching the toes a little. The pedals move during the adjustment but the flywheel stays in the same position so you’re angled rather badly. It’s a real shame as the elliptical movement itself is so good and for some, may render this customization option unusable.

If you’re on the taller side, the ellipticals 20-inch stride may feel like it comes up a little short, but still remains relatively comfortable for most users. It’s just those who are taller that may find it a little tight.



The Horizon fitness EX-69-2 elliptical machine has everything you need to create high quality, well constructed workouts. The movement itself means you have no joint or muscle impact although the incline position could be a little uncomfortable for some people.

“There are built in workouts, including one that feels like you are rolling up and down hills. It’s a real workout, but it’s also fun!” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The preset programs are; Manual, Speed Intervals, Endurance Intervals, Peak Intervals, Cardio Burn, Muscle Toner, Strength Builder, Nature Trail, Peak Descent and Mountain Climb. The nature trail, peak descent and mountain climb programs are particularly tough and well designed, although users with low fitness levels may have to build up their performance levels in order to use them. The overall difficulty levels on the programs do seem to be set quite high without really catering for beginners, although there is the manual option if you want a workout with a lower intensity.

The elliptical trainer also has feedback options of; Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Heart Rate, Program Level and watts. The contact grips are adequate but not especially accurate on this elliptical. You can also track your progress using the GoalCenter™ workout tracking capabilities which allow you to track your progress over days, weeks or months.


Ease Of Use & Convenience


The product with packaging is extremely heavy and difficult to move and should be placed where the product is going to be set up, if possible. The instructions for set up are very clear and assembly doesn’t take a long time. Additional grease should be added to get the moving parts lubricated quicker and with more ease, unfortunately the machine does not come with any grease included.

The console is easy to use and the cup holder is conveniently placed with two extra holds either side which are useful for TV remotes or phones.



The entertainment value of the Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 elliptical trainer is actually pretty great. The speakers are of a higher standard than most phones or computers and can be easily connected to an iPad or similar device.

“The built-in fan is a nice touch, it aims right at my face, though other users might have a different experience based on their height.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The fan is actually relatively useful and creates a decent airflow for workout, and the 5.75-inch LCD display is attractive to look at and works relatively well. You may find the overwhelming amount of buttons a little disconcerting at first but the programs are easy to navigate around and the format is well designed, you just have to get used to it.

Unfortunately, despite the screen itself being well lit, the keys are a little dark and aren’t as easy to see if your room isn’t well lit. The reading rack and extra holds for accessories are useful and well positioned.

The customization capabilities and adjustability, combined with the fun and challenging programs mean you’re well set up entertainment-wise with this elliptical, even before you’ve even started using the added extras.



  • Frame – lifetime
  • Parts – 1 year
  • Labour – 1 year


The Final Verdict

“All in all, I am very happy with this elliptical; it appears to be a high quality exercise machine, and I recommend it.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

At under $1000, the Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 elliptical trainer offers exceptional value for money. Even when taking into account the incline issues, you’re still getting a pretty amazing deal considering everything else included at this price point.

The machine works really well, you’ve got lifetime frame cover, all the entertainment features are of a good quality and the programs are genuinely innovative and fun. The Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 is a sophisticated, sturdy machine that is built to last, built to work you hard and built to entertain. You’d be hard-pushed to find a better elliptical trainer under the $1000 mark.

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